Summary: These verses stress the great and costly work of redemption. Redemption was God¡¯s greatest work. As great as all creation is, it cannot compare with the work of redemption.
1 PETER 1: 18 -21 [Renewing Hope Series]
These verses stress the great and costly work of redemption (CIT). Redemption was God's greatest work. As great as all creation is, it cannot compare with the work of redemption. Christ work of redemption was set in motion even before creation was brought into being.
Redemption or buying back speaks of what Christ has done for us. Christ has paid the price to purchase us back out of our slavery to sin, self, and Satan. The price of our redemption communicates to us the colossal value God places on us.
So here we find the reason that we should be holy and honor God the Father. Our redemption is the highest motive for godly living. Peter recalls to his readers minds the astonishing act that purchased their salvation. It is a reminder we regularly need. Remembering what our Lord has done for us and what it cost Him is why the Lord's Table was instituted. Our redemption price was literally beyond the value of anything in all of God's creation. A redemption price so great that only God Himself could pay it. May we never forget.
Peter gave them four reminders: What They Were, What Christ Did, When God Made His Plan & lastly He reminded them Whom to Trust.
I. He reminded them of What They Were, 18.
II. He reminded them of What Christ Did, 19.
III. He reminded them of When God Made His Plan, 20.
IV. He reminded them of Who to Trust, 21.
[17 "And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth;"]
This section contains significant statements about living this life as those who have been redeemed. In verse18, he says that we have not been redeemed by the conduct or tradition received from our fathers. "knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,"
Peter first reminded them of what they were. Before their redemption by Christ, they were slaves who needed to be set free. The word redeemed is, to us, a theological term; but it carried a special meaning to the 45 million people in the first-century Roman Empire. There were probably 10 million slaves in the Empire! Many slaves became Christians and fellow-shipped in the local assemblies. A slave could purchase his own freedom, if he could collect sufficient funds; or his master could sell him to someone who would pay the price and set him free. Redemption was a rare and precious thing for a slave.
To redeem [lup¨®¨] means "to set free by paying a ransom price, to release or ransom by payment." We must never forget the slavery of sin (Titus 3:3). Moses urged Israel to remember that they had been slaves in Egypt (Deut. 5: 15; 16: 12; 24: 18, 22). The generation that died in the wilderness forgot the bondage of Egypt and wanted to go back!
Not only did we have a life of slavery, but it was also a life of emptiness. [The word translated as "aimless" is the Greek word m¨¢taios, which means "vain" or "empty."] It is the word which Paul uses to describe the wisdom of this world as opposed to godly wisdom (1 Cor. 3:20). Peter used it in describing the aimless or "the empty way of life handed down to them from their forefathers." [He describes it more specifically in 1 Peter 4: 1-4.] At the time, these people thought their lives were "full" and "happy," when they were really empty and valueless. Unsaved people today are also blindly living on empty substitutes.
One generation can only pass down the temporary things of life from one generation to another. We come into this world with nothing, and we leave this world with nothing. Peter suggests that even gold and silver are ultimately perishable. In the end, these things are ultimately vain. They provide a false sense of security. These things motivated Solomon, one of the richest men who ever lived, to write, "Vanity of vanities... All is vanity" (Eccl. 12:8).
I have conducted funerals for both the rich and the poor, and they are basically the same. Whether a casket is made of wood or gold makes little difference to the one who is dead. All we have gained in life is lost except for the eternal salvation for those who have trusted in the living Christ.
We though have been redeemed from the futile conduct which focuses merely on this life. Whether we knew it or not we traded in a life style that had only empty pleasures and dead end desires to offer us. We were in bondage to our impulses unable to help ourselves. The only way for us to be emancipated was for someone to redeem us out of it. That ransom price was paid by Jesus Christ.