Summary: Live As Aliens 1)Because God is an impartial judge; 2) Because Christ has redeemed us with his blood
Have you ever seen an alien? I don’t mean on T.V. or in the movies, I mean a real red-blooded (or is it green-blooded?) alien. Have you ever seen one? I have. In fact I’m looking at a bunch right now! Christians are aliens. At least that’s what the Apostle Peter tells us this morning. He says that Christians are to live in such a way that non-Christians see that we are different. How well are we doing that? If we were put on trial for being Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict us? Would the prosecuting attorney be able to call our family to testify that we habitually put them first? Could he call our friends to testify that we don’t make fun of others but defend them? Would the prosecution admit into evidence our checkbook to show how the support of God’s work is not an afterthought? If the evidence for us being Christian is flimsy, we’ll want to take to heart the Apostle Peter’s words this morning for he gives us two good reasons as to why we’ll want to be different from the world. Peter tells us to live as aliens here because God is an impartial judge, and because Christ has redeemed us with his blood.
Peter wrote the words of our text to Christians scattered throughout the Roman Empire. He began by reminding them that they had a special relationship with God for they could call on God as their Father. Because God is our Father we can be certain that he loves and cares for us and will always do what is the very best for us, just as a good human father would do for his children. Although God is a Father to us we should still treat him with awe and respect. We should not think that he will tolerate our tantrums and look the other way, as a grandfather might, when we sin. Our heavenly Father is not some old man who does not have the energy or will to discipline his children. On the contrary, he will judge each person’s work impartially (1 Peter 1:17).
The fact that God will judge each of us impartially is the first reason we will not want to live as the world lives. We should not think that because we are Christians, and therefore God’s children, that we can get away with sin. God hates our sins as much as the sins committed by unbelievers. In fact you could say that God hates our sins even more because we should know better. Just think of how your earthly father would not discipline one of your friends as much as he would discipline you for breaking house rules. For example if your friend ate chips on the couch in the living room where food was not allowed, your father would tell him to move. But if he caught you eating on the couch, he would do more than to tell you to move, he would discipline you for knowingly disobeying the house rules. It does not matter that you are his child, nor would it matter that you mowed the lawn for him that afternoon. If you break the rules, you will suffer the consequences. Our heavenly Father judges us in the same way. It does not matter that we are his children, nor does it matter if we obey God most of the time. If we break any of God’s commands even once, we are guilty and deserve to be punished.
Because God our heavenly Father will judge each one of us impartially, we will not want to live as the world lives unless we want to face God’s anger over our sins. So although the world thinks it’s O.K. to trash politicians, we will not because God says it’s wrong to do so. And although the world thinks it’s harmless to joke about sex, we’ll want to run the other way when those jokes start flying around the workplace or classroom because God hates that kind of talk. Sure, people will think that we are weird and out of touch for trying to avoid those things. They’ll say that we’re oversensitive, but the truth is we aren’t sensitive enough to God’s laws, for in spite of his threats to punish us, we still break his commands daily.
So if we can’t keep God’s laws, why bother trying? If we can’t make God happy, we might as well make ourselves happy by fitting in with the world, right? I mean, why invite the world’s ridicule when that effort still won’t measure up to God’s standards? Before we fall for that diabolic line of reasoning, Peter gives us another reason to live as aliens. We are not to be different just because if we don’t, we’ll get it from God. We’ll want to be different because Jesus has redeemed us with his blood. Peter said: “18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:18-20).