Summary: This world is not our home. We are transients, travellers passing through to a better place.
REVERENT BRETHREN, REDEEMED PILGRIMS.
Christians are like transient travellers passing through a foreign land. Abraham was a sojourner in Canaan, but was never a Canaanite. Israel dwelt in Egypt, but lived separately from the Egyptians. We are in the world, yet not of the world (John 17:14-16).
Peter instructs us not to lose contact with who we are, and whose we are. Our Father is the impartial judge, and we are emboldened to address our petitions to Him (Hebrews 4:16). We must be pro-active in our reverence toward Him here in the land of our sojourn (1 Peter 1:17).
Silver and gold was not sufficient to redeem us from the vain manner of life inherited from our forefathers (1 Peter 1:18). Neither were the sacrifices of the old economy. Our redemption was only made possible by the shedding of the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:19).
On the evening before the first Passover, the Israelites were instructed by Moses the servant of the LORD to sacrifice a lamb for each of their households, and to sprinkle the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their houses. When the Angel of Death came to an Israelite house, he would see the blood of the lamb, and pass over that house. Each of the firstborn of Israel was spared, because of the sacrifice of a lamb (Exodus 12:21-28).
Christ our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7) is the ultimate lamb without blemish (Exodus 12:5) slain for us. Jesus is the Lamb of God (John 1:29) who came to give His life as a ransom for His people (Mark 10:45). He is the meek lamb, who went through all that He went through on our behalf (Isaiah 53:7).
The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us (1 John 1:7). By the blood of Jesus those who were afar off are brought nigh (Ephesians 2:13). The blood of Christ purges our consciences and enables us to live our lives in the service of God (Hebrews 9:13-14).
The death of Jesus is the turning point in redemption history. This is the whole purpose of the incarnation: He became man so that as man - perfect man - He might pay the penalty due to us. The “go-el” - our kinsman redeemer - pays the ransom price to remove the curse of our sin.
The sacrifice of Jesus was not only foreknown, but also foreordained, in the counsels of eternity. God already had us in mind before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20). Our sanctification was made possible by the blood of Jesus (1 Peter 1:2).
Our salvation is accomplished, from beginning to end, by God Himself. He loves us, and sent His only begotten Son to die for us, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God raised Him from the dead and received Him into heaven as our forerunner, and He revealed Him to us so that our faith and hope, from beginning to end, might be in God (1 Peter 1:21).
Our souls have been purified by our obedience to that revelation, and we have been brought into God’s love - and through Him we have been brought into a “non- hypocritical” love for the brethren (1 John 2:9-10). This brotherly love is a reality, but it often needs to be strained out of us with the same intense earnestness as Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane (Luke 22:44) in order for it to be manifested in our lives (1 Peter 1:22). We must love more and more (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
Ideally, baptism is an outward symbol of the inward reality of our new birth. We are cleansed not by the waters of baptism, but by the eternal word of God (1 Peter 1:23). It is our new birth that enables us to grow in love.