Summary: The Apostle Peter in this passage is reminding those believers to whom he is writing to be sure live there lives in fear and reverence of God; likewise we will also today learn that same lesson.
Why Should I live My life in Fear and Reverence of God?
Too many Christians of our day seem to be totally unconcerned with the need to be “conformed to the image of Christ” as Romans 8: 29 speaks of. Rather, they seem to think that they can live pretty much as they please, as long as they admit it to God. This could not be farther from the truth.
Somewhere along the line we have lost our fear of God. Barna Research, in 2007 studies, shows no significant difference in the lifestyles of Christians within the church and those of unbeliever’s when it comes to: living together before marriage, babies born out of wedlock, gambling, and wavering on the fact that there are absolute standards of right and wrong. In fact, the divorce rate among Christians as of 2007 (Shocking) is even higher (26% compared to 22%). Where have we gone wrong, I believe this is the major area, we have lost our fear of God.
Too many preachers shy away from teaching and preaching on the fear of God, because it is said to be and I quote “To fear God is thought to be psychologically unsound and emotionally disturbing.”
This is not what Scripture proclaims. Scripture proclaims that man must fear God or else he will be doomed forever. The Apostle Peter in this passage is reminding those believers to whom he is writing to be sure live there lives in fear and reverence of God; likewise we will also today learn that same lesson.
Read Scriptures: 1 Peter 1:17-21
I. We Should Reverence God, because as believer’s, we call God Father.
Vs. 17 “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.”
A father is to be reverenced; every child is to reverence his father. It means to hold you father in high esteem and honor, and respect him.
As born again believers in Jesus Christ, God is our father, He has adopted us as His children through the Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore we are to reverence Him. We are to honor Him, and respect Him, to hold Him in the highest esteem, to fear Him lest we displease Him and dishonor Him and bring shame to his name.
The point is this if you call God your father, then live like it. Stay true to Him and His word. Take a stand for Him when the world bashes Him. Call on your father for His help and His strength. But also reverence Him; show honor and respect by living for Him.
II. We Should Reverence God, because God will Judge the World.
Vs. 17 “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially,”
The word used for “fear” means to hold God in reverence and awe. The judgment of God should strike fear, and terror within us, because it is the most fearful, dreaded and terrorizing experience imaginable. In fact, the human mind cannot even picture how awful and frightening it will be to be judged and cut off from God for eternity. Two things are said in this passage about the judgment of God.
1. Every person is going to be judged. Hebrews 9:27 “It is appointed once unto man to die, and then comes the judgment.” No one will escape the judgment. Every person will come to that day when they will stand all alone in a private interview with God.
For the unbeliever you will face the dreaded “Great White Throne Judgment” Revelation 20:11-12 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.”
For the believers we will likewise face judgment when we die, we will stand before the “Judgment seat of Christ”, 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
The second thing that is said in this passage about the judgment of God is:
2. It is the works of a person that are to be judged. Why does it say, “Who judges each man’s work impartially”, because there will be no false professions when we stand before God in judgment, our works show what we believe and stand for in this life. There will be no lip service at the judgment.
III. We Should Reverence God, because we are only strangers here on Earth.