Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” — 1 Peter 1:18-19
A traveling salesman of many years, John testified, “When I first came to Portland, Oregon, I rolled into the city on the velvet cushions, riding like a prince. I wore diamonds and fine clothes, and I loved sin and all it had to offer. The money I made, I made easy, never working hard or soiling my hands. Everything that I accumulated I offered upon the altar of pleasure, looking for a good time. The night life of our American cities appealed to me: the grills, the clubs, the lodges, the best of meals, the finest of liquors. But that kind of life has a sting. I found myself haunted by the devil; and though I had everything, I realized I was nothing but a debauched, drunken outcast.
“Following a three-month drunken spree, this man without character, without principle, without virtue, was brought to bay. A businessman I had known in Chicago took me to the Apostolic Faith Mission hall. Although I went merely out of courtesy, there I heard the shout of victory. A former drunkard testified that God could deliver. I had vowed many times that I would never take another drink, but I always failed and sank down once again in the mire of defeat.
“That night, as I looked at the glowing faces of those Christian people, they told me that prayer could change my life. They said God was real; that He would deliver. The question was, would I surrender to God? At the close of the meeting, I went forward to the little pine bench that was their altar of prayer. God showed me my crooked past, and I told Him, ‘I will pay back every dollar I have stolen or gotten through fraud.’ God had mercy and gave the victory. He broke every fetter on my life and set me free.
“God began to talk to me about my restitutions. He showed me a boiler shop where I could get a job. It meant blistered hands for a man who had only pushed fountain pens and lead pencils; it meant cowhide gloves and overalls for a man who had never worn them. I began swinging the sledge hammer for eight hours a day, and God would come down in that place. I could feel Him! Eight years of toil, hundreds of letters, and a great deal of money is what it cost me to make my restitutions.”
Saved in 1910, John Schieferstein enthusiastically gave his testimony until he passed away over forty years later. He had found that the “silver and gold” and fine things of life left him feeling empty and corrupted. His life was transformed through the precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
Our stories of salvation may not be as dramatic as John Schieferstein’s, but the same precious Blood was our only hope. Today, take a few moments to consider the price Jesus paid for you. That knowledge, and the change He made in our hearts, should prompt us to live holy lives that will glorify the Lord.
Today’s text contains a command to holiness and love. In the first part of the chapter, Peter had described God’s promises of an incorruptible inheritance. Those promises are a by-product of holy living.
Verse 13 begins, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind.” This was a reference to the custom of that time when people wore loose robes. As they prepared to do hard work, they tied up their garments in order to be prepared for action. The Apostle was telling these believers that action and effort were necessary to obey God’s commands, and that they needed to focus their minds on this.
The believers were not to pattern themselves after the life they had lived before, as Peter said, “not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.” Some commentators call this the negative side of holiness — the purposeful separation from sin. The positive side of holiness is presented in verse 15, which showed that God Himself is the pattern to follow: “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy.” When the heart is holy, this will be demonstrated in every area of daily living and “in all manner of conversation.” Such holiness must be imparted by God and maintained, as Peter described, by a diligent purpose to serve Him.
In verse 17, the Apostle challenged these people to have “fear” (reverence and awe for God) and to remember that He impartially reviews every person’s actions. Peter knew that a proper understanding of God’s holiness and of man’s responsibility to Him would prevent spiritual indifference. The reason for holy living and reverence for God is because Christ purchased every believer’s redemption (verses 18-19). A price was paid, not with money, but with God’s own Blood, “the precious blood of Christ.”
In verse 20, Peter assured the believers that Christ’s atoning death was planned by God before the creation of the world. The Old Testament sacrifices and exhortations of the prophets had pointed toward Jesus. The basis for the hope of Christianity is rooted in God’s power and love as demonstrated by Christ’s death and resurrection.
In verse 22, Peter indicated that heart purity comes from wholeheartedly obeying the truth (Christ and His commandments), and that the Holy Spirit is the Person who implements this purification. The result will be fervent brotherly love without hypocrisy.
“Being born again” is secured by the Word of God. The Apostle quoted Isaiah 40:6-8 to substantiate that the things of this life will pass away, but God and His Word will last forever.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III. The challenge to the believer
A. To holiness (1:13-21)
1. As sentinels: “gird your minds” (1:13)
2. As children: “be holy” (1:14-16)
3. As sojourners: “pass time in godly fear” (1:17-21)
B. To love (1:22-25)
1. The command (1:22)
2. The cause (1:23-25)
By sacrificing His life, Jesus showed that He truly loves you. Through His power, you can live a holy life and love others.