The following sermon transcript does not match the video version of the sermon—it matches only the audio version. Here's a brief explanation why.
John MacArthur routinely preaches a sermon more than once on the same date, during different worship services at Grace Community Church. Normally, for a given sermon title, our website features the audio and video that were recorded during the same worship service. Very occasionally, though, we will post the audio from one service and the video from another. Such was the case for the sermon titled "I and the Father Are One, Part 2," the transcript of which follows below. The transcript is of the audio version.
1 Peter 1:18 and 19, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” Two very wonderful verses; a glorious statement about being redeemed.
Redeemed used to be a very popular word in the evangelical vocabulary; I don’t hear it much anymore. It was a part of many, many hymns and gospel songs. There were even songs, many of them, and hymns with the word “redeemed” in the title. Reference was often made to Christ as the Redeemer. Don’t hear that very much anymore, and I think we may have lost an understanding of this most wonderful reality of what it means to be redeemed, and so we’re going to look at that in a little bit. But I want to give you some context.
As Peter writes, he is writing to some believers who are scattered around the Roman world. He describes them in verse 1 as aliens. They are aliens in the sense that they are part of God’s kingdom and so they are aliens in the world. They’re scattered throughout many of the countries and provinces: Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. But they are God’s chosen. They are those who are being sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit, those who obey Jesus Christ, those who have been sprinkled with His blood, and Peter is addressing this wonderful letter to them.
The circumstances are dire for them. Obviously, they are a first-generation church. No church existed before the Day of Pentecost. Here are these believers in the Gentile world made up of some Jews and Gentiles. They are definitely alienated from the paganism that literally dominates the world, and life has become very difficult for them. I’ll tell you why specifically.
Most historians would identify July 19th in the year 64 A.D. as the day that Rome began to burn; and famously it burned while Nero fiddled. The great city of Rome, the great city of the Ancient World was consumed by that holocaust of a fire. Rome, at the time, was a city of very, very narrow streets; high, multi-story wooden tenements in which the population was crowded. So the fire spread through the wood very, very rapidly, consuming absolutely everything that it touched for a period of about three or four days and nights. And when the fire was checked wherever it was checked, it seemed to always break out again even worse.
The Romans believed that Nero was responsible for burning down their glorious city, and burning down all their homes and all their possessions. Why did they blame him? Because he loved to build. And many rulers in the Ancient World were literally leaving some kind of legacy of buildings. This appealed to Nero, and so in order to build what would bear his name, he was eager to burn down what existed.
It is said that he watched the raging inferno of the city of Rome from the Tower of Maecenas and actually said that he was charmed by the loveliness of the flames. People who tried to put out the flames were hindered, and wherever the fire may have been abated it was restarted. The people obviously were devastated. The Temple of Luna, the Ara Maxima, the Great Altar, the Temple of Jupiter Stator, the Shrine of Vesta, the gods that the people worshiped – all of their places were consumed, and as the houses all went up in flames, so did the household gods. The people were, in a sense, godless, and they were also homeless. The resentment was bitter and it spread rapidly through the population. Nero understood this, so he needed to diver the suspicion from himself, and he had a scapegoat; it was the Christians. This was a clever choice on his part, because Christians were already associated with the Jews, and antisemitism was already very popular.
So the Christians were viewed as kind of a Jewish sect, and therefore, they were resented in the way that the Jews were resented; and they were resented obviously because they had so many constrictions in their social customs and in their ceremonial laws that it made them almost impossible to integrate into any population. Christians then became the target of hatred and slander. It began to escalate as people began to talk about the Lord’s Supper, the Communion, which was closed to pagans for obvious reasons because it belonged only to those who were believers. And the pagans did not know what went on at the Lord’s Table, but they heard that this was the eating of flesh and the drinking of blood, and so they accused the Christians of being cannibals, and stories began to circulate that Christians ate babies, and they particularly ate Gentiles or Romans.
This grew into all kinds of bizarre ideas. The familiar embrace of Christians called the “kiss of love” used at the love feast was the source of accusations that they were getting together not only in cannibalistic feasts, but in unbridled orgies of lust and vice – something the pagans did all the time, and they accused the Christians of the same. They were unpopular because they split families. When a husband became a believer, that caused conflict in the family. When a wife became a believer, that caused conflict in the family. And so they were accused of fracturing families doing damage to the culture. And, of course, they were also accused of failing to worship Caesar, who was a god namely at that time Nero. And then to make it worse, Christians spoke of a day when the whole world would dissolve in flames. So they could easily be blamed for this being their sort of self-fulfilling apocalyptic fire. As a result of all these accusations, the great persecution under Nero broke out in the year 64 and it lasted a long time, a couple of decades.
Tacitus the Roman historian reported that Nero rolled Christians in pitch, or tar, and then set them on fire while they were still alive and used them as living torches to light his garden parties. He sewed them up in the skins of wild animals and then set his hunting dogs on them to tear them to pieces. They were also killed in other ways, including being nailed to crosses. As the Nero persecution began, Christians perished in really a delirium of savagery. Common was lynch mob violence which took the life of Christians just at the whim of any group of people. Within a few years, history says they were imprisoned, racked, seared, broiled, burned, scourged, stoned, hanged. Others were lacerated with red hot knives, and some were thrown on the horns of wild bulls.
The letter Peter writes, 1 Peter, is written at about that time. It’s written after that persecution began in 64 A.D. It is written then at a time when Christians are under very severe persecution, and that tone finds its way into every chapter. Chapter 1, verse 6, where he says, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials.” That’s putting it mildly.
Over in chapter 2 again, verse 21, he says, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.” In other words, you’re going to suffer and you need to see the example of how Christ suffered who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He didn’t revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.”
Again in chapter 3, the persecution is mentioned in verse 13: “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.”
Again in chapter 4 and verse 12: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.”
And then, of course, in chapter 5 and verse 10: “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
I just give you those looks at the verses of each chapter that relate to the issue of persecution, and this persecution would eventually catch Peter. It was under Nero that Peter himself was martyred. He was crucified, and by his own request, crucified upside-down, because he didn’t feel worthy to die the way his Lord had died. It was a massive slaughter of Christians around the Roman world, and including the city of Rome.
The emphasis then of this epistle is that, “You Christians who are suffering this severe persecution and even martyrdom, need to triumph victoriously over your enemies. Don’t retaliate, don’t revile in return, don’t curse. Accept what is happening to you. Look at Christ as your example.”
In other words, “Face persecution – ” Peter says “ – without losing heart, without wavering in faith, without becoming bitter, and always realizing where your hope lies. It lies in your eternal inheritance that cannot fade away for which you are protected, and to which one day you will ascend. No matter what comes, have hope in the promises of Christ. You may not be valuable to the world, but you are priceless, if you will, to God, so that – ” now verses 18 and 19 “ – you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
“You may be the off-scouring of the world; you may be rejected, resented, hated, despised, persecuted, and martyred by the world. In fact, that is, to some degree, inevitable. But you are priceless to God, because God has purchased you at an infinite cost. So keep your eyes on the future. Keep your eyes on your eternal inheritance – imperishable, undefiled, will not fade away – and you’re protected by the power of God and one day will receive that eternal inheritance.” Peter starts out by saying, “You were chosen, you are protected, and you will be brought to glory. You are God’s redeemed.”
I want to talk about the issue of redemption today, what it means to be redeemed. We don’t talk about that much, as I said, but it is at the heart of the gospel.
Redemption is a more narrow word than salvation. Redemption is a more specific word than salvation. Redemption views our salvation from a particular perspective. It focuses, in fact, on the means by which salvation is accomplished – the payment of a price, the payment of a price. And the payment is made to God, to God.
Yes, we are in bondage to sin, we’ll see that; but our bondage to sin has then consequently put us in bondage to God who is the judge and executioner of all who sin. We are literally then in God’s prison waiting judgment. To be redeemed, the redemption price must be paid to God so that God is satisfied and can set us free. Christ is our Redeemer, that’s what Peter is saying.
To understand this maybe in another connection, Thomas Watson, the Puritan writer, said this: “Great was the work of creation. Great was the work of creation, but greater the work of redemption.” It cost more to redeem us than to make us. In the one there was but the speaking of a word; in the other, there was the shedding of blood. “Creation was the work of God’s fingers,” Psalm 8 says. “Redemption is the work of His arm,” Luke 1 says.
And, again, redemption is more specific than salvation, because it focuses on the means by which salvation is accomplished. Redemption focuses on what God did to deliver us, to buy us from bondage. It looks at our hopeless, helpless condition as prisoners of iniquity on death row, and the price that God accepted, that God ordained and accepted for our emancipation, for our liberation.
What is Peter thinking of as he thinks about this, being redeemed, being redeemed with precious blood. There’s little doubt in my mind that he probably was thinking about something that was most familiar to all Jews, and that was the Passover. Go back to the 12th chapter of the book of Exodus. Peter, a Jew, had celebrated the Passover all his life, and the celebration of the Passover was the celebration of God buying the freedom of the Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt – God’s great redemption of Israel from Egypt.
Now you remember the story. Just to kind of start you out, we’ll go to Exodus, chapter 12, and I’ll read the opening portion of chapter 12 so that you have it in mind.
“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, ‘This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it’ll be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel saying: On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. You lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month.’”
That was so that it became endeared like a pet so the sacrifice was even great. It was great because it was an unblemished lamb and you wouldn’t want to kill an unblemished lamb, you’d want to use it to breed more unblemished lambs. So it was a great sacrifice.
“You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood, put it on the two doorposts on the lintel of the houses in which they eat. They shall eat the flesh the same night, roasted with fire, shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails. You shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.
“Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand – ” ready to go “ – and you shall eat it in haste – it is the Lord’s Passover. For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments – I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.” This is the establishment of the Passover. Now a little bit of background.
Joseph – one of the patriarchs, son of Jacob, one of Jacob’s many sons – had been sold into slavery by his brothers, because he was his father’s favorite, they were jealous. They sold Joseph into slavery into Egypt. Through a series of circumstances, Joseph rose in Egypt to become Prime Minister of Egypt, right alongside Pharaoh.
Famine hit the land of Canaan where the patriarchs and their families were, where the brothers and all their extended family of people were; and the famine was severe enough that they were out of food. They needed food for the family, so Jacob decided to send 70 of his family members into Egypt to get food. You will remember the story. Eventually they stayed in Egypt and they stayed there for 400-plus years.
Because they were keepers of livestock, Pharaoh gave them their own section of land called Goshen. They began to flourish, they began to multiply. In fact, it says in Exodus, chapter 1, “The children of Israel increased abundantly and multiplied exceedingly mighty, and the land was filled with them.” They multiplied in a massive way, so that by the time of the Exodus, there’s as many as two-million of them.
But as they multiplied their status decreased because they became a threat. And the next Pharaoh, the Pharaoh who knew not Joseph was jealous and afraid of them. So he turned them all in mass into slaves. Forced labor was imposed upon them for the Egyptian government; and they were even challenged with that slavery, because they were told to make bricks without one of the necessary components – straw. This Pharaoh made it as hard as possible. However, the more they put the pinch on them, the more difficult life became, the stronger the Jewish people became, and the more they multiplied.
After the period of 430 years, it was time for them to go back on God’s calendar. God sent Moses to Pharaoh: “Let My people go.” Pharaoh said no, and so the plagues were launched – and you know the stories of the plagues, devastating plagues all across the land of Egypt. Still, Pharaoh would not let the people go. He hated them and he needed them for all of his massive building projects. Cataclysmic judgments came one after another, after another, and still Pharaoh wouldn’t let them go.
Finally came the plague of the death of the firstborn. God was going to kill every firstborn. Moses, in chapter 11, verse 4, lets Pharaoh know that God is going to out in the midst of Egypt. All the firstborn in the land of Egypt will die, from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on the throne to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones, all the firstborn of the cattle as well – and it goes on to describe that mass slaughter of all the firstborn.
The Hebrews were then given instruction, that I read you from chapter 12, by God that they could escape from the slaughter. How would they escape from the slaughter? They had to sacrifice a lamb and spread the blood of the lamb on the crosspiece and the side pieces of their door. The lamb’s blood would be shed in place of the blood of the firstborn.
Now remember, they raised livestock and there were many lambs. It is unimaginable how many lambs were slaughtered for that event. Countless lambs were slaughtered. If the people numbered as many as two-million, you can only guess the vast massacre of lambs that went on, and blood splattered everywhere on the homes of the Hebrew people. The lamb’s blood was a substitution for the death of the firstborn. You could say it this way: by the blood of the lamb, the firstborn was redeemed, was ransomed, was rescued, was delivered. When the event actually happened it was devastating.
The Egyptians were terrified by then anyway, in chapter 12, verse 33. The Egyptians said, “If we don’t send them away we’ll all be dead. This is just going to go on until all of us are dead.” It was a terrifying, terrifying time for them. Finally Pharaoh let them go, and then chased them and wound up being drowned with his whole army when God covered them up with the Red Sea that He’d opened for the children of Israel to pass through.
The point is this: here is how an entire people were purchased with the blood of lambs. The ransom price was the blood of a lamb, the redemption price was the blood of the Lamb, and that’s got to be in Peter’s mind, because he celebrated the Passover constantly throughout his life, and he says in verse 18, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless - ” which was exactly how the lamb of the Passover was to be described.
“You were redeemed – ” from lutro, to set free by paying a price. That’s what the verb means: to set free by paying a price. A price had to be paid. At the Exodus it was the life of a lamb. The term, the verb lutroó, the noun lutron meaning “ransom” is a technical term for money paid to buy back a prisoner of war or to buy back a slave’s freedom. Peter is saying, “You have been redeemed. You have been bought.”
Now as we look at this I just want to point out four questions that are answered here that help us to see the magnificence of this redemption. First we ask the question, “What were we redeemed from? What were we redeemed from?” Well, obviously, we were redeemed from God’s judgment. We were redeemed from the hand of the God to whom the price was paid. It was God who had to be propitiated. It was God who had to be satisfied.
But I want to go before that. We had to be redeemed from the hand of God as our judge because we had been placed into His hands by our sins, transgressions, and iniquities. So we were redeemed then from sin and judgment and hell. Paul in Galatians 3:13 says it this way: “You were redeemed from the curse of the law.” The curse of the law is this: “Break the law and die, die everlastingly.”
Ephesians 1:7 Paul says, “You were redeemed through the forgiveness of sins.” Titus 2:14 says, “You were redeemed from every lawless deed.” So the big picture is we were redeemed from sin and its inevitable result: judgment; and it’s inevitable sentence: hell.
But Peter is even more specific. What defined that sin? He gives us four insights. Back to verse 14: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours.” The first thing we had redeemed from in regard to sin is lust. The word epithumia means a strong desire, and is used in the Scriptures as an indicator of the strong, overwhelming, compelling desire for evil and sin.
Genesis 6: “The wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The lust of the flesh, the lust of eyes, the pride of life – this is what dominates us. James 1: “Lust occupies our hearts and gives birth to sin.” So we have been redeemed. In being redeemed from sin, we have been redeemed from dominant lust, from the bondage of being totally controlled by lust and sinful imagination.
Secondly, Peter says, we have been redeemed from the former lusts which were ours in our ignorance. The second thing is ignorance. As we mentioned last Sunday night John 4:22, “You worship, you know not what.” Or John 17:25 where Jesus says, “The world does not know You, Father.” Or 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The natural man understands not the things of God; they are foolishness to him.” Ephesians 4, “We are alienated from the life of God. We are in darkness and ignorance.” So we have been redeemed from the judgment of God which is upon us, for lives lived, completely given to lusts, and embedded in darkness and ignorance.
Then drawing down into verse 18, the very verses we’re looking at, there’s a third way that he defines our former life: “Being redeemed from your futile way of life.” Mataios, it means empty, vain, pointless, powerless, valueless, useless – your useless life. Why is it useless? Because any life is useless that isn’t lived to the glory of God.
We are all created in the image of God, to the glory of God. Any life that is not lived to the glory of God is useless; and in that sense, hell is geenna. It is the eternal dump for useless lives. We were marked in our bondage by being driven by lusts, being captive to ignorance and meaninglessness – lives that have no value and are forever thrown on the eternal trash heap of the everlasting geenna.
And there is a fourth aspect of this sin from which we have been redeemed in verse 18, it is the “futile way of life inherited from your forefathers.” What is that? Tradition, tradition.
Every society, every culture, every family, all of us, have some inherited form of religion; this is just the way it is. Man is a worshiper and he will happily worship anyone but the true God in any way but the true way. And so man is inveterately religious, and the world has always been full of false religions. They are absolutely everywhere, and they’re passed down to generation to generation to generation, so they accumulate a kind of historical credibility. Even though they are lies and deceptions, they collect ceremonies and rituals and descriptions that all give them a sense of reality; and they accumulate millions, in some cases, of lives who have been adherence to that, and have defended it and proclaimed it and acknowledged it.
It isn’t that Satan wants to invent a new religion for every single person. No, it’s much easier to capture entire culture in deceptive lies and satanic forms of religion, and hold them captive so they pass it on, and pass it on, and pass it on. And by the sheer force of its antiquity it gains a certain amount of credibility.
All false religions, all false religions being passed down add to the bondage. I’m talking about false religions from apostate forms of Christianity, degenerate forms of Judaism, to every other form of pagan religion that exists. This is the bondage of all men, bound by their own lusts, bound by their own ignorance, bound by their own uselessness, bound by lying traditions which they had inherited from past generations; and then because of that, bound by God the judge, held in His prison until time for their execution. So when the question is asked, “From what have we been redeemed?” it is this bondage to sin and judgment and hell.
The second question that Peter answers is, “What were we redeemed with? What were redeemed with?” We know this; that’s why verse 18 begins knowing, because nobody can be a Christian without knowing this, because there’s no salvation in any other than Christ. You have to know this. So we know this; this is back to basic knowledge. Negatively, “You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold.” You didn’t buy your way in; there is no way to do that. You did not buy your way in.
What did Peter have in mind when he said that? Well, surely, the Jews believed that if you gave money in the temple they even said the rabbi said with alms a man purchases his redemption. There were always people who wanted to buy their way in. There was Simon Magus. Peter said to him, “Let your money perish with you.”
But Peter may have had in mind an Old Testament incident that happened also in the book of Exodus in the 30th chapter – I’ll just read a couple of comments. It says that the Lord spoke to Moses in verse 11: “When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them.” And why would they do that? Because they were concerned about enemies, they were concerned about having the strength to fight battles, and they wanted to count their people.
God acknowledges to them that He will be their defender, He will protect them, He will fight their battles for them. But in a lack of faith, they want to count the troops. So the Lord says to Moses, “Tell them this: When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord.”
“Every single person you have numbered is going to have to pay a ransom price, a ransom, because when you number them, if you don’t pay the ransom there will be a plague among you. And everyone who is ransomed must give half a shekel, half a shekel to the Lord.” A shekel is a weight. Coins didn’t come until 700 B.C. This is silver shekels. “If you sin by numbering the people, every single person you have numbered has got to give half a shekel of silver as a ransom price to God, or he’ll be judged and you’ll be judged. A plague will come if you don’t ransom every person.”
The Hebrew commentator Cassuto wrote this: “The taking of a census was bound up with the religious ritual of purification due to the fact that the census itself was a sin. It was a lack of faith in God, so it had to be cleansed. By doing this, the Israelites would be delivered from the punishment that was liable to be inflicted on them because of the sin implicit in their census.”
They’ve got to buy their way out. They’ve got to pay a ransom price to God or He’s going to judge them. And Peter may have in his mind that very incident. He’s saying here, “You’re not going to be able to ransom your soul. You’re not going to be able to redeem your soul like that, with money.”
Listen to what we read in Psalm 49:7-8, “No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him, because the redemption of souls is costly, and he shall cease forever trying.” You can’t redeem yourself with anything that you possess, and you can’t redeem anybody else with anything that you possess.
So how can sinners be redeemed? Not with silver or gold, not at all; but with precious blood. It’s going to take blood. This is a vivid way to describe death – it’s going to cause death. The price, again, is sacrificial death, as was demonstrated and illustrated at the Passover in the tens of thousands of lambs that were massacred. It’s going to be with precious blood; and by the way, the blood of a lamb unblemished and spotless, just as at the Passover. It had to be a perfect lamb, a spotless lamb, an unblemished lamb, and he had to give his life, which leads us to the third question: “Who were we redeemed by? Who is that Lamb?” End of verse 19: Christ, Christ. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He is the only acceptable sacrifice.
Peter says over in chapter 3, verse 18: “Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” That’s why Jesus said in Matthew 20:28, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” He is that precious Lamb.
So the price was not money, but death; and not the death of a lamb, but the death of the Lamb of God. God is the one who had to be satisfied. God chose the lamb and it was His Son. He is God’s Lamb and He is precious. Why precious? First of all, because He’s eternal, verse 20: “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world.” He existed eternally.
Not only is He eternal, but He was also incarnate, human. “He has appeared in these last times for your sake.” He is precious because He is the Eternal One. He is precious because He is precious because He is the Incarnate One.
Thirdly, He is precious because He is the Resurrected One, verse 21: “God raised Him from the dead.” He is also precious because when God raised Him, God elevated Him to glory, gave Him a name above every name, the name Lord.
Who are we redeemed by? There’s no one else, only Christ, the eternal, incarnate, resurrected, ascended Son of God. He is the precious Lamb. That is why in the 5th chapter of Revelation, when you get a glimpse of heaven, all heaven is worshiping the Lamb who was slain.
And the final question: “What were we redeemed for?” Well, verse 20 tells us about Him, verse 21 talks about us: “Through Him we are believers in God. And God did all this – ” end of verse 21 “ – so that your faith and hope are in God.” Literally, so that your faith and hope are into God. Redemption brings us into God. It unites us with God. It makes us His own possession.
You remember from John 17 it causes Him to love us as He loves His own Son. You have been ransomed. You have been redeemed by the death of the perfect Lamb of God, and through that you have become believers in God, and your faith and hope are literally into God. We are joined with God. We are one with Him in Christ. We live then in faith and hope in our God.
Peter is saying this is how you must view your life in the midst of terrifying persecution and death: “Hold fast to your faith and hope that you belong to God and you have an eternal inheritance – imperishable, undefiled, unfading, waiting for you, and you’re protected until the day when you receive it.” You have been bought by the blood of Christ.
I was looking through some things in my study this week and came across some notes I had written about a story. I remember as a boy reading a story about a little boy who took his father’s tools and some pieces of wood and made a little boat, and crafted it in his own way and was very proud of it. Took it down to a lake and set it out to float it on the lake, and a wind came up and blew the little boat which he had so carefully crafted with his own hands and his father’s tools, blew it out of sight. And he ran along the shore as far as he could, and it kept getting further and further away, and eventually it disappeared, and he thought it was gone forever.
A couple of weeks, as the story goes, later, he was walking through town and he looked in the window of a shop and there was that little boat in the shop window for sale. So he went into the shop and tried to explain to the shopkeeper that that was his boat, he had made the boat. The shopkeeper was reluctant to believe the story, so he told the little boy the price and he said, “If you want to pay the price you can buy the boat.” So the little boy went back home, got together all that he had, came back, paid the shopkeeper, walked away with his little boat mumbling to himself, “Twice mine; I made it and I bought it.” That’s exactly what Christ has done for us. He who made us bought us.
Father, we thank You for Your precious Word to us. We thank You for all that You have given us in Your Word concerning the truth of what You have done. Give us opportunity to exalt Christ in every way, we pray in His name, amen.
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