World English Bible translation
1:17If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each man's work, pass the time of your living as strangers here in reverent fear: 1:18 knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, the blood of Christ; 1:20 who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake, 1:21 who through him are believers in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God.
Here is another rich passage that tells us something more about God and especially about His Son, Jesus Christ. Peter has been preparing these Christians to endure the persecutions that had just begun. He wrote to them and told them that these trials would prove to themselves whether their faith was genuine. The refining of their faith was the most important thing in the world, more important than even their lives, because the end of faith is the salvation of their souls. So, Peter told them that it was the time to be sober and prepared. They were to look to the day when their salvation would be completely revealed and Christ would be glorified.
In Today's Scripture he tells them to pass their time "living as strangers here in reverent fear." We are not meant to become too close to this world and its pleasures. We are meant to live as aliens and strangers in this lost world. Paul taught the same principle by saying we are ambassadors for God in this world. Our citizenship is in a heavenly land where our hearts, and our inheritance, is kept in Christ. We are here for a time, but this is not our home. We must keep our thoughts and our hearts fixed on our final destination.
Peter tells these Christians that they can live such lives if they remember how they were redeemed. The term redemption referred to the act of purchasing a slave with the goal of setting that person free. Often people in the ancient world were pressed into slavery because they had outstanding debts that they could not pay. If their family or friends could raise the money and pay off the debt they could usually redeem that person out of slavery.
Peter writes that Christians are redeemed, not with silver or gold but with something much more precious. We are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. God sent Christ as the perfect sacrifice for our sins and redeemed us from "the useless way of life handed down from your fathers." We are redeemed from our slavery to sin and from our enemy, death. Christ has paid the debt for us and now we are set free to live for God.
This redemption is no accident. God had planned to redeem man "before the foundation of the world." Christ did not become the Lamb of God in order to save us. We are saved in order to reveal Christ as the Lamb of God. Christ was the Lamb of God before the world was created. It was an aspect of His character that God was seeking to express. This expression is one of the main reasons that this world was created.
Though known before the foundation of the world, Christ was revealed for our sake, that we might believe in the God that raised Him from the dead. We can find faith and hope in God through Christ because in Christ God reveals Himself to the world.
Do you live your life as a stranger in this world? Have you heard about the Lamb of God that was sent to take away the sins of the world?
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