Lesson 3
I Peter 1:17-25

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(Vs. 17) Believers in this world are pilgrims and sojourners. Though we are in this world, we are not of it. We are natives here by our first birth, but our second birth makes us citizens of a heavenly country. We are here for a little while only. So if we call God our Father and if we call ON God for His mercy and grace in Christ through this life and for life to come, let us do so in true reverence and fear of God and with sincerity of heart. For God, without respect of persons, is a true judge of the works of men. He looks on the heart, not on the outward flesh (John 6:28-29; Luke 16:15).

(Vs. 18) You know that God did not redeem you from the useless way of life filled with tradition, ceremonialism, ritualism, and vain and useless things (received from your forefathers) with silver and gold. The price of redemption is higher than this. Peter is not talking about the corruption of human nature (from which we have certainly been redeemed) but about Judaism, with all of its vain religious show of outward self-righteousness.

(Vs. 19) But you were purchased with the precious blood of Christ the Messiah, like that of a sacrificial lamb without spot or blemish. Christ's blood is human blood, only NOT tainted with sin. Christ's blood is the blood of One Who IS GOD as well as man and was freely shed in the STEAD of His people. Christ's blood is a sufficient price for our redemption because of WHO HE IS. It is PRECIOUS BLOOD (precious to the Father and to the believer) for a priceless purchase! (Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 2:13; Col. 1:20; Heb. 9:12; Rev. 1:5.)

(Vs. 20) Christ was chosen and ordained to be our Surety and Saviour before the foundation of the world. Redemption of sinners by the blood of Christ was no after-thought of God when Adam fell. There was a Saviour provided before Adam fell (Rev. 13:8; Heb. 13:20; Acts 2:23). But He was brought out to public view and to public rejection and crucifixion in these last days.

(Vs. 21) It was all for you, who by Him do believe in God. Christ came to redeem all who believe (Matt. 1:21). He fulfilled all righteousness for us. He bore our sins in His body and rose for our justification. He ascended to the Father, where He ever liveth to make intercession for you.

(Vs. 22) The apostle now passes to another exhortation; namely, to brotherly love, seeing that you have been enabled by the Holy Spirit to lay hold of Christ by faith and by the blood of Christ. Your souls and hearts have been purified and cleansed and sanctified. See that you love one another fervently and sincerely with a pure heart, for the END OF SANCTIFICATION AND THE EVIDENCE OF SANCTIFICATION IS LOVE (I John 3:14; John 13:35; I Cor. 13:1-3).

(Vs. 23) We have been born again and belong to the same family, being born of the same Father; therefore, we ought to love as brethren. This glorious birth is not of natural seed, which serves only to corrupt us and impart an evil nature, but of holy seed, the Word of God, which lives and abides in us forever. Our first conception leads only back to the dust; our spiritual conception is ETERNAL LIFE! (James 1:18.)

(Vs. 24) All flesh (all that is natural and of man) is like the grass of the field, which withers and dies. All of the honor and glory of the flesh is like the flower, which fades and finally drops off in death and decay (Isa. 40:6-8).

(Vs. 25) But the Word of God (by which He created the world and all things and by which He created us anew in Christ Jesus) abides forever (II Cor. 4:6). This Word is the gospel, which was preached to you!

Henry Mahan is pastor of
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky.