“…knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God”
1 Peter 1:18–21 (ESV)
God wants you to be informed and driven by the truths of your salvation as you seek to grow in obedience to Him. He does not just want us to make a great effort to obey him, he wants us to be rightly motivated as we do that. It’s not just obedience that we are called to, it’s evangelical obedience. In 1 Peter 1:18-21 we not only see great and precious truths that strengthen our resolve to grow, we see the heart of the Father that should inform everything about how and why we want to grow in holiness. Here are four ways that God wants us to pursue obedience.
- Pursue obedience knowing that you were ransomed. The call to obedience is not a call to fix yourself, you were far too broken for that kind of remedy, you were a slave to your futile ways, a slave to patterns of thinking and living that were leading you to death. You were helpless and hopeless as a slave to that form of “life”. But God ransomed you. The price (ransom) to secure your redemption was paid and you were set free. The Father wants you to know that as you try to obey him, you obey him as one who has already been ransomed. You are not what you used to be. God does not see you that way nor should you see yourself in that light. Pursue obedience knowing this.
- Pursue obedience knowing that you were not ransomed with perishable things like silver or gold. The most precious and durable things in this world are described as perishable. The precious blood of Jesus will never lose its power to atone for your sin, to suffice as the price and sacrifice for your redemption. Your salvation is fully secure because the paid price is not perishable. It is the pure and precious blood of Jesus like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. God does not want the mention of obedience or holiness to in any way dent the fullness of your hope, to the contrary, God wants us to pursue obedience knowing that we are His having been redeemed and our standing is irreversible for it has been secured by the precious blood of Jesus.
- Pursue obedience knowing that the price of your redemption, the sacrifice of Christ was ordained from eternity past. Peter started the letter by telling his readers that they were chosen according to the foreknowledge of God. God purposed in eternity past to make them his own. The love with which we have been loved is powerful for it saw all our sins, weaknesses and failures but loved us still. Here Peter adds details to that truth, the sacrifice that would be necessary to love wretches like us was also determined before the beginning of time. God’s love not only ordained that we would be his own, but it also ordained the price that had to be paid to make us His again. In your pursuit of obedience, you must not let your daily performance define your understanding of God’s disposition towards you. That was established before the beginning of time where God not only chose you, He also decided to die for you. Pursue obedience with the certainty of your standing in the presence of your loving God.
- Lastly, pursue obedience knowing that God wants you to pursue obedience knowing that this eternal plan, accomplished through the death of Christ was all for your sake. O, He is the thrice-holy God, the righteous judge and what a Father He is to us. Those few words, “for the sake of you” are there for your sake. Hear him speak tenderly to the unsure child so aware of their unworthiness. “I love you, you are dear to me, know that, do not forget that.” It is all in vain if you read the Bible and get lost in positions and debates and miss the voice of the Scriptures. It’s a voice that echoes from eternity past and will resound into eternity future. The sound of the Father rejoicing over you who planned your salvation and gave his only Son for your sake.
So, why should we pursue obedience? Because we who were slaves to our ignorant and futile ways have been powerfully set free from them by Christ who paid for our liberation with his precious blood. God purposed to do redeem us in eternity past and for our sake Jesus hung on the cross. What else is there to do other than to obey him. Do you not want to be where He is doing whatever He please? As obedient children…
- Do these truths define how you pursue obedience? What informs your pursuit of obedience? What truths in this section of 1 Peter do you most easily lose sight of?
- Identify the lies that you believe about yourself and about God that keep you from walking in this “knowledge”. Pray that God would help you believe and cling to these gospel truths
- Make time to shut out all other distractions to meditate over these verses and worship God for them.