WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED
1 Peter 1:12-25 Princeton Christian Church 11 June 2023
One of the definitions of the word redeem is to free someone from captivity by the payment of a ransom. In Biblical terms it would mean to release one from blame or debt and, more so, to free one from the consequences of sin.
So, now that we have the word redeem or redeemed clearly in our minds, let’s look at this passage in 1 Peter 12-25. READ
If we are about to enter into a contract with another person or a business if we are making a purchase, the first thing we want to do is to read the contract. Why do we want to do that? Well, it is important that we know exactly what the terms are, what is covered and what is not, how much it is going to cost us, and how long will the contract be in effect.
A person who has been sentenced to prison for a crime he has committed may be released if payment of bail is made by another person. That is redemption. The Apostle Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body.”
As you can see, to be redeemed, or to have received redemption is very much a part of our lives as Christians. We have been redeemed – we have been released from blame. We have been freed from the consequences of sin.
But, unlike a contract, we may sign to make a purchase, our redemption comes with a higher price. We were released by a price.
Let’s take some time to find what we are redeemed from.
In verse 14 of Peter’s letter, he reminds us first that we are, as followers of Christ, obedient children. We learn in a classroom, in school, and we use what we learn in our daily lives.
Peter says, in verse 14: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior, because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
Those behaviors we engaged in before our Redeemer taught us; must not remain part of our behavior after our redemption. If we allow those former lusts to continue to be our behavior, we are walking in ignorance of the will and the goodness of God.
We are to understand that in Christ we know God. And we know His expectations of us. He is the One with Supreme Knowledge.
We are also redeemed from guilt and the power of sin. Before we received this redemption we were in slavery – slavery to sin and the power of Satan. He held us in his grasp, and he held on tight. He never wants to lose one of his captives.
But we can be very sure that there is no possible alternate manner of redemption. We can only be removed from that slavery in one way and only one way. And that way, of course, is by the redemption offered by God through His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Your life, before Christ, is vanity and it is an empty way of life. It is empty. It is unrewarding. It is a life without purpose.
I know, and you know, as well that people who are living a life without Christ, without His redemption, may believe that the life they are living is great, super, fantastic. They are having a ball, enjoying, and indulging in every earthly pleasure.
But there comes a day when you have to come to the realization that all is not so great, not so fantastic. When you find yourself in a situation where your world comes crashing down. That’s when Satan makes his exit. He has done his job. His lies have accomplished what he set out to do – to take that person to self-destruction.
That is also when God begins to carry out His work to bring that person out of the destructive lifestyle and into His loving care. But there is one major event that has to happen for even God’s work to be effective and lasting.
And that one thing is that God’s redeeming power demands that the person turns from the destructive way of life and begins to follow God’s will.
Just how great is our redemption? Here is how great God’s redemption of us has been described like this:
“He that is saved from falling in, is more favored than he who is pulled out, half-drowned.”
That is our responsibility as Christians – to save them from falling in. If we wait until they are pulled out half-drowned there is an opportunity to return to the life of ignoring the salvation, they received when they were pulled out.
Now, we need to look at what we are not redeemed by.
We Are Not Redeemed By Silver or Gold
Money cannot buy our redemption. Money might buy the body of a slave, but money can never buy the love of a son or daughter.
A person can have all the world’s riches, but they are not sufficient to save one soul.
We Are Also Redeemed Through Our Obedience To Our Lord (1 Peter 1:22).
The difference between God’s children and the children of this world is found in their obedience to God. Those outside of Christ march to a different drummer, so to speak. Their obedience is to whatever they make it to be. For those in Christ their obedience is directed toward how He has taught us to obey, giving honor to Him, giving our praise to Him rather than to worldly pleasures.
We Are Redeemed Through the Living Word (verse 23).
Our faith is made strong through the living word of God. Hear how Paul speaks about our faith in Romans 10:17 – “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
So, we have seen that we are redeemed from ignorance and from guilt, and the power of sin. We have been redeemed not by silver or gold but by the blood of Christ.
We have been redeemed through obedience to Him. Now, to what have we been redeemed?
Verse 22 again tells us that our obedience to the truth results in a sincere love for the brethren – the Body of Christ. A unit of soldiers can be recognized by the uniforms they wear. The uniform we, as Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ wear, is the sincere love we have for one another – as Peter says it, “a fervent love of one another from the heart."
We Have Been Redeemed Into a Living Hope.
This living hope comes to us through the resurrection of Christ. Look at verse 21 again – “…through Him (Christ) …so that your faith and hope are in God.” This faith is trust based on the knowledge of God’s love and His faithfulness to His people.
As we continue to live as redeemed people our faith becomes a natural part of who we are. It results in a life of faith that others are able to see and hopefully desire for themselves.
We are redeemed also to obedience which continues through our daily living. A person who understands the redemption they have in Christ lives it daily. He or she does not come to Christ and then return back to the rebellious life they lived before they submitted to the authority of Christ.
Redemption through Christ is actually a rebirth, an entrance into a new kind of life. That means that when someone becomes a Christian, there comes into that life a change so radical that the only thing that can be said is that life has begun all over again.
This rebirth is not the work of the person who is reborn. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. It happens when one yields oneself to be possessed and re-created by the Spirit within them.
We Are Redeemed To Holiness
Let’s go back to verses 14-16 of 1 Peter 1 for a look at the holiness which we gain when we have been redeemed.
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
One description of holiness is this: The child’s increasing resemblance to his Father.
One writer has penned our redeemed status like this:
I’ve been redeemed and I know it.
I’ve been redeemed; I must show it.
Show it in my walk; show it in my talk,
Show it in my song, hallelujah!
I’ve been redeemed and I know it.”