1 Peter 1:15-19. 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
To really understand the impact of what Peter is telling us here we have to time travel way back, deep into the Old Testament, into the book of Exodus. The story of the Hebrew people enslaved in to Pharaoh in Egypt. The story of God’s people in desperate need of salvation, so God saved them.
On that first Passover night, the night of their rescue, God speaks to them through Moses. He tells them that because he will rescue them from the death of the firstborn, by the precious blood of the lamb, they will now owe God the lives of their firstborn sons.
Exodus 13:13. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.
Don’t kill your sons. Redeem your sons. How? With the blood of the lamb without blemish and without spot.
Why this redeeming sacrifice? To remind them that they did not rescue themselves. To remind them that without the mercy and grace of God they were doomed to perpetual bondage. To remind them that their lives were purchased back by their Creator and Father. To remind them that they belong to God. And to remind them that their real problem was their sin. Sin that required the wage of death.
Christian, you too were once in bondage. Enslaved to sin. Addicted to self. Stuck. Trapped. Hopeless. But then God rescued you from the slavery of your own making. Your own inner Pharaoh. That deadly slave master that you were incapable of escaping. (You know the one I’m talking about, the one you still run back to once in a while.)
But, unlike the Hebrews of old, our rescue does not leave us in debt to God, redeeming our lives over and over again with sacrifice after sacrifice. No! Our sin debt has been paid in full by the precious blood of Christ.
In Christ we are finally free. Free from bondage. Freed from debt. Free from sin and death. Free to love. Free to serve from a pure heart.
And free to be holy as he is holy.
But it is not our behavior, morality, purity, or pietism that makes us holy. It is God ransoming us that makes us holy. He bought back our lives, paying for the death we owed him by his own death, and then set our lives apart for his own purpose – to display the glory of his goodness and grace. Therefore, Christian, be what you already are. Be holy as God is holy.
“To live is Christ” is to be rescued, ransomed, and set apart in holiness. Rescued from the power of sin. Ransomed from the penalty of sin. And therefore set apart from sin’s pleasure into the greater pleasure of God’s grace in Christ.
Do you consider yourself holy? Do you consider yourself ransomed?
You in Christ
In Christ you are rescued, ransomed, holy. Why is this order so important?
Christ in you
Where might your holiness be powered by your own strength, rather than by your having been purchased by God?
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