Last post, Peter discussed the importance of being holy. Be holy for God is holy. In this section He tells why our salvation is valuable.
“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth.”
God is a judge and He will be the judge of everyone A great truth we need to understand is that God is impartial in this judgement. This should cause fear in us however. Because unlike human judges (who might judge with partiality), God will judge everyone fairly. He is not deceived by ulterior motives we might have. We cannot fool God. We are not redeemed by our works.
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers.”
Peter gives us the answer of why we should live in fear because we are not redeemed by what we do. We cannot enter into the kingdom of God by riches (c.f. Matthew 19:24). God cannot be bribed. Isaiah 64:6 says all our righteous deeds are as filthy garments. An analogy might help. If Hitler was to give you a bouquet of flowers, would you accept it? Probably not. Why? Because the one who is giving you the flowers is tainted, so to speak. Likewise with God.
Also, we cannot earn our salvation by our heritage. The Jews believed (because they were Jews), they were to be saved. But that is not true. How are we saved then?
“But with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
The conjunction but (or alla, if you want to go Greek), is one of the greatest words in the Bible. If we are not redeemed by our works, or heritage then how can we be? But by the precious blood, of the perfect lamb; Jesus Christ. What great truth this is! Ephesians 2:8-9 shows this marvelous truth as well. In verse 18, the word redeemed is in the passive voice, which means we cannot earn it; it is something that acts on us. It is also in the indicative mood. This means it has happened. The value of our salvation comes from the blood of Jesus.
Again, we are looking at how this might affect us in the midst of persecution. We should be comforted in two ways. The first is because our salvation is not based on what we do. We know that we cannot earn our salvation. No matter how righteous we think we are, how many good deeds we do, or what family we are born into. None of it matters. We all fail in those things anyway. But when our salvation is based on Jesus (which is the only way to be saved), we know we have a secure future. The present trials of this life will pail in comparison to what our future holds.
The second thing we can gain is from how valuable our salvation is. This should be our motivation to do good deeds. We do not do good deeds in order to be saved, but do them out of what Jesus did for us. We can live holy if we remember what Jesus did for us.
Next post we shall study some more truths about our salvation.