Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
I want to begin this morning by telling you a story about "The Boy Who Lost His Boat" Good News Publishers, Westchester, IL.
Tom carried his new boat to the edge of the river. He carefully placed it in the water and slowly let out the string. How smoothly the boat sailed! Tom sat in the warm sunshine, admiring the little boat that he had built. Suddenly a strong current caught the boat. Tom tried to pull it back to shore, but the string broke. The little boat raced downstream. Tom ran along the sandy shore as fast as he could. But his little boat soon slipped out of sight. All afternoon he searched for the boat. Finally, when it was too dark to look any longer, Tom sadly went home. A few days later, on the way home from school, Tom spotted a boat just like his in a store window. When he got closer, he could see -- sure enough -- it was his! Tom hurried to the store manager: "Sir, that's my boat in your window! I made it!" "Sorry, son, but someone else brought it in this morning. If you want it, you'll have to buy it for one dollar." Tom ran home and counted all his money. Exactly one dollar! When he reached the store, he rushed to the counter. "Here's the money for my boat." As he left the store, Tom hugged his boat and said, "Now you're twice mine. First, I made you and now I bought you."
If you ever think that you aren't worth much and if you think you're cheap, just remember what God thinks of you. He thinks you're His. Twice His. First you're His because He made you. And second you're His because He bought you on the cross. He paid a price to redeem you. And that's what we want to talk about this morning. The fact that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. We are twice His. I recently read this passage in 1Peter as part of my Bible reading plan. It was convicting and encouraging to me and with its emphasis on Christ it is perfect for our communion Sunday. The focus of this message will be in answering two questions. Why is the blood of Christ precious? Why is it able to redeem? Peter gives us three reasons here.
As we understand why Christ’s blood is precious and able to redeem we will be challenged to imitate Him.
In the imitation of Christ our goal, desire, and focus becomes pleasing our Redeemer.
Peter records for us that the blood of Christ is precious and able to redeem first of all, because He is...
1. Separate From Sinners vv. 13-16
1. Separate From Sinners vv. 13-16
So often when these verses are read or taught the emphasis is placed on the responsibility of the believer. That is appropriate because Peter’s main point is the necessity for believers to change their behavior and live in conformity to the character of Christ. But I want to focus this morning on the standard Peter gives for our behavior. The standard is Christ! We are to be holy as He is holy! Here’s a question for you. “How holy is Christ?” To be able to answer that question we must first define holiness. "Holy" is the Greek word ἅγιος hagios and it means holy or holy one, pure - having the characteristics of moral or ritual purity. Here the previous verses make it clear that the moral purity of God is in view here. The idea behind the word is being set apart from one thing to be used for something else. We are to be set apart or separated from moral impurity so that we can be used for God and His glory! The standard for this separation is the holiness of Christ. Since Jesus Christ is God, He is perfect. That means His holiness, His separation from sin is perfect! That is the target that we are trying to hit. The perfect holiness of Christ!
This phrase, "Be holy, for I am holy" is adapted from the OT where it appears several times.
For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
“Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.
And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
God is infinitely, perfectly holy. This holiness enables Christ to be the perfect sacrifice for sin. Not the type of sacrifice that must be continually offered, but a sacrifice offered once for all! We learn that in...
For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.
This is the Jesus that went to the Cross for you and me! He is our High Priest! The only one who can approach God and make an acceptable sacrifice! Our only mediator! He is Holy, completely set apart. Harmless, undefiled, He is separate from sinners. Made higher than the heavens. The holiness of Christ is a requirement for our justification. If He were not holy, He could not bear the penalty for sin. He is sinless! And as the sinless Lamb of God He offered Himself as the payment for sin! That is who we celebrate today! That is who we serve! Our God, our Redeemer, our Savior; He is holy!
Because He is holy, we have a responsibility. The believer's responsibility in these verses is clear. We can summarize them into six actions that we will briefly review. Prepare your mind for action. Be self-controlled. Completely set your confidence in Christ's second coming. Be obedient. Oppose evil desires. Be pure in conduct. These are the actions we must take because of who Christ is, and that we might live in holiness as Christ did! These actions are the natural result of a passionate pursuit of Christ and we cannot hope to be holy apart from them.
The more we are consumed with Christ, the greater our ability to reflect His glory.
This process that we call sanctification is the process of us being holy because He is holy. Sing with me...
"Be Unto Your Name" (verse 2)
Jesus' blood is precious and He is able to redeem because He is holy. He is also...
2. Without Blemish vv. 17-19
2. Without Blemish vv. 17-19
Jesus is first introduced as the Lamb by John the Baptist. But this prophecy goes all the way back to Isaiah 53 and we understand that it is pictured in the replacement ram for Isaac in Genesis 22, in the sacrifice of Abel in Genesis 4, and even in the clothing of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. When Jesus is coming to John the Baptist to be baptized and John declares Him to be the Lamb, everyone knew what he was claiming!
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
This imagery gains even more power as we look to the history of the nation of Israel. In Exodus 12 the nation of Israel is coming out of Egypt. God has plagued the nation of Egypt and has now foretold through Moses that He will slay all the firstborn . The only way to escape this destruction is the blood of a lamb without blemish.
Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
The blood was put on the doorposts and top of the entry (S). Then the lamb was eaten with the people of the house prepared to embark on the journey God had commanded. This demonstrates their faith that God will do what He has promised.
‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
The blood of this spotless lamb caused the Lord to pass over that house and not judge it. The blood of the lamb and the faith it exhibited protected the people. The blood of the Lamb does the same today! But as emphasized in Exodus, the Lamb must be spotless. This too is Prophesied in Isaiah.
And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
The requirement for a lamb was that it be without blemish or spot. Christ is our sacrificial lamb and He too must meet this criterion. Acts 20:28 states that He purchased the church with His own blood.
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
This is not possible unless He is without blemish. We mentioned this before but I want to emphasize it again. Christ is completely and absolutely sinless! This is possible because He is God! John records that after Pilate had examined Jesus he stated three separate times that he found no fault with Him! The synoptic gospel accounts record Pilate saying "what evil has He done?" The NT epistles confirm the reality that Christ was sinless and wholly undeserving of death.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
Jesus is truly the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! When we place our trust in Him, His blood washes us from all sin. We are not redeemed with corruptible, worthless things like silver and gold! We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ! The sinless Savior, the innocent Lamb of God took my sin and your sin on Himself and bore it to the Cross! His blood poured out and blotted out our sin!
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
In light of this reality, how should we live? That is what lies at the heart of what Peter presents back in 1Peter 1. V. 17 is an "if, then" statement. If you call on the Father, then conduct yourselves in fear. "Fear" is the Greek word φόβος phobos it's where we get phobia from. The sense of this word as used here is a feeling of profound respect for someone or something, often a deity, conceived of as fear. This is best described as reverence. Again there is action required for us. The reality of Christ's redemption is presented by Peter as the motivating factor in our reverential conduct. We are sojourners, temporary residents, aliens in this world. We don't belong here and so we live in reverence for the one who will judge us according to our work. We bear in mind the reality of how we are saved. We receive salvation by grace! It is not purchased and it is not the product of corruptible things. Our redemption was accomplished by the precious blood of Christ! The free gift of God purchased by Jesus Christ changes the way we live! I no longer live at home in this world! I am a stranger and I live for the King of my home country! We are citizens of heaven and it is high time that we act like it!
Understanding that the sinless, spotless, Lamb of God died to redeem us empowers a life of reverence.
This truth changes everything! We are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ! Sing with me...
"Nor Silver Nor Gold" (verses 1, 4)
Jesus' blood is precious and He is able to redeem us because He is without blemish. Lastly He was...
3. Foreordained Before All Things vv. 20-21
3. Foreordained Before All Things vv. 20-21
This is one of those truths that defies my mind's ability to understand. Reasoning as a fallen human being, I would conclude that if God knew all this was going to happen the moment He conceived it, He would never have started! Yet we see throughout Scripture that God, in eternity past, put together the plan of our redemption! And so Peter states here that Christ was "foreordained before the foundation of the world". This is not implying that God the Son had a beginning. Rather this refers to the reality that The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the plan of salvation, the Gospel message was known by God before He created time, space, and matter in Genesis 1:1! "He" in v. 20 refers to Christ, the Lamb without blemish and without spot. He was foreordained before all things. "Foreordained" is the Greek word προγινώσκω proginōskō and literally means foreknow; know beforehand. Before the foundation of the world, before the very first moment of creation, God know all that Christ would be and endure. He knew the cost of redemption even then. And yet, knowing what it would cost, He created and set in motion this wondrous plan to display His glory, grace, justice, holiness, mercy, and matchless love!
Redemption was no afterthought, or remedy of an unforeseen evil, devised at the time of its arising.
Revelation calls Christ "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Until Christ came on the scene we didn't even understand! For those of us who believe God makes clear this eternal plan. We place our faith in the one who raised Christ from the dead and gave Him glory! Our faith and hope are not in the corruptible things of this life. We don't trust in the silver and gold; we don't trust in our works because our righteousness is like filthy rags! There is none righteous! All have sinned and come short of God's glory! Our faith and hope are in God! The author of Hebrews writes this...
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
The most spectacular thing in all of this is God both knew and chose you and I before the foundation of the world as well! He didn't choose us only to save us from sin. He didn't just give us fire insurance and send us on our way. No! Paul writes this...
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
He chose us to be holy and blameless before Him! He predestined us to be adopted as sons! We are saved and being sanctified that He might conform us to the image of Christ Jesus our Lord! And one day we will stand before Him perfected in Christ! This has been the plan of God from eternity past! To take His enemies and make them His children. To take sinners and make them saints! To take the unrighteous and ungodly and unholy and redeem them by the precious blood of Christ as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot! That is what communion Sunday is all about! It is about our remembrance of this inconceivable plan of God! It is about us as finite human beings standing in awe at the infinite, righteous, holy God and His wondrous, eternal plan of Salvation!
Faith and hope do not rest in man but in God because His plan of salvation was laid out before the foundation of the world.
The blood of Christ is precious and He is able to redeem because that was the plan of God from eternity past! This is what we celebrate today, that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ! Sing with me...
#521 "Redeemed" (verses 1-2)
Turn with me to 1Corinthians 11:23-32. This is a time for believers to remember the price that was paid. To be reminded of the penalty of sin. Taking part of communion does not save you. This is simply a way for us to be reminded of what Christ has done. If you know the Lord as savior this morning, please join us in bread and juice as we remember Jesus Christ. These are only symbols, they represent the body and blood of our Savior.
Examination – verses 26-32
OBSERVANCE OF COMMUNION
OBSERVANCE OF COMMUNION
The Bread (His Body) vv. 23, 24 #189 “Calvary Covers It All” (chorus)
The Cup (His Blood) v. 25 #195 “Nothing But The Blood” (chorus)
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
The precious blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin and enables us to have fellowship with God. We are redeemed, not with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ.
May that reality cause us to live as strangers and pilgrims in this world, whose goal, desire, and focus is to please the one who called us.
May we prepare our minds for action, be self-controlled, set our confidence in Christ's second coming, be obedient, oppose evil desires, and be holy as He is holy.
#370 "I'll Live For Him" (verse 3)