Saturday in the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time
1 Peter 1:17-19
Ransomed with the Precious Blood of Christ
We worship a holy God; that is what we have been discussing recently. But we also worship a just God. It is my opinion that Christians have a way of dismissing this divine attribute of our God and Father at least as it concerns themselves. We tend to see His justice in relation to unbelievers. However, one cannot read the Bible, Old or New Testament, without seeing our God’s chastening hand in the present and the threat of divine disfavor in the future. As I have said before, I, too, subscribe to the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, but we must never pervert that doctrine such that we presume we are exempt from God’s judgment. Such an attitude will render us liable to such discipline that should make our souls quake: “The Lord will judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31). Remember the judgments God visited on the man after His own heart (2 Samuel 11-20).
Therefore, upon reminding us that God requires His people to walk in a holy manner before Him, the Apostle urges us forward to this call reminding us that, just like everyone else, we too shall stand before a God “who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds.” Moreover, he reminds us of this for the express purpose to urge us to “conduct [our]selves with fear throughout the time of [our] exile.” And please be advised that the word, “fear,” does not mean “respect” in this place but what it really means which is “to be afraid.” And there is even greater reason to fear, for we were not ransomed/redeemed/bought back by the trinkets of this world which men adore such as gold or silver but with something immeasurably greater: The precious blood of Christ! The Lamb without spot or blemish! How dare we sin willfully against such a price paid for our redemption! Let us take to heart the words of the writer to the Hebrews: “How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” (10:29).
But these same words are also our encouragement: The Son of God shed his blood for me? He made a covenant with me? He gave his Spirit to me? Yes, all of that and more. There is no need to live in fear—unless, of course, you are spurning the Son of God. Instead, we may live in the freedom and joy of forgiveness, thankfulness, and the promise of heaven as we walk in the newness of life. That’s God’s desire for us. Slough off the sin that drags you down and embrace the holy life that God has prepared for you to live.