Redemption in the New Testament
1 Peter 1:17–19
1 Peter Lesson #050
May 26, 2016
“Our Father, it’s due to Your magnificent grace, Your unmerited kindness to us, Your undeserved favor that You have provided so much for us. Not that we have ever done one little thing that merits any goodness from You but that You have done this out of Your own intrinsic goodness, Your righteousness, and Your love for Your creatures.
Father, we thank You that You have provided us so much in our salvation and pray that we might not take lightly that which we have in Christ.
Father, as we study tonight help us that we might come to a greater understanding of our redemption and what that cost and what it means to us. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.”
Last time we primarily went through most of the material related to redemption in the Old Testament. There are a couple of things we need to sort of mop up before we finish the Old Testament and then we’ll go into the New Testament.
Redemption is the topic of 1 Peter 1:18–19. In case you’re jumping into the middle of this series, yes, indeed, this is 1 Peter but we’re taking time out for a little topical study due to the fact that this is at the core of this section of 1 Peter 1, “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.”
In this language Paul is masterfully contrasting what he is saying with the Jewish tradition. That’s what he means by “tradition from your fathers”, not the Old Testament tradition of biblical orthodoxy but its distortion under the authority of the rabbinic fathers.
When you get to terms like this, “tradition of your fathers”, this is talking about the rabbis. This is talking about what’s been handed down in terms of the oral law and their interpretation of the written Law.
Then he identifies Christ as the Passover lamb, the lamb that is without spot or blemish.
The word that’s used here is this word LUTROO. We’ll get a brief review of the Greek words that are used, but the core meaning of both words has to do with paying a purchase price, something that is paid.
We looked at the Doctrine of the Barrier. A good review for everyone: There is a barrier of sin that separates every man from God. That is not how man was originally created. He was originally created with perfect righteousness. He was untested but nevertheless it was perfect righteousness.
God had perfect fellowship with man and the woman in the Garden. When Adam sinned this barrier was erected. There are different facets as we look at the different doctrine related to salvation.
Slides 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
There are different facets to the sin barrier. There’s sin itself, the penalty of sin, the character of God, and our own spiritual death. The first three are objective in nature. The last three have to do with our personal condition. We’re spiritually dead. We lack righteousness and we have a position in Adam.
Slides 12, 13
Each of these is resolved by something that happens on the cross. Each facet is dealt with specifically by what Christ did for us. The sin penalty was resolved by unlimited atonement. The extent of Christ’s death is for all. He redeemed all mankind. He died in our place. He’s a substitute for all. This is an extremely important doctrine.
Then the second is resolved through redemption and expiation. Expiation is somewhat synonymous to redemption and has to do with the removal or the cancelling of a debt. That is part of what takes place with redemption.
Slides 15, 16
In the last couple of lessons we’ve looked at the words that are used. In the Old Testament there were two words: padah and ga’al. Each captures a different aspect, slightly different aspect, of this payment.
Padah emphasizes the payment of a price with the idea that something is set free. The ownership changes and shifts, someone is free from a specific state, such as slavery, death, or destruction.
The second word is the one that is used most often in the Old Testament. That is the word group from the verb ga’al. This emphasizes the aspect of a kinsman-redeemer. We studied this last time. In the Mosaic Law this go’el, the kinsman-redeemer, has a nuance to it that’s important. It is this kinsman-redeemer that provides security and protection to the person who is redeemed.
We covered last time how the go’el imagery of the kinsman-redeemer is fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We saw in our study of the Old Testament that the Old Testament picture of redemption is primarily based on the Exodus event but it is also based in Ruth in this idea of the kinsman-redeemer. We looked at those passages last time.
Exodus 6:6 talks about how the Lord says, “I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.”
This redemption price as we saw in 1 Peter 1:18–19, “the lamb without spot or blemish” is also alluded to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:7 that Christ is “our Pesach [our Passover] offering.” The lamb who dies in our place. He is sacrificed for us.
The kinsman-redeemer idea is depicted by Boaz. This is going to bring us to a point we’ll talk a little bit about in our study tonight. That is the idea of the hypostatic union that Jesus in His deity existed forever and ever in eternity past. He is eternal. He had no beginning.
At the time of the incarnation He enters into human history, willingly. He adds to His deity. He doesn’t limit His deity except in its operation. He does not have a reduced form of deity. He limits its function but He adds to His deity full and true humanity so that He is 100% human and 100% divine.
He is fully God and fully man united together in one Person. That unity will never end. It is an eternal unity so that the Creator is connected in the 2nd Person of the Trinity to the creature.
We looked at one of many of the uses of the word ga’al translated close relatives in Ruth.
So Yahweh is referred to again and again, especially in Isaiah, as the go’el. He is the “Redeemer who is the Holy One of Israel.” That’s said again and again.
That’s connected to His payment for sin. Isaiah 44:22, “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” This depicts His protection over Israel in the provision of redemption.
A couple of other things to point out in terms of the application of the go’el, the kinsman-redeemer, to the Person of Christ.
Jesus had to be genetically related to the human race. “Like” had to substitute for “like”. This idea of substitution was one that took a while to be fully understood and appreciated by the early church fathers.
There were a number of guesses up through the Middle Ages as to the nature of Christ’s work on the Cross. Although they talked about it in general terms, that Christ died for us but they asked, what does it mean that Christ died FOR us? In what sense does He die FOR us?
One of the first guesses in Church history was one that was made by a man named Abelard, a Roman Catholic. He said it was a moral atonement, that He was simply showing God’s love for the people so that when they looked at the Cross they would understand how much Christ loved us and they would be drawn to the Cross.
Very few, if any, conservatives would ever hold to that view. That view was rejected by another man, the Archbishop of Canterbury. His name was Anselm. Anselm wrote a book called Cur Deus Homo: Why God Became Man. Although he’s not the first to say it but he was the first to really develop it and articulate the reasons why, he said that Christ had to both fully God and fully man.
He had been preceded in that idea by Athanasius. If you remember anything about church history there was a huge battle in the early part of the church around AD 300 to 375 over the relationship between Christ, the Son, and the Father. Was He created at some time in the past? Is Jesus eternally God? Athanasius was the defender of orthodoxy.
The man who was promoting heresy was a man known as Arius. Arius was a composer of little poems and ditties and of contemporary Christian music that would be very memorable. They sang this throughout the Roman Empire, “There was a time when Christ was not”.
People were being influenced and it was causing a huge, huge rift and division within the Roman Empire. Constantine, who was the Roman Emperor at the time, called together a council of all the major bishops and leaders of the church to hash it out so his empire would not be rent asunder by bickering Christians.
Now, the idea of bickering Christians may seem strange to you but I have just returned from Jerusalem. One of the things that always floors me is what goes on around the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is a church that’s built over the site of the place where it’s pretty close to where Christ was crucified and where Christ was buried. It’s the traditional site and I think that the arguments are more in favor of this site. It may not be the exact precise site but it’s probably within fifty or seventy-five yards at the most of where the crucifixion and the resurrection took place.
Part of the church is controlled by the Armenian Patriarchate (not Arminian, but Armenian), part of it is controlled by the Roman Catholics, part of it is controlled by the Greek Orthodox, and then there are a few other groups like the Coptics and the Assyrian Christians and a couple of others that all have their little tiny cupboard or closet here or there.
They’re all very jealous. They used to break out in huge fights quite frequently back in earlier times. In fact, they did the same thing down at the Church of the Nativity. There was a war in the 1850s called the Crimean War. How many people know anything about the Crimean War? How many people know where it started? It started in a territorial dispute between a Russian Orthodox priest and a Roman Catholic priest in the Church of the Nativity.
They were having a territorial dispute and because the Russian Orthodox priest was the one who initiated it, it was extrapolated that this was a sign of Russian belligerency and Russian territorial aggression. Very few people know that, it is just one of those minutia things in history. I got that from Cathy Yeamans who is the fount of minutia in history. She’s straightens me out many times.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher had these huge fights and they’re still going. Finally, what happened is that somewhere in the 1840s they reached a détente. They signed an agreement that is still in effect, that everyone has their territory and it is clearly defined. Every now and then what happens is like an incident that happened about three or four years ago when a priest [I don’t remember what kind] on a hot day in Jerusalem had his chair leaning back against the wall, and he was in the shade.
We all know that shade moves as the sun moves and all of a sudden, he was in the sun. So he got up and moved his chair over a couple of feet to be back in the shade. Immediately he was accosted and assaulted and the crud was beat out of him because he had gone from his territory and encroached upon someone else’s territory.
Sadly every year at certain events that take place at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the IDF is called out en masse in order to keep the Christians in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher from killing each other. Isn’t that a good testimony?
Anyhow, back to Arius. He is the heretic who is teaching that there was a time when Christ was not. There were fights all over the empire, so they called together this council, the Council of Nicaea that occurred in AD 325. They came out of that and wrote the Nicene Creed that clearly states that Jesus was “very God of very God”, which means “true God of true God”. It affirmed that, but that didn’t settle it.
It was battled for fifty years through a couple more councils. Finally it was affirmed. That’s the way it’s been since the 4th century.
That was over the deity of Christ. Christ is eternally God. One of Athanasius’ key arguments was that Jesus had to be fully God or His sacrifice would not have infinite value. But He also has to be fully man or he couldn’t substitute for mankind.
We hear this all the time. We talk about the hypostatic union but we don’t understand that much blood was shed to come to those conclusions and work out that doctrine in the early church. So Jesus as the Messiah had to be both fully God as well as fully man.
But this is prefigured in the Scripture. For example we have the title “Son of David” which is indicated in the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7:8–16 as well as in the echo of the Davidic Covenant in Psalm 89:20–37. God promised that David would have a Son who would live forever. This is part of an unconditional covenant so it must be fulfilled.
The descendant, the one who fulfills that, has to be One who can live forever. At the first coming, Jesus is referred to as the Son of David, which we studied in Matthew. We’ve gone through many different times in Matthew where Matthew uses that title to refer to Jesus, pointing out that He is the physical descendant of David.
That means He has to be true humanity. If you go to the Old Testament and you’re talking to someone who doesn’t think the Messiah is anything but God, you can show him that “son of David” indicates He’s going to be human. You can look at other things to refer to His deity.
When Jesus Christ comes back at the 2nd coming, He will fulfill that promise to David and take up His throne in Jerusalem. He is a High Priest today. We know this from several passages in Scripture, which is the foundation for our being a kingdom of priests, 1 Peter 2:9, and that He is seated now at the right hand of the Father in His humanity as our High Priest.
This is part of that doctrine of the Kinsman-Redeemer. The Messiah had to enter into human history.
A priest by definition is a member of the human race who stands as an intercessor between human beings and God. His ministry is Godward, representing human beings, whereas the prophet represents God toward man and is manward.
Third, He is our Savior and in order to provide redemption for the whole world, He had to be fully human. “Like” had to stand in the place of “like”. An angel could not have done it. Some other creature could not have done it. A lamb certainly couldn’t have done it. The blood of bulls and goats couldn’t take away sin.
Fourth, at the 1st Advent, it was clearly recognized that He was not only the Son of God but He was the Son of David. The apostles, when they preached on the Day of Pentecost, always brought up this question of how Jesus Christ could be the Son of David and at the same time be the Son of God. They always went to the fact that He’s the God-man.
This is grounded in this Kinsman-Redeemer doctrine of the Old Testament.
When we get into the New Testament, looking at redemption in the New Testament we recognize that there are several words that are used. I’ve gone through this before. I know this may be tedious for some for me to go through this grocery list. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this because the key idea in all of this is the payment of a price.
We have one group that is built off of the root that we see in the slide LUTR. That’s the root. It’s part of many different compounds. ANTILUTRON is one. The preposition at the beginning of each of these words adds a different nuance. ANTI is the idea of substitute, so this is the idea of a substitute payment.
You have the word APOLUTROSIS. This is releasing a slave for the payment of a ransom. He is released from something. That is the prefix APO. You have the same root for the payment of a price.
Then you have a noun form, LUTRON. This also refers to a payment of a price. The purpose is to set someone free, or to loose him from some kind of a bond.
Then the verb form is LUTROO. In all these words you have the same semantic root, LUTR. It all relates in some way to the payment of a price, to liberate someone.
LUTROSIS means redemption, deliverance, or freedom. Again a noun built on the same root.
LUTROTES is a noun meaning a redeemer or deliverer. It’s used to refer to Moses in Acts 7:35.
Now the next set of words is built on a different root. It’s built on the root AGORA, which is the word for the marketplace. We have the verb AGORAZO, which means to buy something in the marketplace. It was also used to refer to the slave market. We understand that Christ is dying to free something or someone from the market place.
When you add the preposition EK it becomes EXAGORAZO and this has the idea of purchasing something out from the slave market, to completely and totally liberate a slave from the slave market. It’s used two times to emphasize the completed payment that this has been accomplished and we have been set free.
A couple of passages where these words are used: Hebrews 9:14–15. The letter written to the Hebrews asks the question, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason [deliverance to cleanse your conscience, to redeem you to serve the Living God] He is the Mediator of the new covenant by means of death, for the redemption [APOLUTROSIS] of the transgressions under the first covenant.” The penalty is paid at the Cross. It’s not paid when you believe. It was a real transaction, a judicial transaction that occurred at the Cross.
That’s very important to understand because in church history there’s been this argument between those who believe that Christ died for all and those who believe Christ died only for the elect. The issue in redemption is that He pays the penalty for sin for all mankind. This sets the prisoner free.
The issue is are you going to continue to act like a slave or are you going to leave the slave market? That is the analogy to trusting in Christ for salvation.
In 1 Timothy 2:5–6, which I’ve talked about nearly every lesson, it says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.” Again this is emphasizing His humanity. He could only be a mediator if He was truly and fully human. Only one who is true humanity could mediate between God and man. A mediator has to come with something from both parties, and be trusted by both parties. So Jesus had to be both God and man.
He is God and a Mediator between God and man. This is one of the great passages emphasizing the deity of Christ. “Who gave Himself [someone else doesn’t give Him; He goes as a willing sacrifice to die on your behalf and on my behalf, on the behalf of every human being] a ransom for the elect?” Is that what it says? No. It says for all. All!
As I was reading today I ran across a tremendous quote from John Calvin where Calvin says that Jesus Christ died for all without exception. That changes with Calvin’s followers under his successor, Theodore Beza, as they systemized Calvin’s teachings. They were influenced by too much philosophy at the time and Beza decided that Calvin was wrong there. That if Christ came to save the elect, He would only die for the elect, they said.
It is very clear that He was a ransom for all. This was Calvin’s position. Calvin was not a five-point Calvinist. He might have had a number of other problems, but he did not hold to limited atonement.
What are the implications or results of redemption?
1. First of all, because of redemption Paul says we are delivered from the curse of the Law. I’ve often thought it’s an odd thing that we translate this word “curse” because for most people curse carries with it the idea of ju-ju black magic. You’ve got the picture of the witch, the old crony, leaning over the cauldron stirring something and she’s going to put a spell on someone. She puts a curse on someone.
That’s not the biblical idea of a curse. The biblical idea is a curse is a judgment against someone. God is going to judge someone for something.
We refer to Genesis chapter 3 as a curse on man. God doesn’t put the evil eye on man. He announces what the judgment is going to be because man disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. You have a judgment announced on the male. You have a judgment announced on the serpent and the animals and you have a judgment pronounced on the woman.
So Paul says, in Galatians 3:13, “Christ has redeemed us [purchased us out from] the curse of the law.” The Law put us under judgment. No one could obey the Law. In trying to keep the Law, Paul says in Romans 7, that you demonstrate that you are incapable of being righteous, being tzedakah. No one can perfectly keep the Law.
So Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law and He became a curse for us. “For it is written ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’.” What that’s talking about is that a person who hangs on a tree, a person who is hung … Crucifixion wasn’t even known under the Mosaic Law. It was much, much later.
Anyone who was crucified was the worst sort of common criminal. Just think about the most horrid, the most rancid, and the most evil wicked criminal you could possibly imagine and that’s the idea. This was a punishment that was reserved only for the worst of the worst, the worst rebels against the Roman Empire.
The Old Testament says that this person is judged because it’s such an evil, wicked punishment. It means that person’s crime must have been among the very worst.
Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” So He is born under the Law but He delivers us from the Law.
Galatians 4:5 goes on to say that He was born under the law “To redeem those that were under the law, that we might [if we believe in Him] receive the adoption as sons.” The word for “sons” here is HUIOS, an adult son that has all of the rights and privileges in the Roman Empire of a full heir.
We have those privileges in Christ. We are adopted into God’s royal family.
The first result of redemption is that we are delivered from the curse of the Law.
2. We have the forgiveness of all sin, positionally. We have it positionally because Christ paid the penalty on the Cross.
Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:14 say we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. That connects a couple of ideas. The forgiveness also has the idea of the forgiveness of a debt, the removal or cancelling of a debt.
The word redemption as the payment price cancels debt. There was a debt against every human being. Colossians 1:12–14 talks about this as the certificate of death, that indictment against us as human beings is nailed to the Cross in AD 33, not the day you trusted Christ as Savior.
In AD 33 it’s nailed to the Cross so that indictment is no longer against any human being, but they still have two problems. They’re born spiritually dead. The eternal penalty is removed but they’re born spiritually dead and they lack righteousness.
If someone never believes in Jesus, like John 3:18 says that you’re condemned because you have not believed. It’s not that you’re condemned because of what you did; you’re condemned because you didn’t believe. Faith is the only way to be regenerate and receive imputed righteousness, to become a new creature in Christ. That’s the only way you can move from spiritual death to spiritual life, to trust in Christ and be regenerate. The only way you can have perfect righteousness is for God to give it to you.
We might say we have a judicial forgiveness at the Cross that forgives us, and every human being of all sin. The penalty’s paid. It’s a real payment.
Then we have a real forgiveness that occurs at the point of faith in Christ. Every person positionally receives real forgiveness or positional forgiveness. Galatians 1:14, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” In both Ephesians 1:7 and Galatians 1:14 this word for “forgiveness”, APHESIS used for forgiveness, indicates the eradication of a debt and redemption is the payment of the price. The reason the debt is eradicated is because the payment is made.
3. Redemption then in Romans 3:24 is the basis for our justification. If you’re breaking all of these things down, the things that were done for us on the Cross, then redemption logically precedes justification. Redemption is accomplished on the Cross in AD 33, but justification is something that happens to each individual when they believe or trust in Christ as Savior.
Paul says in Romans 3:24 that we are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”. We can only be justified because Christ paid the penalty for sin. Because He paid the penalty for sin it’s a real payment and a real substitution at the Cross. Then we can be justified freely.
4. Redemption, then, is the basis for our sanctification. There are two big words and two big concepts that are important to understand in the Christian life.
One is the word “justification”. The other is the word “sanctification”. Sanctification means to be set apart to the service of God. It always has that idea, something that is set apart. Justification has to do with being declared righteous. Justification is not progressive. It doesn’t take place over time. We don’t progressively become more and more justified. That’s Roman Catholic theology. They teach that the more you partake of the sacraments, the more you confess, the more you do penance, the more you partake of the mass, every time you do you get a few more brownie points and eventually, no one knows when or how much, you have enough to be justified.
Martin Luther, the Augustinian monk who initiated the Protestant Reformation in 1517, said that was completely wrong. He said that justification was by faith alone. He’s responsible for recovering that crucial doctrine that we are justified by faith alone in Christ’s work.
Redemption is the basis for our sanctification in that because Christ paid the penalty we can be justified by faith alone. But sanctification is a process. Sanctification is our spiritual growth. We often speak of it as experiential sanctification. As we grow and mature, we become more and more experientially set apart to the service of God. The basis for experiential sanctification is also in redemption. Experiential sanctification is predicated upon positional sanctification.
This is the analogy for husbands in terms of our responsibilities towards our wives. Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself [as a substitute] for her that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word.”
That’s why we take the time in every single class to go through the process of confession of sin [1 John 1:9]. It reminds us that we have to be cleansed continuously. Because Christ died for us we have to be cleansed continuously because we sin and it is done through the Holy Spirit and then we advance by means of the Word of God.
5. This leads to redemption being the basis for our eternal inheritance in Heaven. Hebrews 9:15, “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption [payment] of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called [those who believe] may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
So redemption, the payment of the price, is related to the eternal inheritance. This would be the “heirs of God” category that all believers have in common throughout all eternity.
So redemption, just to review those last three points, is the basis for our salvation [Phase One]. Redemption is the basis for our sanctification [Phase Two]. Redemption is the basis for our eternal inheritance [Phase Three].
6. Redemption is the basis for the strategic victory of Jesus Christ in the angelic conflict. Remember, strategy is your broad plan; tactics are your individual plan. How a believer applies the Word of God in many different circumstances every day is part of tactics. How God orchestrated the ultimate defeat of Satan and the payment of the sin penalty is strategy.
Redemption is the basis for that strategic victory of Christ which occurred at the Cross. I put two passages up there. Colossians 2:14–15. Some of you may remember hearing that every believer is going to take out a demon when Jesus returns. That’s not in the passage, but the passage that it came from was Hebrews 2:14–15, just in case you ever wondered. If you go back and read it, you will scratch your head and say, “I don’t see it.” (It’s not in the Greek either.)
Colossians 2:14, “Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements [the certificate of debt] that was against us, which was contrary to us. He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” That indicates the complete removal of that indictment. Even though we’re no longer under that indictment we’re still spiritually dead. That’s why we need to believe in Jesus. Just because the certificate of debt is taken out of the way, it doesn’t save us, it doesn’t regenerate us, and it doesn’t give us perfect righteousness.
7. Redemption of the soul in salvation, that is Phase One justification, results in redemption of the body in resurrection. This is an important point because there are a few times in Scripture when the object of redemption in terms of any kind of soteriology isn’t in terms of what Christ did on the Cross, but the application of what Christ did on the Cross.
So in these passages such as Ephesians 1:14 and Romans 8:23 we read, The Spirit [the subject of Ephesians 1:14] “is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [glorification, Phase Three], to the praise of His glory.”
Romans 8:23 says, “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit [that guarantee of our inheritance], even we ourselves, groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” Really this is a metaphor, putting the redemption for the effect for the cause of the redemption. The redemption is the payment of the sin penalty at the Cross, but it is applied to our bodies when we are resurrected and receive our resurrection body.
8. Redemption views salvation from the standpoint of the complete payment of our sins. He didn’t pay it in part. He paid it in full. John emphasizes this in his account of the crucifixion. He said “When it was completed.” That is a perfect tense verb in the Greek meaning when it had been completed. Jesus said, “It has been completed.” Twice you have that rare form of the verb TETELESTAI. When it was completed Jesus said it was completed. That means nothing more can be paid for. It has the connotation of paid in full. This is before Jesus died physically.
So redemption views salvation from the standpoint of the complete payment. The price is paid for our sin and the only option left over is to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life.
9. That brings us to the ninth point: Since Christ has bought the believer, and since we have realized that redemption, we now belong to Christ and He is our master. We have been bought with a price.
We only have two masters in life; we just think we’re in control. Not at all.
The first master is your sin nature. The second is Christ. We are to take His yoke upon us because it is easy and light. That is what He says to His disciples, “Take My yoke upon you.” That’s the idea.
So often what we find, as believers, is that we want to go back to the yoke of our sin nature. We just want to sin. We think it’s pleasure. We think it’s light. We think it’s fun. We think it’s the easier way, out but it’s not. It’s the deception of the sin nature thinking that’s what we really want.
We are to live as Christ would have us to live. That is because He has paid the penalty, so He now owns us. He is our Master. We have to learn to recognize that authority and that’s what the spiritual life is all about.
1 Timothy 2:6 says: “Who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.” Ransom is ANTILUTRON, ransom or substitutionary redemption. That’s embedded in this word ANTI plus the HUPER, “for all”.
1 Timothy 4:10 says He is the Savior for all men. It’s universal. He pays the penalty for all. That does not mean all are saved. You’ll run into people who think that. They’re convinced of that. That’s what they’ve always heard. If Jesus really died for everyone, then everyone would be saved.
The Bible never talks about anyone being saved unless they believe. That’s the condition for salvation.
So that brings us back to a couple of passages we’ve looked at already. There are those who are false teachers who deny the Master who bought them. See it’s been paid for. It’s AGORAZO. They’ve been redeemed but they deny “the Master who bought them.”
Also 1 John 2:2, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” [substitutionary] again. For is the Greek preposition PERI indicating one in place of another.
That wraps up our understanding for the background of 1 Peter 1:18–19, that we were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold. It couldn’t be purchased. It’s not something that any human being could do. Anything produced from our life is characterized as this futile or empty or meaningless life.
That’s a hard one to get across, but a lot of us think that we have things in our life that are meaningful and are significant and we want to hold on to them. But the classification here is that there’s no detail of life that is meaningful in an eternal sense. Nothing that we have done in life has eternal value, it is all temporary. Peter says to this Jewish background audience, “Your empty manner of life which you inherited from your forefathers.”
See, it was a moral life following all the dictates of the Mosaic Law according to the standards of the Pharisees. We’re going to get into that in a few weeks in Matthew. In Matthew 23 Jesus will excoriate the Pharisees. He just rips them up one side and down the other because they are leading the people astray.
They’re the conservative Biblicists of their day and they’re the ones who more than anyone else should have accepted Jesus as Messiah. That’s one reason Jesus is so hard on them. They should know better. They’re the ones who have memorized the Scripture. They’re the ones who valued the Scripture.
They had turned it into something just to generate more power and control for themselves.
We are redeemed with “precious blood”, the value of His death. Now the idea of the “blood of Christ” is an important metaphor.
Throughout Scripture we have the idea of the shedding of blood as a metaphor or a figure of speech for a violent death. You haven’t shed someone’s blood if they have a heart attack or a stroke. You shed their blood if they are violently killed. This is what happens on the Cross.
The blood of Christ is a metaphor for His death. It not only refers to His physical death, which is a result of His spiritual death, but it primarily looks on His spiritual death. It is between 12 noon and 3 P.M. that God the Father brought darkness on the earth and He imputed the sins of the world to Jesus Christ before He died physically.
He said, “It is completed” before He dies physically. It’s that spiritual death that pays the redemption price. That’s not the end of His work on the Cross. By dying physically, He’s going to go into the grave. He will be raised from the dead and that is the foundation for the spiritual life in the Church Age. That’s Romans 1–6. We’ve been identified with His death, burial, and resurrection.
He was raised to new life so we too are raised to new life. The physical death is important, not for Phase One justification, but to set the stage for the resurrection, which is the paradigm for Phase Two spiritual life. He is the Lamb that is without spot or blemish which takes us back to understanding the depiction of the Passover lamb that was without spot or blemish.
It’s repeated again, the blood of Christ. That is His death on the Cross.
We’ll come back next time and we will press forward into 1 Peter. Let’s bow our heads and close in prayer.
“Father, thank You for this opportunity to reflect on these things and what it means to be redeemed—the value of the death of Christ on the Cross. What He went through in order to pay that penalty for each and every human being. To be our substitute, that all that would be needed is for us to trust in Him.
That’s grace. We don’t do one thing. He did everything. He paid it all. All that is necessary for us is to accept that, to receive it, to make it our own.
There’s not one thing we can do to make ourselves savable. Not one thing we can do to save ourselves. Jesus paid it all.
Father, we pray you will challenge us. Strengthen us spiritually as we think about these things. In Christ’s name. Amen.”