The Book of I PETER
James J. Barker
- I am going to
speak tonight on the wonderful subject of redemption (1:18,
means "to deliver or set free by paying a price." We are told in I Peter 1:18 and 19
that the price for our redemption was not silver and gold, but by the precious
blood of Christ.
- There is a
interesting story recorded in Acts 8.
There was a certain sorcerer called Simon, who lived in the city of
- Acts 8:9 says
he "bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great
- Acts 8:18 and
19 says that when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the
Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, "Give me also this power,
that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy
- Our English
word "simony," meaning, "the buying or selling of ecclesiastical pardons" comes
from this story of Simon the sorcerer (Simon Magus).
- Peter rebuked
Simon and said, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the
gift of God may be purchased with money" (Acts 8:20).
- Perhaps Peter
was thinking of Simon when he wrote these words in his first epistle --
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as
silver and gold" (1:18).
- To this day,
many people think they can buy their way into heaven.
- But silver and gold cannot redeem us from the bondage of
sin. Peter told Simon Magus, "Thou
hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the
sight of God" (8:21).
- I remember one night having to ask a troublemaker to
leave our church. He complained and
bragged about all the money he had contributed. Bro. Randy happened to be here during
this fracas, and he said, "He gives hardly anything!"
THE COST OF OUR REDEMPTION (1:18,
- The price of
our redemption was the precious blood of the Lord Jesus
- "In whom we
have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to
the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7).
- The law
condemned us, but Christ died on the cross to redeem us from the curse of the
law. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for
us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Gal.
- Many people
mistakenly believe they can be saved by obeying certain rules and regulations,
but if that were possible why did Christ die?
- The apostle
Paul said in Galatians 2:21, "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if
righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in
- "Knowing that a
man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ"
- The Lord Jesus
Christ came into this wicked world to redeem us. He said in Mark 10:45, "For even the Son
of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life
a ransom for many."
- "Ransom" means
a price was paid to deliver us from bondage. That price was the precious blood of
Christ (I Peter 1:19).
Corinthians 6:20 says, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify
God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
- That price was the precious blood of Christ (I Peter
- Our Lord's blood is "precious" (1:19). A certain preacher preached a
message one day on the precious blood of Christ, and after the service, some old
reprobate challenged him and said, "I do not believe that. There wasn't enough blood in Christ's
veins to save one man, never mind the whole world!"
- The preacher replied, "It is not the quantity, but the
quality that counts."
- The Roman Catholic church teaches that their priests
have the power to redeem souls from their make-believe "purgatory," which they
claim is an intermediate place between heaven and hell.
- Today many Roman Catholics admit they do not believe in
purgatory. They say they believe
they will go straight to heaven when they die. (Though they give no evidence of being
- They consider purgatory as some relic from the Dark
Ages, which they would prefer to forget. Some Roman Catholics even believe that
purgatory is no longer an official teaching of the Roman Catholic church. But it still
- Despite popular opinion, purgatory is still an official
doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and an essential part of the Roman
Catholic plan of salvation.
- The Roman Catholic church affirmed the existence of
purgatory at each of the last three ecumenical councils: The Council of Trent
(convened to attack the Protestant Reformation), and the Vatican I (1869-1870)
and Vatican II (1962-1965) Councils.
- The Vatican II Council described purgatory as a place
where the souls of the dead make expiation "in the next life through fire and
torments or purifying punishments."
- According to Vatican II, "in purgatory the souls of
those ‘who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but who had not made
satisfaction with adequate penance for their sins and omissions’ are cleansed
after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt."
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes
purgatory as place of "cleansing fire."
- Belief in the existence of purgatory is also expressed
at every Roman Catholic Mass.
During the "Liturgy of the Eucharist," prayers are offered for the dead.
Usually the Mass itself is also offered for someone suffering in purgatory. The
person’s name is announced or published in the Sunday bulletin. Each year, in
fact, on the anniversary of the death of the last pope, the present pope offers
Mass for the souls of his two predecessors who are, presumably, still suffering
- All of this contradicts Scripture. First John 1:7 says, "the blood of Jesus
Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
- There is absolutely no Biblical basis for purgatory.
According to the Catholic church, every time a Roman Catholic sins, temporal
punishment is credited to his account.
- Acts of penance (confessing sins to a priest),
suffering, and indulgences are ways he can debit this account.
- Since sinners may not make full satisfaction for all
their sins in this life, thereby leaving this world with unpaid for sins in
their account, the Roman church teaches that purgatory is necessary to balance
- The Roman Catholic church says purgatory motivates Roman
Catholics to live righteously. However, this is certainly not what the Bible
- The Biblical way is to trust Christ, who not only saves
us from the penalty of sin (hell, not purgatory), but also from the power
- Our souls cannot be purified in a non-existent
purgatory. First Peter 1:22 says,
"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the
- The Holy Spirit regenerates us and sanctifies us and
- It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to obey the truth (I
THE CHARACTER OF OUR REDEEMER
- "Who verily was
foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1:20a). "Foreordained" (1:20) means
planned before the creation of the world.
- This means
before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, Christ had already been chosen
as their Redeemer and ours.
- That is why
Christ is referred to in Revelation 13:8 as "the Lamb slain from the foundation
of the world."
- When our Lord
was praying to God the Father in John 17, He said this in verse 24, "For thou
lovedst me before the foundation of the
- That is why
Peter said to the Jews in Acts 2:23, "Him, being delivered by the determinate
counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have
crucified and slain."
Scriptures affirm the preexistence of Christ. That is why our Lord said to the Jews in
John 8:58, "Before Abraham was, I am."
- His listeners
understood what He meant, for the next verse says, "Then took they up stones to
cast at him" (John 8:59).
- "But was
manifest in these last times for you" (I Peter 1:20b). The word "manifest" means "revealed" or
"to make visible what has been hidden or unknown."
- "God was manifest in the flesh" (I Tim.
- Our Lord said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the
Father" (John 14:9).
- John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God."
- Then John 1:14 says, "And the Word was made flesh, and
dwelt among us."
- First Peter 1:20 says Christ was manifest in these last
times (church age) for us.
- Notice the contrast: "before the foundation of the
world" and "in these last times" (1:20).
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE REDEEMED
- Last week I
said God's people are to be sober (1:13), and obedient (1:14), and holy (1:15,
- We are to pass
the time of our sojourning "in fear" (1:17), that is, in the fear of
- This is only
possible "by Him" (1:21).
- By Him we
believe in God (1:21).
- By Him we live
- By Him we obey
- By Him we walk
- How do we know
God? Through Christ our Redeemer
- Jesus said, "I
am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by
- Christ's redemptive work on the cross has once and for
all opened up man's approach to God.
- First Peter 3:18 says, "For Christ also hath once
suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to
- We have been reconciled to God by the blood of the
- Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
- John Wesley said, "Without Christ we should only dread
God; whereas through Him we believe, and hope, and love" (cited by D. Edmond
- God's redeemed children have been regenerated and
purified and sanctified by the Holy Spirit (1:22, 23; cf.
- We are born again by the Word of God (1:23). The Spirit of God uses the Word of God
to transform a sinner into a child of God.
- There are three incorruptible things mentioned in this
"the precious blood of
Christ" (1:19; cf. 1:18).
"the word of God"
- In I Peter 1:24 and 25 Peter quotes Isaiah
- Isn't it wonderful to know that "the word of our God
shall stand for ever" (Isa. 40:8).
- We have barely scratched the surface of this glorious
subject -- redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (1:18,
- The songwriter said: "And I know, yes, I know
Jesus’ blood can make the
vilest sinner clean."
- In 1833 Charles Darwin went to the South Sea Islands
looking for the so-called "missing link." As he studied the cannibals who lived
there, he concluded that no creatures anywhere were more primitive, and he was
convinced that nothing on earth could possibly lift them to a higher
- He thought he had indeed found a lower stratum of
humanity that would fit his theory of evolution.
- Thirty-four years later he returned to the same islands.
To his amazement he discovered churches, schools, and homes occupied by some of
those former cannibals. In fact, many of them wore clothes and frequently
gathered to sing hymns.
- The reason was soon learned: Missionary John G. Paton
had been there proclaiming the Gospel!
- Darwin was so moved by their transformation that he made
a generous contribution to the London Missionary
- Darwin never did find his "missing link."