Peter calls to the believers to conduct themselves as models of God’s change in their lives. “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (verse 16).
Before I get into our study I have to tell you that today’s title reminded me of the old Batman TV show. I can hear Robbin saying, “Holy conductors Batman!” Ok. Now that that is out of my system, let’s get on to what God has to share with us today.
Peter is sharing God’s heart with his readers. God wants us to bear fruit of righteousness; to be holy because we are now HIS children. How many parents want their children to “follow in their footsteps”? I know we don’t want carbon copies of ourselves, but a child who takes on your good traits of his parents makes them proud. One who takes on the bad traits is like holding up a mirror for use to see our own faults.
God doesn’t want carbon copies either. That is a GOOD thing too because we would never make it! We are going to stumble and fall and probably even keep a few “bad traits” by the time we leave this earth. Hopefully we let go of more than we kept.
Faith in Jesus saved us and His blood washes us clean but God still weighs our conduct. “If you call on Him as Father, who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourself with fear throughout the time of your exile” (verse 17). My “deeds” won’t send me to Hell if my “new birth” was real, but they matter to God. And BECAUSE He matters to me, I want my deeds to please Him. This child WANTS to emulate her Father!
Something else that struck me while reading this last verse even is where Peter talks about our “exile.” At first reading it sounds like he is only talking to the Jews who became believers and dispersed because of persecution. But the Gentile believers became “exiles” too. That includes us today. When you ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, you become born again. Your new homeland is Heaven. And in case you missed it, we are not living there. We are in “exile.” We are not home, yet.
That “yet” is the promise we hold onto. We were captives to sin and to Satan, who was our spiritual father while we were spiritually dead. It wasn’t supposed to be this way! So God paid our ransom with the blood of Jesus.
When I think of the word ransom it brings images of kidnappings to mind. In those instances the kidnapped person hasn’t done anything to deserve their treatment. The ransom is more of a punishment for the person paying the ransom instead. The person pays because the person being held is of great value to them, more so than the cost being demanded. I didn’t see us as being “kidnapped” from God because we were “born into sin” and therefore belonged to Satan. So I looked up the word “ransom” and found this definition:
- the redemption of a prisoner, slave, or kidnapped person, of captured goods, etc.,for a price.
- the sum or price paid or demanded.
- a means of deliverance or rescue from punishment for sin, especially the payment of a redemptive fine.
As you can see by the first definition, the person being ransomed doesn’t necessarily have to originally “belong” to the person paying the ransom. The ransom can be paid for a prisoner or a slave. We were certainly “prisoners” of Satan before Jesus paid our ransom. As far as being an innocent victim, a prisoner doesn’t fit that definition. And nowhere in the definition does it say that the ransomed person has to be worthy of the price paid. So this fits us very nicely.
When looking at the idea of ransom a little more, I realized that we could be considered “kidnapped”, taken from our Father. God made mankind as HIS children. Satan stole them through trickery. God valued us SO much that He was willing to pay the ultimate price to get us back; the life of His own Son!
Because God paid such a high price for my life, I want to thank Him with every fiber of my being. That thanks comes in the form of learning to live like Him. I will NEVER be able to compensate Him for what He gave on my behalf, but I can at least “try.”
THANK YOU FATHER for ransoming me! I was a prisoner and slave without ANY hope of rescue. I had a sentence of “life without the possibility of parole.” Actually, I was serving a “death” sentence. But Your love for me knew NO bounds! I honestly don’t know why. I don’t consider what You gave a fair trade. Maybe You just got me by “buying in bulk.” I know that’s not really true, but it is what I feel that is more my worth. Forgive me for undervaluing what You paid for. Help me see me as You do.
As for living a holy life, I plan to continue working on it for the rest of my earthly life. I’ll be SO glad when I don’t face that struggle anymore because You will have completed Your work in me when You bring me the rest of the way home. I KNOW I’m going to fail MANY times. Thank You in advance for Your forgiveness. Thank You Jesus for knowing that I would need continued forgiveness along this journey and for providing it for me ahead of time.
Daddy, when I grow up I want to be just like You!