October 19, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Redeemed … with the precious blood of Christ …
a lamb without blemish and without spot …
foreordained before the foundation of the world … for you.
1 Peter 1:18-21
Redemption is one of the great words of the New Testament. Its results will not only embrace His Church, but Israel, and eventually the creation and cosmos itself. It has touched everything that was marred by sin. The Word of God tells us that we were –
We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. Both Paul and Peter attest to this foundation truth. The work of redemption rests upon the price paid – His precious blood. The perfection of the victim – He was without blemish and without spot. The plan’s origin – In the heart of God, foreordained before the foundation of the world. The proof – His resurrection. The empty tomb and the enthroned Christ (1 Pet 1:21) assure all of the perfection of the work of redemption.
The evil of our sin: Titus 2 reminds us that we were redeemed from “all iniquity” and purified to become a people or His own possession and pleasure. The great transaction has led to a great transformation. The transfer of ownership has brought about far better “working conditions” and “benefits” for us.
The emptiness of life: “Redeemed … from your vain conversation.” Life was marked by frivolity, frustration, and froth. Redemption has come and all the emptiness of life has become a thing of the past. We now have something to live for; someone to love; something to look forward to; and always something to learn as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The error of religion: “Redeemed them that were under the law … ” (Gal 4:5) and “redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal 3:13). All the bondage of religion has been swept away. While the verses in Galatians would have special reference to Jewish believers and the law, they nevertheless have application to us. The redemption affected by Christ at Calvary has brought us out from under every bondage.
Peter in his first two chapters in his first epistle relates multiple “new” things that are now ours as a result of redemption. To note just a few – We have been
A New family: “If ye call on the Father …” (1:17), “unfeigned love of the brethren (1:22), and “as obedient children” (1:14).
A New Food: “Desire the sincere milk of the Word.” The empty life from which we have been redeemed did not provide anything of lasting sustenance or satisfaction. We have a new source of spiritual strength and vigor. Feeding upon the Word of God will enable us to live as those who have been redeemed.
A New Future: “Your faith and hope might be in God” (1:21). An entirely new vista of prospects is now before us. An enthroned Christ tells us that if He, the firstfruit, has entered, we shall also have heaven as our home.
1. Find additional “new” features of the redemption God has provided.
2. “A lamb without blemish and without spot.” Aside from the red heifer in Numbers 19, no other sacrifice in the O. T. is spoken of as being without both spot and without blemish. Normally is it only one or the other. It is reserved for the One Who is the great antitype.
3. In what sense is redemption not a finished work?
4. In the O. T. the redeemer was responsible for the land, lineage, and life of his kinsman. Can you link these with the work of Christ?