Redemption in Christ- 1 Peter 1:18-19

To redeem something means to pay the ransom required to secure its freedom from bondage or captivity. A further aspect of the freedom secured for us by Christ (in addition to our freedom from sin’s persuasiveness) is our freedom from sin’s penalty. We read, in Romans 6:23, that “the wages (penalty) of sin is death”, that the penalty for our sin is eternal separation from God (what is primarily meant by death here), but we find in Mark 10:45 that Jesus came to “give His life as a ransom for many”. The Greek word ransom here is lutron, which describes the ransom paid to secure our freedom. Jesus Himself paid the price to secure our freedom from the penalty of sin, from the eternal separation from God which our sin deserves. This payment freed us forever from the penalty of sin, never to be separated from God, but eternally united to Him due to the work of Christ. The final aspect of redemption we will examine is perhaps the most important in our day to day living, it is that Christ paid the price to secure our freedom from the power of sin. We will turn to 1 Peter 1:18-19 for a further understanding of this reality. Peter begins verse 18 by telling us that we “know” something. The Greek know here is the perfect active participle of oida- which refers to an understanding, to know “intellectually”, with the perfect tense signifying this is something we know once for all. What Peter wants here is for us to take what we know intellectually and “know” it more and more experientially, that what we know in our heads would be lived out in our lives. And what do we “know” here? That we have been “redeemed” (set free) from our “empty way of life”. The Greek word “empty” here is mataios, and the word “way of life” here is anastrophe. The term mataios is used here by Peter (a Hebrew) in its Hebrew sense of “erroneous in principle”, as something that is grounded upon the wrong principles, as a life lived racing down a road which goes nowhere (hence the NIV translation “empty”). The term anastrophe here literally means “mode of conduct”, it refers to our “lifestyle”, how we conduct ourselves. And how did we used to conduct ourselves? In bondage to our “evil desires” (verse 14), as captives to the power of sin, which used our evil desires to cause us to live lives described by mataios, grounded upon the wrong principles. In verse 19, we are told what has redeemed us, it is “the precious blood of Christ” which has secured our freedom from our bondage to the power of sin, from our empty way of life. We “know” now that we have this freedom from the power of sin, but how do we make this understanding a reality, how do we live it out in our lives, how does it become our new “anastrophe”? We find the answer in 1 Peter 2:2, in which we are told: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation”. We make this freedom a reality by saturating our minds with the milk of the word of God, by ridding our minds of the wrong principles we received from our “forefathers” (verse 18) and replacing them with the principles of Scripture, by moment by moment and day by day grounding our lives upon the principles of Scripture and not the “empty” principles we received from the world. The price has been paid to secure our freedom from sin through what Christ did upon the cross, and it is now our responsibility to saturate our minds with the truth of Scripture. This is how we go about living out the redemption from the power of sin we have been given in Christ, this is how we live out the freedom from the “empty way of life” we used to live, and live in the fullness of the redemption we have in Christ, a life lived on a road that goes somewhere.

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Pure Spiritual Milk

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