1 Peter 1:16-20


1 Pet 1:16 (KJB)
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
This is a quote from Leviticus 11:44. The essence of the Christian life is holiness. Holiness means to be separated from the world system. We are to deny the evil parts of the world system which we so gladly partook of when we were unsaved. (1 John 2:15 KJV) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15 sums it up perfectly. If we are to be holy unto God then we are to be estranged from the world. This does not mean we cannot enjoy the beach or the mountains but it means we are to stay away from the evil systems of the world such as cheating, playing the lottery, illicit sex, drinking, etc. These things show an affinity to the world and you cannot serve two masters. Holiness is separation from the world.
1 Pet 1:17 (KJB)
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Respect - Impartial
Sojourning - Foreign or temporary residence
Pass - Stay, live, conduct one’s life
This verse builds on the preceding verse. We are to be holy because if we are to call upon the Lord, then we must be holy. (Psa 66:18 KJV) If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: God does not hear the prayer of the unbeliever and if I am hiding sin or any type of iniquity in my heart then the Lord will choose not to hear my prayer. This is because when believers sin they quench the Holy Spirit and when we do that it grieves the heart of God. The Holy Spirit is the one who brings our petitions before the Lord and that is why we must be holy. As the old timers would say we are to keep a short account of sin, in other words, when we sin then we are to confess and forsake that sin. Not that we do not already have forgiveness, we do because of Calvary, but it is for our benefit to keep us on the straight and narrow. God is no respecter of persons, He treats every believer the same and that is why we are to conduct our lives in fear. There are two types of fear we must embrace:
1) Fear of the world - In other words that I will not get entangled again with the ways of the world. This fear does not have anything to with the boldness we are to maintain in bringing the Gospel into the world. With evangelism we must be fearless and always on the offensive. If we get caught up in the ways of the world it will weaken us as Christians and cause us to lose our testimony. How can one preach about having trust in God when they play the lottery?
2) The second type of fear we embrace is the fear of God - We do not see our heavenly Father as a despot but we see Him as awesome, impressive and frightening at the same time. Since our minds have been illumined with the light of Scripture, we have a better understanding of who God is. The unbeliever does not know who God is and that is why they so freely use His name as a swear word.
1 Pet 1:18 (KJB)
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
Redeemed - Set free or ransomed
Corruptible things - Perishable
Vain - useless, idle, empty or worthless
Conversation - Manner of life
Received by tradition from your fathers; - Handed down from the fathers
As Peter continues his dialogue to the believers, he further gives them more motivation to live a holy life. He tells us that we were not redeemed with anything which could perish. The early Christians would have understood this statement very well since many of them saw slave markets where conquered people would be placed up for sale and they would be purchased with money that could perish. The similarity ends there as the true believer has been redeemed or set free from the marketplace of sin, not by money or works, but by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ which causes a person to become born again forever, never losing that redemption in Christ. Money will fade and will burn on the last day with everything else but the blood of Christ brings eternal refuge.
Then God goes on to say, without pulling any punches, the life of unbelief is a useless or empty life. We all know people today who are unbelievers and we look at them and see how they are trying to gain their piece of this transient dream called earth. Then Peter goes on to tell his readers that this life of emptiness has been handed down from the tradition of their fathers. This would have been a hard saying to hear since many of the readers were Jews and brought up in the Synagogue. They would have been hard pressed to hear that their life in the Synagogue was an empty life.
1 Pet 1:19 (KJB)
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Precious - Costly or esteemed
Without Blemish - Without imperfection or flaw
Without Spot - Without stain or speck
We were not redeemed with corruptible things like money but with the Blood of Christ on Calvary. This verse calls the blood of Christ precious or esteemed. It is as if in the old days of the Temple when animal sacrifices were still being done, it would be like a lamb was brought as a sacrifice that did not have one speck or imperfection on it. The blood of Christ is the same way as it had no scarring of the world on it. It was pure from any effects of sin as it was separate from all other blood in the world, it was totally pure and uncorrupted. This was one effect from the virgin birth. No one in the world could ever redeem man but only God incarnate could achieve such a marvelous feat.
1 Pet 1:20 (KJB)
Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
Was Foreordained - Having been foreknown
Manifest - Revealed or disclosed
Last - Final, farthest, extreme
Times - Season
(Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 13:8 reveals to us that Christ was foreknown before the foundation of the world and what was really foreknown was the fact that He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Before the foundation of the world He was slain in principle but in the last days He has been revealed to us. The word “manifest” in this verse is in the Aorist tense which means that Christ was revealed at some time in the past but that revelation continues today. The Aorist tense denotes some type of past action without a set completion time. So the last days commenced from the cross, in fact, Peter calls it the final or extreme end of days. Yet, we are told with the word times that there will be plural or many revelations of Jesus Christ. This does not mean in a dream or vision, it means when Jesus is preached and someone becomes saved, Jesus is revealed in their life. The veil has been removed and they now see Jesus clearly. (2 Cor 3:16 KJV) Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. This means there has been many millions of revelations of Jesus since the time of the cross.