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Redeemed from Empty Way of Life

1 Peter 1:18–19 (ESV) … “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

Redeemed is the dominant word used to describe our salvation hope. The word means “to release by paying a price or a ransom.” For the Jews, the picture of redemption would be God’s deliverance from Egypt. For the Gentiles, it would be the picture of a slave whose freedom was purchased. The message for both audiences is the same: before we can enter a relationship of faith with Jesus Christ, we must realize that we are slaves who need to be set free from our empty way of life.

An empty way of life is a life that has no real direction or purpose and leads to no good results (cf. Eph. 4:17). It is essentially a life of entrapment. Peter’s readers were trapped in the lifestyle inherited from their pagan ancestors. We are too often trapped in the pagan materialism inherited from our culture. It is a life that has no escape from the futile and sinful behavior that will end in condemnation from the Eternal Judge. The only escape comes through the death of Jesus Christ, who is described in verse 19 as the perfect sacrifice. Christ’s death was the ransom paid for our spiritual deliverance. The ransom was not paid with first-century currency, such as gold or silver. These commodities have no eternal value. Redemption was paid with the blood of Christ, upon which no value can be placed.[1]

[1] Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, pp. 13–14). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.


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