Last Update September 6, 1998
Chapter 1: 18,
1:18-19: ;"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, but with the precious blood of
Christ as of a lamb without spot.."
This text first considers the matter of cost. This text comes from the
first Epistle of Peter written to the church reminding them that they were
not their own but that they had been paid for by the Lord and Savior Jesus
The idea of redemption was first introduced in the 25th
Chapter of Leviticus in which God related special rules by which people
could redeem that which was lost. Under the Mosaic law, if a man had lost
his property he could pay a price and redeem it. If a poor man who had
no income lost that which was his, his family was allowed to pay a price
and redeem it. If a man had been sold into slavery, his relatives or another
could come in and pay a price and redeem. The payment for redemption was
usually in gold or silver. Cash money was required.
In the case of a slave, if he was redeemed and the price
was paid, that slave became the property of his new master. They obeyed
his commands, moved at his direction and were obligated through loyalty
to their new master.
Peter in this Epistle projected to the church that we
who were lost to the privilege of heaven.. We who had lost the claim to
the celestial heights... We, whose transgressions of the law had closed
forever behind us the opportunity to enter into gold paved streets of paradise
... We who because of our own fleshly weakness have lost our claim to eternal
life ...We who because of our sometimes unwitting allegiance to Satanic
powers have given way to evil in our lives ...we who were lost have been
redeemed! And we were redeemed with a price.
Now there was a cost for this redemption.
Peter notes in the passage that unlike the redemption
of property and slaves in old testament times, the cost for the redemption
of our souls could not be paid in silver and in Gold. The cost had to be
paid by the shedding of blood.
That requirement is not unusual when we consider that
the law required that the remission of sin could only come with the shedding
of blood. There were blood of varied kinds. Certain sins required the death
of certain kinds of animals, goats for one sin and doves for another, etc.
Therefore, if someone was attempting redeem those who were lost to sin
he would have to redeem in accordance to the requirements of the law. He
would have to redeem it with the shedding of blood.
Chapter 2: 9,10
2:9-10 "But ye are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show
forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous
light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of
God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
This text considers Peter as he explains what believers are to God.
In previous verses of the same Chapter Peter had painstaking laid out
a blueprint of how Christians are to grow from being babes in the faith
to mature adults as they grow in the word (v2). He presented pictures of
what Christ is to believers and what Christ is to practicing sinners. To
those who believe Christ is like the corner stone of a building and each
person a living stone of the same building. To those who live lives of
sin Christ is like a stumbling stone which prompts which identifies their
disobedience and obstinence.
After speaking of those who reject the teachings of Christ and the Kingdom
of God in verse 8, Peter begins verse 9 with "but", a conjunction, that
connects the two ideas together. While there are those who reject Christ
and the Christian lifestyle, ye tells believers that they are a special
chosen generation that has been called from among the legions of non-believers
to bear witness to his marvelous works.
Peter identified the believers as a Royal Priesthood, indicating that
they were elevated high among their peers, with each person serving as
a priest, preacher, minister or evangelist of one to spread the word about
the most high God. He also told them that they were a holy nation, a people
who although they existed in the world had a holy look and character about
themselves. Thirdly, he suggested that they were a peculiar people, noting
that their ways were sometimes viewed as strange to those who walk in darkness.
The mission of this chosen generation, according to Peter was to emphasize
to live in such a way that our very lives give praise to God. Our lives
witness to the fact that he has brought us out of the darkness into the
marvelous light of his word.
Thus, this new chosen generation is compelled to carry itself as a holy
and different kind of people in the world. It is challenged to be in the
world but not of it. To be fully and totally committed to making their
lives a living example of the wonder working power of God.
1 Peter 2:9 is one of several New Testament texts which gives reasons
why the New Testament Christian should give praise to God, in addition
to the general reasons given in the old covenant.
Peter details that New Testament believers have even more reason to
praise God. Today, the modern believer is a blessed generation, special
and important to God. The reason for the celebration in the life of the
Old Testament saints rested in the national blessings. The reason the Saint
celebrates is because of what God has done both for the collective and
each individual personally. He gave each the individual opportunity to
take part in the kingdom of God as a community of priests, able to step
out of the darkness of the past with all of its ritualistic prohibitions
into the marvelous light of the present.
The redeemed of the New Testament should "Say So" because they have
been brought out of the darkness into the marvelous light.
Peter challenged believers to be living stones, or living testimonies
to the goodness of God. That means that the very lives of the Saints would
testify to the goodness of God in both theirwords and deeds.
5:6-10 "Humble yourselves therefore under the
mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your
care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he
may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions
are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of
all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after
that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen,
This text focuses on Peter who advised the Christians
to be careful not to fall prey to the attacks of Satan.
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Christians were especially susceptible to criticism,
humiliation and persecution in the early days of the church, especially
in Rome. In the month of July in the year 64 A.D., a great fire broke out
in the city of Rome and the entire city was engulfed in flames. Hundreds
of public buildings were burned to the ground and thousands of homes
were destroyed, so that there were thousands of the inhabitants of the
city left homeless.
History has concluded that Nero set that fire
in order that he might destroy the ramshackle buildings of Rome and give
him room to erect some marble palaces and other monuments that he thought
would establish his name in history. It was during this time, of course,
that the story was born that Nero "fiddled" while Rome burned. The Emperor
was seen looking over the city and enjoying the view while it was burning.
The people were ready to revolt and overthrow him.
Nero quickly looked around for a scapegoat that he could blame for the
fire. There was in Rome a group of people who were just in the right situation
to lend themselves to take the blame for the fire. They were called Christians.
They followed a man named Christ, about whom strange things were said,
and they themselves did very strange things. Rumors were flying all around
Rome that they were cannibals, because they talked about getting together
in their houses, drinking someone's blood and eating his body. They spoke
about "love feasts," -- at which they greeted one another with a holy kiss,
and shared their innermost problems with each other. This soon became enlarged
into stories of sexual orgies. So they were a people already under deep
suspicion. When the Emperor needed a scapegoat, therefore, he started the
rumor around Rome that the Christians had burned down the city.
The Emperor began a series of persecutions against the Christians.
It was during this time that Christians were dipped in tar and burned as
torches to light the gardens of Nero when he threw an outdoor party. They
were tied to his chariot and dragged through the streets of Rome until
they were dead. They were thrown to the lions; they were tied up in leather
bags and thrown into water so that when the leather bags shrank, the Christians
were squeezed to death. In a hundred other delicate ways, Nero sought to
impress upon them the folly of being Christians.
Now it was during this time of the outbreak of the persecution
of Christians in Rome that the Apostle Peter wrote this letter. And he
wrote it, most scholars believe, in Rome to "the exiles," he says, or "the
strangers in dispersion:"
It was a warning to Christians to be cautious and always on
guard against the attempts of Satan to destroy the body of Christ. The
acts of evil in scripture have been compared to "snakes","dragons" and
that of a "lion" all of which are destructive and require a maximum of
care and caution. They were encouraged to keep the faith, while at the
same time resisting attempts of the devil. God, they were assured, is able
to deliver them.