1Pe 1:17-21 “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: 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 blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”
Men can sometimes get away with taking credit for someone else’s work in this world. Some men find this easy to do because of the reputation they have built or the position they hold. If we call on God, then we need to realize that this is not going to happen with Him. God is completely impartial in His judgment of men. Our status in society has no bearing on how He sees us. God truly judges every man’s deeds, and so Peter tells us to pass the time of our foreign residency in fear (reverence) of Him. According to the scripture, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).
Since we have all sinned, our deeds that we perform from our own designs are tainted. They can never be acceptable to God. Only through the sacrifice of Jesus can we be made accepted in the beloved of God. Jesus is the only man who has ever lived, or will ever live, that did not commit sin. He is the only man who was not conceived in sin. Since He was not conceived in sin and never committed any sin, He is pure and His work is just and holy. Even in judging Christ, the Father was not a respecter of persons. No favoritism was shown to Jesus just because He was God’s only begotten Son. It was the fact that Jesus’s deeds were wrought in God, and pure, that the Father judged. In the purity of the work of Jesus, we find our salvation!
We were ransomed from our profitless behavior (vain conversation) by the blood of Jesus Christ. If we truly call on the Father, then we know that our redemption is not by our righteousness, but in the imputed righteousness of our Lord and Savior. The scripture plainly tells us that we are out of the loop when it comes to having a relationship with God. Jesus declared that no man could come unto Him unless the Father draws them (Jn 6:44). He also said that no man could come unto the Father unless it was through Him (Jn 14:6). Contrary to what many would have you believe, Jesus plainly says that He is the only way.
Jesus came into this world (foreordained before the foundation of the world) knowing that He was (and still is) the only way for us to be accepted by His Father. His love for us is so great that He willingly placed Himself in the position of learning obedience (Heb 5:8), even obedience to death on the cross (Php 2:8). The continued appearance (manifestation) of Jesus in the lives of men is for our sake. Everything that He has done, is doing, and will do is for us, according to the riches of the Father’s grace given us through His son Jesus.
It is only through the manifestation of Jesus in our lives that we believe in God. Believing is not something we simply decide to do on our own. As He manifests Himself in us, our empty way of life is changed. We call more diligently on the Father, and lean on Him for our strength and understanding. We praise Him for the work of Jesus and confess that our works are not sufficient to redeem us. We rejoice in the precious blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, because by His mighty works, we have faith (reliance) and hope (expectation) in God!
May we gladly surrender the empty behavior of mankind (received by tradition), and rejoice in the redemptive work of Jesus!