It should be the essential goal of every Christian, to keep the two greatest commandments of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. When you boil down the tasks of the minister, everything fits into these commands as well. The shepherd must live reverently, loving and worshipping God in everything he does; and he must love the brethren. In today’s post, I’d like to help you with that by reminding you of the price Christ paid for you and your church.
In 1 Peter 1:18-21, which is sandwiched between the commands to live reverently (1:17b) and to love fervently (1:22), the apostle gives us a beautiful picture of the price Christ paid for redemption. Thus, we see that Christ’s death on our behalf serves as the basis of—and motivation for—a life of worshipping God and loving the brethren.
The Bride-Price Seen by Its Stark Contrast
We see the price Christ paid in stark contrast with the treasures of the world. Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your fathers (1:18). Here we see Christ’s bride-price in contrast to what the world has to offer. Notice that Peter does not contrast the price Christ paid with the worthless things of the world—like a few pennies, a heap of trash, beggarly rags. Instead, Peter contrasts our redemption price with the finest things of this world—silver and gold.
The reason the fine things of the world are a stark contrast to the price Christ paid for our redemption is because they are ineffective. All the gold and silver in this world could not save us from the futility of life, from the vanity of this fallen world that has been handed down for generation after generation from Adam to the present day. This is why Solomon—the wisest and possibly wealthiest man to ever live—when he saw all that life had to offer, called it vanity. You see, the reason that silver and gold, as costly as they may be, stand in contrast with the bride-price of Christ is because they’re incapable, fundamentally worthless of saving your soul.
All the gold and silver in this world could not save us from the futility of life, from the vanity of this fallen world that has been handed down for generation after generation from Adam to the present day.
The Bride-Price Seen by Its Surpassing Beauty
Peter goes on to show us the price Christ paid in its surpassing beauty. The price Christ paid for our redemption is superior because it is precious and effective. But with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ(1:19a). The price Christ paid for you was precious—His own precious blood.
Here, blood is used to reference the totality of Christ’s atoning work. By dying on the cross, being buried, and rising again—all according to the Scripture (1 Cor. 15:3-4)—Christ paid for our redemption. His sacrifice qualified in ways that silver and gold could not. Peter here even uses language that was used of qualified sacrificial lambs. Christ—the lamb of God—in spilling his precious blood, did what all of those lambs in the Old Testament times could only foreshadow. He was the precious and effective sacrifice, fit for our redemption.
The bride-price of Christ was also superior in that it was according to God’s plan. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the World, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you, who through Him are believers in God(1:19b-21a). Here Peter shows us the surpassing beauty of the price Christ paid for our redemption in showing us that Christ’s death—its manner and its timing—occurred in accordance with the sovereign plan of God. Christ was not defeated on the cross, He was victorious. He did exactly what he and the Father had planned in eternity past. And he revealed it at just the perfect time. Not only that, but he brings salvation to the individual sinner in His perfect timing, according to His perfect plan.
Not only is Christ’s bride-price superior because it was according to God’s plan; it’s also superior because it was accomplished by God’s power. Who raised Him from the dead (1:21b). It was God who raised Christ from the dead—something only He could do. The resurrection sets Christianity apart from every other religion. It sets Christ apart from every other supposed savior. Money cannot save you, because it cannot raise you from the dead. Buddha cannot save you, because he cannot raise from the dead. Mohammed cannot save, because he did not raise from the dead. Christ—and Christ alone—can save, because God, in his omnipotence, raised Him from the dead. This highlights another reason for the surpassing beauty of the price Christ paid for our redemption.
As fallen men, if we could save ourselves, we would take all the glory. However, because we can’t. Because salvation is according to God’s plan and accomplished by His power, He gets all the glory.
Christ’s bride-price is superior because it brings glory to God. And gave Him glory (1:21c). You see, the price that Christ paid to redeem your soul is superior because it brings glory to God. As fallen men, if we could save ourselves, we would take all the glory. However, because we can’t. Because salvation is according to God’s plan and accomplished by His power, He gets all the glory. His salvation plan is perfect, beautiful, glorious.
The Bride-Price Seen by Its Sanctifying Purpose
Peter finishes his description of the price Christ paid for redemption by highlighting its sanctifying purpose. So that your faith and hope are in God(1:21c). Here we see the purpose for which Christ died, so that believers might have faith and hope in God. Faith speaks to that salvific gift from God, whereby the believer puts his trust in Christ as Lord and Savior. Hope speaks to that blessed assurance of eternal life, of the promised inheritance all believers have (1 Pet.1:4). This is what we have been redeemed for. We no longer live in the futility of life inherited from Adam. We now live with faith and hope, fixed and secured because of the amazing grace of Christ. What silver and gold could not do, the blood of Christ has done. Rejoice, o Christian, the price has been paid. Halleluiah!
Dear shepherd, as you seek to live reverently—to worship God in all that you say and do—and as you seek to fervently love the brethren, let the price that Christ paid for your redemption, and for the redemption of all those in His church, fill our heart and your mind. Knowing that Christ has paid this price for you, live reverently and love fervently!