Lesson 7 - I Peter 1:17-19

Lesson 7 - I Peter 1:17-19

Lesson for February 24, 2013

The Book of I Peter

I Peter 1:17-19

Verse 17

And if you address as Father is a reference to prayer.  We know this because of the Greek word used for address which is “epikaleo.”  “Kaleo” means to call and “epi” means upon.  So when you put the two words together it is the principle and the mechanics of prayer – calling upon God the Father. 

In the Church Age prayer belongs to the priesthood of the believer and therefore prayer is for believers only.  Prayer is the grace system of communication with God for the believer.  The purpose of prayer is to communicate with our Heavenly Father.  God communicates with us through His Word.  We communicate with God through prayer.  God, therefore, expects all believers to use prayer.  We are actually commanded to pray without ceasing, which means to have a consistent prayer life. There are correct principles and procedures for praying, and it is important that we learn and use these principles and procedures. (I Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; Hebrews 4:16)

The Principles and Procedures of Prayer

Prayer is for believers only.  In order for a person to address God as Father, they must first have a family relationship with Him.  This relationship is possible only by placing your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.  Once this relationship exists, a believer has every right to communicate with their Heavenly Father.  This, of course, is what God wants us to do. (Galatians 3:26; John 1:12)

All prayer is to be directed to the Father, in the name of the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are praying and making intercession for us, therefore, we direct our prayer to the Father. This is how Jesus taught His disciples to pray. (Matthew 6:9; John 14:13-14; Ephesians 6:18; Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:26-27)

Long prayers are to be done in private. Public prayer should be short and to the point.  The Pharisees were fond of lengthy prayers so that men would see and hear them being “holy”.  The Bible says that they already had their reward (being seen of men).  When we pray, it should be done in private to God. (Matthew 6:5-7)

There is an order for prayer.  The first item of our prayer should always be to name or admit our sins, if necessary, using the Rebound Technique.  This restores the control of the Holy Spirit and fellowship with God.  The believer is now in a position to be heard by God.  This should be another encouragement to keep “short accounts” (name your sins immediately) with God.  (I John 1:9; Psalm 66:18)

Secondly, we should give thanks for the spiritual and material blessings that God has graciously given to us.  This includes divine discipline and divine guidance.  We should then pray for others, intercessory prayer.  This means we must know the needs of others, which would necessitate an up-to-date prayer list.  Prayer for the unbeliever is primarily for their salvation.  Since God does not force a person to believe in Christ, our prayer should be that they will hear a clear Gospel message.  We could also pray that God would provide us the opportunity to present the Gospel.  (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28; Ephesians 6:18; James 5:15-16)

Finally, you should pray for your own needs, petition.  Remember that there are some things that you don’t have to pray about.  For example, we are commanded to be filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit.  We are controlled by the Holy Spirit when we have used the Rebound Technique of naming or admitting our sins to God, and we are executing the Christian Way of Life.  So we don’t have to pray, “Fill me with your Holy Spirit”, which would show our lack of knowledge of God’s Word and is an insult to God.  If there is not a direct solution to your need in the Scriptures, then take it to God in prayer. (Philippians 4:6)

A believer’s prayer is not heard because of lack of faith (Matthew 18:19; 21:22; Mark 11:24); selfishness (James 4:2-3); lack of compassion (Proverbs 21:13); lack of Peace in marriage (I Peter 3:7); arrogance (Job 35:12-13); asking against God’s will (I John 5:14); lack of obedience (I John 3:22); lack of the filling of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18); putting out a fleece- asking God to give you a sign as a confirmation that He wants you do a certain thing.  By reading the story of Gideon you will see that this is not the procedure that God has designed for the believer. (Judges 6)

There is tremendous power in prayer.  It is the privilege of every believer to have a part of another person’s life or ministry through prayer.  We all need the prayer of others.  Therefore, it is important that we all develop a consistent prayer life.  In James 5:16 it tells us that the effective, continuous prayer of a righteous person has great results.  It is impossible to pray effectively without knowledge of specific and essential needs. (Acts 12)

If you love God you want to pray.  Your capacity for prayer, your effectiveness in prayer is going to be measured in terms of Bible doctrine in your soul.  God the Father is the recipient of all prayer; you do not pray to the Holy Spirit and you do not pray to Jesus Christ.  Since the Bible reveals the principles of prayer, it is important that you pray according to these principles.  There is a reason for this. God the Father is the author of the plan. You go to the planner with any petitions and requests which you have with regard to His plan or the function of His plan. In addition to that Jesus Christ is the High Priest and it is Jesus Christ who opens the avenue of prayer for believers in this dispensation. This is why people pray in Jesus’ name. The Holy Spirit provides the power in prayer by interceding for believers.

The One Who impartially judges according to each man’s work means to judge or to evaluate without prejudice.  Jesus Christ will be our evaluator and we know that He is impartial.  Every believer will be evaluated on the same basis – what did you do with the spiritual life that God gave you?  On this basis, Peter is encouraging us to conduct ourselves “in fear” while on earth.  In fear means respect, and reverence.  This is not fear in the mental attitude sin sense.  We must always remember that God is the sovereign Ruler of this universe and He is not to be taken lightly.  Lack of respect and reverence for God will bring discipline to a believer when necessary just as a loving father would do when he is not respected.  Respect for God the Father means obeying His mandates.

Verse 18

Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things uses the Greek word “lutroo” for redeemedwhich means to be freed from a slave market on the payment of ransom. In the case of believers, it is Jesus Christ Who paid the redemption price for our sin and sets us free.  The principle of redemption is found in John 8:31-36. These Jews said that they were never in bondage to any man. In reality, at the time that they spoke, they were in bondage to their sin natures; they were in bondage to the Roman Empire; they were in bondage to the Sanhedrin; and they were in bondage to legalism. (Galatians 3:13; Psalm 34:22)

Redemption results in the biblical doctrine of adoption.  Adoption in Biblical times occurred when a boy was thirteen. He was adopted into his own family and accepted as a mature person. The point is: the moment you believe in Jesus Christ you enter into a relationship.  Adoption is an adult relationship. Redemption provides the basis for eternal inheritance and the basis for justification. (Galatians 4:4-6; Hebrews 9:15; Romans 3:24)

The Greek word for perishable things is “phthartos,” which means corruptible or subject to decay.  If you are going to have eternal freedom, the purchase price has to be something that cannot be lost or destroyed; something that is nonperishable.  Silver and gold represent any material possessions, which do not last (you can’t take them with you).  All material possessions eventually decay or are destroyed.  The only things that are of lasting value are from God because they last for all eternity.

From your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers is a reference to the traditions of their Jewish forefathers.  Jesus was confronted by the Jews with many of these traditions which had no basis in Biblical fact or doctrine.   What these Jewish believers had inherited from their forefathers was a form of religious legalism.  Keeping the Mosaic Law for salvation was a Jewish tradition not a Biblical doctrine.  The Lord Jesus Christ provided the opposite of legalism – grace.  The reason Peter called it a futile way of life is that keeping the Mosaic Law for salvation was all in vain. 

Verse 19

But with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ refers to the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross as the payment for our sin.  The word precious is the Greek word “timios” and means most valuable, most costly, greatest price or most expensive. Your salvation was the most expensive thing God ever paid for.  The payment was “the blood of Christ.”

The Doctrine of the Blood

Animal blood in the Old Testament was used to represent the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross. (Leviticus chapters 1-3)  The animal blood was literal but it represented something spiritual – the death of Christ bearing our sins. (Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 10:19; 13:20; 1 Peter 1:2)  Since the penalty for sin is spiritual death, the payment for sin had to be spiritual death (separation from God).

The doctrine of redemption was communicated by means of animal sacrifices in the Old Testament. (Hebrews 9:22)  Christ did not die physically on the Cross by bleeding.  But rather He dismissed His spirit to the Father after His work was finished. (Luke 23:46; Matthew 27:50)  Jesus died by an act of His own volition. (John 10:18; Mark 15:37; John 19:30) The blood of Jesus was still in His body after His death.  (John 19:33,34)

The blood of Christ is a representative analogy between the physical death of animals in the Old Testament and the spiritual death of Christ on the Cross. (1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21)  The blood of Christ portrays four different doctrines in the field of Soteriology [the doctrine of salvation]: 1) Redemption, Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19 2) Justification, Romans 5:9 3) Sanctification, Hebrews 13:12 4) Expiation, Revelation 1:5.  The blood of Christ is the basis of the Rebound Technique. (1 John 1:7-9.  And we have the same thing portrayed in Leviticus chapters 4 and 5 where we have the Rebound offering. 

As of a lamb unblemished and spotless relates Christ to the Old Testament animal sacrifices.  In the case of Jesus Christ He was born without a sin nature and was able to lead a sinless life.  Therefore, He went to the Cross a sinless human being having no sin of His own to pay for Hence, He was qualified to pay for our sin.

The Doctrine of Impeccability

Christ did not have a sin nature and did not commit any act of personal sin. But Jesus Christ was definitely tempted in the area of His humanity [His deity could not be tempted, of course]. As with Adam in a state of innocence and Christ in hypostatic union all temptations came from outside - in the sense that neither had a sin nature. That does not mean that there were no temptations but that the sin nature was not there.  Volition was there and as long as a person has volition they are going to be tempted. (Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 4:2-11; James 1:13) 

Christ resisted the greatest of all temptations in two areas 1) At the beginning of His ministry (Matthew 4 2) In Gethsemane at the end of His ministry as He was about to go to the Cross (Luke 22:42; Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:35,36).  The Gethsemane temptation was a great volitional test.  The first Adam failed his volitional test; the last Adam passed His volitional test.