Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
1 Peter 1:17-21
These few verses have really been “messed with” over the years. I used to read terror into them, as though they were a serious threat of hellfire, but these days, I’ve changed my view. Let’s bear in mind what Peter has been telling us up to this point. Recall that he has been talking about our great salvation, pointing out that it has already come. Then he mentioned our inheritance as co-heirs with Christ and reminded us that we have so much to look forward to that, in faith, we set this crazy world and its ways aside for Him. Now, he is continuing in that vein.
He reminds us that our salvation is great, by pointing out that is wasn’t bought with mere perishable things, but with the very lifeblood of the Son of God; what amazing, incredible, awesome powerful love− WOW!! Jesus, the Son of God, God incarnate, was chosen from the beginning to redeem us all. He was without sin, totally undeserving of His fate, and yet He willingly allowed Himself to be led to slaughter for you and I: Amazing Love! He took our sin away…
So then, why would we want to go back to the old ways? With this great salvation that came from indescribable love, why ignore it for a moment’s amusement? It makes no sense.
Are we missing anything if we decide to knock off the things we really don’t need to be wasting our time with?
NO! We are gaining everything!
The long and short of it is simply this: We modify our behavior not because we fear punishment, but because God loved us and in return we love Him. Remember that next time you are tempted, and see if the temptations don’t fade significantly…
See, I told you this stuff wasn’t complicated!