The Fear that Frees
1 Peter 1:17-25
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you. // 1 Peter 1:23-25
You were ransomed… not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.
- 1 Peter 1:18-19
Neither silver nor gold, nor any of the corruptible things of this world, can redeem so much as one soul.
- Matthew Henry
Who is the One we call Father?
He is the One who knew us before the foundation of the world.
He is the One who reached out to rescue us before we had fallen.
He is the One who knew salvation would cost the most precious of ransoms, the blood of His own son, the sinless Christ. And yet, He did not give Himself resentfully, but lovingly, with compassionate resolve and holy determination.
Our redemption is no accident; our rescue was no afterthought.
We call on the One who sets us free. This is the Good News.
Peter says the One we call Father has called us to be set apart, and so we are (v.16). But in the very next verse Peter takes it a step further. In light of our rescue, Peter beseeches us to live in fear of the Lord during our time as exiles on this earth which is not our Home. In other words, Peter says, Know how and by Whom you were ransomed and act accordingly.
We were not redeemed with gold or silver. No one can be. We are redeemed with the very blood of Jesus Christ, “the lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19).
Does Peter mean we are to repay the ransom, to live in the same fear as an indebted man who fears his debtor? Of course not! Ours is a freeing fear—fear of the Holy One, the Creator, the Savior and Redeemer and Sustainer, the lover of our souls. As Jim Thomas says, “fear of the Lord means we don’t have to fear anything else.” Not death. Not man. Not circumstance. Not fear itself.
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and worship. It is a manifestation of our new birth into a real and tangible faith family, many of whom are reading these words with us today. It is a get to, not just an ought to. The God who resolved to rescue us by His grace is the one who invites us to call on Him. He brings us out of a life of ordinary, life-stealing fear and into a relationship with an awe-inspiring, life-transforming Savior.
Let’s call on Him today. And let’s call on each other as sisters, encouraging one another in Truth: Our redemption cost our Father everything. May it mean everything to us.