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Bible Passage 1 Peter

Our Great Redemption

  • Tony Raker
Date preached June 12, 2022

1 Peter 1:18-21: Our Great Redemption

In this letter Peter makes three clear statements concerning the fact and significance of the death of Christ, each of which emphasizes a different aspect of His death: 2:24 declares the sacrificial nature of His death; 3:18 states the substitutionary nature of His death; and 1:18-19 presents the redemptive nature of His death.  It is Jesus’ redemption we focus upon today.

  • Contextual/Comparison: God keeps His Word: God continually uses His Word.

1 Peter 1:18aknowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers

  • Grammatical Usage:ransomed” or in the Greek, “lutroó” meaning, “released, liberated, redeemed via ransom”; “futile” or “mataios” meaning, “groundless; aimless; ineffectual”.
  • Literal Interpretation:realizing that you were released, liberated and redeemed via a ransom from the groundless, aimless and ineffectual (false religion) of your forefathers

In v. 20, we are told that redemption was planned by God in eternity. It is very comforting to know that the Lord is working to a plan, and here we learn that before Creation He planned our redemption (Acts 2:23). This means that the atoning, redeeming work of the Lord Jesus Christ was no afterthought in the mind of God, but His eternal purpose and plan.


What object did God have in view when He planned redemption in eternity and when Christ came to redeem us? His object was to redeem we, created in His image, from eternal death and from Satan’s grip; to recover us from the enemy (2 Samuel 14:14), to translate us (Co. 1:13), to forgive us (Mark 2:10), to cleanse us (1 John 1:7), and at last to take us to Heaven (John 14:2). But much more than this, His purpose was to make us holy, Christ-like here and now. Notice that in v. 18 we are told that Jesus died to redeem us from what? From the old, empty, worthless behavior of our unregenerate life (Eph. 2:2-3). We have been redeemed in order that we might be holy (1 Cor. 6:19-20; Titus 2:13-14). So, if Christ died for this, is His purpose being fulfilled in us? Are we being saved from the old, empty life? Are we glorifying God in our bodies and with our spirits, and are we a purified, zealous people? One day our bodies will be redeemed (Romans 8:22-23; Philippians 1:20-21).  But in the meantime, we are to be redeemed from the power and the impurity of sin and set free to live Christ-like, holy lives.


If we have been redeemed by the payment of a ransom, what was the payment? Vv. 18-19 tell us it was “the precious blood of Christ” (Acts 3:6). The expression “the blood of Christ” is both a literal and graphic phrase used to convey the fact of the giving of a life wholly in death. No corruptible thing, no works of ours, no prayers, tears or merit could redeem us (Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 3:5)  We could be redeemed only by faith in the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb who was slain (John 1:29); the sinless One (2 Cor. 5:21; God’s Paschal Lamb (Rev. 13:8).  When we comprehend the cost of our redemption, we long that the purpose that Christ had in dying for us should be fulfilled in us.

When our Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross, He redeemed us in this three-fold sense. By the shedding of His blood: (1) He bought back that which had been temporarily forfeited, for by nature we were sold under sin (Romans 7:14), sold into Satan’s bondage (2 Timothy 2:26), shut up under condemnation (John 3:18), and He died to pay the ransom price to free us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20); (2) He set us free from slavery and bondage, for by nature we were slaves of sin and of Satan (John 8:34); (3) He delivered us from a very great danger. By nature we faced death and judgment (John 3:36) and our destiny was Hell, but Christ died to deliver us from this.

Additionally, there is a great significance in the names of our Lord. He is our Savior (Matthew 1:21); Shepherd (John 10:11); Master (John 13:13 KJV); Friend (Proverbs 18:24); but at least 3400 years ago the patriarch Job gave a glorious testimony in which he spoke of his Lord as ‘my Redeemer’ (Job 19:25-27; see below).


How do we know that all this is true, that we really are redeemed, that the precious blood of Christ was and is sufficient for a ransom and that divine justice has been fully satisfied with the work that Jesus did upon the cross? In vv. 20, 21 Peter gives us a three-fold proof that the work of redemption is complete, accepted by God and sufficient for men:

  • There is the HISTORICAL proof. Notice the end of 20. Jesus actually came 2000 years ago and He said that He was going to die to redeem us, “to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
  • There is the FACTUAL proof. The Lord Jesus not only came and shed His blood, but He rose again ( 21). The resurrection of Christ is the best attested fact of history, and the resurrection was the proof that God was satisfied with the price paid for our redemption (Phil. 2:6-8; Romans 8:34).
  • There is the EXPERIMENTAL proof. See the first four words of 21: who through him are believers….” Not only did Christ come 2000 years ago and die and then rise again, proving that He had accomplished this work, but we believe and have proved this in our own experience; we are redeemed and we can say with Job, “I know that my Redeemer lives!” (Job 19:25). We know the Redeemer Himself: He has freed us, He is freeing us and, as v. 21 reveals, our faith and our hope are in God who cannot fail!
  • Conclusion: A Christian lay dying, and his loved ones heard him repeating one word: ‘Redeemed!’ Can you say this in relation to yourself? This is the watchword for living and for dying: redeemed!