1 Peter 1:17-21
And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man's work…
The one injunction of this passage is, "Pass your time in fear" - "the time of your sojourning." Peter had already addressed them as sojourners as to country; now he addresses them as sojourners in this world altogether. "In fear" does not mean in dread or in terror; that meaning is contradicted by the whole tenor of this Epistle, and by the very name of God in this verse, "Father." "Fear" is synonymous with "piety" in Old Testament language, and might be rendered "reverence," or better still by the less frequently used, but fine Saxon word "awe." You are in the midst of great things, of stupendous realities; cherish awe. This is not to be a passing paroxysm, but an abiding, settled habit of soul. Notice -
I. THE AWE OF THE REDEEMED TOWARDS THE REDEEMING GOD. "If ye call on him as Father;" the call being, not simply an appeal, but a claim of kindred, an acknowledgment of close, tender, and withal solemnly responsible relationship. The relationship is:
1. To the supremely impartial Father. (Ver. 17.)
2. To the supremely omniscient Judge. (Ver. 17.) The twofold thought is gathered up in Christ's cry, "O righteous Father!"
II. THE AWE OF THE REDEEMED IN RECOLLECTION OF THE EVIL FROM WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN DELIVERED. Out of what have they been bought and brought?
1. Course of conduct. "Conversation;" not only the circle of behaviour, but center of motive.
2. A course of conduct that was evil. "Vain." Frivolous, empty, unworthy.
3. A course of conduct that was inherited. "Handed down." The legacy of evil is with some unchastity, with some insobriety, with all sin. We are the sons of a slave race, and tendency and imitation continue us in bondage.
III. THE AWE OF THE REDEEMED BECAUSE OF THE COST AT WHICH THEY HAVE BEES EMANCIPATED. Not silver and gold, that may redeem from the brigands, that may be the ransom of the Crusader king. But see the cost:
1. As revealed in Christ Jesus. "But with precious blood." The pouring forth of a priceless life. "As of a lamb," etc. And that priceless life the life of a Spotless One. That mystic blood detaches us from the dominion of sin.
2. As felt by the heart of the infinite God. "Foreknown." Raised by God, who with unspeakable care felt that part of himself was there.
IV. THE AWE OF THE REDEEMED BECAUSE OF THE BLESSEDNESS TO WHICH THEY ARE DESTINED. Faith and hope. Faith now in the invisible; hope of perpetual glory in the Eternal. - U.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: