1 Peter 1:17-21
And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man's work…
I. THE DIVINE FOREORDINATION OF THE SACRIFICE.
1. "Who verily was foreordained." The literal word here is "foreknown." Before the world was God concentrated His thoughts upon His Son, not only in His personal, but also in His official capacity as the future Redeemer of mankind.
2. "Who was verily foreordained before the foundation of the world." Before it in time. This affords a due to the occupation of the Divine Mind before the creative fiat first broke on the silence of immensity.
3. "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." A correspondence therefore obtains between time and eternity, between the manifestation in history and the prearrangement in the unfathomable abysses of the Divine Mind. Foreordination implies a plan, a plan of the world and a plan of salvation. The idea of redemption, of the Son as a propitiation for sin, seems to be the first and most important thought of God. It was not an after thought, but the ruling thought, and around it all other thoughts were systematically arranged. Creation is to redemption what the scaffolding is to the temple; when the latter will be finished, the former will be consigned to the flames.
II. THE PRECIOUSNESS OF THE SACRIFICE.
III. THE EFFICIENCY OF THE SACRIFICE.
1. The efficiency of the sacrifice is to be seen in the fact that it satisfied Divine justice, for the text informs us that "God raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory." The exact bearing of the atonement on the Divine nature is a mystery we cannot fully explain. But whatever hindrances to our salvation there were, arising out of the essential and governmental righteousness of God, they were all removed by the death of the Cross.
2. The second proof of the efficiency, and therefore of the sufficiency, of the ransom is — that it actually delivers men from their "vain conversation received by tradition from the fathers." Three interpretations have been given of this phrase, but whichever interpretation we take we find the sacrifice of Christ equally efficacious. One interpretation is, that Christ's death has redeemed men from the oppressive sway of religious traditionalism. A second interpretation is, that by "vain conversation received by tradition from the fathers" we are to understand the combined power of habit and example in fashioning the course of men's lives. A further interpretation has been suggested, namely, that by "vain conversation received by tradition from the fathers" we are to understand original sin, the innate depravity communicated from generation to generation according to the law of heredity. And it must be conceded that this form of corruption is the most difficult of all to be rooted out of our nature. But, thanks be to God, the blood of Christ can wash out the dye; and we look confidently forward to the day when we shall have been actually redeemed from evil in every shape and form, when we shall be clean without and white within, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
(J. C. Jones, D. D.)
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: