I Peter 1:17-23
17 If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in rever-ent fear during the time of your exile. 18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. 20 He was destined before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake. 21 Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God.
22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply[e] from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of im-perishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.

The triumph of the Resurrection of Christ summons followers of Jesus to take a fresh look at how life is to be lived. I Peter 1:17-23 directs our attention to holy living. The opening of verse 17 sets the context for the consideration of the rest of the passage. “If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds”(v.17a). Traditionally, if you look at the history of the Christian movement, Christians are those who invoke God as Father. Christians are people who operate “under God” as the divine Father. Calling upon God as Father reminds us of the familial relationship we have with God. The implication of intimacy should not be missed. We are part of the family of God and, as such, are expected to act accordingly. We should also not miss the implication of God as JUDGE. Judgment is a function of love and holds up the Christian the expected standard of behavior.
The last part of verse 17 begins a string of imperatives implied in living under God. We are to live in “reverent fear.” The actions of each day are to be taken in awe of God and obedience to the Lord.
… live in reverent fear during the time of your exile.
Verses 18 and 19 invoke Old testament imagery of those ransom from slavery. We are reminded that the cost of our liberation was more than more than silver and gold. The cost was the sacrifice of Christ. The ransom price frees us from slavery to sin for service to God. We are no longer captive to the “futile way inherited from your ancestor” (v.18).
18 You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited
from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.

Verses 20 and 21 complete the implications of “Life Under God.” Verse 20 reminds us that God is acting in and through history for salvation. We are not merely the pawns of human history but the children of God in history. Through Christ alone, we are to put our trust and hope in God. These actions of reverent fear; liberation from sin and placing our ultimate hope and trust in God form the basis of Living Under God. They provide the core foundation on what it means to Live Under God.
It is significant to note that the lesson from I Peter 1:17-23 does not end with verse 21. In the first part of verse 21, Christ’s followers are noted as those purified through obedience to God. This purification is to lead to a “genuine mutual love” for one another (v.22). This leads us to the great command of Christ: to love God and each other. The entire theme of Life Lived Under God is summed up in verse 23 by the notion of being born anew through the Living Word of God-Jesus Christ. The Resurrection Triumph is not just about resurrection hereafter but carries sharp moral implications for living today. To be Christian is to wear the label of Christ followers in all our relationship.
“There is an old story of a rebellious soldier who was brought before Alexander the Great. The soldier had been unruly and disobedient. Alexander asked him his name, and with a smirk, he replied, ‘Alexander.’ With one swift blow, Alexander the Great knocked him to the ground. As he stood over him he said, ‘Either change your name or change your ways.’ Brothers and sisters, so it is with the Christians. We are the resurrection qualities of a people of God. Through Christ, we are purified for obedience.”

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