Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Faith in the wrong object will always lead to disappointment, regardless of how strong that faith may be. The most important thing about faith is its object. Today, Rich shares three reasons that Christ is supremely and uniquely qualified to be the object of our faith.
Living by faith is liberating only if that faith is in Christ. Our text for today is 1 Peter 1, 18-21, in this message titled, The Object of Faith. This is the third and final portion of this message, first preached on August 14, 2022.
To hear the whole message, visit www.delightingrace.com. Jesus took our sin and penalty so we could have His righteousness. What a profound exchange that was. He took our sin and bore the penalty of it so that we can have His righteousness. That makes me acceptable before God.
That alone. He alone transcends history. Secondly, He alone can remedy your unrighteousness. Thirdly, alone can bring you from meaningless to ultimate good.
All these other objects of trust, people, experts, things, ideologies, causes, even myself. None of that, none of that can bring you from meaningless to ultimate good. Only Christ. Now go back to verse 18 where we're starting today. So all that was just introduction, right?
No, I'm just saying. This is point number three, actually, I hope you're keeping up with that. He alone can bring you from meaningless to ultimate good. You were ransomed. Look at verse 18, knowing that you were ransomed.
So we have to begin where a sentence begins, right? So let's begin at verse 17. And if you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, part we've already covered. The third reason why Jesus Christ is uniquely qualified to be your object of faith is because He alone can bring you from meaningless to ultimate good. Every human, like I said earlier, every human being has some kind of a belief system. Every human being has some idea of what ultimate good is, or at least every human being. Because we're made in the image of God, part of that means that you and I desire some kind of ultimate good. We want to see purpose in the things that happen.
Nobody desires meaninglessness, and yet how many humans are experiencing that? The imago Dei in us longs for a higher purpose and an ultimate good. Only Christ can bring that. You were ransomed, it says.
Ransomed is a word that means set free or liberated at a cost. Titus 2.14, you probably know this verse well, he gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. To purify us a people for his own possession. So as he is saying there, he begins verse 18 knowing, he's in the middle of there. So looking back, he is saying if you back up even farther as obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct since it is written you shall be holy for I am holy. And so it goes on.
Okay, we're going to cover that two weeks from now. But right now today we're looking at the object of our faith. Only Christ can bring you from meaningless to ultimate good. So he is calling us to live free. Live free knowing that you were ransomed. Live free knowing that you were set free. Do you know the nature of your freedom?
I invite you to. Consider a prisoner of war. In a cell, probably in chains, gets minimal food that barely keeps him alive.
The loneliness, the isolation, the oppression, all of that, a prisoner of war. And in comes some special forces and they liberate him. And he's now free. And he goes home knowing he's free. How does it make any sense that he still wants to live isolated in a cell, living food that can barely keep him alive?
Doesn't make sense, does it? Live as people who are free. Do you know your freedom? Warren Wiersbe says this. Let me just read this paragraph.
So bear with me. He says, he reminded them of what they were. To begin with, who needed to be set free. The word redeemed is to us a theological term.
That's true, isn't it? When we hear the word redeemed, we're thinking theology. When these people read this letter from Peter, you were ransomed. What came to their mind? What images came to their mind? Did you know probably a good number of them were probably slaves themselves?
Even still. There were probably 60 million slaves in the Roman Empire at the time of this writing. It was more a socioeconomic thing than it was an ethnic thing. Many slaves became Christians and fellowshipped in the local assemblies. A slave could purchase his own freedom if he could collect sufficient funds or his master could sell him who would pay the price and set him free. Redemption was a precious thing in that day, costly. They knew, so Peter was using a powerful word that conjured up all kinds of images and sentiment in the minds of his hearers. Slavery and then being ransomed and set free.
They understood that. We were ransomed with a perfect life of the Son of God. And our freedom is this, as I've said it every time, live as people who are free. What is this freedom? You have been set free from the penalty and the power of sin and that's what you've been set free from. You have also been set free to know God and enjoy Him.
That's our freedom. A person who is still enslaved to sin cannot know God and enjoy Him because they are alienated from God. They are, as Paul says in the Romans, dead in sin. But now that we are dead to sin, we are alive to God. He says in Colossians 1.13, you've heard me reference this verse numerous times.
I'm going to continue to do it, just letting you know. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. You belong to someone else now. It doesn't mean you don't have a master. Everyone has a master, everyone. The question is, who is it? Is your master a benevolent sovereign or some other oppressor?
It's one or the other. Live as people who are free. Your futile ways, you were ransomed, he says in verse 18, from your futile ways, from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, he says. This word futile and the word that's translated in the Old Testament is a synonym for idols.
Not our idols, but unworthy objects of trust, but as things that we as humans tend to look to for our security and our satisfaction. These futile ways, futile meaning empty, useless. So use that word knowing that you were ransomed from the empty and useless ways inherited from your fathers. Sometimes not with material things, but with the precious blood of Christ. So useless and empty, let me talk about that for just a minute.
Here's what that looks like so that we understand it. We don't want you to leave this out there as some kind of ethereal concept. Useless and empty ways, what is that? It is merely following passion, living according to your feelings. Bible says a lot about this. What you are is you are diminishing your humanity.
You are neglecting the humanity of the Imago Dei. You are neglecting that you are living merely at the level of an animal because all you're doing in your pursuit of life and happiness is you are living at the level of an animal because all you're doing is you're simply following your passions. Let me show you some verses on this. Peter says this in 2 Peter, his second letter, chapter 2, verse 12. But these like irrational animals, creatures of instinct.
Jude 10 says something very similar. These people like unreasoning animals. What do animals do? They simply follow instinct.
They simply follow their passion. Romans 1, verse 21, for although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened. And then Ephesians 2, 3, among whom we also once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind. And we're by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. You see, that's the natural state. That's the state that you and I were born into.
That's what Jesus needed to rescue us from because that deserves nothing but the wrath of God, because God is holy. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace, weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-24 14:14:09 / 2023-03-24 14:18:35 / 4