Peter previously encouraged us to think and live like temporary residents on earth (1 Peter 1:17-18). We are in training for heaven and so need to live according to God's values, rather than the world's. Today's verses give another reason for dedicating ourselves to the Lord each day - He has purchased us. We did not become children of God because we could pay with our wealth, intelligence, social skills or hard work; it was only because Jesus was punished to pay for all our bad thoughts, words and actions which would have kept us far from God. He chose to be the complete and sufficient sacrifice for our sins: but it cost Him everything, as He gave up His life for us.
Like the sin offering of the Old Testament, the Lamb of God was perfect in every way; not only to pay for our sins, but also to buy us back from the slavery of sin and Satan. His blood was the 'price of our redemption'. We were also redeemed from the bondage of the spiritual emptiness that can be found in family, tribal and national cultures. Although these appear to be useful in helping to bond people together, if we are not bound to Jesus Christ, our lives have no value for eternity. If we have accepted His payment for all our sins, we now belong to Him. He owns us because He has paid for us.
Therefore we have a moral obligation to serve Him whole-heartedly, and to deny ourselves (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Our time at work is both a test of our faith, and an opportunity to show the transformation of personal values that comes through Jesus. When some workplace practices or social traditions are clearly a waste of spiritual time, remember that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ has given us the right (and obligation) not to be bound by them any longer. Indeed, we must not waste our new life, which Jesus paid for at such a high cost!
© Dr Paul Adams