1 Peter 1:18-19 - Not For Sale
If you have to ask how much salvation costs, you can't afford it.
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Read 1 Peter 1:18-19
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 34
Q. Why do you call Jesus “our Lord”?
not with gold or silver,
but with his precious blood—
he has set us free
from sin and from the tyranny of the devil,
and has bought us,
body and soul,
to be his very own.
In 1 Peter, the apostle Peter is writing to the churches in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia (what is now modern-day Turkey). They are enduring persecution for being Christians, and he is writing to encourage them.
One of his points of encouragement focuses on being holy because they now belong to God through Jesus Christ. His encouragement focuses on the cost of their salvation. Their salvation was not bought with silver or gold, things that are perishable, but with the precious blood of Jesus.
The Reformation started because a man named Martin Luther spoke out against indulgences, among other things. On October 31, 1517 he nailed his ninety-five theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.
The Roman Catholic Church was selling indulgences to raise money to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. At that time, the Roman Catholic Church claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation. Essentially, you could buy a loved one’s way into heaven. This was an especially powerful tactic that focused on those who had already died. If you were unsure of your deceased loved one’s salvation, you could buy an indulgence and they would be saved.
Luther correctly stated that was unbiblical, and therefore, untrue. A person cannot buy their way into heaven, nor can they purchase the salvation of another.
While we may understand this biblical truth, we may not always live it. At times, we may think our hard work, our acts of kindness, our worldly success, or our status make us good enough. If we do enough good things, we will be worthy of God’s love and have earned our salvation.
That simply isn’t true. No amount of good works will earn salvation. No amount of worldly success will be enough for heavenly glory. No amount of money is enough, because salvation cannot be purchased.
If we cannot buy or earn our salvation, how then can we be saved? We will explore that over the next two days.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Heavenly Father, you are merciful and full of grace;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Help me to remember that I cannot buy your love or earn my salvation, so that I show you gratitude by the way I live.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Galatians 6