Live Under The Blood

Bible Book: 1 Peter  1 : 17-21
Subject: Christian Living; Holy Living; Blood of Jesus; Jesus, Blood of
Series: Helps To Holy Living
Introduction

We come now to the third message in four-part series of sermons on Helps To Holy Living. Peter called on believers to be holy even as God is holy. He shares scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit to prompt us to holy practice in our words and deeds. Holiness has gotten a bad rap in the last few years because it has been equated with legalism, but holy living is anything but that. It is not legalism, it is loyalty. Everyone likes to be known as a person who is loyal. We like to be known as people who keep our word to others. When Christ redeemed us, we pledged to live for Him. Holy living is simply seeking to be loyal to our Lord just as we promised when we accepted Him as Lord and Savior!

On his way to work each day, a man used to pass Big Ben, the large clock in London, England. He would pause beneath the giant clock and pull out his pocket watch. He would check the small hands on his watch with the great hands above. If the hands on his watch were different from those above, he would adjust his smaller hands to the greater ones above him. That is what these passages are about. We are being called on to be sure that we check our hands with the Great Hands above and adjust ours to match His!

Peter shares four things which help a Christian live a holy life. We are considering all four of them in this series of messages. Today we are going to review what Peter has to say about the blood of Christ and holy living. If we look at this subject seriously, it will rouse us to righteous living!

Peter reminds us of the blood of Christ, the blood which was shed for our redemption. He, in essence, is calling on us to live under the influence and remembrance of the blood sacrifice of Christ. I want us to see three truths from this passage which will help us sense a call from above to re-set the hands of our heart-clock so that it matches the heart and will of God.

I. The Reason for Holy Living

We see this in 1 Peter 1:18-20

Why should I live a holy life? I am to do so because I am saved by grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us that no one is saved by works, for God’s grace is granted to those who have faith in Christ, who repent of their sins and surrender to Him as Lord. Ephesians 2:10 goes on to prompt us to remember that we are saved to do good works, work which He planned for us to do!

I know for sure, once I receive Christ as my Lord and Savior, that I am going to heaven when I die. So, why should I concern myself with correct behavior? Peter turns our attention to the preeminent reason for holy living. There are many reasons to live a holy life, but none so great as this. Look at verses 18-20.

A. Remember the Peril of our Sinful Condition vs.18

The word redeemed reminds us of our former condition before Jesus saved us. We were incarcerated in a prison of sin, we had the chains of sin upon us, and we had a death sentence as well. We were on our way to separation from God forever with the curse of sin on our lives. In Galatians 3:13-14 we see the followed:

i. God formed us

ii. Sin deformed us

iii. Education sought to inform us

iv. Religion tried to reform us

v. Only Jesus transforms us

We were bound by sin and sentenced to an eternity apart from God. It is sad that we so easily forget the peril of our sinful condition before Jesus redeemed us! If you can recall how absolutely lost and helpless you were, you will desire to serve Jesus better every day so that you live in the pardon He has granted you.

B. Recall the Price of our Saving Conversion vs 19

It was not the price of silver and gold that we were saved us, even though those precious metals are costly and worth much to the world. Most of us don’t have a lot of silver and gold. What if the price for salvation was one billion dollars? Could you have paid it? No! Even a billion dollars, however, cannot buy forgiveness from even one sin you have committed in your lifetime. Even a billion dollars cannot buy one day with God in heaven. Silver and gold cannot save anyone. If you owned the whole of the earth, this would not save you from the curse of sin.

Only one price would do for the forgiveness of sin and that price is perfect - the priceless, sinless blood of our Lord. Only One ever carried sinless blood in His body and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, we were in the prison house of sin, but Jesus came our way and paid our fine in His own perfect blood, and that set us free. The condemnation was taken away. Thank God for the saving blood of Jesus Christ.

In 1964 President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Mrs. Kennedy was in the car with him when he was shot and his wounded head fell in her lap. The blood spread all over her dress and clothes. That night, as she flew home on Air Force One, Vice President Lyndon Johnson was going to be sworn in as President. Johnson asked that Mrs. Kennedy stand by he and his wife as he took the oath of office. An attendant went to Mrs. Kennedy and asked if she might like to change out of those clothes covered in blood. Mrs. Kennedy refused. Someone else came to her and suggested that she change her bloody dress. They told her about the reporters who would be in Washington to greet them when she arrived and the bloodly clothes would not be appropriate. Surely she wanted to put on something more presentable for the press and the public. She looked up angrily and replied, "I want them to see the blood. I want the whole world to see the blood! I want them to see what they did to my Jack!"

Oh Christian, we should never be ashamed of Jesus. We should want the world to see the blood that He shed fo us. We should want them to see the price He paid for our sins!

I'm convinced that those Christians who daily recall the blood shed for us on the cross, we will want to live a holy life for Jesus. We will desire that the world might see what the blood of Jesus has done to us and for us!

II. The Reverence in Holy Living

Note 1 Peter 1:17

Verse 17 points to personal reverence. Here Peter tells us that God does not look at us as a group, but as individuals. God is not impressed with any church or any individual simply because of who they think they are. He calls for us to be reverent and to show in our daily lives right where we are that He is our Savior and our Lord.

I have read that in the diamond mines of Africa the miners sometimes come across an unusual stone. It is part diamond and part coal. Part of the carbon became converted into a priceless jewel, but part of it remained in its original state. We believers are a lot like that. Christ has redeemed us completely, but in our daily lives there are parts of our lives that have not been fully devoted to Him - they are more like coal than diamond. Peter called on us to reverently grant Him all of our being so that He can shape it all into a beautiful diamond – a life that reflects the brilliant beauty of His nature.

A. There is a Reverence Due to Relationship

The blood of Christ was shed so that we might have a relationship with God. That relationship is only made possible because Jesus was willing to die for us on the cross. When we receive Jesus as Savior, we are accepting the sacrifice He poured out in His own blood and because of the sacrifice of Christ, we come to know God personally.

Once we are saved, we can call God our Father. Having God as our Father means that we should give Him the respect and reverence He is due. We must acknowledge that He is Father and we are His children! We are to obey! We humbly respect Him and wholeheartedly respond to Him.

Once upon a time a little boy was brought from a terrible orphanage to live in the home of a wealthy man. They got to the house late and so they took the boy up to a beautiful, large bedroom. They said, "Now, you will be sleeping in here." They kissed him goodnight and went to their rooms. The next morning when they went to get him up for breakfast he was sleeping on the floor. They asked why he had done that. He stated that he thought they wanted him to, for he had never slept in a big, beautiful, clean bed like the one in his room. They explained that the big, beautiful, clean bed was his bed. The house was his house. The food was his food. Everything they had was shared with him. The little boy ran and put his arms around them and said, "Ain't no little boy ever been loved like this before."

I ask you, do you think that boy wanted to please or disappoint those parents? I am sure he disapppointed them at some point, but I will assure you that he did not want to. We ought to reverence our Heavenly Father just like that. He has purchased us with the blood of His own Son and all He has is ours in Christ. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ! If we reverence our Heavenly Father properly, we will desire to live a holy lives!

B. There is a Reverence Due to Responsibility

God judges everyman's work without partiality. We should desire to please Him and not expect Him to put up with shoddy and shabby living. After all, think of what He paid for our sins. It was the blood of Christ that bought our freedom and all that we possess in God. Every believer has a responsibility to show reverence through our actions. Reverence is not shown in words alone. Calling Him Lord does not mean much if you act in life as if He doesn't matter!

Long ago, before the days of stamp pads and computers, people needed a way to show that a bill had been paid. The holder of a debt would use an unusual mark to show that a debt had been removed. He would stick a nail through the bill and give it to the person who paid the bill. This was proof that it had been paid. You will still see this done in some restaurants and other places even today, though it is now much more rare than in previous days. My friend, you and I owed a great debt. When the day for the judgment comes, Jesus will hold up His nailed-scarred hands and say, "Paid in Full"!

Christian, in reverence for God's gift in Christ, let us be responsible and live holy lives. Show Him due reverence in the way you live daily.

III. The Resources for Holy Living

Now look at 1 Peter 1:21

I see the reason for living a holy life when I see the blood shed for me by the Lord Jesus Christ.

I see the reverence in holy living when I realize my relationship to God my Father and my repsonsbility to Him.

Now I need to know how I can find the resources to live a holy life.

The blood of Jesus in my resource for having life eternal. We sing the song, "There is power in the blood," and indeed there is! Some years ago Hillard Leatherman, a member of my church in North Carolina, was very sick. He had a form of Leukemia that was draining his life away. I went to visit him one day in the hospital and he looked very weak and could hardly speak with me. I asked his daughter, who was there visiting with him, how he was doing. She replied, "There are bringing him some blood in a few minutes, and the doctor said that he will be okay when he gets the blood.” Ah, yes! When you and I came to Jesus, He applied the blood shed at Calvary to our account and all was well. When we received the blood, we were okay – no, we were better than okay – we were redeemed and as pure before God as the Savior who gave that blood for us! So, consider the resource we have through His blood.

A. Our resource is a Person

"Through Him"...Through Jesus Christ! He is alive and He can help us live as we should. Paul said, "That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection…" Oh, that we might ever walk more closely with the living Lord Jesus Christ! He is our power day by day. He can enable us to do what we cannot do on our own.

If you and I are not living Holy lives, it is because we are not walking in the resurrection power of Jesus. If we are anemic in our spiritual life, it is because we have forgotten the blood that redeemed us. He is alive and He has the strength, wisdom and power we need to live holy lives.

B. Our resource is a Power

"…raised up Jesus from the dead"....We have the same power in us that raised up Jesus from the dead. We have the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. There is no excuse for our not living a holy life.

We have impetus for holy living when we see the redemption through the Son!

We have insight for holy living when we see the relationship with the Father!

We have empowering for holy living when we see the resource of the Holy Spirit!

Conclusion

Jesus death and resurrection provided us with salvation, but it also guarantees us His presence in our lives. Just as pure blood flowed through Him, He provides purity and power for us. Paul put it this way in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

There is someone here today needs to accept Christ as Savior and Lord. You have never received Him into your heart and life. He shed His blood to grant you eternal life and abundant life. He wants to unshackle you from your sins and remove the curse from your life. He loves you, and that is the reason He died to redeem you.

Listen, dear friends, the love of God is mentioned in the Bible 290 times, but the atonement (the blood shed for sin) is mentioned 1,300 times. Why is atonement mentioned so often? You see, there is no way you could ever be saved if God’s love did not reach far enough to shed redeeming blood at Calvary’s cross. He blood makes us pure and the One who shed that blood grants us strength to live for Him a life of holiness. Someone hear may say that you don’t think you can live a life worthy of Jesus! No, you can’t. He is the One who makes you worthy. He is the One who shed perfect blood for you. Give your life to Him and HE will help you to live as you should. He has a will and way for you in this world. He has a purpose for you.

Let me close – time is short. There is a place I have read about called Redemption Point, which is on a mound near the Niagara River. A person or boat that floats past Redemption Point finds it impossible to turn back. The force of the water is too great, and a person who reaches that point is going to go over the horrific falls that pound on the rocks below. Someone here today may be at a spiritual Redemption Point this very day - in this very service. If you leave here today, you may float past your last opportunity for life and salvation. I ask you to come to Jesus today. Don't put this off. It is possible to float right passed your eternal opportunity.

Now a final word to you who are Christians – let us recommit ourselves to the holy life Jesus died for us to have. We must not trample underfoot the blood of Jesus. He is calling us today to holy living.

Let us be able to say with an un-named poet,

"What the hand is to the lute,

What the breath is to the flute,

What the fragrance is to the smell,

What the spring is to the well,

What the flower is to the bee,

That is what Jesus is to me!

What's the mother to the child,

What the guide in pathless wild,

What is oil to troubled wave,

What is ransom to the slave,

What is water to the sea,

That is what Jesus is to me!"