1Peter 1:13-21 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 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 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 the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

For those of you don’t know? My name is Jim Panter. I was a pastor here for ages and ages, and it’s good to be here. We’re continuing to be here. Pastor mark asked me to speak today, lead in the Lord’s supper and a little devotional here beforehand.

Uh, he’s here somewhere. I don’t see him, but look for him, he’s feeling better, uh, for those who have you been aware of some of the things he’s been going through, be sure to say hi to him. He did say that and make yourself known to him. So it’s good to be here. Uh, being retired is a little bit different and that first of all, the weirdest thing was getting up every morning that didn’t have to come in here.

Uh, so I got up. Little later. And the first decision of the day is what to have for breakfast. That’s a big decision. We’ve we’ve had had the chance to travel son. Some of you know, we’ve been out in west Texas for a while with our daughter, Carrie and her family. And that was a great time. And, and I were just up in Maine and we’re with Ralph and Ruth and a couple of the grandsons there and Ralph and the boys.

And I did a lot of fishing and, and, and Ruth went all over the place, enjoyed the time. So retirement sounds rough. Doesn’t it. Yesterday I saw a mug. We were with a couple of the other grants at aunt Charlotte’s in Merchantville and besides candy, they have all sorts of other stuff and they had some mugs there.

And one of the mugs, I did not buy it, but I was very tempted. Cause it said I’m retired. I’m now a professional grandpa. And that’s kinda how I feel. So it’s good to be here. We’re going to spend some time in the word of God here and just enjoy our time together. And also we’re going to celebrate the Lord’s supper together.

I’m digging here to make sure that I have, if you did not get a chance to pick up, these are the elements that we’re going to be using. We do this yet. So we’re just not passing stuff around. If you did not get one of these and you want to participate in the Lord’s supper in a little bit, feel free to jump up and go get one.

I will not be offended if you don’t come back. I might say something. It is good to be here together with the people who love the Lord. Isn’t it. And those of you who are online watching it, I’m glad you’re here. And I’m glad you’re able to be a part of this with us. Let’s just join our hearts together for a minute in prayer father, we do want to thank you so much for who you are.

Uh, some of these, uh, songs we’ve just sung. Just remember you are enough. And we’ll talk about that today. A little bit that you love us with an everlasting love. You are the one who has been risen for our sake, for our redemption. And so today we want to worship you. We want to lift your name up and as we spend time together and looking at you and then celebrating the Lord’s supper, God, we want to remember all that you are to us guide us.

Now, as we look in your word for these few minutes in Christ’s name. Amen. Um, I’m, I’m looking at a passage here. It’s one certainly is a familiar one. I have a question here. When you hear the word, my precious, what just came to your mind. How many of you thought of Gollum? Yeah. Most of us thought of Gollum.

Remember, if you are not aware of Lord of the rings, the whole trilogy, there is written. Gollum is a character who had possession of the ring for a long, long time. The ring was the one ring to rule them all and everything with that. And you get the picture, you see the picture that’s there. That’s the real ring.

No, it’s not it’s. Uh, but you know, it was his precious. That was everything to him, everything in life. It was always about my precious. And if you read all the way from the story from Bilbo Baggins, you know, all the way through, it’s my precious. And that struck me as I, every time I hear that I think is, is that was what consumed him.

Now. We don’t use the word precious so much anymore. Do we? For the things that we have, at least I don’t. But I think there are things that are precious to us, things that are really, really important. And if I were to ask you to come up here and share with you, and you would all say, I’m not coming up there, but if you think in your mind, what, what is precious to, what is most precious to you?

And, and some of you would say, well, my family, my wife, her husband, God, and I hope that’s true. I really hope that’s true. But beyond that, I expect that many of us have other things that we kind of hold on to, right. Things are really, really precious. We think we can’t get by without them. I did a little bit of reading research and, and some people who’ve done some studies with this had men, the things that they are precious are their toys.

That is, you know, cars, sports, hobbies, things like that. That is the overriding thing that they hold. Dear precious women. I better get this right. Otherwise I’ll be in trouble. It said this, that this was what the study that what they hold most, dear is comfort that is being needed, listened to, to their status.

That becomes very, very important to them. And I expect a lot of that is very true. How do you, these things are oppression. How do you, how do you react to them? I remember this was many, many years ago. I bought a fishing rod at that time. It was the best fishing rod I’d ever had in my life. For those of, you know, anything about fishing had very good action.

Very light did a lot of fishing in the Colorado streams and things like that. And I got my rod I’m going out and I’m on the ranch on the women H and I’m walking out to the stream and I get out there. And I honestly don’t know exactly. I can’t remember everything that went on. I know I was in the middle of a cow field and there were cows everywhere, but that’s okay.

I’m a cowboy. I understand that. And I’m getting ready to go down the stream. And for some reason I laid my new rod on the ground. I think what I was doing, I was tying on all the swivel or something. And I wasn’t paying attention. Cows are very curious creatures. Yeah. I don’t know if you knew that. And there were some cows now these are wild cows, you know, but they come and they’re looking there and they’re talking to, Hey, Jim, how you do it, you know?

And, and one cow keeps it and I still wouldn’t pay an intention. And all of that, I heard. Snap that cow had the audacity step on my new fishing rod. And at that point, life was over. I had, I mean, that was my fishing rod. That was my best fishing rod. It was something at that point I was holding. So dear and I think maybe God allowed that to happen because I started to learn a lesson, a lesson about what are you really holding?

It was a hard lesson. I was really angry with that. Cow. Didn’t have a thing in the world to beat her with right then, but it was a good lesson. What do you, when you hold on to things, what, what are you holding on to? What, what do they mean to you? We’re going to look at a passage here real quickly. In first, Peter and Peter in writing to the believers in Asia minor, um, he he’s talking to them about what’s important to them.

You see, they’ve been suffering an awful lot because of their faith. Uh, some of them are from Jewish heritage. Some from Gentile, the Jews have been dispersed all over the known world. At that time they’ve been incredible suffering. Um, and he writes, Peter writes to encourage them. First of all, to warn them of what their true enemies really are and to help strengthen their faith.

That’s a real quick synopsis of the book of first Peter. And, and as he writes the things they face, he does ask the question, not in this word, but this is what it means. What is most important to you? And what has eternal value? First Peter chapter one verses 13 to 21 is where we’re looking at is the whole book of first Peter and more, but first Peter one 13 to 21.

And Peter writes this by the spirit of God. I did not look up to see what it is in the pew Bible. Look at the index, find first Peter, go there. Okay. Okay. He says this therefore with minds that are alert and fully sober set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed, it is coming as obedient.

Children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance, but just as he who called you is holy. So be holy in. All you do for it is written. And be holy because I am holy. Since you call on a father who judges each person’s work impartially live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear for, you know, that it is 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 ancestors, but with a, and here’s that word precious, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect, he was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake through him, you believe in God who raised him from the dead and glorified him.

And so your faith and hope are in God. That’s, uh, that’s quite a passage and there’s so much in there that we could look at. What I want to really focus on today. Here is just what is important. And what Peter really starts here is, is the first thing is really asking the question where, or what is your hope?

Verse 13. He starts therefore with minds alert and fully sober set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus traces revealed it is coming. The idea of hope and hope here we use the word hope. Sometimes it’s just kind of, I hope we win the game. I hope I have lasagna for supper. I hope, but, and that’s a weak form of how the word hope is the word hope here used scripturally is really the idea.

Someone has said it this way. Confident expectation. It is. It is assurance of living. It is the reason to keep ongoing. It’s the assurance of things that are eternal. It’s all wrapped up in the, my hope is it’s not a week. We, she watched, he sorta thing. It is, it is my great confidence in what God is doing and why Christ is doing.

So when he says, when it says there, your hope, what is your hope? What are you really hanging onto? And as Peter writes here, he does say these. He says, this is what it is not the hope that he’s talking about is not in what you have and will not, not in what you have in terms of wealth, in what you have in any sort of riches, your status, your position.

That’s not where our hope ultimately lies. Unfortunately, you know, and I know that there are many people that that is where their hope is in the world right now and what they have. And Peter says, don’t, don’t go there. Especially those of you who are believers in Jesus Christ. That is not where your hope is.

It is not in the way of life you’ve been is not. Your philosophy of life is not even about church is not about morals because those things can only go so far, especially when they’re not wrapped up in the person of Jesus. There is no eternal value enriches. There’s no eternal value in the sort of philosophy you might choose to live by.

You can’t take these things with you. He uses a term, they are corruptible. They pass away his empty way of life. He talks about that you had from their forefathers and all that. It can be talking to those who were pagans or those who were religious religious in the sense of trying to please God, by what they did, rather than their belief, those who were pagans.

Politically at that time, they were living largely in anarchy. As you look at that history of that time and things were, were very volatile socially. They tend to live in isolation. It was their little group, us four and no more sort of, yeah, morally. They lived into Bockarie mentally. They were in despair because they had no hope and they didn’t know where to go and they didn’t know what to do with it.

Those who were religious and again, religious in the sense of just somehow trying to reach God on their own religiously. They lived in legalism so much. If I do enough, maybe God will accept me socially. They tended to be kind of smug and superior over others. I was just reading the book of Romans. That’s where I am in my quiet time right now and there, as Paul writes, he talks about that very thing, what they’re like, and he’s said, you’re just like these other people, but you lift your head above others, your noses in the air.

That’s my morally, they lived by appearances, but maybe not so much what they did mentally consumed with guilt because they knew what they were and all these things here. Peter is saying, here you bar, what’s your hope. It is not in what you have, not at all. And we need to remember that you and I both need to remember that, that our hope in God, our hope in Christ is not in what we have.

He says here is what it is. Your hope is this. It is that you have been redeemed. And if you were one of the people reading this for the first time, you probably would have said, wow, that is a great thing. I have been redeemed. I’ve been bought, I’ve been paid for is the idea. It was a horrible thing. And we all recognized how slavery was a horrible thing, but has gone on through the world for many, many thousands of years.

But there were people who were slaves and sometimes they would be sought and bought and sold. And sometimes they were set up on this auction, Bach and people would buy them. That was the word redeem. They would buy them whether they were valuable or not valuable. And here he says here, Jesus has redeemed us.

He’s bought us. He’s paid for us. Even as damaged goods. He still said, I I’m going to buy you. You remember the story of Hosea in the old Testament? I don’t know if you remember, let me remind you. Hosea is one of the minor prophets. You don’t always read that all the time, but there’s a great story there that God did with Hosea.

God instructed Hosea to marry Gomer, his wife. And I know that’s a funny name for a girl Gomer. I think of an Andy Griffith right away, but, but Gomer was his wife and, and they had some children and began to suspect by the third one, uh, that it may not be my child. And it turns out that Gomer was very unfaithful.

She went away and absolutely lived a life of debauchery and, and probably prostitution and everything. And it was awful. And then came a time when God instructed Hosea. To go buy Gomer back there. Gomer was, if you can imagine that picture, there she is. She’s up on the auction block as a slave, she has been used.

She has been defiled. She is, she is in an awful state. She has left him. And I can just imagine Jose, is that, what are you talking about? God? And God says, go redeem her. And so being faithful to God and obedient to God, Hosea goes, and he does redeem Gomer. He pays the price. She is damaged goods. There is nothing that she can claim of him.

There is nothing on her part that she deserves. And yet hoses redeems are in that a wonderful picture. And it is a picture of what Christ has done for us. We were up on that block. We were the ones. And Jesus redeemed us. He paid the price for us. We need to understand your, what was the price of redemption.

And again, it goes that he goes back to this. It was not money. It was not what you have that redeemed. You, you can’t buy your way into eternity in terms of salvation. There’s no amount of money that can pay for your sin. People try to redeem themselves. And you know, this, Peter tried to redeem themselves by, by doing good works, by going to church, getting baptized, being better people, giving money.

And those are worthy things. Those are, those are not bad things, but those things can never, ever redeem us. Understand this. Remember. It’s never enough what we have your sin. And my sin has killed us and our money, our riches, our good works church will never give you life. You cannot do not. Remember. The Bible talks about the wages of sin is death.

In another place. It says this, that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Our sin has separated us from God and there’s not a single thing in the world we can do. And, and many of us know that, you know that I know that, but it’s a good thing to remember. That is nothing that I have. It is not money, not what I have, not what I do that redeems me the price of redemption, the price of redemption.

We come here to the precious blood of Christ that. Is what redeems us. Peter gets to a place where he, he begins to paint a picture for them, mind of the Passover lamb. Remember where the Passover Lam, when, when Israel was first in Egypt and they were getting ready to go, and God instructed them to kill this Passover lamb.

They were to eat it. They would put the blood on the doorpost of the house. It was a picture of God’s deliverance. It was a picture of God’s redemption. It was a BA a lamb without blemish or spot. And that’s what he says here is Jesus. The precious blood. It was a lamb without blemish or spot. And if you were a good Jewish person, you would have understood that picture.

Absolutely. You would have understood that heart. It’s the heart of Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 53. And there as Isaiah writes, he says this, but he. Talking about the Redeemer Jesus, but he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was on him.

And by his wounds, we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to our own way and the Lord has laid on him. The iniquity of us all is that idea of when John the Baptist saw Jesus and he, and he cried out behold, look, the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Peter is painting that picture and he is saying this, this is the perfect sacrifice.

This is the lamb without blood, without blemish or spot. This is your redemption is the precious blood of Christ. That is what the cost is, what we need to remember here. And then I have a little chart here now helps me a little bit, um, to just put the things, what I have put in one column. You, if you have the notes, you’ll see there on one column.

What I have on the other column, the precious blood of Christ and the one called him what I have, whatever it is. And you can put it down there. I could put down their, my fishing pole. I could put down there, whatever it is. And the question of the is, is it enough

never as good as those things might be. Even if you put family, even if you put church, is it never, never. Go to the other column, the precious blood of Christ is the precious blood of Christ enough. And it is absolutely. Yes, it is enough for our redemption. Is it eternal on my side? Whatever I write down there is it journal never.

It is not eternal. Whatever you put there on the other side, the precious blood of Christ is it eternal and we ought to be shouting out. It is enough. You know what? That’s what we need to remember as we focus on who Christ is and what he has done. I mean, Peter just wants these people. Remember that you’re going through some hard times.

Remember this what’s the result in verse 20 and 21. Or 20 and actually 23, we didn’t read it. Um, he was chosen before creation of the world, but it was revealed in these last times for your sake though, through him, you believe in God who raised him from the dead and glorified him. And so your faith and hope are in God.

And then in verse 23, he says this for you have been born again, not a perishable seed, but of imperishable through the living and enduring word of God. The result of all that, as we understand who he is, that there is that price of redemption. It is the precious blood of Christ. It’s not the things I do.

And when I embrace that, I faith, I become a child of God. I believed in him, in him alone for eternity, for life, for forgiveness of sin, those scriptures say I’ve been born again. I met a new person. Um, I’ve become a child of God by faith. And the same thing is true for you. If you have believed this, if you understand the redemption that’s in Christ, you’ve embraced that by faith.

You are a child of God. And once again, if we understand that we probably ought to be saying, yeah, maybe we could even clap because the truth is that’s who we are.

We can’t stop there. And Peter, doesn’t stop there very quickly here. He says, well, if that’s true, then how should I live? I mean, watch the difference. Then I’m not living by the things I declare precious. I’m living by the preciousness of the blood of Christ. What am I doing? Well, first of all, just not being consumed with the things of the world, not being conformed to the world and its ways, not being conformed to my own evil desires.

Verse 14 as obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had. When you lived in ignorance, go, don’t go there. Don’t consume. Forget those things. As the things, the world, whether good or bad are not eternal and do not bring life don’t live direction. In fact, he says, do this be holy when you first hear that?

I don’t know what goes through your mind. I know what goes through my mind. Holy, are you kidding me? I mean, I’m no mother Teresa and I know you’re not either. I don’t want to be a holy Joe. I mean, I know what people say about that. That’s not the idea. The idea of holiness very simply here. The word means to be set apart different.

Not weird. Just set apart, set apart from sin. That means that I’m not going to be actively pursuing sin as much as the grace of God allows me. Do we sin as believers in Christ? Unfortunately we do. But the idea of being set apart is that I’m not going to live in that direction. I don’t want to go that way.

That is not my lifestyle. Do I sin? Yes. Does God forgive me? Absolutely. But so set apart means that’s not what I’m pursuing it. Being set apart to God. That is as much as I have by the spirit of God. I’m following him. I’m following his command. I’m doing, I’m doing what he wants to work in my heart. That’s the simple part of holiness.

We have some core values here at FCC. We got part of our DNA. And the very first one is that says that we absolutely committed to Jesus and his word Jesus, and his word are central to everything we are. And it’s true. That’s what we want to be. I mean, when, when it comes to Jesus, we want to love him the most, as much as we were able, when it comes to obedience, we want to obey him first and foremost in everything.

When it comes to dependence, we want to depend on him fully. That’s what being set apart is that’s what being, holy is not walking around with some sort of halo is just that I’m loving Jesus. I’m following him with my heart as much as I know how. And I’m depending on him in every circumstance, Peter says, that’s what we want.

That’s what you meet as you have embraced. That redemption, then let him work that in your life. So what is precious to you? There’s a holdup in the test of eternity. What side of the ledger, what you hold on to does a fall on, if it’s anything apart from the precious blood of Christ, it is not enough. It is never eternal.

You know what? Life can get hard candidate. And we know that we’ve experienced that this whole year and a little more. We face things hard in life, on the job in our families, with our health that can tear us down. They can cause despair, maybe even make this question God, but Peter says, remember, remember, well, who or what your hope is.

Some of you have been getting letters from a Harold Ebersol. Harold is a missionary that we support from Bangladesh. They’ve been part of the body here for many, many years. And as you know, Harold has been going through some hard things. The last few years, uh, was diagnosed with cancer and to the glory of God right now that cancer’s in remission, they are able to go back to Bangladesh for a little bit.

Uh, and volume was air. He got COVID. It turns out he got COVID very badly. He’s able to be back there in Tennessee now, but over the past few weeks, he’s struggling with breathing, struggling with weakness. And finally, it was the beginning of this week or our guests on last weekend. They finally had to take him to the ER, he was so weak.

He wrote the yesterday so weak that he couldn’t even walk. And, you know, Harold that’s like what? And his, his O two levels, his oxygen levels were down to 70. That’s bad. And as by the glory of God, and yet yesterday he wrote, and I asked if I could share this. He said, yeah, I’d love you to share that by the glory of God, uh, his oxygen levels came back up.

They thought he’d had a heart attack. Probably not. It was just those levels down so much. Um, he was able to start eating and gain weight for a Herald. That probably means two ounces, but he’s getting stronger. And he was, he was discharged yesterday. He so has oxygen. Every time he stood up, his oxygen levels went down, but they wouldn’t let him go until they stayed up.

And now that is all good. So now he’s praying and what he said and reason I’m relating this, cause it relates so much to the hope he says this. He is continuing to trust God. They’ve been hard times. No question about that. But he, and these, this is his, some of his words that God is his rock. Jesus is his rock.

He is my life. He is my hope. That’s what we come to here. Our hope in Jesus Christ. It gives us a right perspective. Our problems may not go away. In fact, they might get worse, but we know that he is with us where his children by faith, he has bought us. He has redeemed us. He helps us live with an eternal perspective, knowing what the true grace of God really is because he is our Redeemer.

Keith Green many years ago wrote a song. And the part of the words of this. The song is there is a Redeemer. There is a Redeemer Jesus God’s own son, precious lamb of God, Messiah. Holy one, Jesus, my Redeemer name above all names. Precious lamb of God. Messiah. Oh for sinners. Slain. Thank you. Oh my father for giving us your son and leaving your spirit to the work on earth is done.

We want to rejoice in Christ our Redeemer. We’re going to take some time and just celebrate the Lord’s table together very quickly. Just to take some time here to rejoice. And the truth of who Christ is that he is our Redeemer. And again, if you had not picked up the elements and want to, you can run out and pick them up real quickly, I am terrified of these things because how many of you are really afraid that you’re going to spill the juice?

Okay. If it happens, it happens. Okay. You know what? The Lord’s supper just very quickly remembering. It’s a, it’s a time to celebrate who he is, that he is our redemption. Once you remember taking these elements will not redeem you. That would be one of the things wouldn’t it taking. These elements will not redeem you.

The redemption only comes through the precious blood of Christ. Taking these elements. Won’t make you a better Christian taking these elements is very simply, we are remembering that we have trusted Christ as our savior. We have trusted in his redemption for us apart from any good work that we do. And we celebrate him.

If you have not trusted Christ as your savior taking these elements will just mean you get a little bit of cracker, a little bit of juice if you do that. But you know what, if you don’t know, Christ is your savior. If you haven’t really embraced that redemption, you could do that right now, right? Where you sit by very simply putting your faith and trust in Jesus as the one who has redeemed you.

The Bible says about as many as received him to them. He gave the right to become children of God. Even to those that believe on his name, you could do that right where you sit and trust Christ. The Redeemer, Paul writes in first Corinthians, this four I received from the Lord, but I also passed on to you, Lord Jesus.

On the night he was betrayed, took bread. And when he’d given thanks, he broke it and said, this is my body, which is for you do this in remembrance of me in the same way after supper, he took the cup saying this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this whenever you drink it in remembrance of me for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

And then he does give a warning. He says, don’t take it in an unworthy manner. Don’t take it. I would say, if you know, there’s known sin in your life, you need to confess that first. If you have something between you and a brother, you need to make that right. If you’re a follower, if you’re not a follower of Jesus, I would suggest you not take part until that time have come to understand that redemption and embrace that.

But for those of us who have embraced Christ, we want to remember so carefully. If you will take the. Little cover off the bread parts, a little cracker there. And he did say this, remember, this is from the, this is from the Passover. This is the bread. This is the, the bread that was hidden. He, this is my body.

He says, which is for you. Take it in remembrance of me. So let’s pray. Let’s thank the Lord together, father. Thank you for giving yourself. Thank you for Jesus. Willing to go to the cross, giving up himself, his body, which was beaten, which was hung on that cross for us. We do remember that and rejoice in that in Christ’s name.

Amen. So let’s eat together

and then he said he took the cup. This is the cup of the new covenant of my blood. Do this whenever you drink it. In remembrance of me again in the Passover Seder, most people will believe it was the third cup he’s talking about. It’s called the cup of redemption. He gave his life for us. He revealed to us father.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts that you have redeemed us. Not because we deserve it, but very simply because you love us. We want to remember you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Amen. So carefully take your top off. If you haven’t already, it makes the juice ready and together.

Let’s drink this to the group

father. We rejoice in you Christ our savior, our true and absolute redemption. In Christ’s name. Amen. It’s good to be together today. Isn’t it. Let’s enjoy each other’s company and go out and this week serve and honor the Lord .