We continue to suspend church activities, Kids Connect, and events in the church building until further notice.

Live in Reverence to God Who Will One Day Judge All

1 Peter 1.17-21
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.

Do you call God Father? Peter points out here that the God you call Father will impartially judge each person, both believers and nonbelievers, according to their deeds. Hence Peter suggests conducting oneself with fear throughout one’s life here on the earth. Fear can be better understood to mean reverence. To live in abject terror toward God does not seem to fit the message found in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, especially when you consider how in the New Testament believers are to live with joy and peace and hope in God. Therefore, reverence is the best understanding of how a believer should conduct his or her life. The attitude that believers should take is one of holy reverence toward God because Christ has begotten (1.3) and redeemed them (1.18) rather than live in abject terror at the thought of divine judgement that one day will come at the end of the age.
I also want to suggest that because believers are in an intimate relationship with the God of the universe who is impartial in His judgement, they should conduct their life in accordance with the will of God. This is vitally important when we consider that God will judge us according to our deeds. Jesus told a group of disciples in Matthew 16.27, “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.” Friends, what you do here on this earth matters to God. Therefore, we should all conduct ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to God in this life, one that is being transformed and shaped by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ultimately, there is a day when judgement is coming, and the wicked are storing up wrath for themselves on the day of judgement. As Paul pointed out in Romans 2.5, “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” Friends, this is very serious. The world today, especially the western world, has rejected God. The western world says there is no need for God; we are past that now. We now have “science.”  Friends, how foolish. One day God will judge every man’s deeds. Remember, He will show no partiality.
But there is good news, and that is what Peter declares to them. The precious blood of Christ has ransomed you and me who call ourselves believers today. Christ, who was known before the foundation of the world, at the right time came to the earth and paid with His precious blood the debt that no other human could pay. He was buried and rose from the grave. Therefore, our faith and hope rest totally in Jesus Christ today. Therefore, we will not bear the wrath of God because Jesus Christ has paid the price, taking on Himself the wrath and judgment that was due us. There will still be a judgement, but praise be to God that Jesus has called you His. Therefore, you are justified through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary.  Fellow believers, in light of this truth we owe our whole lives to God. I urge you to walk in holiness today, recognizing that your life is now to be lived unto Christ. Your life does matter to God, and those who abide with Jesus will bear good fruit (John 15). Bear good fruit and walk in the transforming power of Christ today.
In Christ’s Service,
Cody Ragland