Sojourning Here in Fear

"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according
to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear."

I Peter 1:17

  1. Introduction:
    1. The Bible is God's message to us, and it includes warnings and instructions how we should live.
    2. It is our sacred duty to hear and consider these things and transform our lives to meet His terms.
    3. The God of the Bible is hardly known today in this generation of carnal and effeminate Christians.
    4. They have formed a God to their own liking that approves of their compromise, carnality, and innovations.
    5. But He shall soon shock them by His appearing and judgment … but even before that event He judges now.
    6. I Peter 1 is an appeal to Jews scattered throughout the Roman Empire to live joyful and holy lives, in spite of suffering and persecution, because of the glorious second coming of Jesus Christ and the holiness of God.
    7. We do not face their temptations and trials of suffering, but we face temptations of worldly lusts (I Pet 2:11) and carnal Christianity (II Tim 3:1 – 4:4) that war against our souls, and we need this warning at least as bad.

  1. Preceding Context (I Peter 1:13-16)
    1. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober.
      1. The wherefore draws a consequence or conclusion from the things written before, taking the reader back to the lesson of Jesus Christ's coming in 1:3-9 as sufficient to endure trials, for 1:10-12 is an interruption explaining the gospel privilege of N.T. saints over O.T. saints and angels.
      2. To gird up the loins is to gather together and tighten up with a belt or girdle around the waist, which the Jews did to their long, loose garments when requiring freer action of the body.
      3. God has called His children to mental toughness – we are to guard and guide our minds soberly.
      4. Consider how God has the right and exercises it to direct our thinking (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27; Acts 17:11; Rom 8:5-7; 12:1-2; II Cor 11:3; Eph 2:3; 4:17,23; Phil 2:2-5; 3:15-19; Heb 12:3).
      5. Right in the context of I Peter we can see this same divine instruction (I Peter 3:8; 4:1; 5:2).
      6. Jesus Christ is Lord of your thoughts … against sin (Pr 24:9; Matt 5:28; Jas 2:4; etc.) … for godliness and hope in trials (Rom 5:3-5; 12:12; 15:13; Gal 6:9; I Thess 1:2-4; I John 3:3; etc.).
      7. Are you guarding all inputs to your mind and all thoughts there? Are you guiding it to godliness?
      8. We live in a frivolous generation, where the pleasure of body and mind are most important, resulting in foolishness, filthiness, and fun to the ruin of godliness and glory. Be sober! Resist it!
      9. There is nothing wrong with being serious! It is mark of great men, and you will be serious soon.
      10. Young men, be sober (Titus 2:6)! Stop the jesting (Eph 5:3-5)! Get serious, and give thanks!
      11. Rule and minimize entertainment and fun, and put your thoughts on God, godliness, and heaven.
      12. Choose to hate the world and its distractions and delusions. It is a choice to love Christ (Col 3:2)!
      13. You can choose to be happy or to love anything with the right mental attitude, and we are to choose to love the things of Jesus Christ and heaven and to crucify this world and its lusts.
      14. We should choose each day to think about heaven as our true objective and most important goal.

    2. And hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
      1. We are to hope to the end, for we cannot and should not give up confidence until Jesus comes.
      2. Grace is coming at the revelation of Jesus Christ – the final phase of salvation at Christ's return.
      3. The God-given antidote to fear and worry, especially in the face of legitimate trials and tribulations, is choosing to think about the coming of Jesus Christ and to help others do the same.
      4. Because we live protected lives in peace and prosperity, we are not faced with real trials and tribulations like the many of the saints before us, so we are lulled to sleep in carnal living.
      5. This coming event is the most stupendous the world has ever seen in every respect – we cannot rightly imagine it, for it will be the total overthrow of everything we see and hear every day.
      6. Real Christians focus on this coming event (Col 3:1-4; I Thess 4:18; II Tim 4:7-8; Heb 9:28).

    3. As obedient children.
      1. God created us, saved us by Jesus Christ, and saves us by His providence – thrice our Father.
      2. What a terrible offence, tragedy, and waste of our lives … if we are disobedient children. Obey!
      3. Every parent knows the joy of obedient children and grief of disobedient (Pr 10:1; 29:15,17).
      4. It should be our highest pleasure and greatest privilege to live for the pleasure of God (Eph 5:1).
      5. Jesus appealed to the character of God and our duty to be like Him for motivation (Mat 5:43-48).

    4. Not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.
      1. With the expectant hope of heaven, we should live sober and godly lives now (Titus 2:11-15).
      2. You fashion yourself every day … you form the character and conduct that makes you … you.
      3. To fashion some thing is to construct, form, or make it (Ps 33:15; Isaiah 44:12; 45:9; Phil 3:21).
      4. You construct, form, or make your life every day. What choices do you make for your life?
      5. Do you choose the new things God teaches in His word? Or the old ones from a sinful lifestyle?
      6. Peter will elsewhere explain that the time past of your life should have sufficed you (I Pet 4:3).
      7. God's word is the mirror for your life (Jas 1:21-25). Do you foolishly ignore obvious blemishes?
      8. Sin proves ignorance (II Pet 1:9), and lusts prove sin, which are to be rejected (I John 2:15-17).
      9. Your duty is to fashion (form or make) yourself as an obedient child of God, in sharp contrast to the world and your lifestyle before regeneration or in carnal living (Eph 4:18-22; I Pet 4:1-3).

    5. But as he which hath called you is holy.
      1. God is holy! Just ask a man picking up sticks on the Sabbath! Or Nadab and Abihu! Or Uzzah!
      2. God is holy! Just ask Job after meeting Him! Just ask Isaiah after meeting! Or Peter! Or John!
      3. In contrast to a foolish, filthy, and profane lifestyle of those in the world, you must be different.
      4. This world is the enemy of God, and if you flirt with it, you commit spiritual adultery (Jas 4:4).
      5. This world is the enemy of God, and if you flirt with it, you are the enemy of God (James 4:4).
      6. The world follows the most profane being in the universe (Eph 2:1-3) … and we cannot follow!

    6. So be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
      1. Because He is our Father (thrice told at least), we are to be holy, by choosing His character trait.
      2. Holiness is the hatred of sin, total freedom from sin or anything impure, and purity in all things.
      3. All manner of conversation is every aspect and part of your life (I Cor 6:19-20; II Cor 7:1).
      4. From your entertainment to your finances, from your thoughts to your speech, from your marriage to your time, from your apparel to your work habits, you must be holy in every part.
      5. Any unholy part of your life shines out for the eyes of God to see like a blinking neon light!

    7. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
      1. There is a Bible basis for this last exhortation, and it is from the Jews' scriptures (Lev 20:26).
      2. This was not just a new emphasis from Peter, but was from God Himself (Lev 11:44-45).
      3. Do you want to know God's will for your life? It is to be holy (I Thess 4:1-7; II Cor 7:1).

  1. Following Context (I Peter 1:18-21)
    1. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold.
      1. Forasmuch as has the sense of … in consideration that, seeing that, inasmuch as, or because.
      2. Our conduct as God's adopted children here in this world should reflect the price of redemption.
      3. If a benefactor paid a ransom to kidnappers for your release, you would choose to please him.
      4. If a benefactor purchased you from a slave market to set you free, you would work to please him.
      5. If a benefactor bought you a pardon from death row to free you, you would choose to please him.
      6. If our redemption, or adoption, is far beyond natural things of value, we surely owe our Father.
      7. What ROI do you give God your Father? return on investment? He invested His Son's blood!
      8. What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us … to adopt us as His very own sons!

    2. From your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers.
      1. The mentality of the Jews emphasized costliness of religion, which was their religious tradition.
      2. The Jews were obsessed about the gold and silver of their religious things (Matthew 23:16-17).
      3. Even the apostles got too excited about the costly stones that adorned the temple (Luke 21:5).
      4. The value of the temple or sacrifices means nothing to God (Psalm 50:7-13; Jer 7:4; Micah 6:7).

    3. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
      1. In contrast to the poor sacrifices of bullocks on brass altars, Jesus died as a divine substitute.
      2. We refer to base metals (copper, iron, etc.) as opposed to precious (gold, silver, platinum, etc.).
      3. The precious blood of Christ is the costliest purchase price or ransom ever given for anyone.
      4. He was the perfect lamb of God, as a perfect lamb chosen from a flock, but this was God's Son!
      5. What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us … to send His beloved Son to die for us!

    4. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world,
      1. The truth of redemption is that God set His adoptive purpose upon you before the world began.
      2. God ordained His only begotten Son would carry your sins to a Roman cross and die for you.
      3. What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us … to have planned it from eternity!

    5. But was manifest in these last times for you.
      1. But not only is the eternal work of God for you, you live in the blessed age of gospel revelation.
      2. The eternal purpose of God in Jesus Christ was only manifested by His presence 2000 years ago.
      3. Peter's audience of Jews, and we as well, are blessed to live on this side of our Lord's ministry.

    6. Who by him do believe in God.
      1. If you believe in God, it is because the Lord Jesus Christ has revealed Him to you (Matt 11:27).
      2. Let all evangelistic and missionary endeavors submit themselves to this simple but absolute rule.
      3. The privilege of evangelical faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ is further reason to live for Him.
      4. Let this phrase help you rightly identify the Word of God in 1:23 that liveth and abideth forever!

    7. That raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory.
      1. Jesus Christ is no weak, poor, or dead Saviour! He lives forever and reigns at God's right hand.
      2. Jesus not only rose from the dead (what a Saviour!), but He ascended into heaven for crowning.

    8. That your faith and hope might be in God.
      1. Consider the factors to build our faith and hope in God – price, timing, turning, and object!
      2. God has done far beyond human imagination, so it is nothing for Him to call for our holy living.
  1. And if ye call.
    1. The inspired conjunction and connects the preceding context for its mental toughness for holy living.
    2. The inspired conjunction forasmuch as following in 1:18 connects the precious value of redemption.
    3. The Spirit's use of if like this does not express doubt or contingency, but a certainty (Phil 2:1; etc.).
    4. We call on the Father in prayer, but this also means worship (Gen 5:3; Ps 116:7; Zep 3:9; II Cor 1:2).
    5. From this moment forward, let there be sobriety in your thoughts every time you call God Father.
    6. We call on Him often, the times we are in trouble, the times we are blessed, when we worship, etc.
  1. On the Father.
    1. The references to God as Father and our sonship (children) have already been made (I Peter 1:2,14).
    2. By claiming to be Christians, the redeemed of God, and praying to this holy God and worshipping Him, we assume and claim a relationship to Him as His sons, which obligates us strictly to Him.
    3. We do claim Him as our Father by faith, and therefore it is our pleasure and privilege to obey Him.
  1. Who without respect of persons.
    1. This is the character trait of perfect equity, judgment, justice, and righteousness. God is perfect.
    2. There is no authority on earth that is not guilty of respecting persons to some degree due to human weakness, deceitful hearts, greed, and imperfect authority and judgment.
    3. No matter the situation, there is always the chance you can earn a little compromise or leniency.
    4. You take liberties with men based on their respect … parents, husbands, masters, rulers, pastors, etc.
    5. You may get away with things with others, but you will not get away with sin from this holy Judge.
    6. But God has no respect of persons – there is no factor to influence Him (Deut 10:17; Job 34:19).
    7. You of all men have nothing for Him to see that would cause Him to turn a blind eye and overlook.
    8. Children born to vigilant and just fathers know it is very hard to avoid detection and punishment.
    9. God does not care one whit for any advantage or superiority you have when compared to others.
    10. God does not care one whit for any excuse you make as to why you could not help yourself.
    11. God does not care if you are advantaged and superior, or if you are disadvantaged and inferior.
  1. Judgeth according to every man's work.
    1. There are two issues in this phrase – God our Father judges, and He objectively measures actions.
    2. God our Father judges – while it is chastening for His children, it is still judgment and can be severe.
      1. It is a present tense verb – judgeth – so there is no need for us to run to the Day of Judgment, though there is also no reason to altogether exclude the Day of Judgment.
      2. The Day of Judgment will be bad enough, but there is plenty of judgment that He executes now.
      3. Paul's usage of damnation, judgment, and chastening to Corinth is enlightening (I Cor 11:29-32).
      4. The form of chastening used in Hebrews 12:5-6 is scourging – God's choice of words for you!
      5. Not worried? Thinking about other things? Ask Moses about Canaan, Bethshemesh about peeking in the Ark, Bathsheba about her baby, David about numbering Israel, Uzziah about presuming on an office, Peter about denying Jesus, Sapphira about fudging with her husband.
    3. God judges according to every man's work – a holy, performance-based means of measurement.
      1. He could not care less what you think of yourself, for your thoughts are arrogance in His sight.
      2. He could not care less what you say of yourself, for He has already called you a liar (I John 2:4).
      3. He could not care less how much you have deceived others to think or say good things of you.
      4. He could not care less what you do outwardly that is not done from a pure heart full of love.
      5. This method of measurement and rewards and punishments is so basic we all use it (Prov 20:11).
      6. You will be judged individually – every man – so that you cannot hide for safety in any group.
  1. Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.
    1. It is wonderful God has adopted us as His children, and it wonderful that we cry, "Abba, Father."
    2. But the character and conduct of God – His holiness, His justice without regard for persons, His performance-based measurement, and His certain judgment for disobedience should cause us to fear.
    3. We all have been given some time … some more, some less … on average about 70 years … but we are to pass the time of our lives in a very specific way, which must be preached and pressed on you.
      1. You will pass some time this afternoon, and I warn you to soberly pass it in the fear of the Lord.
      2. I warn you to gird up the loins of your mind and not let any input contrary to godliness remain.
      3. I warn you to gird up your mind to not let life just happen, for the world will corrupt your mind.
      4. I warn you to guide your mind with sober vigilance to hate worldly thoughts and to love Christ.
      5. I warn you to guide your mind to realize this is not your home and to focus on your final home.
      6. I warn you to guide your mind to help each of your brothers and sisters to think these things.
    4. We are sojourners here in this world – this is not our home or permanent dwelling place at all.
      1. The issue is not America, for it is true that America is not our nation; we belong to a holy nation.
      2. The issue is planet earth and the world's lifestyle in any nation – we are pilgrims and strangers.
      3. Since we are only here temporarily, we do not want to get attached to anything the world offers.
      4. Peter will restate this fact to his readers in the next chapter with a related warning (I Peter 2:11).
    5. The fear of God is not slavish terror, which causes us to hide from Him in rebellion, but rather that which causes us to obey Him out of love and reverential respect for His glorious person and office.
      1. The fear of God is to hate evil and to depart from evil (Pr 8:13; 16:6), not hide like Adam did.
      2. It is not the sorrow of the world for getting caught, but great zeal to reform (II Cor 7:10-11).

  1. Conclusion:
    1. I will give an account as to whether I adequately warned you of God's holy demands for your life. I am free.
    2. We call upon the Father in a very strong way, and therefore we better live fearing the Father in a strong way.
    3. If you have sin in your life … sins of thought, attitude, word, or deed … sins of commission or omission … confess them, repent of them, and repudiate them with holy revenge and zeal (II Cor 7:11) … or else!
    4. The strongest reasons possible, negative and positive, are used in this passage to make you a holy pilgrim.

  1. For Further Study:
    1. The sermon outline, Holiness of God.
    2. The sermon outline, Perfecting Holiness.
    3. The sermon outline, Jesus Is Lord of All.
    4. The sermon outline, Doers of the Word.
    5. The sermon outline, Fear of the Lord.
    6. The sermon outline, Spiritual Adultery.
    7. The sermon outline, Sanctification.
    8. The sermon outline, Take Up Your Cross.
    9. The sermon outline, Playing with Sin.
    10. The sermon outline, Forgotten Sins.
    11. The sermon, The Judgment Seat of Christ.
    12. The sermon, Is There a Burning Hell?
    13. The sermon outline, Running Scared.
    14. The sermon, Saints or Belly Worshippers.