1 Peter 1:18-19
We live in an age where
we know something about money and the cost of living.
We measure crime by
what it cost. The United States holds the dubious distinction of being
the nation that incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than
any other country. The U.S.S.R. imprisons 268 people per 100,000 population,
and South Africa 333, but the rate of incarceration in the U.S. is 426
per 100,000. The U.S. prison population has doubled in the last ten years,
and spending on prisoners has soared to $16 billion annually.("Bars and
stripes forever." Time, Jan 14, 1991. Page 21.)
The cost of living invades
every facet of our lives. Wife to husband: "I cut down in our expenses
last month. I charged everything on the same credit card so that it will
only take one postage stamp to pay the bill."
I hope they don't raise
the standard of living any higher. I can't afford it now.
The worst thing about
history is that every time it repeats itself the price goes up.
Things are so bad financially
that one supermarket is putting in a recovery room.
Most people don't care
how much they pay for something, as long as it isn't all at once!
A person's self-esteem
is measured by the size of the paycheck a person brings home.
We value others by how
much income they are capable of generating.
If our children make
big money we exalt and praise them.
We live in a society
where people use money and things to build a good self-image and make them
Some have become so
capitalistic that they think that godliness is a means of great gain.
1 Timothy 6:4-5
". . . he is conceited
and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies
and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil
suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have
been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial
Paul is warning us that
we must be careful that we don't measure the Christian life in dollars
If we prosper we think
it's a blessing from God.
If we aren't prospering
we think we are cursed.
In an age where people
tend to measure themselves and others by the almighty dollar it may be
necessary to stop and take note of some things we need to be grateful for.
There has never been
a time when redemption was cheap. Peter impresses us with the cost of redemption.
1 Peter 1:18-19
Forasmuch as ye know
that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,
from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But
with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without
Takes bold and thoughtless
person to know the cost and not respond. Think of how much has been given
and how little we seem to appreciate it? Have you ever made an extreme
sacrifice for someone or a cause and no one seemed to care.
It is not that God expects
something in return.
And if ye lend to them
of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to
sinners, to receive as much again. (KJV)
God knows man's potential
to sin. We somehow think that God should send a lighting bolt or an unemployed
angel to take care of such matters immediately. Yet, God forfeited the
life of his Son to redeem us from sin.
I. WHAT IT COST GOD?
A. Our redemption cost
God His son. We think that everything should have a price tag so we can
measure its worth.
1. Training a horse
for the Kentucky Derby has a price.
2. Building a car for
the Indianapolis 500 has a price.
B. How much is your
child worth? Sometimes we speak of the cost of rearing a child. Something
of more value in that child than one can measure in dollars and cents.
D. How can we measure
the value of God's son.
1. Dear to God as our
2. He was approved of
Ye men of Israel, hear
these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles
and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye
yourselves also know:
And lo a voice from
heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
While he yet spake,
behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the
cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear
rent--heart break of God.
4. You've snatched my
son from me the most precious thing I have.
D. Your redemption cost
E. Have you ever watched
a love one die?
F. What if you stood
at the foot of the cross and watched your son die?
II. WHAT IT COST
A. Cost his life.
Under His Wings
An article in National
Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God's wings...
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began
their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found
a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground
at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked
over the bird with a stick.
When he struck it, three
tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother,
keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base
of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing
that the toxic smoke would rise.
She could have flown
to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived
and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast.
Because she had been
willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live...
The psalmist said this
about God, "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you
will find refuge;..." (Psalm 91:4)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee,
how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth
her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Being loved this much
should make a difference in your life. Remember the One who loves you and
then, be different because of it.
1. Would you sweat blood
And being in an agony
he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood
falling down to the ground. (KJV)
I say the truth in
Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could
wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen
according to the flesh:
B. Death of Christ had
a unique purpose--relates to you and me.
1.Relinquished his rights.
2. He didn't just die.
He died because there was something that could never be accomplished without
1 Peter 1:21
Through him you believe
in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith
and hope are in God. (NIV)
I keep asking that
the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the
Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (NIV)
3. Death is an inevitable
decree of God. Jesus was born to die. But he died for a reason. That reason
relates directly to you and me.
4. Jesus did not die
as a simple fact of history. He died for you and me--we must see that personal
contact. Something is wrong with our conception of redemption if we do
not see ourselves in it.
III. WHAT IT WILL
In his book Claim What
is Yours, David Grubbs gave an illustration of obtaining unclaimed treasures.
He wrote, "For more than 40 years, Ace Pawn Shop had been a fixture on
West Main Street in my hometown. Now it was closing. Fred and Lydia Fischer
had run the shop as a 'mom and pop' operation, and when Fred died, Lydia
found that she couldn't go on alone. Rather than sell the business, she
decided simply to close shop and move south. As a final gesture of appreciation
to the customers who had made life so good for them, Lydia sent a card
to everyone who had an item in pawn and offered it back free of charge.
The sign in the window told the story: PawnShop Closing-- Claim What Is
A. In one since it cost
us absolutely nothing.
For the wages of sin
is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
B. But redemption must
move us to a life of self-sacrifice. If redemption came cheap it would
be worth nothing.
1. I want to go to heaven
more than anything else, but so many times I am willing to pay less for
it than anything.
2. Self surrender is
logical, sensible, as well as being absolutely scriptural.
C. It was difficult
for Jesus to get across to his disciple the fact that the kingdom of God
needed top priority in their lives.
1. It was hard for the
disciples to understand that it would take everything they had.
2. I'm sure that they
would not have wanted it any other way.
D. Jesus' encounter
with two people.
When Jesus saw the
crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.
Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow
you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the
air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Another
disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus
told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." (NIV)
E. Jesus said before
we build we must count the cost.
And anyone who does
not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. "Suppose one of
you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the
cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation
and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying,
`This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' "Or suppose a
king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit
down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the
one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will
send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask
for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything
he has cannot be my disciple. (NIV)
F. Sometimes I catch
myself saying yes and meaning no.
Blessed be the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual
blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us
in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without
blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of
children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of
his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made
us accepted in the beloved. (KJV)
We have been made accepted
in the beloved.
We have been adopted.
On a flight to California,
Penelope Duckworth, a chaplain at Stanford University, talked with a Christian
woman who had adopted a Jewish daughter. She explained that after Hitler
had annexed Poland, the Nazis came to her village to round up Jews. She
had been shopping hear the train station where German soldiers were loading
Jews into rail cars. Those helpless victims were destined to die in a concentration
That woman saw a soldier
pushing a Jewess toward the station, and she had a little girl toddling
behind. He stopped her and demanded, "Is she your daughter?" The terrified
mother looked straight into the Christian woman's eyes, who then was standing
nearby and said, "No, the child is hers." From that moment the Christian
woman took that Jewish girl as her own daughter. By grace God has claimed
us for His own. We were condemned, not as innocent victims, but justly
as sinners. We were powerless to save ourselves. We were headed for the
second death, which is eternal exile from heaven's life and light and love.
But the very God we rebelled against has redeemed us through Jesus' death
on the cross.
Praise God--once alienated;
now by faith adopted!
A bumper stated: "SALVATION
DON'T LEAVE EARTH WITHOUT"