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THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER - Chapter 1 - Verse 18

Verse 18. Forasmuch as ye know. This is an argument for a holy life, derived from the fact that they were redeemed, and from the manner in which their redemption had been effected. There is no more effectual way to induce true Christians to consecrate themselves entirely to God, than to refer them to the fact that they are not their own, but have been purchased by the blood of Christ. That ye were not redeemed. On the word rendered redeemed, (lutrow lutroo,) See Barnes "Tit 2:14".

The word occurs in the New Testament only in Lu 24:21, See Barnes "Tit 2:14, and in this place. The noun (lutronlutron) is found in Mt 20:28; Mr 10:45, rendered ransom. For the meaning of the similar word, apolutrwsiv — (apolutrosis,) See Barnes "Ro 3:24".

This word occurs in Lu 21:28; Ro 3:24; 8:23; 1 Co 1:30; Eph 1:7,14; 4:30; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15, in all which places it is rendered redemption; and in Heb 11:35, where it is rendered deliverance. The word here means that they were rescued from sin and death by the blood of Christ, as the valuable consideration on account of which it was done; that is, the blood, or the life of Christ offered as a sacrifice, effected the same purpose in regard to justice and to the maintenance of the principles of moral government, which the punishment of the sinner himself would have done. It was that which God was pleased to accept in the place of the punishment of the sinner, as answering the same great ends in his administration. The principles of his truth and justice could as certainly be maintained in this way as by the punishment of the guilty themselves. If so, then there was no obstacle to their salvation; and they might, on repentance, be consistently pardoned and taken to heaven.

With corruptible things, as silver and gold. On the word corruptible, as applicable to gold, See Barnes "1 Pe 1:7".

Silver and gold usually constitute the price or the valuable consideration paid for the redemption of captives. It is clear that the obligation of one who is redeemed, to love his benefactor, is in proportion to the price which is paid for his ransom. The idea here is, that a price far more valuable than any amount of silver or gold had been paid for the redemption of the people of God, and that they were under proportionate obligation to devote themselves to his service. They were redeemed by the life of the Son of God offered in their behalf; and between the value of that life and silver and gold there could be no comparison.

From your vain conversation. Your vain conduct, or manner of life. See Barnes "1 Pe 1:15".

The word vain, applied to conduct, (mataiav,) means properly empty, fruitless. It is a word often applied to the worship of idols, as being nothing, worthless, unable to help, (Ac 14:15; 1 Ki 16:13; 2 Ki 17:15; Jer 2:5,8,19); and is probably used in a similar sense in this place. The apostle refers to their former worship of idols, and to all the abominations connected with that service, as being vain and unprofitable; as the worship of nothing real, (comp. 1 Co 8:4") , "We know that an idol is nothing in the world;" and as resulting in a course of life that answered none of the proper ends of living. From that they had been redeemed by the blood of Christ.

Received by tradition from your fathers. The mode of worship which had been handed down from father to son. The worship of idols depends on no better reason than that it is that which has been practised in ancient times; and it is kept up now in all lands, in a great degree, only by the fact that it has had the sanction of the venerated men of other generations.

{*} "from your fathers" "delivered down from"

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