#368 – “Speak, O Lord”
We recited 1 Peter 1:1-16 in sections, reviewing key propositions for each section.
STUDY & PROPOSITIONS
1 Peter 1:17
God’s judgment is impartial.
In verse 16, Peter describes that we are children of God; as His children, we are to be like Him (“You shall be holy, for I am holy”).
In His judgment, God is objective, does not have any bias, and does not exercise favoritism.
The world may expect God to exercise favoritism toward people who have been perceived to have done great good in the world. On the flip side, the world expects God to exercise special judgment reserved for vicious and evil people. Also, culturally acceptable norms are not an excuse or exception to sin before an impartial and holy God.
Instead of judging with partiality, God judges based on “each one’s work” (Scripture shows that God judges according to “work”/”works,” and there is no need to stress the difference). There is nothing we can do in this life or any status we can achieve of our own that will allow us to escape God’s fair judgment for our sins.
Peter tells us to conduct ourselves in fear during our time on earth; however, merely doing so doesn’t address God’s judgment for sins, because He is still impartial. So then, the reason why we can and should live their lives in the fear of God is because our sins have been paid for in Christ. Because our sins have been dealt with through Christ, God’s character as an impartial judge remains intact and uncompromising. So, since our forgiveness having been accomplished through Christ, we ought to live the rest of their lives in the fear of God, fully acknowledging the righteous character of God.
God’s children have a duty to live their lives in a manner that does not contradict His righteous character. We must not betray His righteousness with ungodly and sinful conduct.
Has God dealt with His children in the same impartial manner as those who are not His children? Yes - God has dealt with all sin. However, the children of God have been redeemed in Christ, who bore the judgment for those who believe in Him.
Our God is a fearful God. This is a truth clearly communicated in the Old Testament, but is communicated in the New Testament as well, for God’s nature is unchanging. Some examples:
Matthew 10:28 - God not only has the authority to judge, but also to send people to eternity in hell.
Philippians 2:12 - We are to work out our salvation in fear and trembling.
2 Corinthians 7:1 - We are commanded to perfect holiness in the fear of God.