As we read the Bible, it is easy to pass over familiar words and not dwell on the significance of them. This is especially true the more familiar we are with the language. I Peter 1:18-21 provides a good example of this. In the previous few verses, the inspired apostle made the argument that Christians ought to live holy lives and we ought to do so because God is holy and He commands us to be holy. Now in verses 18-21, he provides another reason: because Christians are redeemed.
The word redemption is one of those words in the Bible that we often read and even understand intellectually, but there can be a disconnect when we apply it to ourselves. If something or someone is redeemed, that means that it was bound and has now been freed by the payment of the price of redemption. Initially, Peter tells you what your redemption is not. It is not accomplished by material and corruptible things. In particular, redemption is not accomplished by money. In the slave markets of the world, past and present, humans are bought and sold for money. But our bondage is not one of physical and material chains and, therefore, redemption is accomplished with something other than corruptible and material money.
After showing how your redemption was not accomplished, Peter then tells you the means by which it was accomplished. The precious blood of Christ was the price and that price has been paid by the spotless Lamb of God. Under Moses, the people of God were to take a spotless lamb and smear the blood on the doorposts in Egypt in order for the Angel of Death to pass over. In doing this, Israel was saved from death and their release from bondage was secured. And as glorious as that was, it was a foreshadowing of the coming Passover Lamb who would redeem His people from eternal death and bondage to sin. (Heb. 9:11-14)
In verse 20, Peter now describes for you who that redeemer is and that He was foreordained to that purpose. This should give you great comfort. As John Calvin said, "what would be the stability of our faith, if we believed that a remedy for mankind had suddenly occurred at length to God after some thousands of years?" Now think for a moment about what Peter is doing here. He is linking your personal conduct to the mystery of Providence in the fore-ordination of Christ to be your redeemer. (Remember, we are breaking into the middle of a sentence here in these verses. His arguments are intended to reinforce the command to be holy.) The provision of a Redeemer-Savior was always the plan and the manifestation of that Redeemer-Savior is the testimony of Scripture and is the proclamation from every faithful pulpit. And it is this testimony and manifestation that is central because of what your Redeemer does as Peter describes next.
In verse 21, Peter tells us that it is through Christ that we believe in God. Now this in itself is not a comfort. According to Romans 1, all humans know at some level that God exists. Apart from Christ, we would live in dread of judgment or trying to run from it. But because Christ is risen, we believe in God our Heavenly Father as redeemed creatures and can now enjoy the "glorious liberty of the children of God." (Rom. 8:21) In the servile condition of sin and misery, we cannot rightly trust and hope in God. Our chains bind us. Our shackles prevent us. But Christ came to change this by purchasing us and setting us free. The text today is the reason why our lives should be holy lives. Jesus Christ has purchased you and you belong to Him. Now, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and for His glory, live that way.