The pursuit of holiness fits within a certain view of life–a serious view of life. If we treat life trivially and think that our decisions don’t matter, if we think there is no accountability, then we will not be inclined to a diligent pursuit of righteousness.
But life is serious. We are accountable. The world may deny this, but Christians know it: “Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear” (1 Pet. 1:17, NIV). This world is not our home, and this life is not ours to use as we see fit. God is drawing us back to Himself, and we are to follow our Father in loving obedience.
Reverent fear isn’t a popular topic in a lot of churches these days; but it’s something we need. Our heavenly Father is the God of the universe, the judge of all. Sonship does not preclude reverence. But it is not only knowledge of judgment that urges us to live seriously. There is also gratitude, because our redemption wasn’t cheap.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (vv.18-19).
Silver and gold. These are the sorts of things the world thinks precious and imperishable. But from the spiritual perspective these are just perishable things, the things of this world. And blood–a perishable thing in this world, which represents human life (not regarded as particularly precious, if all our violence is any indicator)–well, the blood of Christ is precious. His sacrifice will never lose its power.
We were bought with the blood of the Son of God. We should live gratefully, in reverent fear.