The Carrot for Holy Living - Bible Study

by Tom Bulick and Stephanie Thomas on

Bible Studies 1 document
1 Peter 1:17–21

  • The Carrot for Holy Living | The Scrolls | February 18, 2024

    Copyright Central Bible Church

The Scrolls is a weekly Bible study written by pastors and other leaders at Central Bible Church, based on that week’s sermon topic. Use The Scrolls as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and for small group discussions. You can read part of it below. The downloadable PDF also includes discussion questions, more in-depth commentary, end notes, and a kids’ page designed for families to study the topic together. This lesson goes with the sermon "The Carrot for Holy Living."

The words “redeem” and “ransom” are terms that view the same transaction from two perspectives. The difference may be expressed in a kind of shorthand: “to redeem” means to secure someone’s release by making a payment; “to ransom” means to make a payment to secure someone’s release. This explains why the NIV and NET translate the very same Greek word, elutrōthēte, differently in 1 Peter 1:18. The NIV renders it “were redeemed” while the NET renders it “were ransomed.” In either case, the price paid, according to Peter, was “the precious blood of Christ.” In a theological nutshell, people who are redeemed or ransomed are redeemed from slavery to sin, by the death of Christ, so that they might serve the one who ransomed them.

One author explains the meaning of redemption by examining the meaning of three different Greek words used to refer to it. His helpful summary reads as follows:

“The word redemption comes from the Greek word agorazo and means ‘to purchase in the marketplace.’ Frequently it had to do with the sale of slaves in the marketplace. The word is used to describe the believer being purchased out of the slave market of sin and set free from sin’s bondage. The purchase price for the believer’s freedom and release from sin was the death of Jeus Christ (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; Rev. 5:9; 14:3, 4).

“Because the believer has been bought by Christ, he belongs to Christ and is Christ’s slave. ‘The redeemed are paradoxically slaves, the slaves of God, for they were brought with a price. . . .  Believers are not brought by Christ into a liberty of selfish ease. Rather, since they have been bought by God at terrible cost, they have become God’s slaves, to do His will.’

“A second word related to the believer’s redemption is exagorazo, which teaches that Christ redeemed believers from the curse and bondage of the law that only condemned and could not save. Believers have been purchased in the slave market (-agorazo) and removed from (ex-) the slave market altogether. Christ set believers free from bondage to the law and from its condemnation (Gal. 3:13; 4:5). ‘A curse rests on everyone who does not fulfill the law; Christ died in such a  way as to bear or be a curse; we who should have been accursed now go free . . . (moreover, this is) a legally based freedom.

“A third term that is used to explain redemption is lutroo [from the root luo, to loose] which means ‘to obtain release by the payment of a price.’ The idea of being set free by payment of a ransom is prevalent in this word (Luke 24:21). Believers have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:18) to be a special possession for God (Titus 2:14)” (Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, 323-24).

Peter emphasizes the high price paid for the believer’s redemption in order to motivate those who have been redeemed to “be holy in all [they] do” (v. 13) as they “live out [their] time as foreigners here in reverent fear” (v. 17).

Central Message of the Text: 

Live your life in reverent fear, knowing that God is both your Father and your Judge, and that Christ has redeemed you with his own precious blood. 

Family Talk:

Last year my daughter and I visited a friend who rescues kittens. In her house were a kazillion little cuties including some adorable four-day-old kittens. Their eyes were still closed and honestly, they looked like rats, but cute rats, not gross rats. Our friend asked if we wanted to hold one of them and my daughter nearly died and went to cat heaven. She delicately gathered up a kitten and snuggled it so tenderly. I’m pretty sure in that moment she made the decision to grow up to be the neighborhood crazy cat lady. Reading today’s passage brought me back to that moment. She displayed a tremendous amount of value and honor for this tender little kitten, so much so it brought her to her knees with a tear in her eye. That’s the kind of awe we should have when we consider our salvation. How often do we truly recognize what God did for us? How often do we casually mention that Jesus died for our sins without the proper reverence it deserves? He sent His Son to die on the cross so we could be forgiven for our sin. He gave everything and we toss it around, giving as much consideration as we would to grabbing a last-minute birthday gift at Dollar Tree. When I was a new believer at the tender age of 26, the song “Jesus Paid it All” would have me in a puddle in the middle of corporate worship. Do I still have that tender reverence and awe for what Jesus did? God, please restore in me a true appreciation for the sacrificial gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ.