God, my Father and Judge
If you appeal to the Father who judges impartially according to each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in reverence during your time living as strangers. 1 Peter 1:17 CSB
From the previous section, Peter motivated us to holy living by following after God’s character of holiness. Continuing on with motivation for holy living, Peter reminds us of God’s impartial judgment. Even though we have the honor of being a part of God’s family as His children, we cannot make the presumption that we can get away with disobedience. Just because we are a part of God’s family does not give us a free pass to continue to sin. Romans 6:1-4, 12 reads: “What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life…Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires.” Judgment may be either in the present, with God correcting behavior as believers are still here on earth to push them towards holiness, or in the future, when Jesus Christ returns and we are all called to give an account. “‘For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God’” (Romans 14:11-12). In either case, judgment is done “impartially,” meaning that God sees everything and He will not show favoritism to anyone. In light of the judgment that may happen in the present or future, it should motivate us to focus on the hope of eternity. In doing so, we view our residency here on earth as “strangers.” We are not citizens of this place but temporary residents. God forges us to become holy, even when difficulty may arise, even if it may be painful, as Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” In light of all this, we are in “reverence” to the Lord. We develop a reverential awe that causes us to develop a desire to live a life of holiness and obedience even in the face of trials and tribulations. Living in the knowledge and presence of God, He wants us to reflect Him before this watching world so that they too will experience our Father who is in heaven. “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Isaac De Guzman