“knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers.”
Peter adds a second argument for a holy life. The first argument is in verse 17: God has given us the privilege to call on the Father. Verses 18 and 19 provide the second argument– our redemption. These verses are two of the most precious verses in the Bible for those who know the Lord Jesus Christ because redemption is what makes it all possible!
Peter views redemption from both the negative and positive viewpoints here. First — the negative, v.18.
The Greek language has a word that does not occur in this translation — the word is “because.” We could translate this phrase “because you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things.” Peter is presenting a reason. The Christians in Asia Minor understood their redemption. They could not plead ignorance.
The Greek word translated “knowing” here is intuitive knowledge. Our salvation is self-evident. Reverence for God (v.17) rests upon knowledge of redemption. Our redemption cost the death of Christ. This is what we “know.”
Note that verse 17 did not close with a period: “…throughout the time of your stay here in fear (v.17); know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things… (v.18).” We pass our time here on Earth with a sense of awe because we know about our redemption.
Redemption is an incentive to holiness.
The appeal to our redemption is an incentive to do God’s will. God expects us to live with loyalty to what we know.
The inestimable gain of salvation furnishes a new reason for living.
“Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am,” (Psalm. 39:4).
We cannot live the Christian life without the Bible. Neither can we live the Christian life until we have the Christian life to live. We soon learn that there are things not proper for the Christian to do. These things may not be sinful, but they are beneath the dignity of the child of God. They may not be sinful, but they are a weight, a handicap. They will hold us back and may become superfluous to the priority of our lives.
What we need is necessary, indispensable. We learn from the Bible to put the priority on the things of greatest value. The Word of God shows us that certain things are good, and other things are a priority.