Text: 1 Peter 1:17–25
Theme: So live the deeds!
Other Lessons: Acts 2:14a, 36–41; Psalm 116:1–14; Luke 24:13–35
A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. The Epistle lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 477:1-2 Alleluia, Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven
Hearts to heav’n and voices raise:
Sing to God a hymn of gladness,
Sing to God a hymn of praise;
He who on the cross a victim
For the world’s salvation bled—
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory,
Now is risen from the dead.
Alleluia, Christ is risen!
Death at last has met defeat:
See the ancient pow’rs of evil
In confusion and retreat;
Once He died, and once was buried:
Now He lives forevermore,
Jesus Christ, the world’s Redeemer,
Whom we worship and adore. Amen.
E. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.
A. The first and chief article of the faith is this:
1. Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again
for our justification (Romans 4:24–25).
2. He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John
1:29), and God has laid upon him the iniquities of us all (Isaiah 53:6).
3. All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works or
merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in
His blood (Romans 3:23–25).
4. This is necessary to believe.
5. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law, or merit.
6. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us.
7. As St. Paul says:
® Romans 3:26–28 (NASB95)
26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time,
so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in
27Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works?
No, but by a law of faith.
28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the
B. Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though
heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).
® Acts 4:12 (NASB95)
12“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under
heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
1. Isaiah 53:5 (NASB95)
5But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our
iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His
scourging we are healed.
2. Upon this article everything that we teach and practice depends, in
opposition to the pope, the devil, and the whole world.
3. Therefore, we must be certain and not doubt this doctrine.
4. Otherwise, all is lost, and the pope, the devil, and all adversaries win
the victory and the right over us.
C. Well, there it is—from the Smalcald Articles (SA II I 1–5) contained in
the Book of Concord, the doctrine you confess about the faith and what your
pastor takes an oath to adhere to in his teaching and proclamation.
1. We are saved by faith in Christ—apart from the deeds of the Law.
D. But then hear the first verse of our text:
® 1 Peter 1:17 (NASB95)
17If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each
one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on
1. “Who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds” but the Lord God
2. If we’re judged on our deeds, we ought to fear!
3. Because we are mankind, which means we are fallen beings made of spirit
E. What are we?
1. We can’t keep a promise for a week, let alone for centuries.
2. We witness our God on a mountain giving us his Law and then build a
golden calf against that law.
3. We see our God fight a Pharaoh with miracles to free us and then doubt
he can give us the land he promised us.
4. We will listen to demons about the needs of our flesh and will bite on
5. We stand at grave sides.
6. We will be in graves.
7. We know there is nothing righteous in us.
F. So, are we saved by faith, or Is Eternal Life Based on Our Deeds? No! On
Christ! So . . . Live Those Deeds the Father Judges!
1. God judges sinful deeds (Lev 19:2; Ps 5:4–5).
® Leviticus 19:2 (NASB95)
2 “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.”
® Psalm 5:4–5 (NASB95)
4For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells
5The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do
A. God is fair.
1. The Law is the basis for His judgment.
2. So one sinful thought, word, deed, or desire condemns me.
3. Alas, my very nature is sinful!
4. Therefore, I am condemned!
B. Money or attempts to accomplish good deeds to avoid condemnation are to
® Romans 13:8–10 (NASB95)
8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his
neighbor has fulfilled the law.
9For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL
NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it
is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of
C. If my deeds are judged this way, I should fear!
2. Yes, God is holy and just, but He is also merciful (Jeremiah 3:12).
® Jeremiah 3:12 (NASB95)
12“Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, ‘Return, faithless
Israel,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not look upon you in anger. For I am
gracious,’ declares the LORD; ‘I will not be angry forever.
A. Before creation, in his omniscience he knew what man would do and
1. Man would be incapable of achieving his salvation.
B. Before the first proclaimed Gospel, before the first sin, before the
foundation of the world, God determined to send his Son for our redemption.
® 1 Peter 1:20 (NASB95)
20For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared
in these last times for the sake of you
C. Silver or gold could not meet God’s requirements for our sin.
1. What we could not do, the precious blood of Christ, a sacrificial lamb
without blemish or spot, did for us:
® 1 Peter 1:18–19 (NASB95)
18knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or
gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood
D. God has promised eternal life to those who trust in his Son, that trust
working in us by his Holy Spirit using his Word—the never-changing,
® 1 Peter 1:21 (NASB95)
21who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and
gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
3. By faith in Christ his Son, my judge is also my Father.
A. I come to him as my Father, confessing I am sinful and can’t meet his
1. If he judges by deeds, am I still condemned?
2. Is eternal life mine or not?
B. God cannot deny himself.
1. He must judge in righteousness and he must be faithful to his promises.
® 2 Timothy 2:11–13 (NASB95)
11It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live
12If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will
13If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
2. We know we speak and act with sinful flesh.
A. Our actions, words, desires, thoughts, will—are not perfect.
B. Even our acts of love are tainted with sinful thoughts.
C. How will we be judged?
3. As righteous! Because Christ’s righteousness covers those sinful
A. the righteousness given to you at your Baptism, received by the faith
the Holy Spirit works in you!
C. So the Father does judge our deeds!
1. But your sins are not in his book of deeds!
2. Your sins shall not be remembered.
3. Your “good deeds,” though tainted, are righteous by the blood of Christ.
4. Your righteous deeds are the fruit of faith, evidence of being a new
® 2 Corinthians 5:10 (NASB95)
10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each
one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has
done, whether good or bad.
® Matthew 25:34–40 (NASB95)
34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed
of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of
35‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and
you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in
prison, and you came to Me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry,
and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?
38‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and
39‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
40“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent
that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them,
you did it to Me.’
® Revelation 12:11 (NASB95)
11“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of
the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when
faced with death.
4. Therefore, since the Father has judged you righteous apart from deeds,
live the deeds he judges righteous.
A. You are righteous, “pure,” by faith.
® 1 Peter 1:22 (NASB95)
22Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a
sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,
B. You want to serve such a loving Father by serving your neighbor—in love,
not expecting anything in return—for your neighbor has no impact on your
1. That has been accomplished by Christ!
A. Like kids in confirmation, we struggle to understand and explain the
question, “Why do I want to fear the Lord?” as Peter says in verse 17 of
1. Is Jesus not my Savior?
2. Does he not love me?
3. Am I going to be allowed in his presence only if I tremble with fear?
4. We use the word respect to convey the idea that the fear of God means we
love him so we don’t desire to anger him.
5. But we also need to keep in mind that we fear him because he will
discipline his children for their own good.
6. We are to be wary of those things that bring God’s discipline, for if
they are unchecked, they will lead to his wrath and condemnation.
B. The Greek word for fear, φόβος, is derived from φοβέομαι, which means
“to flee” or “withdraw.”
1. We certainly are to cling to God for all good things:
A. his salvation,
B. his guidance,
C. his protection.
2. But as children of the living God, we fear him by:
A. withdrawing from those things that anger him,
B. Staying away from those things that replace him in our heart as God.
3. Not that we are fearful of those things in themselves; we are fearful of
what they will do to our relationship with God.
4. If we do not withdraw from such things, then something else in our life
has become what we fear more, for we’re no longer fearing God.
5. Something our sinful nature claims is now our god.
C. We hear from:
® Psalm 130:4 (NASB95)
4But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.
1. Let us ever withdraw from those things which do not give forgiveness:
C. false religions.
D. We withdraw from them so that we will ever be with our God.
D. Since before the world began, our Father had you in mind.
1. He would send his Son into the flesh for you:
A. to die for you,
B. redeem you,
C. and bring you to faith in what he has done for you.
2. We have been brought to that faith by the Father’s own living Word, his
3. That faith, that trust, is strengthened by staying in the Word.
4. As long as that faith remains—whether it be feeble or strong—you will
stand confidently before your judge.
5. So live a life of thanks for what has been done to redeem you from sin,
death, and the devil.
6. Live in love for the precious blood and resurrection of the Son of God.
7. In Christ, eternal life is yours right now!
8. The great reunion with all the faithful is yet to come.
9. So now live in the freedom, the joy, the deeds the gift of eternal life
that Christ brings! Amen.
E. Let us pray:
LSB 477:3 Alleluia, Alleluia! Hearts to Heaven
Glory be to God on high:
Alleluia to the Savior
Who has gained the victory;
Alleluia to the Spirit,
Fount of love and sanctity!
To the triune Majesty!
Text (sts. 1, 3): Public domain
Text (st. 2): © 1982 The Jubilate Group, admin. Hope Publishing Co. Used by
permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110000247
F. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
G. In the Name of the Father…Amen.