I Peter 1:17-18.
And if ye call on the Father, Who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
In verse 17, to call on the Father is to invoke His Name in one’s own behalf. It can be understood, perhaps, from the habit of calling on the Name of Jehovah at the beginning of a prayer. It can also be used in the sense of calling for help, or seeking the Father’s judgment on one’s own behalf.
If you have access to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, or the BlueLetterBible.com, you would perhaps be interested in doing a study on all the uses of the word Father in the Bible. It ranges all the way from Adam to Abraham to Jesus in its different contexts, including that the Father is the Creator and Author of all things and beings.
The Father judges all mankind without respect of persons; that is, impartially according to gender, race or ethnicity wealth, status or anything else. We are all the same in His sight.
The Father judges all of us. That is, He presides over us with the power of giving judicial decisions, which are not subject to appeal or any legal maneuvering. He presides over our eternal destiny, from which there is no changing of His mind. His judgment is absolute. Inarguable.
He judges according to every man’s work. In this context, it means an act, deed, thing done. For some, this text is used as a proof text that we can work our way to heaven through our behavior, our deeds, our service for God. The problem, of course, is that such a belief is blown away by what follows.
Those who call upon the Father to be judged according to their works are told to pass their time as strangers living in a strange land (heaven is our true home!) in fear and dread, or terror.
Why? Because we are not redeemed, bought back, rescued, saved by that which is corruptible and fades away. We may gain silver and gold from our vain conversation, (empty behavior/efforts), but those things quickly pass away under God’s evaluation.
Where did we get the idea that we can be saved by our work? Peter, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, says it came from tradition passed down from our ancestors.
You see, mankind has always wanted to think of himself in terms just barely less than divine, having the ability to earn heaven and God’s approbation through good works. The problem we overlook in such a belief is summarized in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
When we deceive ourselves into believing that we can somehow earn heaven, we make the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ of very little importance. And that, my friends, is not okay with God!