1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
We have just started this general epistle and we talked about the term “strangers scattered” on verse 1. The need to do our responsibility as pilgrims or sojourners to this world was also taken and now we are on the verse that is very hard to explain. So I pray that the Holy Spirit would enlighten us as we study and listen to His Word.
A. The word “elect” means to pick out or choose out of a number.
B. In this verse, “elect” is used as a term for Christians, those chosen by God for salvation (Rom. 8:33, Col. 3:12, 2 Tim. 2:10)
C. Both election and free will are equally taught in Scripture. They are the two sides of the doctrine of salvation.
D. Election is the God’s side and free will is our side. (Jn. 1:11-13, 5:40, 6:37, Rev. 22:17).
E. Election is one of the greatly misunderstood subjects of the Word of God.
F. Election does not mean that God chooses some to the saved and chooses others to be lost and burn in hell forever as some groups teaches.
G. The Scripture clearly teaches that all men are lost and need to be saved. (Rom. 3:10, 23).
H. It is amazing that God chooses us knowing how sinful we are. We are undeserving, yet he selects us.
I. The test of whether we are elect is whether we come to Christ (John 6:37). Just as steel always attracts to a magnet, the elect always attract to Christ.
J. God has elected some to be saved, but he has given to each person a human will to choose to be saved or not. Man’s responsibility is clearly taught (Jn. 3:16, Rom. 10:13, Rev. 22:17)
K. “Elect” simply says we are in the plan of God. It anticipates the suffering the believer is to face. 1 Peter deals with how the Christian relates to suffering on this letter.
Illustration 1: Chosen by God
The idea of election goes back to Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3). God chose to make a nation of that patriarch’s descendants. He chose Israel to be his people. He worked his purposes out through that one nation and in due course sent his Messiah as a Jew. After that, God continued to choose, or elect, people in accordance with his purpose (Rom. 9:11), grace (Rom. 11:5), love (1 Thess. 1:4), and foreknowledge (1 Pet. 1:2). The “elect” can rely on God’s concern for them (Luke 18:7) and on their sure salvation (Rom. 8:33). They are to live lives befitting their status (Col. 3:12-14). Mystery is inherent in the concept of election, because we also know that God desires the salvation of all persons (1 Tim. 2:4).
Illustration 2: The whosoevers
The elect are the whosoever wills, the non-elect are the whosoever won’ts. – D.L. Moody
II. Chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father
A. Foreknowledge is simply the knowledge that something will take place. God sees all things at once from the beginning to the end.
B. The word “foreknowledge” comes from two Greek words: “before” and “know.” So, God knows beforehand that the elect will come to him (Acts 2:23; Romans 8:29, 11:2; I Peter 1:20).
C. To make things simple, we were chosen to salvation according to the “foreknowledge” of God the Father. God the Father is the author of the plan of salvation.
D. God does not expect or requires us to understand everything in the Bible.
III. Redeemed by the Blood
A. The Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, shed His precious blood to redeem us.
B. Our salvation was planned in eternity but it was accomplished at the cross in a place called Calvary.
C. The word “redeem” means to buy back by paying a price, and set free.
D. Redemption by the blood of Christ is a Bible Doctrine (Eph. 1:7; Acts 20:28; Heb. 9:12, 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
E. In the plan of salvation, the Trinity was actively involved. God the Father is the author, Christ died for us to redeem us, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies us.
IV. Sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
A. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit. The basic meaning of sanctification is separation.
B. Believers have been set apart by God for the Lord to use as He desires.
C. The work of the Holy Spirit now is setting apart those whom God have chosen. Of course He convicts the sinners also for their sins before they come to Christ.
D. Your interests on Spiritual things like prayer, reading your Bible and serving the Lord is the result of the Holy Spirit working in you.
Illustration: Running from Sin
The story is told of a young girl who accepted Christ as her Savior and applied for membership in a local church. “Were you a sinner before you received the Lord Jesus into your Life?” inquired an old deacon. “Yes, sir,” she replied. “Well, are you still a sinner?” “To tell you the truth, I feel I’m a greater sinner than ever.” “Then what real change have you experienced?” “I don’t quite know how to explain it,” she said, “except I used to be a sinner running after sin, but now that I am saved I’m a sinner running from sin!” she was received into the fellowship of the church, and she proved by her consistent life that she was truly converted.
V. The necessity of Obedience for the elect
A. Obedience to the Lord now is our responsibility as Elect of God.
B. True salvation produces obedience to Christ (Eph. 2:10, 1 Thess. 1:4-10).
C. We do not earn salvation by our good works (Titus 3:5).
D. Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22).
E. Obedience is one of the characteristic of believers (1 Pet. 1:14).
F. As obedient children of God, we are to be holy – 1 Pet. 1:14-16
Illustration: Faithful Dog
How we admire the obedience a dog shows to its master! Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That
morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that’s exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn’t move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master’s word.
With tearful eyes, the dog’s owner said, “I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it.”
Do you consider yourself to be one of the Elect of God? If not why don’t you repent from your sins now and receive Christ as your personal saviour? You have been given free will to choose. Choose Christ and enjoy eternal life in heaven. It’s the best choice a man can do in his life.