according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.1 Peter 1:2(NASB)
Peter was the beloved big fisherman who was called to follow the Lord that day when he was mending his nets on the banks of the Galilee. He was the one who boldly claimed by faith: You are the Christ the Son of the living God, and Peter was also the one.. who having denied his Lord three times, was thrice called to feed the flock of God.
And in this letter to the pilgrims and sojourners of Pontius, Galatia, Cappadocia Asia and Bithynian we see him faithfully carrying out his Lord's instructions.. as he shares the good news of the multiplied grace and peace of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
And through his letter to these Christians.. who had been dispersed due to the increasing persecution of believers in the early church.. we also are brought to a fuller understanding that we too are the elect of God according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. We too have been chosen by God due to the sanctifying work of the Spirit in our heart at our salvation - and too we are called to obey Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord.. and be sprinkled with His life-giving blood - in the midst of an evil and perverse generation.
Just as Israel was the elect of God, and was called to spread the good news of salvation to the world before the cross.. and just as they will be reestablished as His witnesses during the coming tribulation period.. so the Church are the post-cross elect of God. Indeed everyone who has been saved by grace through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of their sins and life everlasting is part of that elect group - we are all a member of that special group that God in His omniscient foreknowledge knew. God knew from before the foundation of the world, that we would hear the gospel of the grace of God and choose to place our trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour.
Peter here tells us that we are the elect of God because of His foreknowledge.. It was not that God elected us to be the elect! God foreknew that we would be His elect. We are called the elect because God knew ahead of time who was going to become the elect. God foreknew who would trust Jesus as Saviour. We are the elect because when we heard the gospel of grace we trusted Christ for salvation.. and because of His foreknowledge - God knew from the foundation of the world that we would become part of the elect!
God sent His Son to pay the price for our sin. Christ Jesus was born into the human race to be our sin-substitute - but He also gave each man and women a freewill to choose to accept or to reject His offer of salvation - to either 1) believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ or 2) to refuse to believe in this free gift of grace. Every person has a choice to accept salvation as a free gift of grace or to reject His gracious offer. God foreknew that some would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ - and they would become His elect. However God also knew ahead of time that some would not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.. and they would not become part of the elect. Instead they would remain dead in their sins and under eternal condemnation!
It is God's desire for all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. God does not will that anyone should perish. Indeed He longs that all should come to repentance and faith in Christ.. but God knew in advance that not all would use their free-will to make the right choice. God in His omniscience actually knew which of us would trust in Christ for salvation. He knew from before the beginning of the world who would be saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus as their sin-substitute and - and He called us His 'elect' -
And so it was that at the very point in time when we trusted in Christ and were born again.. we became part of God's election.. although in His foreknowledge God knew before the world began that we would make that free-will choice. It was that precious moment in time when we first believed that we transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son and became the elect of God. When we were born-again, sanctified and set apart by the Holy Spirit.. we were called to be obedient to our election, having been washed by the blood of Jesus - our God and our Saviour.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You know the end from the beginning and that You foreknew that I would trust in the Lord Jesus for my salvation. Thank You that You knew that I would become part of the elect of God from the beginning - by grace through faith. Thank You that You sought me out while I was dead in my sins and that Your Holy Spirit convicted me of sin, righteousness, judgement and my need of Jesus. Thank You that in Him I am apart as Your child. I pray that I may be obedient to my calling and bring glory to Your holy name in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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