God's choice - I'm Chosen - Praise God (1Peter 1:1-3)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosenaccording to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1Pet.1:1-3)
Hello brothers and sisters in Christ,
Can you take a moment to read 1Peter chapter 1, or at least the first 9 verses? Just let the words sink in! I have chosen to use the New American Standard Version, because of its accuracy to the original Greek text, and its lack of conjecture while translating. It is a much more literal translation, which is important for understanding what Holy Spirit really wants to say through His word. For instance, some translations see the letter written to “scattered” Jewish believers, but I believe that the audience to which Peter addresses the letter is a gentile one – gentile churches scattered throughout Asia minor, as other passages in this letter will make clear. Why is this distinction necessary? Because Peter will use language that is normally applied to the Jews, to refer to gentiles like you and me, which makes the letter all the more incredible! Gentiles have been included in the “chosen people”! Chosen!!! Like we saw last week with Peter – an unlikely choice for anyone, especially a God who knows everything.
Let us begin there. God chooses according to His “foreknowledge”. That is what we call election, that doctrine that people love to hate. God knows who will be saved and chooses those individuals for salvation. There is no other way to say that. It is within God’s mind who knows everything, the beginning from the end, because He is the Alpha and Omega. As Isaiah says,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,So are My ways higher than your waysAnd My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa. 55:8-9)
There are hundreds of passages to support this wonderful doctrine that explains the question I have asked myself many times, “why me?”. Why anyone for that matter? What makes that person more special than the next? The answer is only explained by…God knows.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In loveHe predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, (Eph. 1:3-5)
Everything that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I certainly will not cast out….No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:37; 6:44)
You did not choose Me but I chose you (John 15:16)
Now, our passage today confirms that the work of salvation is a work of God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit; not man:
Let us not become bitter nor angry at this incredible reality of God’s sovereign choice and election, but let us bless God as the text says, for His great mercy in choosing us, and causing us to be “born again into a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Salvation is of the Lord! Not us. Let us also continue to share the good news about Jesus with the whole world, since everyone needs to hear it. Let us leave salvation of individuals to God who knows everyone’s heart. We don’t share to make converts; we share so everyone will hear and that those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1Pet. 2:9)
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