Monday, April 07, 2008

It’s both: forgiveness and obedience

Peter’s first letter begins with a rich greeting. It talks about God’s elect and those who have been chosen. However, I am not going to focus on the long disputed doctrine of election. Rather, I want to highlight what Peter said Christians are chosen for. Peter says Christians are chosen “for obedience and sprinkling by His blood.”

In other words, we are chosen for obedience and forgiveness. This represents both sanctification and justification. We are not chosen only for the benefits of redemption received by the sprinkling of Christ’s blood, but we are also chosen for the benefits of redemption experienced through obedience. Christians will (must) experience the sanctifying work of the Spirit which leads one from sin towards real holiness. It leads to true saving faith that results in obedience.

To reiterate what Peter is pointing out in this incredible salutation, we are not chosen only for forgiveness and we are not chosen only for obedience. We are chosen for both! Grab hold of the entire redemptive work of Christ and live in forgiveness and obedience for the glory of God.
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 1 Peter 1:1-2

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