“According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:” (I Peter 1:2a).
Yesterday we read from I Peter 1:1 that believers are elect or chosen exiles who are often scattered because of their faith in Christ. What is the basis and purpose of these identifying marks of the believer?
Peter says that believers in Christ are elect and scattered exiles because of the foreknowledge of God the Father. This foreknowledge is not only knowledge before something occurs, but also it means to be for-ordained.
God’s foreknowledge refers to His predetermined plan to not only save sinners by grace alone, but to also conform believers to the image and character of Christ (Romans 8:28-30). God often does this through difficulties which help mature us. Our persecutions are not mere chances of impersonal fate, but rather the result of the predetermined plan by our loving and sovereign God.
Peter also says that believers are elect and scattered exiles in the sanctification of the Spirit. The word Spirit specifically refers to the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is growing in holiness. The purpose of persecution is so believers will increasingly become separate from sin and conformed to the holy character of God.
Finally, Peter says that believers are elect and scattered exiles for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood. Obedience means to hear and be submissive to God’s Word (Ex. 24:7; Rom. 1:5; 15:18; 16:26). The blood sprinkling is reminiscent of the Old Testament priestly work at the tabernacle (Lev. 7:14; 14:7, 16, 51; 16:14–15; cf. Heb. 9:13; 12:24), which resulted in obedience on the part of the people.
When you face difficulties, remember the three-fold work of the Trinity in your soul. May these truths give you the strength and courage to persevere.
Soli deo Gloria!