Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
- according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
- in sanctification of the Spirit,
- for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
God chose us according to His foreknowledge. He chose us by sanctification of the Spirit. He chose us for the purpose of obedience!
Some suppose if they are chosen they don’t have to worry about living in obedience. Thus they prove they do not belong among the chosen. God’s chosen children render obedience to Jesus Christ–to this purpose we are born again.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slave to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. (Rom. 6.15-18)
God freed us from sin in order that we might become slaves to righteousness! And a slave of righteousness is no longer under God’s condemnation and walks the paths of life. Lord, slap those chains of righteousness on me; I want to be Your slave!
Notice in our text we are elect “for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” To what blood sprinkling does Peter refer? Here we must think back through our Old Testament studies. When was blood sprinkled on the people?
In Exodus 24, Moses ratified the covenant between God and Israel by taking two basins of blood, sprinkling one of the basins on the altar and the other basin on the people. They sealed the covenant in blood on both sides: God and man. Notice the words as they agreed to the covenant:
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.” And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you according to all these words.” (Ex. 24.7-8)
We have been elect, brothers and sisters, into covenant with God. Just as God chose Israel and sealed His covenant with them with the blood of oxen, so He has chosen us and sealed us with the blood of His righteous Lamb, Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said, as He passed around the cup on the night He was betrayed, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Mt. 26.28).
And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world…” (1 Pet. 1.17-20)