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                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER"

                        The "Elect" Of God (1:2)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous study, we noticed that Peter referred to Christians
   as "pilgrims of the Dispersion"
   a. This description implies that Christians are but strangers,
      foreigners, sojourning in a land not their own, and scattered
      about like seed
   b. With their citizenship in heaven, they may be "in" this world, but
      they are not to be "of" this world
   c. Therefore, one of their important duties is to be "separate" - cf.
      1Pe 2:11

2. One might think that since Christians are "scattered strangers" in
   this world, they are to be pitied

3. Not so, for though they are strangers in the world, they are the
   "ELECT" of God - 1Pe 1:2
   a. The word "elect" simply means "chosen" and is thus translated in
      1Pe 2:9-10
   b. There we learn that Christians are "a chosen generation"; i.e.,
      they are truly God's chosen people!

4. In this lesson, we shall consider what it means for Christians to be
   "The ELECT Of God"

[Using the comments of Peter in 1Pe 1:2 as an outline for this study,
we see first that as the ELECT of God...]

I. WE ARE A PART OF GOD'S PREDETERMINED PLAN

   A. PETER SAYS "ELECT ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD"
      1. The word "foreknowledge" comes from "prognosis" {prog'-no-sis}
      2. It means "forethought, pre-arrangement"
      3. I.e., being the "elect" (chosen) of God is in keeping with
         God's plan which He designed beforehand
      4. As B. W. Johnson says in his "People's New Testament"
         commentary:  "Their election and salvation was in accordance
         with God's predetermined purpose to save men through the
         gospel, and hence, according to foreknowledge."

   B. PAUL EXPOUNDS UPON THIS "PRE-ARRANGEMENT" IN EPHESIANS...
      1. God planned it before the world began - Ep 1:4
      2. It anticipated the "chosen" being holy and without blame -
         Ep 1:4
      3. It looked forward to the "elect" being adopted as sons - Ep
         1:5
      4. This plan is according to God's good pleasure - Ep 1:5
      5. This plan has a goal that the "elect" walk in good works - Ep
         2:10

   C. WAS THIS "ELECTION" INDIVIDUAL OR CORPORATE?
      1. I understand election by God to have been general, not
         particular; corporate, not individual
      2. That it would be "the body of Christ, the church as a whole"...
         a. Which God chose to be the recipients of His divine and
            gracious purposes
         b. And which He planned beforehand (foreknowledge) to carry out
            in Christ Jesus
      3. While in the "corporate" sense this choice is unconditional and
         final, as "individuals" we must be "diligent to make your
         calling and election sure" - 2Pe 1:10
         1) Just as Israel (as a nation) had been chosen by God to
            receive His blessings during the Old Testament period
         2) But individually, the Israelites also had to make "their
            calling and election sure"

[So by being in Christ, we are God's "elect", and involved in a plan
which was in the mind of God before time began and which is still in the
process of being worked out!  The implication of this is that those who
are God's "elect" are very special to God.

As we return to 1Pe 1:2, we learn also that...]

II. WE BECOME GOD'S "ELECT" THROUGH THE SANCTIFYING WORK OF THE SPIRIT

   A. SANCTIFICATION AND THE HOLY SPIRIT...
      1. Sanctification, the process by which we are "set apart" for
         God's purpose, is accomplished by the Holy Spirit
      2. There are several passages that describe the connection between
         the Holy Spirit and our sanctification - Ro 15:16; 1Co 6:11;
         2Th 2:13

   B. HOW THE HOLY SPIRIT ACCOMPLISHES THIS "SANCTIFICATION"...
      1. It is through the Word of God
         a. It was God's will that the Holy Spirit would reveal the Word
            to the apostles - cf. Jn 16:12-13
         b. Through this revealed Word, we are "sanctified" (set apart)
            - cf. Jn 17:17
      2. Therefore, when people obey the Word of God which has been
         revealed by the Holy Spirit, they become "chosen...to
         salvation" through:
         a. "sanctification of the Spirit" (the Divine side of
            conversion, as the Spirit has revealed the Word and convicts
            men of sin through it)
         b. "and belief of the truth" (the human side of conversion, as
            they believe it) - cf. 2Th 2:13-14

[Having been "sanctified" (set apart) by belief in the truth, and as
God's "elect" now a part of His eternal plan, you might expect such
privileges would call for certain responsibilities.

Indeed it does, for as God's "elect"...]

III. WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF OBEDIENCE!

   A. GOD'S CHOSEN ARE EXPECTED TO BE OBEDIENT...
      1. We saw earlier in Ep 2:10 that it was part of God's plan
         before time began that the people of God would "walk in good
         works"
      2. This is all part of God's wonderful grace as defined by Paul in
         Tit 2:11-14
      3. We do not earn salvation by such good works (cf. Tit 3:5), but
         nonetheless we are to be diligent in doing them - Tit 3:1,8,14

   B. PETER WILL LATER EXPOUND UPON THE NEED FOR OBEDIENCE...
      1. As obedient children of God, we are to be holy - 1Pe 1:14-16
      2. We are even to submit to civil authorities, that we might
         silence the ignorance of foolish men - 1Pe 2:13-16
      3. Peter implies grave consequences to those "who obey not the
         gospel of God" - 1Pe 4:17

[Peter also tells servants and wives to be obedient, but this should
suffice to impress upon us that the privilege of being God's "elect"
involves the responsibility of being obedient to the will of the Lord.

Finally, being the "elect" of God also means...]

IV. WE HAVE THE BLESSING OF FORGIVENESS!

   A. WE ENJOY THE "SPRINKLING OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST"
      1. A clear reference to the blessing of forgiveness of sins made
         possible by the death of Christ
      2. The blessing of forgiveness is one enjoyed...
         a. When we first become Christians upon our baptism into Christ
            - Ac 2:38; 22:16
         b. As we confess sins throughout our daily walk with God -
            1Jn 1:7-9

   B. THIS BLESSING IS ONLY ONE OF SEVERAL MENTIONED IN PETER'S EPISTLE
      1. He later speaks of "an inheritance" - 1Pe 1:4
      2. And the "salvation of souls" - 1Pe 1:9
      3. He describes Jesus as the "Shepherd and Overseer of your souls"
         - 1Pe 2:25
      4. He also refers to the care of God - 1Pe 5:7

CONCLUSION

1. We hope to examine some of these blessings for God's "elect" in
   greater detail in future lessons

2. But what we have seen from 1Pe 1:2 is that while Christians may
   indeed be "pilgrims", strangers living in a world not their own, they
   are not to be pitied!

3. For by the grace of God and their obedience to the gospel of Jesus
   Christ, they are God's "elect", His "chosen ones", and as such they
   are:
   a. Part of God's predetermined plan
   b. Chosen through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit
   c. Given responsibilities in keeping with the fact they are the
      children of God
   d. Recipients of the richest blessings God has to offer (such as
      forgiveness of sins)

4. Is it surprising, then, that Peter would address such people with:

                 "Grace to you and peace be multiplied"?

5. Certainly those who are God's "elect" receive in multiple measure the
   saving grace of God and the peace which accompanies such unmerited
   favor!

How about you?  Are you one of the "elect" of God?  You are if you have
answered the call of the gospel through the obedience of faith (cf. Mk
16:15-16; Ac 2:38-41)!

If you have not yet rendered obedience to the gospel, then please do so
today, especially in view of the following statements by Peter and Paul:

"For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if
it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey
the gospel of God?" - 1Pe 4:17

"and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is
revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking
vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey
the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  These shall be punished with
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory
of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints
and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony
among you was believed." - 2Th 1:7-10
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