Tuesday, October 28, 2008

...chosen by God; sanctified by the Spirit; redeemed by the Son

1 Peter 1:2, (...who are chosen) "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you."

The hope, surety, and promise of our salvation.

To the scattered, suffering, and persecuted Christians living in Asia Minor, Peter writes those above encouraging words. Though the world treated them with such disdain, dishonor and disrepute, he is quick to encourage them by saying that God sees them as His precious possession, His chosen ones, reserved for His pleasure and delight in Trinitarian love: chosen by the foreknowledge of God; sanctified by the Holy Spirit; and sprinkled with the blood of Christ.

William Hendrickson has duly said,

"Peter, who was an unschooled fisherman (Acts 4:13) from Galilee and the former leader of the Jerusalem church, now writes a letter to Christians living in Asia Minor. He begins his letter with an address in which he teaches the readers basic Christian truths: the doctrine of election and the doctrine of the Trinity. Peter addresses his epistle to “God’s elect … who have been chosen.” He reveals that election is God’s work, that God wants a people for himself, and that the Triune God cares for his elect. The doctrine of election provides genuine comfort and enormous encouragement for God’s people. By electing his people, God demands a thankful response from them. He expects them to obey his commands and to do his will. Nevertheless, he knows our weaknesses and frailty and realizes that we fall occasionally into sin.

Therefore, he has made available the sanctifying power of the Spirit and the lasting effect of the sprinkling of Christ’s blood.
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains."
"according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,"
πρόγνωσιν θεοῦ πατρός (prognosin Theo patros)—the genitive is subjective. That is, πρόγνωσις (prognosis=foreknowledge, to know beforehand) belongs to God the Father and in harmony with it he reveals Himself to his people. (WH)

however, doesn't simply mean "to know in advance." It means to pre-establish relationship - a foreknowing. In the N.T. this "foreknowing" is used of God's relationship with His people--not with places, events, or things. This word is also used in Acts 2:23 to speak of Jesus' death on the cross was by "...God's predetermined plan and foreknowledge..."

A form of this word is also used in 1 Peter 1:20 in speaking of Christ's inter-Trinitarian relationship with the Father in eternity past, "for He was foreknown before the foundation of the world..." That is why Jesus can say the most frightening of words in all the Bible to the pretenders of faith (the confessors but not possessors) in Matthew 7:23, "then I will declare to them I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." Never knew you from when? From all eternity past--there was never a time of knowing.

We hear people all the time say: "do you know the Lord?" But the real issue is this my friend: "does the Lord know you?" And again we must ask, "Known you from when? From all eternity past--before the foundation of the world" (cp, Eph. 1:4-5). Paul echoes this same idea when saying, "Nevertheless the firm foundation of God stands having this seal, 'the Lord knows those who are His,' and 'let everyone who knows the name of the Lord abstain from iniquity." (2 Tim. 2:19; cp, John 10:14; Luke 13:27; 1 Cor. 1:2).

"by the sanctifying work of the Spirit,"
ἁγιασµῷ πνεύµατος (hagiasmo pnuematos)—the ending -µος of the noun ἁγιασµός (sanctification) expresses progressive activity. The dative case can either be instrumental or refer to sphere. Scholars prefer the instrumental dative. The case of πνεύµατος (Spirit) is the subjective genitive (“the sanctifying power belonging to the Spirit”). (WH)

To sanctify (hagios: holy, hagiosmos: to be set apart for holiness) means to set apart, reserved for, or consecrated for God's use and purposes. In salvation by regeneration, we are instantly set apart from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col. 1:13-14). In our daily lives we are also being sanctified--set apart from the things of this world (desires, passions, motives, actions, words and deeds) that can trip us up in our walk with the Lord. The first speaks of our positional relationship with Christ by grace through faith in salvation; the other is the daily process (by the Word and the Spirit) which in our flesh we are being conformed dialy to the image of Jesus (cp, John 17:17; 1 Thess. 4:1-5; Eph. 5:24-26).

"to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:"
ῥαντισµὸν αἵµατος (rhantismon haimtos)—because of the -µος ending, the noun ῥαντισµός (sprinkling) denotes progress. The noun is qualified by the word αἵµατος (blood) which points to the genitive case of Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Jesus Christ). This genitive is subjective (“of Jesus Christ”) and as such relates only to αἵµατος and not to ὑπακοήν (obedience). If the genitive of Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ is linked to ὑπακοήν (upakone), it is objective (“to Jesus Christ”). But a possible occurrence of the subjective and objective genitive in the same clause is difficult to explain. Therefore, I favor the use of the subjective genitive in the last part of this clause. (WH)

The sprinkling of blood here comes from a direct reference found back to Exodus 24:6-8, "Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

This is covenant relationship: the blood on the altar, God's commitment to us; the blood on the people, our commitment to God. Peter was bringing the O.T. shadow into the reality of the substance found only in Jesus Christ. His blood was shed first and foremost to satisfy God on behalf of the people for their sins (propitiation); He was our divine substitute (cp, Heb. 9:13, 12:24). Christ died for God! But when we come to know Him as our Lord and Savior, the blood is "sprinkled" on us; and we as His people are now marked out for Him with the fruit being an obedient life surrendered to do His will. IOW, we are delivered from the selfish, sinful pursuit of living for ourselves, to being a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ--living for now what pleases Him and brings Him pleasure, delight, joy, praise, adoration, praise and worship. What a tremendous hope isn't it beloved? 1 Cor. 11:25, "In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.'”

"May grace and peace be multiplied to you."
πληθυνθείν (plethunthein)—this is the aorist passive in the optative mood from the verb πληθύνω (I multiply). The use of the passive indicates that God is the implied agent. The aorist is ingressive. And the optative connotes a wish (compare Dan. 4:1 LXX). (WH)

This is the great joy of the Christian faith: grace (the source of our salvation); and peace (our standing before God). IOW, the war is over beloved. We who were at enmity with God (Col. 1:21-23; Rom. 3:10-18: Eph. 2:1-3) now have peace with God being justified through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1-2).

And it is this hope that is realized in the fullest measure for it is being multiplied to us daily. The Father foreknowing, the Son atoning, the Spirit sanctifying. And this by His grace and peace given to us.

May we walk in the fullness of that hope, joy and great salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ each day. And remember, though the world may treat us with contempt, persecution and suffering for being the name of Jesus as His people, in God's eyes we are chosen and known by Him; sanctified and being sanctified by His Holy Spirit; to obey the Lord because we have been sprinkled not with the blood of goats and bulls, with the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

What a great salvation indeed we have to rejoice in! May we see a new Reformation in our day - and may it begin with a right view of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 


*Greek designators and parsing by William Hendrickson;
Commentary by Steve Camp


ann_in_grace said...

"The doctrine of election provides genuine comfort and enormous encouragement for God’s people. By electing his people, God demands a thankful response from them. He expects them to obey his commands and to do his will. Nevertheless, he knows our weaknesses and frailty and realizes that we fall occasionally into sin."
It was first when I understood and accepted this truth, I became really free.
Thank You for reminding this - as usual - right on time.

donsands said...

"does the Lord know you?"

That is the question. Many will say in that Day, "Lord, Lord, we knew You and served You."

He will say, "But I don't know you. Get out of my sight."

We need to know that God knows us. And this comes from His bearing fruit in our lives. Especially the fruit of love, but also righteousness, gentleness, kindness, patience, goodness, self-control, faithfulness, joy, and peace.
Thanks for a good post to read.

Suzan Robertson said...

This is an awesome post and right in tune to our current Sunday school class.

The Blainemonster said...

"The Father foreknowing, the Son atoning, the Spirit sanctifying."
Hallelujah! :) What an encouraging word this morning. Simple truth, simply wonderful.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you brother for your comment. When studying on this subject my heart was also encouraged in the Trinitarian ministry for our salvation.

That text in 1 Peter 1:2 is one of the most powerful verses found anywhere in Scripture.


SJ Camp said...

You are right brother... THAT is the question!

In our day, we are so man-centered in the gospel that we really think it is us knowing Him that is the preeminent issue. And while that is important (Phil. 3:4-8), it is Christ Jesus the Lord knowing us that is essential truth and doctrine (1 Tim. 2:19; Matt. 7:21-23).

How glad I am that He is my shepherd and the promise is, "His sheep hear His voice." -John 10:14-16

Grace and peace,

SJ Camp said...


josephmcbee said...

Steve: Amen brother! A wonderful verse to commit to memory and meditate on often. Thanks for breaking this out like this. Excellent.

theoldadam said...

I know that He knows me...for I am baptised.

I trust in His promises.

The Heretic said...

Election is a wonderful doctrine! Why? It's not about me; it's not whether I had enough "faith" to believe in Christ. I have no earthly idea why I should be elected to receive God's grace of redemption, but I sure am glad!!!!

Other thoughts: Well done with the commentary, Mr. Camp. Another verse I find particularly comforting is Eph 1:13, God's guarantee of the inheritance which is to come. Again, showing that it is not about us but about God. Thanks for these wonderful encouraging words.
In Christ,
Steven L.

Isaiah said...

Awesome post, brother.

Amen! \o/\O/\o/

blackreformingkid said...

Great post, particularly during Reformation Week!

Darrin said...

I appreciate the careful detailing of the work of each of the members of the Trinity in this. We must hold on to this crucial doctrine - for it appears that if the church becomes less Trinitarian, we truly hazard becoming less Christian, so to speak. May we continually recognize the Father, Son and Spirit in our worship and teaching.