1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ:
To the temporary residents dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 1 Peter 1:1-3 HCSB
(This translation does this verse quite well. With most English translations, although they were a bit more literal, the “theology” understanding of “foreknowledge,” “sanctifying,” etc., was getting in the way of understanding just what the Holy Spirit is telling us. My Greek text sent me hunting for something clearer).
We are so loved and included by our Father! He has, through what He knows, provided all that is needful for us to be fully His. “Set apart by the Holy Spirit into obedience,” would even be better. As we “choose to be chosen” we are instantly set apart (true meaning of “to sanctify”) by the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives into obedience. Obedience is our natural-spiritual delight. This is in and because of the cleansing of the blood! Yes!
When obedience is hard, we need to re-do our thinking about that action. When I see what the Father see’s about that action, I begin to understand I have been placed “into” that action. It all comes down to how we think and what we are choosing to see. As we begin to allow the Scripture to determine what we think, say and feel – we are not eliminated. We are enriched. This is our true destiny – to be as He is in this world. (1 John 4:17c)
“His kindness (goodness) leads us to change our mind.” That is the meaning of 2 Corinthians 7:10. When we begin to eliminate our arguments and allow His goodness to overtake us in all things, we begin to choose what He has chosen. We find ourselves being placed “into” obedience. He has done what is needed. As we choose to believe that, even in our seeming lack, our agreement in Him begins to align our faith with His Word, and we begin to embrace His supply. It first comes about in our mind/heart. Then it becomes something we are able to rest in. All is of faith.
The last phrase of this greeting is “May grace and peace by multiplied to you.” Literally, may grace (the total favor and provision of God) and peace (total rest and ceasing from stress and strive) be increased to you. Peter is extending to them and at the same time reminding them of the normal state of existence for the believer – wherever they live. We have the total favor in our Father, because of the work of Jesus on our behalf, so we relax and know He is delighted to be a part of our lives and there is no need that is not answered. Then we are empowered to rest without stress and anxiousness because of the peace He has brought.
My heart longs for some “how-to” to make this easier to understand and to allow. The reality in Jesus is that it is all relational. He has known us long before the foundation of the world, created us to be who we really are, and provided every avenue possible to discover His love and power. He invites each of us to rest in Him a bit more today and allow our confidence in Him to rise and empower our lives. May we stop a few minutes and allow Him to rise in us and cover all we are called to do and be.
These are the ways of the Kingdom. These are the ways of Heaven. Now, “may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We choose for that to be true today in us – in you, Precious Lord Jesus!