I PETER 1
Roy Osborne 2006
Reprinted May 2014
THE ELECT ARE THOSE CHOSEN BY GOD,
BECAUSE THEY CHOSE HIM
The church, through the centuries, is notorious for getting involved in controversies over forms, rituals, rules and regulations. These trivial arguments have obscured our real purpose, which is proclaiming to the world the message from God, the Creator of all things. The “mystery” of God’s purposes, and of man’s hope, revealed in Jesus Christ, is a story both simple and profound, but one which must be preached by the church, if the world is to get the message. This cannot be done unless those who are entrusted with the task, leave their personal agendas and self-serving quests, and delve deeply into what God has revealed in His Word, so that we can make it clear to the church, and to the world.
In the writings of Peter we will find, if we spend some time studying and thinking, the most profound exposition of the essence of the Gospel story. No quest could be more interesting or exciting than this. We are dealing with things spiritual and eternal. In such areas we are limited in our ability to grasp that which is outside of the box of time and space in which we dwell. To accommodate our ignorance in eternal things, God has simplified the process and the story, but we must seriously use the mind God has given us, to reach out by faith to that which is more wonderful than our human minds can really understand.
Peter begins his work with the term “elect”. Men have used this term to spin theories which make God a respecter of persons, or to offer one group special advantage over the rest of us in our quest for eternal life. None of these theories fit either the personality or the purposes of God as revealed in the rest of the Bible.
Without presuming to explain the reasons behind the actions of God, the simple fact is that He chose a group of people (descendants of a great man of faith) to be the progenitors of the Christ. Because faith in Him was to be the key to man’s renewed relationship with God, it was necessary to give a substantial basis by which to recognize Him as the answer to the prophetic promise. The Abrahamic blood line was the anchor of this evidence. Hence, they were the “elect”…chosen for this blessed task.
However, Peter makes it quite clear that the only ones who would benefit from this were the ones who accepted the Christ, and placed their faith in Him. Both Peter and Paul stress that the Abrahamic bloodline is not of value unless it is coupled with the faith of Abraham, not just his physical heritage. This places each of us in the scope of “His elect”, if we have the dedication and trust which true faith engenders. No one is blessed because they have the right ancestors, nor because they are in the “right church”, nor because they have performed the right set of rituals. Only faith in Christ puts you in
the family of the “elect”.
Take heed! It is still a matter of your choice, and God does not violate that. You place your faith in Him, and make Him the true Lord of your life, or all the religious trappings count for naught. Look carefully at this first paragraph and you will see that Peter is saying God’s “foreknowledge” referred to those sanctified by the Spirit, for their obedience to (or acceptance of) Jesus Christ, and cleansed of sin by His blood. There is no shortcut around Jesus Christ, because of your status, nor because of your own goodness and piety.