One thing that most of the letters we find written to in the New Testament have in common is that they all contain some form of greeting; each with its own style. This comes from the authors and scholars often use it to help determine the true authorship of the Epistle. We could discuss that however, since I am holding that the author is who he claims to be there is something more valuable in it for us today. You see one of the most debated topics of the church is mentioned in verse 2:
2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace. 1 Peter 1:2 (NLT)
The point of argument is election of the saints. This is a Calvinistic view that many Christians hold today and I neither full agree with it nor dismiss it entirely. To better help you understand this let me give a simple explanation; there are two current competing views of how salvation works. One is election the other is free will; with election the belief is simple before you were born God knew who you were and had already established a plan your life that involves your acceptance of Him. In this view sooner or later you will be saved. Now this goes off the premises that if some are born to be saved then others are born to die in their sin. The free will view of scripture is that God knew you before you were born and has a plan for your life but has allowed us free will that will let us make a choice to follow him or not. This leaves the decision for salvation in the hands of each individual. My point is if you look in scripture you can find arguments that support both views. Throughout scripture God has chosen certain people at certain times in to proclaim His will to the world. Yet you never see Jesus make anyone follow after Him. I defer to Paul as to which concept is right as he wrote to the Corinthians in 1Corinthians 13:12:
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians13:12 (ESV)
Someday we will know the truth and be able to see all that God had established from the beginning. In the meantime we live through faith that what He has promised in His word and through the Holy Spirit He will bring to fruition.
Now let me look at the other point Peter makes in this passage. While he states that these individuals were chosen by God it was not through their power that they were made Holy. It required the coming of the Holy Spirit to help them obey the teachings of Christ. You see we often assume that because we call ourselves Christian we are one. However, to truly be a Christian requires we be obedient to the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It also requires the application of the Blood of Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross.
Thomas Paine once said, “What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.” Whether you believe in election or free will there was a sacrifice made for you how you view that sacrifice determines what value you place on your salvation. I pray today that you value you it so that in the end you will enjoy God’s grace and have greater and greater peace as Peter described at the end of the verse. Be blessed today as you walk in the light of God’s Word.