“God the Father...the Spirit...Jesus Christ” – 1 Peter 1:2
Introduction: Although the word “trinity” doesn’t appear in our King James bibles, to say it isn’t taught because it doesn’t appear is foolish. This verse mentions all three Persons of the Godhead together – and presents them as One. There are many other verses that do the same thing – too many, in fact, for us to take the time in this message to read them all. The point of this message is not to teach about the Trinity, but rather to show, from this verse, in relation to the believer, what work each Person of the Godhead had to do in the work of man’s salvation.
I. The work of God the Father
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father
A. As we pointed out in our last message on 1 Peter, the word “elect” is referring to those that are saved. They were part of the chosen, or the elect, because they chose to accept Christ after God chose to give the Gospel to them (and to all, for that matter). If they had not accepted the gift of grace they would not be part of the “elect” – that’s as simple as it can be put.
Eph 1:4-5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
B. The group Peter is speaking to are specifically called “strangers scattered” – speaking of the saved of the children of Israel – they are referred to as “elect” here, pointing to the hope that all can have in Christ, no matter who they are or where they are or the circumstances of their life
C. The election spoken of – the salvation of those that chose to accept grace – was “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”
“According to” – this word is one that literally means “down from,” or “down to” – saved man’s elected status is based upon, or came down from, God the Father
The word “foreknowledge” is a fairly simple one – means God had knowledge that man would not only need salvation but would accept the gift of grace for salvation before they actually did Rom 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
God looked ahead in “eternity present” and saw that man would need salvation so He sent a Saviour, and He saw some accepting that Saviour, and they were “chosen,” or “elected” – I believe, after they accepted (but that’s debated by many)
II. The work of God the Holy Spirit
“Through sanctification of the Spirit”
Salvation cannot happen without a work of the Spirit in the life of the unbeliever first Rom 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
The word “sanctification” comes from the Greek word we get the word “holiness” from and it means to separated unto God – “set apart for divine use”
The word “through” means to be brought about by
The salvation of those that were chosen and that believed was brought about by the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind of the unbeliever before they could believe 2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Joh 16:7-10 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if Idepart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
Another aspect of the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to sanctification is that once a lost man is converted, is sanctified spiritually, the work of “progressive sanctification” is begun – the Holy Spirit works in our lives until we are in heaven attempting to make us “holy”
III. The work of God the Son
“Unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ”
Most of the times in the Bible the work of God the Son is mentioned before the work of the Spirit, but the reason it isn’t here is seen in the three prepositions that are used to describe man’s salvation as it relates to the Godhead – “according to” (the direction from which our salvation come – the source), “through” (brought about by – the means), “unto” (the purpose)
The word “unto” is a directionality word – in the direction of someone or something
The elect are sanctified by the Spirit for the purpose of obedience to Christ because we have been sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb Heb 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Heb 9:18-23 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
We can live a holy, separated life because of the blood of Christ – and we are to obey Him because we love Him. Predestination, foreknowledge and those types of words are dealing with saved man, not lost man, and they always refer to the holiness God expects from His chosen people. Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 1Jn 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
The work of God the Son in man’s salvation was that He provided the payment for our sin with His own blood, and gave us the privilege of living for Him
Conclusion: This verse is not meant to be confusing – it’s meant to simply show that the believers Peter was writing to were born again by the will of God and for a purpose. That purpose is to serve the Lord and love Him and keep His commandments. That’s the same purpose we have today.