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Archive for January 27th, 2009

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.” (1 Peter 1:1-2)

Peter describes the members of the church as “elect according to the foreknowledge of God.” Election, to Peter (and Paul and Jesus) is never left exclusively in the realm of decree. It is the choice of God based upon His foreknowledge (His gracious covenant lovingkindness) manifested in His calling out a people to be His own. Scottish preacher and expositor, John Brown, says this commenting on the term election as it is used here in the first chapter of Peter’s epistle: “I apprehend the word ‘elect’ here, and in a number of other places in the New Testament, does not refer directly to what has been termed the electing decree, but to the manifestation of it in the actually selecting certain individuals from amidst a world lying in wickedness, that they may be set apart to God, and become his peculiar people.”

He then quotes the puritan commentator, Robert Leighton, “Election here means the selecting them out of the world and joining them to the fellowship of the people of God.” This is the election of which our Lord speaks when he says, “Because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen [elected] you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19) (more…)

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