1 Peter 1:1,2 – To those who reside as strangers….who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood:
This is a beautiful passage of scripture that blends together our election and the work of the Holy Spirit. Actually, it is impossible to separate election from the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Peter simplifies and makes this truth very clear in his opening statement in his first letter. He describes the Holy Spirit as the One who actually does the work of election. How does He do it, by glorifying Jesus. As the Holy Spirit makes Jesus very real to us we find ourselves strangely attracted to Him. I say that He is simply irresistible. He draws us in, convicts us of our sin, opens our heart to His love, comes into our lives, and begins to do His work of change inside of us. He is the beginning and the end of our salvation and of our faith. Here is how Barclay describes it.
“The reformer Martin Luther said: ‘I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him.’ For Christians, the Holy Spirit is essential to every part of the Christian life and every step in it. It is the Holy Spirit who awakens within us the first faint longings for God and goodness. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin and leads us to the cross where that sin is forgiven. It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to be freed from the sins which have us in their grip and to gain the virtues which are the fruit of the Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the assurance that our sins are forgiven and that Jesus Christ is Lord. The beginning, the middle and the end of the Christian life are the work of the Holy Spirit.”
Peter had a firm grasp on the gospel of Jesus Christ. He had witnessed the life and ministry of Jesus, His death and resurrection, and saw Him ascend into heaven where He is seated at the Father’s right hand as our mediator. Like Peter, we have been set apart from the world by the Spirit for a purpose. Our lives are on display in this goofy world to show forth the glory of His love for us. We are chosen to be His representatives in this world.