“This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 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.”
Those of you who have been reading Freedom For Today for a while will know Peter well from our Luke/Acts series. He was the impulsive disciple, by Jesus’ side more than just about anyone else, who turned into the bold and outspoken apostle. Peter doesn’t mince words now that he fully understands his mission (something he may have been confused about a time or two when Jesus was still on earth).
In these first verses of Peter’s first letter to the early Christians scattered throughout the Middle East and Asia, he doesn’t waste any time jumping into some complex theology. He lists five key truths that are too important to gloss over: God knew you long ago, he chose you, his Spirit has made you holy, you have obeyed in following Christ, and your sins have been cleansed. Gospel message in a sentence.
Here’s your freedom for today: God is on a mission to set you free. He knows you. He knows his church. He chose human beings to be his image-bearers and rise up to follow him. When you receive the Holy Spirit, you are made holy because his Spirit dwells inside you. Your body becomes his temple. In that temple, just as was true in the Jewish Temple, sins are cleansed through the offering of a sacrifice. Jesus became that sacrifice for all of us, which is why we no longer have to go to a priest with animals to be killed on our behalf. God has given us grace and peace. He wants to give you more and more of it. Walk in the freedom of his new measures of grace and peace today.