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Peter identifies a second purpose/result of being chosen by God - ‘chosen ... for ... sprinkling by his blood’.

The first purpose/result of being chosen by God is about our personal response to the person, Jesus Christ. Peter addressed his letter to those who are ‘chosen ... for obedience to Jesus Christ’. The second purpose/result is focused on the impact of the work of Jesus Christ on the person chosen by God – ‘chosen ... for... sprinkling by his blood.’

The word ‘sprinkling’ seems a rather weak word to join with the blood of Christ. In common use it referred to ritual or ceremonial cleansing. Water was sprinkled in some cleansing rites. Blood was sprinkled on the altar within the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. But ritual and ceremonial cleansing are not at all the real thing; they are by definition weak symbols of a far greater, far stronger reality. And it is from the greater reality prophetically symbolised by the word ‘sprinkling’ that this inherently weak word draws its power and its significance. All that is prophetically revealed in the cleansing rituals, all that is prophetically proclaimed in the sacrifices and the feasts of Israel, is brought to our attention in Peter’s mention of ‘sprinkling by his blood’.

In these four words ‘sprinkling by his blood’ the whole of salvation gained by the substitutionary, sacrificial, atoning death of Christ is included.

Because of Christ’s ‘blood’, those who believe in him:

Have redemption [Ephesians 1:7].

Have forgiveness of sins [Ephesians 1:7].

Are reconciled to God [Romans 5:10] and live in a status of peace with God [Colossians 1:20].

Are presented ‘holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation’ [Colossians 1:22].

Are justified (declared righteous, acquitted) [Romans 3:21-26].

Are ‘made perfect for ever’ [Hebrews 10:10].

Have ‘life’ [Romans 5:18].

Have permanent, unimpeded access to God [Hebrews 10:19-22].

Are ‘purchased ... for God’ [Revelation 5:9].

Are incorporated in the new covenant ratified by his blood [Matthew 26:28].

All of this, and more, is included in Peter’s ‘sprinkling by his blood’.

In the meditation on ‘chosen according to the foreknowledge of God’ we saw that all of this was planned and already real and effective before the creation of the world. It was already the possession of those who would, in human time and space, believe in Jesus Christ, the Lord. This incredible gift, ‘this grace,’ Paul states, ‘was given us in Christ before the beginning of time’ [2Timothy 1:9].

From Peter’s few words in these two opening verses of his letter we see four essential elements which result in the salvation of a sinner:

The eternal and sovereign plan and purpose of God the Father.
The effective operation of the Holy Spirit of God in the heart of the sinner.
The personal submission of the sinner to the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The sin-bearing, substitutionary death of Christ.

The first is the source of the other three. The last is the legal basis for the other three. Without the second the third would never occur, and both the first and the last would be therefore useless. Thus we see that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all fulfil indispensible roles in our salvation.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2017