Reading: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9
There is a great contrast between the closing words of 1 Peter 2:8 and the opening words of 1 Peter 2:9. In one, Peter speaks of those who receive what they deserve because of their own sin, while the latter verse speaks of those who receive what they do not deserve: God has chosen them to eternal life. While the truth of election is unnecessarily controversial, there are certain things that we should remember.
Divine election is according to the sovereign purpose of God alone. Peter noted in 1 Peter 1:2 that the saints were elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. The word foreknowledge means “decree” and relates to God’s sovereign will. The saints were not elected because they would believe; rather, they believe because they were elected. God, in His own sovereign purpose, chose them to salvation. There was nothing in the elect to motivate God to choose them. It was out of “his mere good pleasure.”
God’s election of some unto salvation demonstrates His amazing grace and infinite love to sinners. The charge is often made that election is unfair and unjust. But remember, all deserve to die and have no natural inclination towards spiritual life, yet God has set some apart to life. That strikes me as the action of a loving God. God is able to deal with sinners as He desires; out of His infinite love He chose to save some.
God’s election of some to salvation is personal. God deals with men and women as individuals. The scriptures repeatedly speak in terms of the personal nature of salvation, of names written in the Lamb’s book of life and of prayers for individuals.
God’s election of some is from eternity to eternity. This election has taken place in Christ before the foundation of the world. It pre-dates time, and it will stretch into our eternity to come. The truth of election is not to be avoided but to be rejoiced in. God has chosen a people for Himself and he will save everyone of them.
If all the world be set on first with the flames of wickedness, yet will I creep into the bosom of the protection of my Lord; so shall no flame hurt me. He hath loved me, He hath chosen me, He will keep me. (John Jewell, Works, 2:933)