Four Contributors to Our Salvation

1 Peter 1:2

Peter wrote his first epistle to Christians that were scattered throughout Asia Minor. He addressed them as ones who were “chosen” (1 Peter 1:1). For what were they chosen? Salvation. They were “born again to a living hope” in order to “obtain an inheritance […] reserved in heaven” (1 Peter 1:3-4). They were waiting “for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).

How had these individuals been chosen? Peter said it was “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” (1 Peter 1:2). Here the apostle mentioned four contributors that make salvation possible for us:

  1. God the Father – The first one listed by Peter that helps to save us is God the Father. He mentioned the foreknowledge of God in particular. God “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Our salvation was part of God’s “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:11). Using His foreknowledge, He was able to craft a plan through which we could be saved.
  2. Jesus Christ – Peter referred to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross when he says we were “sprinkled with His blood.” Jesus had to die on the cross for salvation to be possible. The Hebrew writer said, “Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus “died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
  3. The Holy Spirit – The Spirit sanctifies us or sets us apart. What does this mean? As a result of the Spirit’s work, Christians are separate and distinguishable from the world. Elsewhere, sanctification is tied to revelation (John 17:19; Acts 26:18). What does this have to do with the Spirit? The Spirit’s role was in revealing the will of God through the Word (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13). Those who will obey God’s word that has been revealed “will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” that comes with salvation (Acts 2:38).
  4. Us – Not to be ignored in all of this is the role that we play in our own salvation. Peter said we are to “obey Jesus Christ.” Many will say obedience is not necessary for salvation, but the New Testament says otherwise. Peter wrote that we purify our souls “in obedience to the truth” (1 Peter 1:22). The Hebrew writer said that Jesus is “to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9).

Salvation is available to all men (Mark 16:15-16; John 3:16; Titus 2:11). All three persons of God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – have done their part in making this salvation possible. That much is certain. What is uncertain is what we will do. Will we do what is necessary to be saved? Will we obey the Lord and His word so we can take advantage of the eternal life that God provides?

God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. It is not “in a man who walks to direct His steps” (Jeremiah 10:23), so the Father gave us the plan. We were “helpless” in our sin (Romans 5:6), so the Son died on the cross for our sins. “The thoughts of God no one knows,” so the Spirit revealed them to us so that we would know what God would have us to do (1 Corinthians 2:11-12).

Now we are to do what we are capable of doing – obeying the Lord. John wrote, “His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Let us not make excuses in an attempt to shirk our responsibility to obey. Instead, let us simply determine to obey the Lord and follow His will in all things.

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