“To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” – 1 Pet. 1:1b-2
When you read the Bible, you should always play the role of Captain Obvious. As you read your Bible you should be making observations about what is plainly there. What do you see in the text that is obvious? Look at the words. Look for the words that seem important. Look for repeated words or phrases. Look for connections that link verses together, phrases together, or words together. As you make these observations you will create questions about what you seeing. This leads us to now play a different role— Interrogator.
We should interrogate the text. Ask questions about what you see. Do not run from having questions. We are limited in our understanding and we will always be growing in our knowledge of Christ. This, by necessity, means that we should always have questions. Be encouraged because questions lead to answers. Answers lead to truth. Truth leads to Jesus, for he is Truth (John 14:6).
Questions are intended to draw you closer to Christ. When you ask good questions, you will grow to “know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
I lay this reality on the table because when we read the phrase Peter writes, “for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood,” it may lead you to ask: what does that even mean?
Let’s consider a few of things that the Son has purchased for us by his shed blood on the cross.
He purchased for us a new heart to see him as compelling and beautiful in a way that we freely and joyfully receive him as Savior, Lord, and Treasure of our lives (2 Cor. 4:6).
He purchased everything that is good for us, and the enjoyment of our King’s inheritance forever (Rom. 8:17, 32).
He purchased us into his family as his adopted child and gave us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3, Rom. 8:15).
He purchased for us his great and precious promises that we can stand on to escape our sin and partake in his divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
He purchased every single desire that we have to do his will (Phil. 2:13).
One of the goals of salvation is that you now obey Jesus Christ. You can only obey him because Christ purchased for you the ability to do so on the cross. He shed his blood for you so that you could obey him. In fact it is impossible to obey left to our sinful flesh (Rom. 8:7-8). Every single act of obedience is a gift of grace from the Son.
The blood of Christ has redeemed us, forgiven us, and sets us apart for obedience. Obeying Christ is what we were made for. It is for our joy. For when we obey, we experience the very character of God being perfected in us.
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” –John 15:10-11
When we are obeying Jesus, you are living out your identity as God’s chosen child. The blood of the Incarnate Son is the only reason that this is possible in our lives. Praise the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Scripture for further mediation: Col. 2:13-15, Gal. 3:13