BIBLE TEXT: 1 Peter 1:2; Romans 5:1-11
The Apostle Peter’s letter was addressed to the followers of Christ who lived in the area we know today as Turkey. Peter was writing to Christians scattered far from home, some because of persecution and others because of circumstance. It included words of encouragement to people who were lonely, afraid and discouraged in their doing.
Have you ever been in this state? Of course, you have. We all have.
The words that Peter wrote so long ago are an encouragement to us today. Look closely at these words in 1 Peter 1:2 (NLT) –
There are THREE THINGS I hope you can see, as I saw in Peter’s words:
#1. God the Father CHOSE you.
#2. God the Holy Spirit CHANGES you.
#3. God the Son CLEANSES you.
Let me take each of the above, one at a time.
GOD THE FATHER CHOSE YOU!
Ephesians 1:4 tells us, “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight” (NIV).
That’s an amazing verse: We’ve been chosen, You’ve been chosen, and I have been chosen. Chosen because of God’s LOVE for us!
Even before He made the WORLD, God LOVED us and chose us in Christ Jesus to be HOLY without fault in His eyes.
The FIRST “C”: God has CHOSEN us!
We are special to Him…
We belong to His family…
We are children of the living God.
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago – The GREEK WORD used here is eklektos (ek-lek-tos’), meaning set apart, chosen before, elect, selected. [Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary]
God is ETERNAL. He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between.
He knew you from the start of time as we understand time, and loved you and chose you to be His.
God CHOSE those whom He knew would believe and trust in Him. God has given us all FREEWILL, yet He knew who would willingly REPENT and turn to Him.
In ALL THINGS, especially in SALVATION, God is sovereign!
He KNEW who would believe.
He KNEW who would know their need of a Saviour.
He KNEW who would turn to Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour.
God the Father knew everything and everyone even before He spoke the universe into existence.
You and I, and all who have FAITH in the one TRUE GOD are LOVED & CHOSEN to be the people of God.
2 Timothy 2:19 REMINDS US,
If you are a Christian, if you have repented of your sin and trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, then you have been LOVED AND CHOSEN by God.
The SECOND “C”: God the Holy Spirit CHANGED You!
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago and His Spirit made you holy. The NIV Bible says “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit”.
The Oxford dictionary defines sanctified as “Set apart”, “declared holy”, “consecrated”, “Freed from sin” or “purified”.
As disciples of Christ, we are “set apart” for God’s purposes in this world.
At the moment we give our lives to Christ we are SAVED, BUT…there’s an ongoing process of CHANGE and SANCTIFICATION that continues in our lives until God calls us to step into eternity.
The Holy Spirit works IN US to be His holy people. In fact, His command, not His suggestion to us in 1 Peter 1:16 is “You MUST be holy because I AM holy”.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Sanctification is not my idea of what I want God to do for me, sanctification is God’s idea of what He wants to do for me.”
The Holy Spirit Helps Us to Be Obedient to Our Heavenly Father.
HOLY SPIRIT works in us…
- He helps us FOCUS on God’s plans and purposes for us.
- He reminds us we are LOVED.
- He reminds us we BELONG to God.
- He reminds us we are CHOSEN by God.
The Holy Spirit can CHANGE & TRANSFORM our lives.
Here’s a QUESTION for you to ponder:
Do you allow Holy Spirit to change you? I mean really change you, your thoughts, your actions, your words.
Do you ever make CHOICES based on what you want rather than what you know God expects of you?
Do you allow God SOME control or FULL control of your life?
The Holy Spirit makes us Holy. His presence IN us is meant to CHANGE us; to reflect the character and holiness of God to those around us.
In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul encourages us to let our bodies be a living and holy SACRIFICE to God. I heard someone once say, that “A SACRIFICE is something given that comes with a cost.” So if it doesn’t “cost” you something, then it’s not a sacrifice. Deductive reasoning on my part I guess.
The NLT Bible says it this way: “But let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think [even when things seem insurmountable]. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” — (I added the brackets in the verse.)
The “FULLNESS” of God’s Spirit Operating, HELPING, GUIDING, TRANSFORMING, EMPOWERING You in ALL Areas–Each of us needs the Holy Spirit, to daily bring about CHANGE in our lives, to make us holy.
Try squeezing a full aluminium can of soda and then an empty can. Which is the easier to CRUSH? The empty can, of course. Being FILLED with the Spirit of the living God works the same. Our lives are easily CRUSHED when we are empty, yet when FILLED with the Holy Spirit, we are not “cramped or crushed”.
2 Corinthians 4:7-8 says it this way:
 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not destroyed.
The THIRD “C”: God the Son CLEANSES you.
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 made CLEAN by the BLOOD of Jesus Christ.
Peter tells us so because we have been SET APART by our OBEDIENCE, living our lives as children of God, DISCIPLES of Jesus.
You might be thinking, “Well, not exactly living my life in TOTAL obedience.”
Remember, “Transformation” isn’t a one-time event that happens when you are SAVED. It’s an ongoing process enacted by the Holy Spirit.
Casual, convenient Christianity isn’t OBEDIENCE to God. God wants us to be FAITHFUL…NOT FAITHLESS! It’s about commitment.
So our “OBEDIENCE demands something from us–that we give it without regard to circumstances or results” (quote by Chuck Colson).
You have OBEYED Him and have been CLEANSED by the BLOOD of Jesus Christ.
In Old Testament times, people were sprinkled with some blood from an animal sacrifice to remind them of their vows to God and God’s great promises to them. It was a COVENANT relationship, an agreement that was SEALED with BLOOD.
In the New Covenant, God has established with us, the PERFECT SACRIFICE, Jesus: We are CLEANSED, SET APART and PLEDGED to OBEDIENCE.
When we turn to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, when we REPENT… turn completely in a different direction from our sinful life and ask God to forgive us, and because of our FAITH in Jesus, WE ARE SAVED!
Our SINS, past, present and future are FORGIVEN because Christ shed His blood for us on the Cross. Jesus has washed away the PENALTY for our sins by His BLOOD. We have been purchased, bought and paid for with a price and our lives are not our own, God has SAVED us and the Holy Spirit has taken up residence within us.
READ the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 5:1-11
ENDURANCE Provided When Things Appear to be Insurmountable.
The verses here in Romans tells us to “REJOICE in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance” (Rom. 5:3).
The KEY to pick up here is to find JOY “IN” our trials, our problems, our sufferings and not “for” them!
This is where ENDURANCE comes from (Rom. 5:4). It produces HOPE, the strength of character; and CHARACTER strengthens our confident HOPE OF SALVATION. And this HOPE will not lead to disappointment for we know how dearly God loves us, and He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our innermost being with His love.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ Jesus came at just the right time and died for us sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the CLEANSING BLOOD of Christ, He will certainly SAVE US from God’s condemnation.
God loved you then, loves you now and will continue to love you!
Despite your faults, despite your imperfections, and Lord knows, we all have plenty, God knows you and He loves you.
- God CHOSE you.
- God has CALLED you.
- God has SELECTED you.
- God has a PLAN for you.
God wants you to DISCOVER this plan, your destiny He has ordained for you.
The Holy Spirit lives IN you.
He has CHANGED you, is changing you while I write this POST, and will continue to work IN you and THROUGH you.
JESUS DIED for you and me.
JESUS SAVED you.
JESUS CLEANSED you.
The SACRIFICE Jesus made on the Cross was made on our account and set us free from the penalty of your SIN.
May God help us to become the people He has called us to be!
“Chosen, Changed, Cleansed” and committed to discovering our destiny!
CREDITS HONORED –
Photos: Google Image Search – Settings: Advance search.
Dictionary: Oxford Dictionary.
Sermon Notes: Dean Courtier, Pastor at Estuary Elim Church Group.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV) and Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted in the text.