February 2, 2022
1 Peter 1:1b NIV
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
It may take us the rest of the week to get through verse 1 so buckle in.
To God’s elect . . .
Who is this? For starters this is a little word that divides people. Some believe “the elect” are all the people God foreknew and predestined for eternal salvation from before the beginning of time. This also means those who are not in “the elect” are predestined by God for eternal damnation from before the beginning of time. It’s a doctrine called “double election predestination.” And let me tell you, some of the smartest people in the room believe this. They have their evidence. As an example:
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)
Now, if we wanted to talk about how to read the Bible better, we would ask this question. Do we read the whole of the Bible through the lens of a few verses? Or do we read the verses through the lense of the whole Bible? IMHO, the double election predestinarians tend to read the whole of the Bible through the lenses of a few verses. I am learning to read the few verses through the lense of the whole. (It’s more complex than that but you get the point).
So who are the elect? At the risk of oversimplification, as I read Scripture, the elect are those who have elected to follow Jesus. This is the first miracle of the gospel. Through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, the grace of God has freed the will of the human race to elect to follow him or not. It is the grace that paves the way—even before we have the first idea of who God might even be. The fancy word for this is prevenient grace. The doctrine gets labeled as “free will.” In reality, it is “freed” will.
So let me ask you, are you part of the elect? Have you decided to follow Jesus? If so, then yes, you are included in the salutation of Peter’s letter. This letter is for you too.
And per chance there is someone out there reading who has perhaps not met or made up their mind on Jesus yet, here’s as close to a hand delivered invitation as I can muster today.
Something tells me Peter, the fisherman, was not a double election predestinarian. He believed anyone and everyone could be caught up in the net of Jesus. We will get to it in due course, but we have him on record as saying,
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
To God’s elect . . .
Peter, the seasoned apostle, knew everyone would not elect Jesus with the vote of their life. Something tells me because he knew everyone could, he would never give up on anyone. He would keep on casting the net. Otherwise, what’s the point of fishing?
(By the way, if you are a double election predestinarian looking for a debate, don’t bother writing me, because you are predestined to lose. lol)
Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. Thank you for choosing us; for choosing me. And thank you for the grace given that freed my will to even be able to choose you. Thank you that you thought about me long before I ever thought about you. Thank you for catching me in the net of your amazing grace. Thank you for letting me be part of God’s elect and for opening the door to anyone and everyone who will elect you with the vote of their life. I want to learn to fish with that kind of net. I am thankful today. Praying in Jesus’ name, Amen.
What do you make of this notion of a “freed” will?
For the Awakening,