Summary: God is big enough to keep us securely His and to see us through victoriously no matter what we are going through.
My hope is that this series has been used to get you to stop and look at the size of God. My prayer is that we all may say along with Moses,
“Eternal Lord, You’ve only just begun to show me, Your servant, how very great and powerful You are.” - Deuteronomy 3:24 (The Voice)
With that in mind, I want us to stop and think today about the fact that God is big enough to keep me. Peter makes this assertion in our text.
Peter writes to a people suffering persecution. He writes to tell them to take hope, for God will never forsake them or let them down. He will keep them secure and see them through. Peter spoke from experience.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” - Luke 22:31-32 (NLT)
A little girl was overheard praying about her sister: “Dear God, my older sister has a girlfriend named Tina who never quits talking. It would take a miracle to shut her up. Do you have any left?”
Ever needed a miracle? Ever feared that God wouldn’t see you through the tough times? Peter’s message is for you. Peter assures us God is big enough to keep us and see us through victoriously to the end, because:
1. We are chosen by God - v. 2
Peter says that we have been chosen. God chooses all who choose Him.
“My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.” - John 10:27-30 (MSG)
God chooses to keep all who choose Christ securely and to see them through victoriously, come what may.
“If God is for us, no one can stand against us. And God is with us.” - Romans 8:31 (Easy To Read Version)
Remember how special it made you feel when you were chosen to be on someone’s team as a kid? Well, we weren’t chosen by God because we are special; but we are special because we are chosen!
You are chosen of God! It is interesting to notice how the Trinity is at work in this business of making us the chosen of God. It was the work of the Father to predetermine the blessings of salvation in eternity past; it was the work of the Son to make possible the blessings of salvation on the cross; and it is the work of the Spirit to make personal the blessings of salvation in our lives.
And what blessings has God chosen for all who come to Him through faith in Christ? The key word in our text is “sprinkling.”
It is likely that the recipients of Peter’s letter had a Jewish background. Hence, the reference to sprinkling would have particular meaning and significance to them. From the Old Testament, we have a picture of the three-fold blessing that God brings into each life who is sprinkled by the blood of Christ as a result of choosing Him as their Savior:
1) The blessing of cleansing & restoration - Leviticus 14:1-7
In acknowledging the cleansing of a leper and restoring them to the fellowship of God’s family, the priest would sprinkle them with blood from a sacrifice. Even so, because of the sacrifice of the cross, we have been cleansed and restored to a right relationship with God.
2) The blessing of consecration & responsibility - Exodus 29:19-22
In dedicating a priest to service, they and their garments would be sprinkled with blood from a sacrifice. Even so, because of the sacrifice of the cross, we have been set aside to assume the responsibility of a priest, representing God before others.
3) The blessing of covenant relationship - Exodus 24:1-8
Moses, in sharing the commands of God with the people, offered sacrifices to God, collected the blood, and sprinkled it on the people. The sacrifice mentioned in this passage was a fellowship offering. The sprinkling here symbolized the covenant relationship God has with His people because of the cross (Matthew 26:28).
God has legally bound Himself to us by virtue of His satisfaction with the sacrifice of Christ made on our behalf. He has eternally obligated Himself to us. He is eternally committed to His covenant relationship with us.
2. We are heirs of God - vs. 3-4
Having been born again, we are children and heirs of God. Again, remember Peter was writing to believers who had a Jewish background. They would have thought of the Promised land as the inheritance of the people of Israel. Concerning the promised land, Moses told the people: