Summary: As Christians, we are God’s chosen people.
Text: 1 Pet. 1:1-2
1. Illustration: A pastor finally gets an opportunity to speak at a large community association gathering. He feels rather proud that he was asked, so he refuses the check saying that "he felt special enough by being chosen" and that the check should go to a better cause.
Reluctantly, the person giving the check did say that they had a special fund that this money could be used for. When the pastor inquired further about this special fund, the person said, "It’s so that we can get a better speaker next year."
2. The central message of First Peter is that Christians, God’s chosen, are special and precious to God.
3. As God’s chosen we must understand:
a. We are in the world, but not of the world
b. We are hand picked
c. We are set apart
d. We are people who obey
e. We experience grace
4. Read 1 Pet. 1:1-2
Proposition: As Christians, we are God’s chosen people.
Transition: As God’s chosen people we must understand that...
I. We Are In the World, But Not of the World (1)
1. Peter writes this letter to "the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia."
a. Some translations use the term "strangers," however, "pilgrims" gives us a better understanding of what Peter is trying to say.
b. First of all, the modern understanding of word "stranger" carries with it the idea of being weird, and God has not called us to weird.
c. Secondly, the word that Peter uses here word means pilgrim, sojourner, visitor, or exile.
d. The idea is that of a person visiting a place for a while, but he is not a permanent resident.
2. As Christians we are not citizens of our state or nation, but citizens of heaven.
a. Phil. 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
b. This world is not our home, but heaven is our home.
c. We are only here temporarily; we are destined for a better place.
3. We are only pilgrims on earth.
a. We shall soon be called to go home—to go to our permanent home in heaven and be there forever and ever.
b. And there shall be no hunger or poverty or suffering or hardship in heaven.
c. Heb. 13:14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
B. Not Our Home
1. Illustration: The Christian artist, Larry Norman, in his song Readers Digest said, "What a mess the world is in, I wonder who began it. Don’t ask me, I’m only visiting this planet. This world is not my home. I’m just passing through."
2. We live in this world only temporarily; we just passing through.
3. We must understand that we are like Abraham; we are pilgrims in a foreign land.
a. Heb. 11:9-10 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
b. We were not made for this world, but we were made for the New Jerusalem.
4. However, we must also understand that because our time on earth here is short, we must make the most of our time here.
a. God has not sent us here permanently, but he has sent us here for a reason.
b. As long as we are here we must be about the Father’s business.
c. We must be faithful witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Transition: Life is short, so seize the day!
II. We Are Hand Picked (2)
1. Peter tells us that we are "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father."
a. The word elect means "to be chosen by God; separated or set apart.—Practical Word Studies in the New Testament
b. We have been hand picked by God.
c. God called believers out of the world and away from the old life it offered, the old life of sin and death.
2. There has been much disagreement and debate in the church over the years about the concept of the elect of God.
a. Being “chosen” does not remove the necessity for people to choose to follow him.
b. The fact that God knows all events and decisions beforehand, even ordains them beforehand, does not mean that he forces the actions of his creatures, leaving them no choice.
c. God took the initiative and chose people before they had done anything to deserve it.—Life Application Concise New Testament Commentary
3. Notice how we are chosen "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father."