“To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion…according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…” (1 Peter 1:1-2)
This past Sunday, we started a new series in 1 Peter called “Hope in Isolation”. Peter is writing to the ‘elect exiles’ through modern day Turkey giving them hope and instruction in how to live in a land that is against their way of life and their faith. In this day people are dying in the streets because they acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and savior and they’ve been persecuted by not only people, but the very government who has turned against them and scapegoated them as the ones who set the great Roman fire.
Peter starts his letter calling his Christian brothers and sisters, “Elect Exiles”. Some of you may feel as if you’re exiles for the first time. Perhaps you’ve lost your job. Or your weekly routine has been uprooted because all the activities for the kids have stopped. Or your favorite coffee shop and gym have closed their doors for the time being to keep everyone safe in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. You may feel alone and exiled from the way you live. You are not even allowed to attend church any more, one of the few places you found a loving community.
To you, Peter’s first words of encouragement is that even though you are strangers in an unknown time, or if you feel like strangers confined to your homes, you are not just exiles… you are elect! Translated differently, you are chosen. You are not alone, left to your own devices, you were chosen by God to have a relationship with Him. It means you’re cherished. It means you’re not alone Matthew 28:20 says, “And behold, I am with you even to the very end of the age!” You have the Holy Spirit with you at all times because of the work Jesus did for you on the cross! You are chosen, cherished and in community with God!
Peter doesn’t stop there, he calls you children because he describes God as Father. Peter doesn’t say, “According to the foreknowledge of God the Lord” or “ God the Savior” or “God the King of kings.” Peters says, “God the Father”. Peter says, you’re cherished, chosen, children of God who are in communion with Him and the rest of the saints because of his foreknowledge of your acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Have hope in this time of exile because you’re not alone. You’re not isolated. You’re not unloved. Far be it friends.
- You are Chosen
- You are Cherished
- You are God’s Children
- You have a Purpose
- You have a Heavenly Father, who knows you!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.