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Friendship Church

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An overview of our salvation in the risen Christ Jesus touching on elction and assurance of faith.

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Chosen to be sanctified

God has chosen us before the creation of the world to be sanctified. - How many here have gone through a challenging time, a trial, or suffering? vs. 1-2 The elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood.
Peter is encouraging us through God's sovereignty to find joy in our suffering for the sake of our salvation. - That is a mouthful so let's talk a little bit about it. When I do ministry the most frequent questions revolve around predestination. In one of my Bible studies groups, I had a person ask it this way "So does man have choice or is everything God's will. To which I answered yes, and yes.
God is sovereign and, in His sovereignty, He has given man choice.
Eternal life has always been in the hands of God while sin and its consequences are placed squarely on man's choice to rebel.

Election and Assurance

Peter is showing us that the elect will have an assurance of salvation so I would like to talk a little bit about the difference between the doctrine of election and the assurance of salvation.
I have met many people that believe in God's election but do not have an assurance of salvation. I am going to talk more specifically about both election and assurance, but I just want to touch on this issue of believing in election but not having an assurance of salvation. From what I see, one of two things can be happening here.  1) Such a person may be a believer that is ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, having forgotten that they were cleansed from his previous sins. 2 Peter 1:8-9 2) Just as I was, this is someone trying to be a good Christian on their own efforts though the law while holding onto God's promises (in this case the promise of election) rather than holding onto the risen Jesus Christ.
Election - is based on God's eternal plan outside of creation.
- Peter reveals to us here election is according to God's foreknowledge which we also see in Romans. Romans 8:28-30 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Under His sovereignty God fore knew that with choice man would rebel and reject him. Yet, God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth and in His great mercy he has an eternal plan working all things for the good of those who will receive Him and live for Him.
Assurance Romans 8:14-17 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 1 John 2:5-6 whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
So we see here that our assurance does not come from the promises of God, nor does it come from trying to live a life of perfection on our own efforts. Our assurance comes though the Spirit of God as we live our lives surrendered to His purpose.

Born again to live by faith in the resurected Jesus Christ

vs. 3 According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
- One must be born of the Spirit, and this is not of our doing but His. -When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” -Notice here that the Spirit is like the wind, it blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. What a great picture of how we do not have control of the Spirit. So often man tries to take credit for at least some part of salvation, when salvation rests completely on God.
-We are born again to what?
- In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 Paul points out - if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Here we have it! This is the hope of the believer. Our hope is not baptism, it is not the promise of election, it is not our own good works, it is the risen Jesus Christ.
Peter is reminding us that those who believe in the living hope are the elect. Jesus did not stay on the cross, the grave could not keep him, He has risen!

By grace through faith we await an eternal kingdom

vs. 4-5 To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the last time.
- Our inheritance is to be with our Lord Jesus who will come back on the clouds in power.
- God's power guards us through faith
- God gives us faith and he asks us to exercise it. 2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election,
-Our ability to exercise faith comes from God's power.
Phil 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Not my will but yours be done
- This is the salvation to be revealed in the last time.
1 Cor 15:54-55 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Our trials are meant to grow our faith.

vs. 6-7 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
-Again, we are reminded of our reunion with Jesus as Peter begins to talk further about the challenging times we will face.
- James 1:2 Consider it pure joy when we face trials because the testing of our faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
- Trials are God's way of bringing us to maturity
- Have you ever heard that God will not give you more than you can bear? - God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
2 Corinthians 1:8-9
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
vs 8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
- We do not have to turn on the 6-o clock news for too long to see a Christian who has stood in good conscience and has been persecuted either by fellow citizens or the government.
- Our hope and our salvation come through faith in Jesus Christ alone and it is proven in difficult times.  Matthew 5:10-11 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Take joy in your heart my brothers and sisters as Christ works though you for His good pleasure.
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