1 Peter 1:2
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
Referring to the first recipients of his letter, who were believers “scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (v. 1b), Peter said that they are the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (v. 2a). The word “elect” means chosen. The term “foreknowledge” indicates that God has chosen believers because He has lovingly known them from before the foundation of the world (cf. Ephesians 1:4-5).
The apostle Peter wanted his readers to know that though they were persecuted and driven out of their homelands and, as a result, were living in far places as “strangers” (v. 1), they were loved and chosen of God. He further said that because God had elected them, they were sanctified “of the Spirit”. In other words, the Spirit has worked in their hearts to separate them from their sins unto God. This work of God’s election and the Spirit’s sanctification were evident because of their “obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ”. When the Spirit commanded them to separate from sin and trust in Jesus’ shedding of blood on the cross for their salvation, they obeyed.
How comforting and strengthening it would be for suffering Christians to be reminded that God’s love for them has chosen, sanctified and guided them through obedience to the Gospel of Christ. Though Christians will be rejected by the world, they are God’s loved and chosen ones for His glory.