1 Peter 1:1-12

We had a great discussion last night at our home group on 1 Peter 1:1-12.  Actually, we didn’t get past verses 1 and 2!!  We had quite a bit of discussion on the concept of "the elect" found in verse 1:

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance." (1 Peter 1:1-2, NIV)

We talked about the differing views on election expressed by John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius.  You can find a web page (the source I used to discuss this last night) with a summary of the two views and what I think is a balanced take on the matter here.  I will be glad to give you more detailed information from the commentaries and Bible handbooks that I have in my library if would like.  Please remember that this issue should not divide us as Christians.  We are told that we must have a personal relationship with Jesus to spend eternity with Him and that we should share the Gospel with those around us.  Don’t let Satan use this issue to attack our fellow believers.  Keep the questions coming, and we’ll grow from investigating the Bible to find the answers.

One thought on “1 Peter 1:1-12

  1. To me, the Calvinism/Arminianism issue is resolved by understanding the paradox. Which it might seem like a paradox doesn’t resolve anything, but with God it does. For instance, Jesus is fully God and fully man – a paradox. Also, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each, separately, and distinctively, fully God, yet there is only one God – a paradox. So it’s not unreasonable for God to predestine us without foreknowledge of a decision (Calvinism) and for us to have free-will to ask Christ to come in our heart (Arminianism) at the same time. It’s just a paradox. But for theological purposes, it’s important to note that the salvation experience brings all the glory to God. Eventhough we feel ourselves making a free-will decision, we have to recognize the paradox that God chose us and that we, at the same time, paradoxically chose, but had nothing to do with it. This brings him all the glory. I actually think most Calvinist’s recognize the paradox, including Calvin himself. If they didn’t, they are actually lined up in hyper-calvinism land. If you embrace the paradox, then there is still a reason to evangelize. If not (say you’re a hyper-calvinist), then you can sit around doing nothing because God predestined anyway. This is generally what Arminians think Calvinists are, but they are not. Real Calvinists embrace the paradox, but only talk about God’s end of the bargin, because as humans we can’t think in paradoxes. We can theologically explain them, but actually can’t understand them. So in our language we refer only to what God did for us in his predestination and rescue. This brings all the glory to God.

    I didn’t know if you covered this in discussing Calvinism, so if this is new, take it back to your group to help clear things up. There are way too many misconceptions about Calvinism that need to be cleared up. The reason it does matter is because if we admit that salvation solely rests on our decision, then that puts us above another human being who didn’t make that decision, and most certainly doesn’t give glory to God.

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