The Church As The Elect
Most Relevant Verses
Even before the creation of the world God chose us, who are in [fellowship with] Christ, to be dedicated [to Him] and to be without just blame in His sight. Out of love God predetermined that we should be [considered] His adopted children through [fellowship with] Christ. This is what pleased God and is what He wanted, so that we would praise His glorious, unearned favor, which was freely given to us through the One whom God loved [i.e., Christ].read more.
In [fellowship with] Christ we have redemption [i.e., we have been bought back from Satan] through His blood, and have forgiveness of sins according to the abundance of God's unearned favor, which He lavished on us. [He used] wisdom and understanding, in doing what He intended through Christ, to make known to us His secret plan, according to what pleased Him. [He did this] to fulfill His plan at the proper time, by bringing together everything [in the universe] under Christ's headship --- things both in heaven and on earth. It is in [fellowship with] Christ that we [Jewish Christians] also were selected as [God's] inheritance [i.e., to receive His never ending blessings], having been predetermined according to the plan of God, who works out everything in harmony with what He wants. The end [i.e., of being so predetermined] was that we [Jewish Christians], who had previously placed our hope in Christ, should bring about the praise of God's splendor. You [Gentiles] also, who are in Christ, after having heard the message of truth, the good news about your salvation, and [after] believing in Him, were sealed [i.e., as evidence of ownership] with the promised Holy Spirit. [or, "the Holy Spirit who brings promises"].
[This is being written by] Jesus' apostle Peter, to God's people who are scattered throughout the countries of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. [Note: These places are located in present-day Turkey]. These people have been [specially] selected, and [their acceptance was] pre-planned by God the Father, and they were set apart through [the work of] the Holy Spirit. This resulted in their obedience and sprinkling [Note: This is a figurative reference to the Old Testament practice of cleansing, See Exodus 24:7-8] by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God's unearned favor and peace be continually upon you.
After he has let his own [sheep] out, he walks on ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but will run from him, for they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
We know, my brothers who are dearly loved by God, about your election [i.e., that you were chosen by God because of your obedient faith], for our Gospel came to you, not merely in words, but also in power, in [a demonstration of] the Holy Spirit [See I Cor. 2:4] and with ["our" or "your"] deep conviction [of its truth]. You people know what kind of men we were while living among you for your benefit.
But you people are especially chosen [by God]; you are a royal body of priests; you are a nation especially set apart for God's use; you are a people who belong exclusively to God, that you may express the virtues of the One who called you out of darkness [i.e., of sin and error], and into His marvelous light [i.e., righteousness and truth].