“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,To God’s elect, exiles, scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” NIV
Reading 1 Peter previously, I have often been struck by the order:
‘’…chosen…to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood…’’
I say this because, in our experience the order is reversed: we come to Jesus for cleansing first. We confess and repent of our sins and ask God’s forgiveness, trusting in what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross and shed His ‘’precious’’ blood (see verses 18-19 “18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” NIV ). This is the doorway into a life of obedience – of pursuing holiness and godliness as a life-long goal. We must not read this verse as saying that if we obey Jesus we will get ‘’sprinkled with his blood’’ as a reward; as some kind of prize. No, we come to Jesus to be washed clean, and then we endeavour to live a life of obedience to Him, in His strength.
That said, although this may be a person’s new aim from the beginning of their Christian life, he/she will regularly fall short of it. So throughout the time of following Christ in this world, we will consistently need a ‘’sprinkling’’ (I’m sure you will appreciate that this is Bible language pointing to the sacrifice of Jesus, and receiving the benefits of it).
1 John 1:7 says:
‘‘ But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.’’
John goes on to say:
‘’If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’’ (9). This verse has been called ‘the Christian’s bar of soap.’ You can probably see why.
Someone put it like this. They said, when you become a Christian you have a bath. That does not need to be repeated. But as you walk through this dirty, dusty world your feet get soiled. You pick up filth and it can cling. So you need to regularly have your feet washed. The good news is that you can.
THOUGHT: A time like this in which normal life is restricted to some extent, and we may spend more hours alone than we care to, can also be one in which we turn to God more in prayer. As we do so, it may well be that we see ourselves – our sins, our idols – all the more clearly. God does not want us to be bent under an excessive weight of guilt. We need to know that full and free cleansing is available. We can have our feet washed