1 Peter 1:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Peter 1:2, NIV: "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."

1 Peter 1:2, ESV: "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: May grace and peace be multiplied to you."

1 Peter 1:2, KJV: "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."

1 Peter 1:2, NASB: "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure."

1 Peter 1:2, NLT: "God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace."

1 Peter 1:2, CSB: "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient and to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you."

What does 1 Peter 1:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The word "elect" appears in verse 1 in many translations, but it is described in verse two. What does it mean to be one of the "elect," one of the chosen ones of God? In what ways are believers in Christ the "elect"?

First, we are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. That means God knew us before something. Before what? Ephesians 1:4 says that God chose us in Christ even "before the foundation of the world." 1 Peter 1:20 says that Christ Himself was foreknown by the Father in the same way. God didn't just know about us; He knew us—personally, somehow—and He chose us. More, we are chosen through the sanctifying work of the Spirit. That means God's Holy Spirit is involved in making us "set apart" just for God, in making us people God can call "holy."

Finally, we are chosen for something: obedience to Jesus and "sprinkling with His blood." As odd as this sounds to a modern reader, Peter's Jewish audience would have understood that immediately. Under the Old Testament law, the blood of an animal sacrifice was required for the forgiveness of sin, and for showing what belonged to God. We have not been literally sprinkled with Jesus' physical blood, of course. Yet, His blood was literally spilled when He died on the cross to pay for our sin. His shedding of blood made it possible for us to be made clean from our sin and for God to claim ownership of us and declare us to be "holy." So, we fulfill our purpose in the universe when we obey Christ. It's what we were chosen for.

Peter ends the verse with his greeting, a prayer that God's grace and peace would be multiplied to those reading the letter