1 Peter 1:1-3

Sanctified by the Spirit


 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of 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, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

After the ascension of Jesus Christ and the beginning establishment of the church with the apostles in the forefront, God was not finished with the selection process of his kingdom members. The instructions to the apostles and to those who read the scriptures was to go and make disciples of all the nations (Mt28:19). God beforehand knew and knows whom he selected (Jer1:5). His selection process is based on your heart, and he searches it to see if you are one of the chosen ones (Mt22:14).  And, just like God rejected Esau and chose Jacob (Ro9:11-13) knowing there hearts, He chooses you. God is in search for the exile ones, those whom have been rejected by others; the ones who used to be belong but not anymore. He gives a real purpose to those who are purposeless. 

Now, the work of the Spirit of God is to sanctify the chosen ones, and this he does through guidance in prayer, through the scriptures and fellowship with other believers. But, the question that to often is misunderstood is, what is sanctification or holiness? According to Vines dictionary it holy means to be separated to God.  It is similar to a magnet which sides either attract and creates a positive union, or it un-attracts creating a negative appeal. When we are sanctified by God’s Holy Spirit we are attracted to everything to belongs to his kingdom (ph2:13). He will repel sin from our lives by placing conviction in us (Jh16:8). The Spirit of God leads us to being obedient to Jesus Christ, and that is when we need to repent we must come to him for the forgiveness of sins. When we are the chosen we do not need to be washed with his blood, but we need to be sprinkled just to keep us separated for God. 

 

A Christmas Witness 

Mary & Elizabeth

Throughout the year many things have happened in our lives that points directly to God’s intervention. And, no matter what others say, deep within our hearts we know God had something to do with what happened. Our call to speak about what God has done is always on and it comes with blessings (Is52:7). The things that happen to us have the purpose for us to proclaim them from the roof tops (Mt10:27). There is a children’s song that says “Go tell it from the mountain, that Jesus Christ is Lord”, which charges us to do just that. We ought not to be shy or scare of giving credit to God for doing such wonderful things in our lives

Luke 1:23-25 23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

For the women of Israel it was a curse and a shame to be barren, and so was Elizabeth until her old age. But, God took this season of shame away from her and blessed her with a child like he did to Sarah, Abraham’s wife(Gen17:14-16). Elizabeth, when she became pregnant and gave birth she hid herself, though it was not customary for an Israelite to whom God did such a wonderful thing to to hide. 

It seemed to becoming a pattern with the people of Israel to not share what God had done as in the man whom Jesus healed near the pool of Bethesda. He was lame for about 38 years and on the Sabbath day Jesus healed him. But instead of giving glory to God and sharing he turned against Jesus (Jh5:14-15). 

Mary found out that Elizabeth was pregnant and that she was in seclusion and decide to come and visit her.  Mary’s fire of testifying drove her to Elizabeth and her seclusion. The scriptures says that when Mary came into Elizabeth’s house the baby inside Elizabeth leap out of joy and she blessed the seed inside Mary (Lk1:40-42). 

Elizabeth came out of seclusion and witnessed about the true meaning of Christmas. 

 

God is Lord of all. His seniority over everything created and not created exceeds anything or anyone that is moving up in status. Although there are hierarchy in creation even with man, but everything and everyone is under God. The scriptures tell that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev19:16) and this title was written on his vesture on his thigh. The message that Jesus spoke gave him tribute to being the Lord of all, and Peter relates this to Cornelius and his family in Acts 10:36. Paul says that at the mention of Jesus’ name every knee will bow and every mouth confess that Jesus is Lord (ph2:9-11). Even of the most highly regarded celebrations we can hold, Jesus continues to be Lord, just as noted when the disciples were picking off corn grains during the Sabbath and were confronted by the religious (Mark 2:23 & 28).

Luke 13:11-13

11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

The Lordship of Jesus Christ is vast through our entire lives. The word Lord means KURIOS is the Greek word translated to “Lord” and that word meant master, possessor, supreme authority, king, or OWNER.” This women who was plagued with this spirit of infirmity for eighteen years came to worship, like every other day and did not expect to be heal; it probably was a Sunday like every other. Her demonic induced disease of bend over is today known as ” Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic progressive form of arthritis distinguished by inflammation and stiffness”. Jesus is Lord over any sickness and it was probably the first time Jesus met this lady, so he healed her there was no pre-planned arrangement. As we analyze this healing and the day it took place, we notice that Luke introduces Jesus by his earthly name “Jesus” when he heals this women. When he introduces the person in charge of the synagogues Luke uses the word ruler, and then immediately refers to Jesus as Lord (Lk13:14-15) placing Jesus as Lord over the day of Sabbath. Jesus is Lord of all (Col1:15-20)! Thomas recognized this after he put his hand on Jesus’ thigh and felt puncture holes in his hands after Jesus resurrected (Jh20:28).