“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.”
for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
The end in view is obedience. This obedience is not the effect of our obedience but for (unto) obedience.
Three prepositions carry the three roles of the trinity in our salvation: “according to,” “through,” and “unto.” “According to” gives the fact of our salvation; “Through” gives the means of our salvation; “Unto” gives the purpose of our salvation. The purpose of our salvation is that we might be conformed into the same image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
The meaning of “obedience” here is the exercise of faith for our salvation. The Bible refers to obedience in the context of salvation many times (Acts 6:7; 2 Th 1:7-9; Ro 1:5; 6:17; Ga 3:1; 1 Pe 4:17; 2 Th 1:7,9).
“Obedience” refers to a standardized way in which a person enters into the plan of God. God has a standard operating procedure for entering into His plan (Acts 16:31; John 20:31).
Obedience here then is the obedience of faith. God calls us to obey the gospel. The Holy Spirit is the initiator of our salvation. He causes us to obey by setting us apart unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ.
The “sprinkling” in Peter’s mind is that of the Old Testament offerings (Exodus 24:3-8). This is the blood sprinkled on the altar. The blood of the Old Testament sacrifice pointed to the blood of Christ. The entire basis of our salvation rests on Christ. It is not enough that the blood is shed; it must be sprinkled. The sprinkling shows that God imputes Jesus’ blood to the believer.
Sprinkling then has to do with blood, not water (Hebrews 9:21). The blood of Christ speaks of the reconciling work of Christ on the cross. God knows of no other way of forgiving than through the blood of Christ. Only the blood can wash away our sins. It is the basis by which God forgives us (John 10:11; Colossians 1:20; 1 Corinthians 11:27; Hebrews 9:11,14; 10:17,19; 13:20; 1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 5:9,10; 7:14; 12:20).
“Sprinkling” emphasizes propitiation. Propitiation means to satisfy. God is satisfied with the death of Christ for our sins. God is satisfied with the work of God the Son on the cross.
The animal in the Old Testament died by losing his blood. This is what we call a representative analogy. There is an analogy between a priest cutting the throat of the bull upon the altar and the death of Christ. Christ bore our sins upon the cross.
God has one standard way of delivering us from our sin – the death of Christ.
Many people today are immune to the gospel message. They acknowledge it from Adam’s apple up. It is not a matter of the heart to them. They have heard about the blood of Christ all their lives, but the gospel has never personally impressed them. They have never obeyed the gospel. Have you personally received from God the sacrifice of his Son on the cross? Do you believe that God is satisfied with the death of Christ for your sin? Do you believe that you can do nothing for your salvation? If the answer to these questions is “no,” then you are not a Christian.
A Christian is one who accepts from God the gift of the death of his Son upon the cross for our sin (Romans 4:5). Will you do that now? If you do, you will become a Christian.