1 Peter 1:2
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
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.

English Standard Version
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.

Berean Study Bible
chosen by the foreknowledge of God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Berean Literal Bible
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctification of the Spirit unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
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.

Christian Standard Bible
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.

Contemporary English Version
God the Father decided to choose you as his people, and his Spirit has made you holy. You have obeyed Jesus Christ and are sprinkled with his blood. I pray that God will be kind to you and will keep on giving you peace!

Good News Translation
You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood. May grace and peace be yours in full measure.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

International Standard Version
the people chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father through the sanctifying action of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus, the Messiah, and to be sprinkled with his blood. May grace and peace be yours in abundance!

NET Bible
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by being set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with Jesus Christ's blood. May grace and peace be yours in full measure!

New Heart English Bible
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Those who have been chosen in the prior knowledge of God The Father by sanctification of The Spirit, for obedience and for the sprinkling of the blood of Yeshua The Messiah. Grace and peace be multiplied to you.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God the Father knew you long ago and chose you to live holy lives with the Spirit's help so that you are obedient to Jesus Christ and are sprinkled with his blood. May good will and peace fill your lives!

New American Standard 1977
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.

Jubilee Bible 2000
chosen (according to the foreknowledge of God the Father) in sanctification of the Spirit, to obey and be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, the Christ, Grace and peace, be multiplied unto you.

King James 2000 Bible
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.

American King James Version
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied.

American Standard Version
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

Douay-Rheims Bible
According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you and peace be multiplied.

Darby Bible Translation
elect according to [the] foreknowledge of God [the] Father, by sanctification of [the] Spirit, unto [the] obedience and sprinkling of [the] blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

English Revised Version
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

Webster's Bible Translation
Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied.

Weymouth New Testament
chosen in accordance with the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, with a view to their obedience and to their being sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. May more and more grace and peace be granted to you.

World English Bible
according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

Young's Literal Translation
according to a foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied!
Study Bible
Greetings from Peter
1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the elect, exiles of the Dispersion throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2chosen by the foreknowledge of God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,…
Cross References
Leviticus 1:5
And he shall slaughter the bull before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests are to present the blood and sprinkle it on all sides of the altar that is at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

Daniel 6:25
Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language throughout the land: "May your prosperity abound.

Romans 8:29
For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we should always thank God for you, brothers who are loved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning to be saved by the sanctification of the Spirit and by faith in the truth.

Hebrews 10:22
let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 12:24
to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

1 Peter 1:14
As obedient children, do not conform to the passions of your former ignorance.

1 Peter 1:19
but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.

1 Peter 1:20
He was known before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in the last times for your sake.

1 Peter 1:22
Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth so that you have a genuine love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from a pure heart.

2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Jude 1:2
Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Treasury of Scripture

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied.

Elect.

1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Deuteronomy 7:6
For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

Isaiah 65:9,22
And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there…

the foreknowledge.

Acts 2:23
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Acts 15:18
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Romans 8:29,30
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren…

sanctification.

Acts 20:32
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Romans 15:16
That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

1 Corinthians 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

unto.

1 Peter 1:22
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Romans 1:5
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Romans 8:13
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

sprinkling.

Hebrews 9:19-22
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, …

Hebrews 11:28
Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

Hebrews 12:24
And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.







Lexicon
chosen by
κατὰ (kata)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 2596: A primary particle; down, in varied relations (genitive, dative or accusative) with which it is joined).

[the] foreknowledge
πρόγνωσιν (prognōsin)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4268: Foreknowledge, previous determination. From proginosko; forethought.

of God
Θεοῦ (Theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

[the] Father
Πατρός (Patros)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3962: Father, (Heavenly) Father, ancestor, elder, senior. Apparently a primary word; a 'father'.

[and] sanctified
ἁγιασμῷ (hagiasmō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 38: From hagiazo; properly, purification, i.e. purity; concretely a purifier.

by
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

[the] Spirit
Πνεύματος (Pneumatos)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

for
εἰς (eis)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1519: A primary preposition; to or into, of place, time, or purpose; also in adverbial phrases.

obedience
ὑπακοὴν (hypakoēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5218: Obedience, submissiveness, compliance. From hupakouo; attentive hearkening, i.e. compliance or submission.

to Jesus
Ἰησοῦ (Iēsou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2424: Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord and two other Israelites.

Christ
Χριστοῦ (Christou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5547: Anointed One; the Messiah, the Christ. From chrio; Anointed One, i.e. The Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

sprinkling
ῥαντισμὸν (rhantismon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4473: Sprinkling, purification. From rhantizo; aspersion.

by [His] blood:
αἵματος (haimatos)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 129: Blood, literally, figuratively or specially; by implication, bloodshed, also kindred.

Grace
Χάρις (Charis)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5485: From chairo; graciousness, of manner or act.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

peace
εἰρήνη (eirēnē)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1515: Probably from a primary verb eiro; peace; by implication, prosperity.

be yours
ὑμῖν (hymin)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

in abundance.
πληθυνθείη (plēthyntheiē)
Verb - Aorist Optative Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4129: To increase, multiply. From another form of plethos; to increase.
(2) Elect.--A true chosen people. This word marks them off from the rest of the Jewish settlers in those parts. It is an evasion of the difficulty to say that they were elect only in the mass, as a body. The election was individual and personal. God selected these particular Hebrews out of the whole number, and made them Christians; but what He elected them to is abundantly shown in the next words. For all their election they are not certain of salvation, and their title of "elect" implies no more than the fact that God has put them into the visible Church. (See Notes on 1Thessalonians 1:4, and 2Peter 1:10.)

According to the foreknowledge of God.--The origin of this election, the aim, and the means employed are now touched upon, and connected with the three Divine Persons respectively. (1) The origin. Their election is not accidental, nor yet something done on the spur of the moment, an afterthought of God. but "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father"--i.e., in execution of His fore-arranged scheme. The word implies not simply a perception of the future, but the forming of a decision. (Comp. the same word in 1Peter 1:20, and in Romans 8:29; Romans 11:2.) Though the thought is common also to St. Paul, St. Peter was familiar with it before St. Paul's conversion. (See Acts 2:23.) (2) The means. The preconcerted scheme of God embraced not only the choice of these particular persons for a blessing, but the lines on which the choice was to work itself out--"in a course of sanctification by the Spirit." The words and the thought are identical with those of 2Thessalonians 2:13, but probably so far differ in exact meaning that there "the Spirit" is the spirit sanctified, here it is the Spirit which sanctifies. (Comp. also 1Thessalonians 4:7.) We see that even the blessing of "obedience and sprinkling"--much more that of glory hereafter--is unattainable except in the path of sanctification. (3) The end. That to which God had elected them was not in the first instance the participation of the joys of the post-resurrection life, but the benefits of redemption on this side of the grave. While other "sojourners of the Pontine dispersion" were allowed to remain in the disobedience which characterised the Jews, and trusting to the efficacy of membership in the covenant people, these had, in accordance with God's plan, been admitted to "obedience"--i.e., the reception of the gospel facts and precepts (see Note on 2Thessalonians 1:8), and to the--

Sprinkling of the blood.--This important phrase must be compared with Hebrews 9:19; Hebrews 12:24, which passages were, perhaps, suggested by it, unless, indeed, the idea had become the common property of the Church already. There is nothing in St. Paul's writings to compare with it. As the people themselves are "sprinkled," and not their houses, the reference cannot be to the Paschal sprinkling (Exodus 12:22), but, as in Hebrews, to the scene under Mount Sinai in Exodus 24:8, where, once for all, the old covenant was inaugurated by the sprinkling of the people. It was to that same scene that our Lord referred when He said of the Eucharistic cup, "This is My blood of the new covenant." Thus, "elect unto the sprinkling of the blood," seems to mean "selected for admission into the new covenant inaugurated by the sprinkling of Christ's blood." But whereas the old covenant was inaugurated by sprinkling the people collectively and once for all, the new is inaugurated anew and anew by individual application; so that the Eucharistic cup was not (according to the Quaker theory) to be drunk once for all by the Apostles then present as the representatives of the whole subsequent Church. Neither does this inauguration by sprinkling come but once for all in the individual's lifetime, but as often as the covenant is broken by his sin he comes to renew it again. Doubtless the participation of the Holy Communion is the act of "sprinkling" here before St. Peter's mind, it being the one act which betokens membership in the new covenant-people, the new Israel. Of course the application of blood in both covenants rests on the notion of a death-forfeit being remitted.

Of Jesus Christ.--He does not say "of the new testament," but substitutes the name of the Victim in whose blood the covenant is inaugurated--Jesus. And who is this Jesus? The Christ! The Messiah! As though Israel at Sinai had been sprinkled with the blood of Moses. What a contrast between the other Jews of Pontus, with their Messianic expectations, and these "elect sojourners" sprinkled with Messiah's blood!

Be multiplied.--This occurs again only in 2Peter 1:2; Jude 1:2. (Comp. Daniel 4:1.) It contains an exhortation to progress. There are some good things of which we cannot have too much.

Verse 2. Elect. This word, in the Greek, is in the first verse; the Greek order is "to the elect sojourners of the dispersion." We begin already to notice coincidences with the teaching of St. Paul. St. Paul insists strongly on the doctrine of election; St. Peter holds it no less clearly. Holy Scripture constantly ascribes all that is good in us to the choice or election of God. The sacred writers do not enter into the many difficulties which lie around this central doctrine: they do not attempt to explain its relations to that other great truth, taught in Scripture and revealed in consciousness - the freedom of the human will; their statements of the two apparently conflicting doctrines balance, but do not explain, one another; they seem to recognize the fact that we are in the presence of an insoluble mystery; and they teach us by their silence that the proper attitude of the Christian, when brought face to face with mystery, is rest in the Lord, humble childlike confidence in his love and wisdom. According to the foreknowledge of God the Father. St. Peter sets in the forefront of his Epistle the mystery of the blessed Trinity and the Divine plan of human salvation. It is, however, a question whether the words just quoted should be taken, as in the Authorized Version, with "elect" or with "apostle." Many ancient authorities take the latter view. 'Thus we should have a description of St. Peter's apostleship, such as we often read at the opening of St Paul's Epistle. He was, like St. Paul, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God; he was chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame; like St. Paul, he had received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations (comp. Romans 1:1, 5). There is much to be said in favor of this connection. But, on the whole, the balance of the sentence, and the general usage of similar language in the New Testament, lead us to prefer the common view, and to regard St. Peter's words as a description of the origin, progress, and end of God's election. The origin is the grace of God the Father. He chose his elect before the foundation of the world. He predestinated them unto the adoption of children; and that according to the good pleasure of his will (Ephesians 1:4, 5). It is interesting to note that the substantive "foreknowledge" (πρόγνωσις) occurs nowhere else in Holy Scripture except in St. Peter's Pentecostal speech (Acts 2:23). We mark the agreement of St. Peter and St. Paul (comp. Romans 8:29, "Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son;" comp. also Romans 11:2 and 2 Timothy 2:19). Election is "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father;" but not simply, as the Arminians taught, ex praevisis meritis; for we cannot separate foreknowledge and predestination; the foreknowledge of an Almighty Creator must imply the exercise of choice and will; what he knoweth, that he also willeth; eligendos facit Deus (in the well-known words of St. Augustine), non invenit. Thus in ver. 20 "foreknown," the more exact rendering of the Revised Version must imply the "foreordained" of the old translation. But that foreknowledge is the foreknowledge of God the Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but our Father also. He careth for his children; we must trust in him. The potter makes one vessel for honor, another for dishonor; but he makes none for destruction. A veil of awful mystery hangs round the relations which exist between the Almighty and his creatures; but "God is Love." Through sanctification of the Spirit; rather, in, as in the Revised Version. We have the same words in 2 Thessalonians 2:13. The word ἀγισμός, which St. Peter uses here, is almost peculiar to St. Paul; it occurs eight times in his Epistles; once in the Epistle to the Hebrews; but elsewhere only here in the New Testament. Like other verbals of the same form, it may have either an active or a passive meaning. Perhaps the former is the more suitable here. God's election places the Christian in the sphere of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit; he lives in the Spirit, he walks in the Spirit, he prays in the Holy Ghost; and the blessed Spirit sanctifieth the elect people of God: he worketh in them that holiness (ἁγιασμόν) without which they cannot see God (Hebrews 12:14); they have their fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, unto holiness (ἁγιασμόν, Romans 6:22). The fundamental idea of the Hebrew קָדושׁ, which is represented by the Greek word ἅγιος, seems to be, "separation, purity," though some connect it with חָדַשׁ, and regard it as meaning originally "fresh, new, young," and so "pure, shining, bright" (see Delitzsch, on Hebrews 2:11). By the word "spirit" we might, if we took the words apart from the context, understand the spirit of man, which is sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God; but the context shows that St. Peter is thinking of the work of the three blessed Persons of the Holy Trinity. Unto obedience. Obedience is the work of the Spirit; for the fruit of the Spirit is love, and "if a man love me, he will keep my words." Thus election has its origin in the foreknowledge of the Father; it is wrought out in the sanctifying influences of the Spirit as its sphere, and it issues in active obedience. Obedience is the sign and test of God's election: "By their fruits ye shall know them." The end of election is obedience first, then everlasting life. And sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. The word ῤαντισμός, sprinkling, occurs also in Hebrews 12:24 (comp. also Hebrews 9:19). In both places there is an evident reference to the events related in Exodus 24:8, where we read that "Moses took the blood, arid sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you." We observe that in this place also ceremonial sanctification (Exodus 19:10) and the promise of obedience (Exodus 24:3) preceded the sprinkling of blood. "The blood of sprinkling" is called by the Lord himself the blood of the new covenant (Matthew 26:28; Mark 14:24), the blood by which the covenant of grace was ratified and inaugurated. Moses sprinkled the blood of the old covenant once upon the people; the blood of the new covenant was shed once for all upon the cross; but it is ever fresh in its efficacy and power; still we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus; still, if we abide in him, we have our "hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience;" still, "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light,... the blood of Jesus Christ his Son is cleansing us from all sin." Those who are elect unto obedience are elect unto the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; the loving obedience of faith keeps them in the presence of the cross, within the cleansing range of the one all-sufficient sacrifice. Thus we have in this verse the concurrence of the three blessed Persons in the scheme of salvation - the choice of the Father, the sanctification of the Spirit, the redeeming work of the Son. Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. St. Peter uses the familiar salutation of St. Paul; possibly he quotes it, for he was plainly familiar with St. Paul's Epistles - he refers to them expressly in 2 Peter 3:15, 16, and Sylvanus, the old companion of St. Paul, was now with him. He unites into one expression the Greek and Hebrew salutations, the χαίρειν of the Greeks under its Christian aspect of χάρις, the favor of God; and the שָׁלום of the Hebrews - the peace which is the fruit of grace, which is the blessed possession of those on whom the favor of God abideth. That grace and peace is granted to all the elect of God. St. Peter prays that it may be multiplied, that his readers may be blessed with an ever-increasing measure of that heavenly gift. He uses the same form of salutation in his Second Epistle. It is interesting to observe that the phrase, "Peace be multiplied unto you," occurs also in the proclamation of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:1), and in that of Darius (Daniel 6:25),both written in Babylon, the city from which St. Peter now sends the message of peace. The anarthrousness of these two verses is remarkable; in the original there is not one article in vers. 1, 2. 1:1-9 This epistle is addressed to believers in general, who are strangers in every city or country where they live, and are scattered through the nations. These are to ascribe their salvation to the electing love of the Father, the redemption of the Son, and the sanctification of the Holy Ghost; and so to give glory to one God in three Persons, into whose name they had been baptized. Hope, in the world's phrase, refers only to an uncertain good, for all worldly hopes are tottering, built upon sand, and the worldling's hopes of heaven are blind and groundless conjectures. But the hope of the sons of the living God is a living hope; not only as to its object, but as to its effect also. It enlivens and comforts in all distresses, enables to meet and get over all difficulties. Mercy is the spring of all this; yea, great mercy and manifold mercy. And this well-grounded hope of salvation, is an active and living principle of obedience in the soul of the believer. The matter of a Christian's joy, is the remembrance of the happiness laid up for him. It is incorruptible, it cannot come to nothing, it is an estate that cannot be spent. Also undefiled; this signifies its purity and perfection. And it fadeth not; is not sometimes more or less pleasant, but ever the same, still like itself. All possessions here are stained with defects and failings; still something is wanting: fair houses have sad cares flying about the gilded and ceiled roofs; soft beds and full tables, are often with sick bodies and uneasy stomachs. All possessions are stained with sin, either in getting or in using them. How ready we are to turn the things we possess into occasions and instruments of sin, and to think there is no liberty or delight in their use, without abusing them! Worldly possessions are uncertain and soon pass away, like the flowers and plants of the field. That must be of the greatest worth, which is laid up in the highest and best place, in heaven. Happy are those whose hearts the Holy Spirit sets on this inheritance. God not only gives his people grace, but preserves them unto glory. Every believer has always something wherein he may greatly rejoice; it should show itself in the countenance and conduct. The Lord does not willingly afflict, yet his wise love often appoints sharp trials, to show his people their hearts, and to do them good at the latter end. Gold does not increase by trial in the fire, it becomes less; but faith is made firm, and multiplied, by troubles and afflictions. Gold must perish at last, and can only purchase perishing things, while the trial of faith will be found to praise, and honour, and glory. Let this reconcile us to present afflictions. Seek then to believe Christ's excellence in himself, and his love to us; this will kindle such a fire in the heart as will make it rise up in a sacrifice of love to him. And the glory of God and our own happiness are so united, that if we sincerely seek the one now, we shall attain the other when the soul shall no more be subject to evil. The certainty of this hope is as if believers had already received it.
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