1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,…
Sanctification begins in regeneration and is carried on in two ways — by vivication and by mortification; that is, by giving life to that which is good, and by sending death to that which is evil in the man. Now this work, though we commonly speak of it as being the work of the Spirit, is quite as much the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification is a work in us, not a work for us. It is a work in us, and there are two agents: one is the worker who works this sanctification effectually — that is the Spirit; and the other agent, the efficacious means by which the Spirit works this sanctification, is Jesus Christ and His most precious blood. Suppose, to put it as plainly as we can, there is a garment which needs to be washed. Here is a person to wash it, and there is a bath in which it is to be washed — the person is the Holy Spirit, but the bath is the precious blood of Christ. It is strictly correct to speak of the person cleansing as being the sanctifier; it is quite as accurate to speak of that which is in the bath and which makes it clean as being the sanctifier too. To repeat my illustration: here is a garment which is black: a fuller, in order to make it white, uses nitre and soap, both the fuller and the soap are cleansers; so both the Holy Spirit and the atonement of Christ are sanctifiers. While the Spirit of God is said in Scripture to be the author of sanctification, yet there is a visible agent which must not be forgotten. "Sanctify them," said Christ, "through Thy truth. Thy word is truth." The Spirit of God brings to our minds the commands and precepts and doctrines of truth, and applies them with power. We only progress in sound living as we progress in sound understanding. Do not say of such-an-such an error, "Oh, it is a mere matter of opinion." If it be a mere matter of opinion today it will be a matter of practice tomorrow. As every grain of truth is a grain of diamond dust, prize it all. The agent, then, is the Spirit of God working through the truth. There is no being sanctified by the law; the Spirit does not use legal precepts to sanctify us; there is no purification by mere dictates of morality, the Spirit of God does not use them. The Spirit of God finds us lepers, and to make us clean He dips the hyssop of faith in the precious blood, and sprinkles it upon us and we are clean. There is a mysterious efficacy in the blood of Christ, not merely to make satisfaction for sin but to work the death of sin. Just as the Spirit only works through the truth, so the blood of Christ only works through faith. Our faith lays hold on the precious atonement of Christ. It sees Jesus suffering on the tree, and it says, "I vow revenge against the sins which nailed Him there"; and thus His precious blood works in us a detestation of all, and the Spirit through the truth, working by faith, applies the precious blood of sprinkling, and we are made clean, and are accepted in the Beloved.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,