1st Peter #1: Elected to an earthly term

1st Peter #1: Elected to an earthly term

sermon 1 Peter 1 : Patrice Berger, 2023_06_01, AB Lausanne church

title : 1st Peter #1: Elected to an earthly term

1st Peter #1 : Elected to an earthly term 

Our place in life

To answer the question concerning

  • our place, our life,
  • our destiny,
    I was impressed by the first two verses of the first epistle of Peter.

For the next sermons
Epistle which will be the support of our next sermons on the occasion of Sunday morning worship.

Reading 1 Peter 1. 1-2
To grasp them as easily as possible, I suggest you read it
in the Living Word transcription:

1 Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ,
greets all those whom God has chosen and who live as foreigners, scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.
It is assumed that this is the path that the bearer of this circular letter made to the various churches of the time of the apostles.


  • the north of present-day Turkey,
  • to the Mediterranean.

1 Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ,
greets all those whom God has chosen and who live as foreigners, scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.
2 God, the Father, has chosen you because he already knew you beforehand; he took heed of you and ordained you, according to his plan, to be transformed by the (holy) Spirit, in order to be able to obey Jesus Christ and to be purified by the sprinkling of his blood.
Grace and peace to you in ever-increasing measure.

Excerpt from: “Living Word. »

Two word summary and epistle

Two words summarize all this text, they will be the support developed
in the remainder of the epistle:

  • foreigners;
  • elected (here chosen).

The most important words, if you have retained these 2 aspects,

  • I can lose you
  • or you can go back to sleep…

But to lull you during your nap, I would just like to clarify a few aspects concerning what is meant by

  • foreigners, other terms related to this idea:
  • passing guests,
  • pilgrims,
  • diaspora (tolerated in a country other than their own) ;
  • elected (here chosen).

Proceedings on origins
One of the aspects that has marked us the most since our arrival in Switzerland is the proceedings on origins.
Besides, it’s so well anchored that it appears on our identity papers.


  • The majority of newspaper articles
  • or TV news
    always mention the origin of the person.

As if the fact of belonging

  • to a type of canton
  • or country
    conditions or determines the actions of our lives.

Attached to something small
It’s funny or cute to take advantage of a few square kilometers on the scale of the earth!

But why not, it can be a nice snub to globalization and globalization.

Need a tether and ours is in heaven

This is underlined by today’s text of the Epistle of Peter:
1) We need to know

  • what is our origin
  • what is our ultimate tie.
    2) To the elect, the redeemed of God through Christ, we are strangers down here.
  • The redeemed of God by Christ are foreigners,
  • foreigners even on the ground, the country or the canton which saw them being born even even established a whole life.
  • Their homeland is heavenly!

Different terms for foreigner:

  • Today’s text even tells us, if we look at it in the original, that we are a Diaspora (like the Hebrews and Jews for many years).
  • Jacob’s family in Egypt.
  • The Hebrews in Egypt.
  • The Israelites deported at the end of the kingship.
  • The great history of the Jewish people, from Roman times to the founding of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948.
  • We are tolerated in a country that is not ours.
  • We are on the way and our homeland, future and certain, is heavenly.
  • Like Abraham: some of God’s territorial promises, but not tasting them while he was alive.

Consequences of being a foreigner

  • In short, we pride ourselves on our heavenly origin and much less on our earthly origin.
  • Our affect,
  • our investment,
  • our support,
  • our reflections
  • our nationalism
  • are carried towards our certain and eternal bond.
  • Being from a Swiss family for almost 350 years should not drive
  • my choices,
  • my postures,
  • my repartee,
  • my relationships,
  • my decisions,
  • my pride.
  • It is to be a child of the family of God, an active member of the people of God,
  • my choices,
  • my postures,
  • my repartee,
  • my relationships,
  • my decisions,
  • my pride
  • are all different .

I boast

  • of a sure origin
  • and without shade.
  • The gaze
  • and the inspiration
    towards which my life leads are certain.

Clinging to eternity, not to the temporal
It is truly precious

  • to be a stranger,
  • a passing guest,
  • a pilgrim from the celestial city;
    it saves me from believing that
  • what I experience on a daily basis will be forever, it avoids a lot of disappointment when everything crumbles;
    it saves me from believing
  • that it is necessary to invest here and now as if everything were final and eternal here below.

Not live disembodied

However, our status as temporary residents on our planet should not rhyme with indifference and detachment.
Cf. Gospel
The best balance, we have it in Jesus who demonstrated it perfectly during His life here below.
On the contrary,

  • let’s be involved,
  • show solidarity.
    Look at what the prophet Jeremiah said to the people of God who went into exile in Babylon,
  • diaspora,
  • tolerated in a country other than his own:

Jeremiah 29. 4
4 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all the exiles whom I have brought from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses
and inhabit them, plant gardens and eat the fruits!
6 Marry and have sons and daughters, give wives to your sons and husbands to your daughters, that they may bear sons and daughters. Increase in number where you are and do not decrease!

7 Seek the welfare of the city where I have banished you, and intercede with the Lord for it, because your own welfare is bound up with his.

8 For this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
Do not be deceived by your prophets who live among you, nor by your diviners, and pay no heed to the dreams you have! 9 For they are prophesying lies to you as if from me. I did not send them, declares the Lord.
10 But this is what the LORD says:
As soon as 70 years have passed for Babylon, I will intervene on your behalf, and I will do what I promised you by bringing you back here.

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans of peace and not of evil, in order to give you a future and hope.
12 Then you will call me and you will go, you will pray to me and I will answer you.
13 You will seek me and you will find me, because you will seek me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will bring back your exiles.
I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you out, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.

Personal appropriation
This text in particular verse 11 is often read as a personal promise

  • anthropocentric (which makes man the center of the world),
  • individualistic,
    when it is addressed to a people who go into exile, but that God does not forget and He will integrate it into the great story that He is unfolding in humanity and for the redeemed.

Here the term used is

  • chosen,
  • elected.
    (This is where we wake up, two words to remember: foreigners and chosen ones…)

Intractable subject: the subject of the election greatly disturbs our thoughts!
Don’t worry, it’s been going on for centuries!
I have good news: we will never have a total understanding of it because it is divine and we are not!!!

Subject of praise
For as much, it is an enormous subject of praise to know us elected:

  • He knew us,
  • He had taken care of us,
  • of our small destiny, in accordance with His divine plan.
  • And He gives us the means
  • to integrate
  • and to live this destiny.

three pictures

A few images to try to perceive this subject which is beyond us, with regard to

  • choice,
  • divine election.

First image

The key cannot of itself go into the lock which is made for it.
Similarly our lives can no longer, by themselves, live their original destiny, that is to say that of God from the beginning.

  • Need outside intervention.
  • Need an outside hand.
  • And There is only one!

God chooses us in the box and places us in the lock made for us forever.

The election underscores the need for total outside intervention!

Second picture

God always desires that man be in the river of His Grace.
However, the little pebble that is man has landed on the bank.
God’s everlasting desire is for us to be in the river again.
In His goodness, God causes His river to overflow and takes us on board.

In the water and flow of this torrent of grace, we are

  • washed,
  • purified,
  • and saved from our static condition on the bank.
  • The water
  • and the current
    make us little by little more and more able to take our place.

The rough pebble becomes a nice polished river pebble!

At the end of the trip, we arrive in the peaceful lake with all the other pebbles who have made the same journey as us.

From start to finish,

  • the Father, Son and Spirit are in the initiative,
  • in the initial consideration,
  • in the possibility of experiencing this journey,
  • all credit and glory goes to God.

Election underscores the need for total outward intervention
that brings us into God’s wonderful plan.

Choice & free will

Third picture:

  • God knows,
  • God chooses,
  • directs all things
    and at the same time, there is our part, we are not inactive.

And it is difficult to reconcile the two aspects.

I am lucky to be in a very large family of theologians who help me to understand these two difficult to reconcile aspects of the election for our reasoning.

When the four of us are at the family table, almost inevitably

  • the very great theologian, my son
  • annoys the other great theologian, my daughter!

The so-called male theologian

  • knows exactly,
  • in advance,
    how the great theologian will react.
  • She can do differently
  • but “no”,
  • there is no lack of it,

in fact,
it’s because my son knows how my daughter will react that he annoys her!
I spare you the tenor of the very theological discussion that follows!

It seems that there is also this in the election God knows us so well when He chooses us that He knows what our response will be.

Imperfect Illustrations
All of these illustrations are imperfect, but what’s important…

Praise and Glory
All glory and merit goes to God.
In view of this, my praise constantly explodes: how can I, as unworthy as I am, be included in the great eternal movement of God?

To Him be the glory!


Bible Passages

Jeremiah 29:4-14/ ASV

4. Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all the captivity, whom I have caused to be carried away captive from Jerusalem unto Babylon:
5. Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
6. Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply ye there, and be not diminished.
7. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto Jehovah for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
8. For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Let not your prophets that are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you; neither hearken ye to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
9. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith Jehovah.
10. For thus saith Jehovah, After seventy years are accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
11. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.
12. And ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
14. And I will be found of you, saith Jehovah, and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places wither I have driven you, saith Jehovah; and I will bring you again unto the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

1 Peter 1:1-2/ ASV

1. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect who are sojourners of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2. 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.

Related Links / Notes

1st Peter Sermon Series

Study Notes are translated from the original French version prepared by the pastor Patrice Berger. The orginal French notes are in “note” form, and are not a direct transcription of the video, however they are quite close the original text preached at the church. The sermon notes provided here can be used as a helpful study guide/commentary through the book of 1st Peter.

All services as well as some of the bible studies are streamed on the channel  YouTube église AB Renens-Lausanne.  Also visit the You Tube channel of the Swiss Action Biblique Youth Groups (JAB Suisse Romande)/ Facebook.

Bible verses in the study link to the ASV bible. In addition to the ASV Bible , other versions of the Bible are also available on our website.

The King James Version is available as an audio bible Podcast which can be accessed below.

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