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. ~ Peter 1:2
Throughout the Old Testament, the sprinkling of the sacrificial blood had to do with that which was consecrated as holy to the Lord. For example, when God made covenant with the children of Israel, Moses sprinkled the blood of the covenant to ratify the covenant and to consecrate the people to the Lord.
And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words. ~ Exodus 24:6-8
A covenant is an agreement between two parties, Notice in the text above there was a “book of the covenant”. This book contained the terms and conditions of the covenant, and it was read to the people of Israel. In response, the people promised their obedience to all that the Lord had said. By pledging their obedience the children of Israel “entered” into covenant relationship with the Lord.
We who are saved through Jesus Christ serve the same God Israel served. Yet we serve under a different covenant. Israel served God under a covenant of Law, we serve God under the covenant of grace.
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. ~ John 1:17
Though the blood of the covenant had already been shed at the altar, it was only after the people pledged their obedience to the Lord that there was an actual covenant between God and the people.
This covenant foreshadowed our covenant with God under grace which we have received through the Lord Jesus Christ. As with the children of Israel under the Law, the covenant we have received requires our obedience to the will of the Lord.
Many Christians have been taught that grace requires nothing of them, but this is not true. Grace requires our obedience to the Lord. Writing to the Romans, the apostle Paul says, “By whom (Jesus) we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name…” ~ Romans 1:5
Later in the 6th chapter Paul writes, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” ~ v. 17
Paul refers to conversion from sin as “obedience” to the faith and to the doctrine of God. God did not save us to go on sinning (habitually pursuing sin) after we are saved. On the contrary, God saved us to be obedient to his ways.
Paul continues in Romans 6 by saying, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” ~ Romans 6:18-22
Consider also, the words of the apostle Peter:
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation (coming) of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (lifestyle) received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. ~ 1 Peter 1:13-20
Notice that in correlation to being redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, Peter speaks of obedience, living holy, and maintaining the fear of the Lord in our lives.
Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing that you 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: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. ~ 1 Peter 1:21-23
Notice that it is by obeying the truth through the Spirit that we purify our souls, and this obedience causes us to have a heart of love for our brethren in the Lord. This is the evidence that we are truly born again.
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. ~ 1 John 5:1-2
The people of Israel who served under the law were sanctified by the blood of the covenant to be obedient to God. We who serve under grace are sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ to be obedient to God as well. Yet we have a great advantage over those who served under the first covenant. We have been given a new heart by the Spirit of the Lord who has also written the law of God in our heart. We should rejoice that we are not only called to obedience, but are empowered by grace to do so Peter tells us that we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit to be obedient to God and sprinkled (or cleansed from our sins) by the blood of Jesus Christ. He then says, “Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
For the balance of his epistle, Peter expounds on sanctification and godliness and at the close of his letter he says the following: “I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.”