"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 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" (I Peter 1:1-2).
The contrast in this opening salutation of the apostle Peter, written apparently to Jewish Christians scattered throughout the five key Roman provinces in Asia Minor, is striking. In the eyes of the world, these persecuted believers were "strangers" (or, better, "pilgrims"), but in the eyes of God, they were His elect!
Furthermore, the entire Godhead had been involved in their election. They had been foreknown by God the Father, then sanctified (or "set apart") by the Holy Spirit, and then had come in obedience to God's word through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Although their position on earth was very humble and fragile, their real citizenship was in heaven (Philippians 3:20) and they were, to God, "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (I Peter 2:9).
No wonder, therefore, that Peter could greet them with the invocation, "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." It is interesting that Paul began all his church epistles with "grace and peace." But Peter desired that grace be multiplied by peace!
Each of these wonderful provisions of God is inexhaustible: "God is able to make all grace abound toward you" (II Corinthians 9:8). "The peace of God . . . passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). Infinite grace, multiplied by infinite peace, must equal infinite love and everlasting life. What a blessing to be strangers and pilgrims on the earth, but among God's elect in heaven! HMM