1 Peter 1:1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, (ESV)
In this opening verse of 1 Peter we see two descriptions that are meaningful to us. The first is a description of Peter as he describes himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. The other description is of the initial recipients of this letter. They are believers who have been dispersed from their homes to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. What is meaningful is that they are described as elect exiles.
Let's consider Peter. Here he describes himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Peter could have described himself as denier of Christ in his hour of greatest trial. He might have described himself as one who regularly put his foot in his mouth. He was scolded by the Apostle Paul for being hypocritical (Galatians 2:11), so he could have said, "Peter, hypocrite." What he says is, "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ."
Peter reminds us all that what is important is God's viewpoint, not ours. When we look at ourselves we easily look at all of our failings. It is natural for us to identify ourselves by what we have done wrong. The enemy of our souls loves when we do that. Peter has received God's wonderful grace. He knows that he is forgiven. So he is able to confidently identify with the fact that he is called by God for a great purpose.
How about these elect exiles? These are believers who have been moved from their home to other places of the Roman Empire. They are away from their real home. Peter describes them as elect. This means chosen or called by God. Just like Peter was called by God to be an apostle, these believers were also called by God for his purpose. They are exiled from their earthly home, but look forward to an eternal one.
How do you identify yourself? Do you label yourself according to your failures? God's grace covers all of our sins. You are not an apostle. Yet, we are all called by God for a purpose. And we are exiles on this earth, awaiting our eternal home. Walk in your calling. If you are a Christian, your are called for his purpose.