- Making your calling and election sure
How to make your calling and election sure
The foundation, building blocks, and goal of our calling and election in Christ Jesus
1)“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2) May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
3) His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
4) by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
5)For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,
6)and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,
7)and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
8)For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9)For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
10) Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
11)For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
(2 Peter 1:1-11 ESV)
Why are some Christians unfruitful and barren? Why do some Christians not have assurance that they are saved? Why do some forget that they have been born again by the Spirit of God? Why do so many Christians struggle with doubts about their salvation and why do so many backslide into sin?
Well you may say maybe some Christians don’t have assurance because they were never Christians! It is true that there are people who profess to be Christians who are not (Matthew 7:21-23). There are imposters. Judas disciples. But there are also Christians who do not have assurance of salvation.
The reason this text gives why some Christians don’t have assurance of salvation is because many have not added to their faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness and all the other graces. A true faith in Christ always results in good fruit. But some Christians become blind and shortsighted because they have thought the Christian life is plain sailing. They just coast through life. They think that there is no battle, no ground to conquer. Some people think that because God elects whom He wants to salvation there is no way we have any role to play in our salvation. Yes, salvation is by faith, it is a sovereign act of God, it is by grace, but we have to work with God in the process of justification and sanctification. We have to repent and believe and trust in God, although God initiates the process of salvation.
We can make our calling and election sure. We can confirm our salvation. We can have assurance of salvation. Assurance does not come by a dream or vision or some mystical fluffy feeling or a fleeting thought in your head, but by bearing good fruit as we obey God everyday in the details of our lives. The fruit of the Spirit in our lives produced by God gives us assurance that we are His very own people. But this fruit doesn’t come automatic in our lives. We have to work out our salvation as He works these things in us.
- The foundation of our calling and election
“His divine power has given us everything (all things) we need for life and godliness” (verse 3)
— The power of God in Christ Jesus is the foundation of our salvation (the supreme power of God). God is almighty. The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (1 Corinthians 4:20). Jesus Christ is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:25). When people come out of the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light there is a power encounter taking place. God makes us aware of our sinful condition and alive to spiritual realities.
— His divine power has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. Everything we need for salvation is available to us through His working. If we look at the history of the world and how God has acted in history we see the power of God on display (The exodus, creation, the resurrection of Christ, the miracles of Christ etc.) We see God’s power at work everyday in creation as He sustains the Universe: the sun, the hydraulic cycle, functioning of ecosystems, etc.
— Everything we need to live godly lives is available to the believer through the working and presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power of God (Acts 1:8). The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is at work in us who believe (Ephesians 1:17-20). Jesus drove out demons by the finger (power) of God. Because God is most powerful, and Almighty, the powers of sin and hell and death and Satan will not have the ultimate say in a believer’s life (Matthew 28:18).
— The knowledge of Christ Jesus (who God is in Christ Jesus)
“God has given us all things through the knowledge of Him who called us to His glory and virtue” What knowledge we may ask?
Jesus is God (verse 1). Jesus cannot save us unless He was God.
Jesus is Savior (verse 1). Jesus cannot save us unless he was truly man.
Jesus is Righteousness (verse 1) He has no sin, no moral imperfection. He is good and just and holy. He always says, thinks and acts righteously. Unless Jesus was without sin He could not save us.
Jesus is Lord (verse 2) He rules over all. He is sovereign (Matthew 28:18. Our salvation is based on our knowledge of God. Incorrect knowledge of God cannot save us. If we believe that Jesus is only a prophet or the Angel Gabriel or only a righteous person then we cannot be saved. Jesus, was and is the Godman, who sacrificed Himself for our sins, bore the wrath of God that we deserved so that we may have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. We must have accurate knowledge of God to save us! Jesus Chris is fully God, fully man, Our Savior, Lord and Righteousness.
— “Whereby He has given us the “Exceeding great and precious promises” (the word of God)
— We are born again by the word of God, by preaching, the hearing of faith (1 Peter 1:23-25; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; Romans 10:17).
““since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:23-25 ESV)
““For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21 ESV)
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching. So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:13-14, 17 ESV)
Are the promises of God precious to you?
Are the promises of God exceedingly great and wonderful to you?
Think about these promises! Romans 10:13; John 3:16; John 6:35
We have to hang on to, believe in and cling to the promises of God constantly, like a man holding onto a foefy slide (zipline) over a cliff filled with crocodiles. Unless you hold on you will be killed. Faith is a gift of God, but it requires our action, our holding on. The promises of God is the foundation of our faith.
–Saving faith is built on the power of God (God’s doing, God’s work) the knowledge of who God is (God’s being) and the Word of God, especially His promises. Without these three things nobody becomes born again and nobody escapes the lust and sinful desires and curruption in the world.
–There are curruption in the world. Things are growing worse. Because of the fall of man the world and humankind are under the curse of Adam and his disobedience. We are by birth headed for destruction. The sinful world is in the sway of the devil. And those who live for themselves and the world will become more corrupt and die in their sins without God.
— The result of the power of God, the knowledge of God and the promises of God should be: repentance and faith (becoming partakers of the divine nature) and escaping from the world through lust. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ Jesus, in His person, His work, his power and his promises we will be saved!
Have you escaped the sinful desire and curruption in the world?
These three things are the foundation on which our spiritual life is built
“For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:9-15 ESV)
- The building blocks of our calling and election (how to make your calling and election sure)
— “Add to faith with all diligence” (verse 5): although the foundation of our salvation rests in God, we must work with God, in God’s power to make our election and calling sure and certain. God calls and God elects whomever He wills. If we want to know that we are the elect of God then we have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. God works in our salvation and we work it out because God makes us willing and able to do His good pleasure (Phillipians 2:12,13).
The following things are the building blocks of your house. You build upon the foundation which is Christ, His power and work, His Person and His Word:
Virtue (moral excellence) courage, moral energy, moral vigor, diligence in work, cleanliness, generosity, goodness, chastity, purity, modesty, hospitality, sobriety, respect for authority, thankfulness.
Knowledge about God and His Word. This happens by studying the Bible, reading good Christian books and reading good commentaries about the Bible. By reading and meditating on God’s word we grow in our knowledge of God. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly!!!
Self-control: (a proper and limited use of all earthly enjoyments, keeping every sense under proper restraint, and never permitting the animal part to subjugate and rule the rational; Adam Clarke)
Steadfastness (perseverance) patience (Bearing all trials and difficulties with an even mind, enduring in all, and persevering through all. Love endures all things. Love bears all things.
Godliness Piety towards God; a deep, reverential, godly fear; not only worshipping God with every becoming outward act, but adoring, loving, and magnifying him in the heart: a disposition indispensably necessary to salvation, but exceedingly rare among professors.
Brotherly kindness and love (Matthew 25:31-46). Kindness. Generosity. Paul said in Galatians we must do good to all especially to the household of faith. Love of the brotherhood is the strongest attachment to Christ’s flock; feeling each as a member of your own body. The church is our eternal family. We should love our fellow brothers and sisters. We cannot separate ourselves from the children of God. We become strong in faith as we fellowship and care for each other. We are part of one body. The Bible says we must rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. We cannot isolate ourselves from other Christians and think we will be helped and grow spiritually.
Love – for all people. Do good to those who hate you and persecute you and insult you etc. Prayer for the world. To pray for the unreached, unconverted and unevangelized should be priorities in our lives. As some Christian leaders say, to tell people of how they can escape the corruption in the world and have eternal life is probably the most loving act you can do to another. Feeding people, helping them with tasks are all good and well, but that will not help them eternally. Knowing Jesus as their Saviour and Lord will help them eternally!
— result—If we build with these things we will be building on the foundation of our spiritual building with gold, silver and precious stone. We will not be barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (verse 8) (Matthew 7:15-20). Our works will be tested at judgement day and our building will stand. We will stand.
— result –“we will not be barren and unfruitful in our knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ” We will have an intimate relationship with God and know God better.
Christian, are these qualities in your life and are they increasing?
- The danger of forgetting our calling and election (The danger of not working with God)
— You will become short sighted and blind (verse 9) Question? Blind about what? Blind about salvation. You cannot have a clear vision of God and your salvation, of your election, if you play with sin in your life, if these qualities are lacking in your life. Matthew 5:8 says: “blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
— If these qualities are not in your life then you are either not born of God or you have forgotten that you have been purged and cleansed from your former sins. Your sins become more real to you than God. The weight of your sins make you depressed.
— And the result is: no assurance of salvation, depression, distress, constant anxiety, and backsliding into more sin.
Cure: be diligent to make your calling and election sure!! How? Build your house on the foundation of God’s power, who God is in Christ Jesus and meditation of God’s promises in the gospel. By repentance and faith in God, His power, his Person, His promises, by working with God and adding to your faith these qualities: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly love and love to all etc.
- The goal of our calling and election
–Verse 10 says that if we do these things, or practice these qualities we will never fall. This verse doesn’t mean that if we practice these things we will never sin. It means that you will never fall out of God’s hand. Christians will never finally fall away from God. You may fall over in God’s hand but you will not fall out of his hand (See John 10:27-30).
— The goal of our calling and election is being given entrance into the everlasting kingdom of God, of Jesus Christ (verse 11).
— We see earlier that if we add to our faith these qualities it will not leave us unfruitful and barren in our knowledge of Christ Jesus. The goal of our calling and election is not just to get to heaven and escape hell. That should not be the controlling aim of a Christian. The controlling aim should be to be with Jesus Christ and to know more of his excellencies. Heaven wouldn’t be heaven if Christ is not there. The whole letter that Peter wrote repeats the phrase “the knowledge of our Lord Jesus.” This doesn’t only mean head knowledge but personal knowledge, experiential knowledge of salvation in Christ (Phil 3:7-9).