“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall” (2 Peter 1:10).
In my last blog, I recalled for you my experience of nearsightedness which began in 1962 when I was in the second grade. I would like to recall another experience I had which culminated seven years later in May of 1969.
My parents raised my sister and me in the Lutheran denomination. That is one of the reasons I have such a respect for Martin Luther. I was taught at an early age about the courage of this Augustinian monk and his opposition to the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Sunday school lessons were not only about the Old and New Testament but also about the Protestant Reformation.
Beginning at age 12, I began attending confirmation classes at my church. The word confirmation means the rite or ritual by which a water baptized person, especially one baptized as an infant, affirms Christian belief and is admitted as a full member of the Church. For me this occurred in the spring of 1969. The result of confirmation was that I was now allowed to participate in the Lord’s Supper during worship services.
I cannot speak for my friends who were confirmed along with me as to their faith in Christ, but looking back on that period of my life I can say with the utmost assurance that I was not a convert by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. In other words, I was a pagan pretending to be a Protestant. It would not be until October of 1974 that I was wonderfully and gloriously saved through the preaching of the Gospel and the regeneration work of the Holy Spirit which brought me to repentance and faith in Christ.
My reason for this recollection of my confirmation is that the Apostle Peter speaks of believers in Christ being diligent to confirm their calling and election. The word diligent (σπουδάζω; spoudazo) means eager and zealous. To confirm (ποιέω; poieo) means to carry out the responsibilities and behavior which prove one’s profession of faith in Christ, Peter speaks of this as the believer’s calling an election.
The believer’s calling (κλῆσις; klesis) refers in the context to their new relationship with Christ (Ephesians 1:18; Luke 11:42). Election (ἐκλογή; ekloge) means God’s sovereign choice to save the sinner by grace alone (Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 9:1-11; I Thessalonians 1:4).
The believer in Christ is to make every effort to confirm their calling and election by practicing the qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7. In doing so, Peter assures his readers, then and now, that they will never continuously fall (πταίω; patio), stumble, err or sin.
Dr. John MacArthur writes that, “This expresses the bull’s-eye Peter has been shooting at in vv. 5–9. Though God is “certain” who his elect are and has given them an eternally secure salvation (see notes on 1 Pet. 1:1–5; cf. Rom. 8:31–39), the Christian might not always have assurance of his salvation. Security is the Holy Spirit-revealed fact that salvation is forever. Assurance is one’s confidence that he possesses that eternal salvation. In other words, the believer who pursues the spiritual qualities mentioned above guarantees to himself by spiritual fruit that he was called (cf. 2 Pet. 1:3; Rom. 8:30; 1 Pet. 2:21) and chosen (cf. 1 Pet. 1:2) by God to salvation. As the Christian pursues the qualities enumerated by Peter (2 Pet. 1:5–7) and sees that his life is useful and fruitful (v. 8), he will not stumble into doubt, despair, fear, or questioning, but enjoy assurance that he is saved.”
Let me encourage you to confirm your calling and election in Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!