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Calling and Election
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
Add To Your Faith
The Scripture tells us to add to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity. We are then told these qualities must abound in us before our relationship with Jesus will be fruitful. Also, we are told that if we lack these qualities we are blind and cannot see afar off, and that we have forgotten we were purged from our old sins.
2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Verse 9 speaks of blindness which is a willful blindness. This blindness prevents them from an understanding life; they cannot see afar off. Their blindness is moral for they have forgotten they were purged from their old sins. Verse 9 also tells us these conditions are the result of not possessing the character qualities of verses 5-7.
The blindness of verse 8 refers to a person who will not see and has chosen to not remember they were called to a lifestyle of holy living. As Christians, we are expected to know and understand that our born-again experience is the beginning of God’s process of change, and not the end or completion of His work. It is true that Christians are made right with God through forgiveness, but after they are forgiven they are called to a life of sanctification; the work of Christ is both a justifying and a sanctifying work.
We are told everywhere in Scripture that there is to be a division or a conscious separation from all forms of wickedness subsequent to our adoption into the family of God. Christians are plainly told to “be holy for I am holy”. From this we learn the Lord both calls and enables His people to “put on” godly behavior. The above scriptures are very clear and there are other scriptures that speak with the same clearness about our call to holy living.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
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.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13) To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13) Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Seeing Afar Off
Not seeing “afar off” means not discerning the Lord's eternal goals for our individual lives. The blind Christian does not see their life as the arena and the means of their sanctification. They do not view or interpret their circumstances as an opportunity to submit their heart to the Lord. They do not understand that holiness is not optional and that the Lord has chosen our (earthly) circumstances to “perfect” or complete His work within us. People who do not understand the sanctifying purposes of God have no reason to allow their present circumstances to bring them to a place of heart change. They cannot see afar off! The blind Christian does not see, or feel, the need to “perfect holiness in the fear of God”. That person is a person of appetite.
They Have Forgotten They Were Purged From Their Old Sins
We are being told that if we are not abounding in the character qualities of vs. 5-7 then once again we have fallen into a sinful lifestyle! If we were purged from our old way of living then why are we not valuing godly living? To not abound in the character qualities of verses 5-7 is the result of not seeking or valuing the personal qualities of Jesus Christ. We value Christ by wanting and giving ourselves to His character more than giving ourselves to our personal and temporary fulfillment. The sanctifying work of Christ is an eternal work, and we will carry our love of the holy into heaven. If we do not value holiness on earth, then we will be very unhappy and out of place in heaven.
To love and value Christ means to put on His ambitions, His priorities, His emotions, His thoughts, and His behavior. Salvation, to the person who has forgotten he was purged from his old way of life, is more about the outward security of heaven than the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.
Give Diligence to Make Your Calling and Election Sure
2Pet 1:10 says to make our calling and election sure (steadfast, firm). This does not mean that our ability to live a good life will save us, but it does mean that the saving work of Jesus Christ includes not only forgiveness but a sanctified lifestyle as well. We often face painful and difficult circumstances as we follow the Lord. If we know the calling of the Lord is to put on virtue, knowledge, self-control (temperance), patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity then we can see our difficulties as bringing us to the place of real change. Often, the only way to survive spiritually is by facing our problems with a heart and mind strengthened through practicing the character qualities of 2pet1:5-7. The scripture tells us the Lord tests (purifies) the heart. Holiness is neither old fashioned nor legalistic, but is contemporary and beautiful because it reflects the Person and character qualities of Jesus Christ. He is our example and also our delight because He is perfect in holiness. This culture scoffs at salvation, scoffs at objective truth, and scoffs at anything that promotes submission of one's life and will to Jesus Christ. But His people, through holy living, defeat the dark spirit of this age and show the Lord Jesus to be more powerful than all the powers of hell.
God bless you,