For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 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. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 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 1:5-11 ESV
If these things (that is – faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and finally love) abound, Peter tells his audience they will not be unfruitful.
He that lacks these things (that is – faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and finally love), Peter goes on to tell the lost that they are so nearsighted, they are blind. Nope – Can’t say that -. I can’t make that audience shift here. Peter is continuing to speak to believers, when he defines them as blind and forgetful.
Seeing this comparison, Peter then states that if we give diligence to “make our calling and election sure” we will have an entrance ministered unto us abundantly.
Ok, so here is the problem – “…. confirm your calling and election” (See below for gk definition of “confirm”)
If we pursue the many steps that Peter speaks of, then my election is confirmed. Consider some of the questions implications, my friend.
- What if we spend our entire life seeking these characteristics and then in the last five years, throw it all away. Will my election be confirmed?
- Who is it that knows of this surety? Is it a matter of confidence for God or myself? It must be a matter of confidence for myself if I practice these characteristics.
- Remember this is dealing with confirmation of our salvation, not the purchasing or final deliverance of our souls. That is the grace of our Lord completing that. Our diligence in working on these characteristics provides us confirmation of our entrance into the eternal kingdom.
- Is anyone else thinking of Ezekiel 18:24? 1 Peter and Ezekiel deal with somewhat different topics. This passage is not dealing directly with conditional security of the believer (as Ezekiel 18) but it does address a believer’s own understanding of his security with the Lord. What I mean is that the perception of the saint and the reality of the situation may be surprising when found out.
So lets review –
- If I practice these traits in my life I will have confidence in my salvation.
- If I don’t practice these traits in my life, I loose confidence in my salvation.
But some might say that even without this confidence (due to my diligence in supplementing my salvation), I can still be confident of my salvation.
Am I missing something?
Word study on “Confirm” from Vines Expository Dictionary
[ A-2,Adjective,G949, bebaios ]
“firm, steadfast,” is used of
(a) God’s promise to Abraham, Romans 4:16;
(b) the believer’s hope, Hebrews 6:19, “steadfast;”
(c) the hope of spiritual leaders regarding the welfare of converts, 2 Corinthians 1:7, “steadfast;”
(d) the glorying of the hope, Hebrews 3:6, “firm;”
(e) the beginning of our confidence, Hebrews 3:14, RV, “firm” (AV, “steadfast”);
(f) the Law given at Sinai, Hebrews 2:2, “steadfast;”
(g) the testament (or covenant) fulfilled after a death, Hebrews 9:17, “of force;”
(h) the calling and election of believers, 2 Peter 1:10, to be made “sure” by the fulfillment of the injunctions in 2 Peter 1:5-7;
(i) the word of prophecy, “made more sure,” 2 Peter 1:19, RV, AV, “a more sure (word of prophecy);” what is meant is not a comparison between the prophecies of the OT and NT, but that the former have been confirmed in the person of Christ (2 Peter 1:16-18). See FIRM.
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