Make Your Calling and Election Sure
There are two things that reminded me of this Scripture. First, I have just attended the lectureship at Carman, Manitoba, and this statement was used as their theme. Yesterday I attended a political rally for a short time.
There are three men running in this constituency. I am told it is going to be a close race. All three candidates are working hard to make their election sure, but two of them will not succeed. However, in the election that Peter talks about in 2 Peter 1:10, all can be elected and all can retain their seat for time and for eternity. God, by Jesus Christ, is running the election and if we follow instructions we cannot fail.
No one deserves to be elected. This election makes us a child of God for time and for eternity. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Salvation is by grace (Titus 2:11). Grace brings us to the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2). His divine power has granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. So it is of grace, for we have not earned it. We have not found it by our human wisdom but God has granted it unto us. How does he grant these things? Through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3).
When a man seeks election to a human government, he tells people what he will do for them if he is elected. God tells us what He will do for us when we are elected and if we do not disqualify our position of trust: Whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust (2 Peter 1:4). So if the great promises of God are to be ours, we must escape from the corruption that is in the world that comes by lust.
God tells us how we are to escape the corruption of the world. We are to add to our faith virtue. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). However, the devils believe and tremble (James 2:19). Faith, to be effective, must add virtue. It must enable us to escape from the corruption that is in the world by lust. Faith, in order to be effective, must cleanse the heart (Acts 15:9). Faith, to be effective, must cause us to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). If we are living an ungodly life, then our faith is not functioning properly. Our election is not sure.
To our virtue we are to add knowledge. In connection with this lesson, the word knowledge is used five times. So knowledge must be first. We are elected, and then we must make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). Jeremiah told us: O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps (Jeremiah 10:23). What is faith? We learn what it is by divine knowledge. What is virtue? We learn what it is by divine knowledge. Too many people decide what is virtuous by the whims of modern society rather than by the Word of God.
Knowledge leads us to self control. By the grace of God we can escape the corruptions that are in the world by lust. We no longer are hot and cold. For we add to self control, patience. The marginal rendering says steadfastness. The promise of God is to Him who overcomes (Revelation 2:10).
We are no longer tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. We are no longer lured by the lusts of the flesh for now we are able to add to our steadfastness, godliness. Knowledge has led us to think like God, and then we act as God would have us act. The world will not understand our actions but God does.
We are drawing closer to the point at which we are making our calling and election sure. Now we add love of the brethren. Surely this is one of the great blessings that comes to us. It can only be ours when we give it. There is an axiom that says, What I give I keep and what I keep I lose. This is so true of brotherly love. Who is loved the most? The one who loves the most. Then we add to brotherly love, the highest form of love. This is the love that is exemplified in 'God is love (1 John 4:16).
This is the love that so loved the world that God gave (John 3:16). This love may be hard to divine but we can only acquire it by the knowledge of God.
We are not only to have these eight things but in these we must abound. When we have them then we are not idle or unfruitful. Again the word knowledge is used. By these virtues we abound in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8).
For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sin (2 Peter 1:9). He has failed all the way down the line. His faith is not right for we have already learned that by faith we overcome the world (1 John 5:4). Unless our faith is right then none of the other virtues can follow.
Men will work long hours; they will do everything they can in order to be elected. That election is for a few years but our election is for eternity. But we can be disqualified. Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble (2 Peter 1:10). The King James Version says that we will not fall.
For thus (by zealously adding these eight virtues), shall be richly supplied unto you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:11).
My wife and I were invited to the political rally. I was busy. We went late. We could not get a seat. We did not stay very long for we had to stand up. I could not but think that if we had the same zeal to be elected and to make sure we were not disqualified, how we would act.
Some months ago, I was invited to attend another political meeting. There were plenty of seats. There was little enthusiasm. You see they were not seeking election in that meeting. When I attended the meeting at the church last night, we acted more like the second group than the first one. Why?
J. C. Bailey, 1979, Weyburn, Saskatchewan
Published in The Old Paths Archive