Chapter 1:8-11 (ESV) - 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.
Question to consider: What does it mean to confirm our calling and election?
In yesterday’s passage, Peter listed a progression of godly pursuits that brings a believer from their initial faith to a willingness to sacrificially love others. This kind of love used by Peter is the Greek, agapaó, which is the same love Christ demonstrated for us when He gave up His life to save our own even though we were still enemies of God.
From today’s passage, Peter argues that if we continue to increase in our knowledge of God and in our service of our brothers and sisters in Christ, our faith will not grow cold and fruitless. Those who do not practice these things Peter calls nearsighted because they can’t see past their own strivings; it is as if they forgot that Christ has already saved them from sin and are trying to earn God’s favor on their own. If we know deep in our hearts what Christ has accomplished for us, we become free to start loving others. Martin Luther said it like this, “Our works do not generate righteousness, rather our righteousness in Christ generates works.”
Peter then says that we should be all the more diligent to confirm our calling and election. This verse tends to get taken out of context and used by people to become spiritual fruit inspectors as if to assure ourselves of someone else’s election. An outward appearance of righteousness is not always an accurate measure of faith. After all, the other disciples all thought Judas was one of their own. We confirm our calling by taking to heart the knowledge that our faith is rooted in the righteousness of Christ. Do you struggle to love the church? Look to Christ to see how much He loved the church and called her His bride. Do you struggle to love Christ as you should? Spend daily time in God’s word. Reading a daily study like this one is a good start!
Peter is emphasizing that if we do the things that deepen our relationship with Christ, we will persevere in the faith until the day Christ calls us home. The word Christ uses for this is “abide.” In John 15:4 Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
Dear heavenly father, please help us to abide in Christ Jesus. There are so many things in this world that try to tear us away from You. We ask that You help us see through the distractions and traps in this world and keep our eyes fixed on our Lord. Amen.