2 Peter 1:10-11 ESV
Review: blessing (1:3-4), command (1:5-7), and reason (1:8-9). Notice the connection with the previous verses.
Three strands are connected in our assurance of salvation. It rests on the truth of God’s blessing to us in Christ. It can be known by the reality of a constant walk with the Lord. It is the effect of the witness of the Holy Spirit to our spirit. Peter sets forth the first of these strands in our study for this evening. Next week, God willing, we will think about the second of these strands.
I. The foundation of grace on which this command for assurance rests.
Both election and calling, of which we are to make sure, are gracious actions of the gracious God.
A.Election refers to the work of God the Father in our salvation.
1.God has selected certain people from the whole mass of humanity that are called the elect (Lk 18:7; Rm 8:33; Col 3:12; Ti 1:1; 1 Pt 1:1; 2:9). The early church used this reality in greeting each other (Rm 16:13; 2 Jn 1).
2.The reasons for their election are found within God himself and his grace and love. God had his personal reasons for choosing that are independent of those chosen.
a.God did the choosing (Mk 13:20; 1 Th 1:4; 2 Th 2:13).
Illustration: I chose the clothes I am wearing tonight; they did not choose me (cf. Jn 15:16).
b.God’s choice was made before the creation of the world (Eph 1:3). He did not take our input or suggestions; we were not yet in existence.
c.God chose particular individuals from the beginning of the world (Rev 17:8).
Illustration: Consider the grocery list before you go to the store. You write down particular items that will be part of the family’s diet or household needs.
d.God did not choose anyone because of anything good or desirable in them (1 Cor 1:27-29; 2 Tm 1:9).
e.Good works are the result, not the cause, of election (Eph 2:10).
Illustration: A musician plans his concert; what he plays is the result of his plan, not the cause of it.
f.Faith is the result and evidence of election, not the cause (Ac 13:48; Js 2:5; cf. 1 Th 1:4-5).
3.Election is not salvation, but it is unto salvation (2 Tm 2:10).
Illustration: Think of the President-elect of the United States. Though chosen by the people, he lacks authority to act until his inauguration.
II. Calling refers to the work of God the Holy Spirit in our salvation. It comes from the Father, through the Son, and is applied by the Holy Spirit.
1.The Father planned, the Son purchased, and the Spirit applies.
2. Calling is also known as effective or efficacious grace. It is efficient; it successfully brings the chosen and redeemed to salvation.
Illustration: This is like the team of contractor, construction manager, and foreman, only in a far richer sense. He had the plans for building the apartment complex, I purchased what was necessary and had it delivered, and the foremen made sure that the job was carried out.
3. God effectually calls a people to salvation (Rm 1:6-7; 8:30; 9:23-24; 1 Cor 1:2, 9; Gal 1:15; Eph 4:4; 2 Tm 1:9; Heb 9:15; 1 Pt 1:15; 2:9; 5:10; 2 Pt 1:3; Jude 1; Rev 17:14).
Point: God did not design a plan to make salvation possible, if humans make something happen. That would be giving a considerable part of the honor of salvation to people. Instead, the Bible teaches that God not only designs salvation and purchases it, but powerfully draws people to it. His call opens our spiritual perceptions to see the glory of Christ (cf. Jn 3:27; 2 Cor 4:6; Eph 4:21-22).
2.The Spirit applies the salvation purchased by Christ (1 Cor 6:11; 2 Cor 3:3, 6; 1 Pt 1:2; Jn 3:5-8; Ti 3:5).
3.This application of salvation is referred to in ways that only God could do:
a.As giving life (Eph 2:1, 5; Col 2:13)
b.As a new creation (Gal 6:15; 2 Cor 5:17-18)
c.As causing growth (1 Cor 3:6, 7)
4.Faith and repentance, by which we respond to God’s call, are gifts from the grace of God (Ac 5:31; 11:18; 16:14; 18:27; Eph 2:8-9; Ph 1:29; 2 Tm 2:25-26). When we see the glory of Christ in the call, we freely respond to God’s call in repentance and faith.
Point: Whatever is a gift of grace cannot be the cause or motive for grace.
Point: The response of repentance and faith is something that we want to do.
1. Why is it important to understand this foundation? Some have twisted this verse into saying that you become a Christian by good works or human effort. But what Peter is actually saying is far removed from such false doctrine. Salvation is by grace from first to last. The teachings of election and calling stress the gracious nature of salvation. It is no accident that churches that deemphasize or deny election and calling drift rapidly into legalism. Everything is dependent on human effort in such places: “do, do, do!”
2. Why are we not like so many in the world, following the flesh and selfish desires? Is it because we are better? Do we have superior insight? Are we friendlier to God—someone that he would prefer being friends with? No, not at all! It is because of God’s grace in election and calling.
3. Why can a believer be assured about his or her salvation? One of the basic reasons is that he or she stands totally by grace.