Make Your Calling and Election Sure

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 20, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;”
~2 Peter 1:10

As I wrapped up another straight through reading of Scripture, I came across the above verse and it immediately brought to attention Paul Washer’s quote of this verse in a sermon where he addresses the problems with the “sinner’s prayer” as it is being used in many churches today. Peter tells us to make our calling and election sure. What is this and what does it mean? First, let us examine the opening to Peter’s letter.

After his introduction, Peter tells us this: To your faith, add virtue, to virtue, add knowledge, to knowledge, self-control, to self-control, perseverance, to perseverance, brotherly kindness, to brotherly kindness, love. This list sounds very similar to Galatians 5:22-23: the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Now, what does this have to do with the title here of making your calling and election sure? Is this talking about earning our salvation? No, it is not. It is about living a life that tests and proves your faith. James spends a good amount in his second chapter about how faith without works is dead. Two weeks ago I wrote about faith. Faith requires not just belief but action, because until you act upon that which you believe to be true, it is not faith.

Peter tells us that if we do the things he listed in 1:5-7, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, etc, we will not stumble. This is how we prove our faith. This is how we make our calling and election sure. We show the fruit of the Spirit. We live our lives worthy of the calling. God calls us to live our lives so that we show that it is he living in and through us.

This again brings up what salvation really is and how it is applied. I again grieve that so many churches teach that salvation is nothing but “belief in Jesus” and all will be good. No. That is not it. We are not called to just say a prayer, agree to a few doctrinal statements, and then go live how we want to live Sunday afternoon through Saturday evening. Too many “Christians” are like that. They live Godly lives on Sunday morning at church and the rest of the week you cannot tell them from apart from a heathen. This is not making your calling and election sure. This is proclaiming faith in Jesus and completely disregarding his commands. As Paul Washer said above (his emphasis): “YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!” He quoted Jesus speaking to Nicodemus in John 3. We cannot live as we want to be and declare ourselves to Christians.

When people say, “Jesus died for our sins,” what they are really meaning is “He died so that we can get off the hook for our sin.” Gospel preaching in many places today is nothing more than what Paul Washer calls a “flu shot.” What is missing is repentance. Repentance requires a turning around. We are going one direction, the way we want to go, and we turn and go God’s direction. Salvation is not about getting out of hell (though that is part of the picture). It is about being freed from SIN - not merely the penalty of sin, but the very presence of sin. That is the direction we are to be going. Do we take sin as seriously as God does? I know I don’t, but I would like to. Where every time we violate God’s commands, it grieves us. When we continue to do the very thing that Jesus died for, it grieves us and makes us not want to do that again. That is the sign of repentance.

Make your calling and election sure. What is your calling? As a believer, what is it that God has called you to do? Do you know? I do not know the full details of my calling but I know I am supposed to be teaching and I know I am to work with youth. Right now, God has me in a classroom. It is a struggle and I am still learning how to do the job, but I am pointing the direction in which God has called me to go. And in that pursuit, I have made my calling sure, because I know that where I am heading is precisely where God wants me to be.

What is election? It usually deals with salvation, and often by those who believe in predestination. I do not agree with pure predestination (that doctrine alone), but it is clearly in Scripture. Are we born again? As Christians, are we not the adopted children of God? Are we not his ambassadors, sent to represent God and to bring his message to the lost? Are we living what this job title expects of us? We aren’t perfect nor will we be until God completes the work he started. But are we heading that direction? Are we living lives that make our election sure? That someone can look at us, look at how we live our lives, and say for certain, “This person is a Christian, someone who walks with God”? Do our lives tell that story? If we were to be on trial for being a Christian, is there enough evidence to convict you?

Live your life worthy of the calling. Live your life so that you can show the assurance that what you believe is true and active in your life. Stand boldly with confidence that your faith in Jesus is real and demonstrate that you really do believe it in how you live your life. Live your life so that the world around you cannot see you, but rather they see Christ. Less of you and more of Him. Less of me, more of Him. When we surrender the control to Jesus, that is how we can make our calling and election sure. Let us all press toward that goal.

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