A Sure Election
The apostle Peter wrote this encouragement, “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble (2 Pet 1:10).” Jude wrote that God is able to keep His people from stumbling. It is God who makes us stand blameless in His presence (Eph 1:4; Jude 1:24). Therefore, it is every Christian’s task, to examine himself, to ensure he is in Christ.
The essence of a Christian’s life is godliness, by God’s grace. By way of analogy, the believer tests himself, to ensure there is good fruit manifesting from the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9, 11; Gal 5:22–23). The Bible teaches that a tree is known by its fruit (Lk 6:44). Each believer is in union with Christ, who is the True Vine (Jn 15). The life of God is evident in one grafted into Christ Jesus, by the Father. No one can come to Jesus, unless the Father draws him (Jn 6:44). It must be the will of God, if one is to receive Christ (Jn 1:12–13).
Christ, living in the regenerate soul (Jn 3:1–8), must manifest according to His purpose in sanctification (1 Thess 4:3). It was for this reason Christ suffered outside the gate (Heb 13:12). Christ sanctified Himself, so His people might themselves be sanctified in truth (Jn 17:19), through washing of water with the word (Eph 5:26).
Christian, have you been called to this life of purification? His intention is to present His church holy and blameless before God the Father (Eph 1:4). Thus, if He has begun this good work in you (Phil 1:6), there should be evidence. This is what Peter was stressing (2 Pet 1). God forbid that you would be deceived into thinking you are a Christian, when you are not (2 Pet 2), for that deception is the path to destruction (2 Pet 3).
During the summer months, many are subject to road construction. Many things change when one drives through a work zone. The life transformation, of a believer in Jesus, is just as obvious. The Christian is God’s work zone, in the Spirit — complete with the heavy equipment of God’s Word.
First, love manifests, as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22; 2 Pet 1:7). This is love for God and for one’s neighbor (Lk 10:27).
Second, there is the recognition that one has been joined to a family, which shares the same Spirit (Eph 4:4). With one Father, brotherly kindness becomes the way of life, in order to please God — our new ambition (2 Cor 5:9).
Third, it is the work of God, employing the Word of God, to produce godliness in His adopted children that they might faithfully serve him, as ambassadors in the world (2 Cor 5:18–20).
Fourth, there is grace for perseverance (Jude 1:24). The Spirit and the Word strengthen the slave of Christ (Eph 6:6), to press on toward the goal of his high calling in Christ (Phil 3:14).
Fifth, because the Christian is not of this world (Jn 15:19), he is tempted and does sin because of his weak flesh — not because of his new nature. In the battle between the flesh and the Spirit (Rom 7), the need for self-control is great. God’s grace is sufficient in this exercise (2 Cor 12:9). Whereas the unbeliever lacks self-control (2 Tim 3:3), the saint struggles to achieve it. Grace flows from the Word and Spirit. Where God commands something of His beloved, He provides the means to achieve what is required. He Himself is willing and working in His chosen ones, to accomplish His good pleasure (Phil 2:13).
Sixth, His Word gives us knowledge that renews our minds, producing transformation (Rom 12:2). Seeing Jesus in the Bible, we become like Him, being conformed to His image (Rom 8:29) as the perfect God-man.
Seventh, all of this guides God’s royal priests into moral excellence (1 Pet 2:9; 2 Pet 1:5). We stress, this is impossible to achieve by sinful flesh. God is glorified when we credit Him alone for all progress in holiness.
Finally, our sanctification is embraced by faith alone. You must trust God to accomplish all these things (Ps 57:2; 138:8). We are objects of sanctifying grace, in the work zone of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:16; 1 Cor 6:11; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2).
Christian, these work zone activities, listed here and by the apostle Peter (2 Pet 1:5–7), are designated to provide evidence, with certainty, of His choosing you (2 Pet 1:10). He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4), and you have been granted everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of Him, who called us and who works mightily in us (Col 1:29; 2 Pet 1:3). This is your sure election.
Spokane Valley, Washington
August 24, 2022