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Confirm Your Election

"Therefore brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election" - 2 Peter 1 ; 10 RSV

Now every well instructed Christian knows that the rock on which his assurance is built is his call and election. Peter is very certain of this truth, as he shows in the beginning of his first letter, where he talks of the Christians as being chosen and destined by God for obedience. How strange that he should now say, "Make every effort' - for that is what the phrase 'more zealous' means - 'make every effort to confirm your election'.

Let me put this as startlingly as it is in the original: 'to make secure your security'.

Now in a sense that is nonsense!

If God has made my security sure in His election in Christ, and on the basis of the cross of Christ, how can I make that more sure? Well, yes, I can make it more sure by the life that I live, I must secure my security. I am not to sit back and say 'I am elected through the sovereign grace of God, through the grace of Christ, through the Holy Spirit.' No, I am to say , 'I must live this life out, I must confirm my call. I must secure my security.' As Paul would put it, I am to work out my Salvation with fear am trembling.

Yes, the emphasis is on me; but of course 'it is God who worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure'. And yet I must work. That is Bible logic.

The bible puts these two extremes ; and much harm has come by Christians teaching one extreme without the other - without the paradox, without the balance. They are both needed in a full representation of New Testament truth; and I think that this passage is particularly helpful because it shows that in holiness there is needed first faith in the power of God that is ours, and then effort to translate that power into holy character.


He is in us and it is his blamelessness, righteousness and holiness in us and not ours. He is the vine and we are the branches and it is his fruit that we bare and not our own.
I think that one of the "first fruits" of the Holy Spirit in us is the drive to be be more like him. Christians inheritently share this commonality, that driving force in us, in which without it, we can do nothing.

  • John 15:5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
  • Romans 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
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