2 Peter 1:10-11

2 Peter 1:10‑11  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Here again in these concluding words of the introduction we may see the practical earnestness which eminently characterizes our apostle. His aim is not dogmatic clearing up but spiritual power for every day.
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, use diligence to make your calling and election sure; for in doing these things ye shall never stumble. For thus shall be richly furnished to you the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (vers. 10, 11).
The true knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord is characteristic of Christianity, and rises far above what the law and the prophets conveyed, excellent as they were and are. But that knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, which the gospel communicates, is meant to make us, as partaking of a divine nature, neither idle nor unfruitful meanwhile. Flesh has to be judged, and the world held aloof by such as have escaped its corruption by lust. We need, as all life does, to grow by suited divine fare; and we are called to do God's will.
There are the due affections to cultivate around us and upward. The pointed warning was just given of what surely follows indifference to the moral side, the blindness that ensues, the shortsightedness as to God's own glory and excellence, Jesus crowned with honor and glory in all that becomes our relationship and dangers here ever present. Otherwise one forgets the gracious and solemn remission of the gospel, and the meaning of baptism to Christ's death at the start of the Christian profession.
Thus the diligence called for in vers. 5-7 is impressed in another way in vers. 10, 11. There it was in faith as the starting-point to furnish the necessary and blessed elements that form Christian character, from moral courage to divine love reproduced in the heart and ways, with the happy result where they exist and abound, with the sad effect where they are lacking. Here looking at both sides the apostle exhorts his “brethren” all the more to give diligence, not merely to bear in lively recollection, in thankfulness, and exercised conscience, their first confession of divine grace to them as guilty sinners, but “to make their calling and election sure.” In our fallen state, as in the world, there is nothing at all to help for life and godliness. The fairest show in flesh is the most deceptive and dangerous; and if Gentiles, like the Galatian and the Colossian brethren, were so prone to this snare, how much more were those who had been Jews, both to slip back from grace, and to make it a creed to own, instead of the spring and proof and joy of faith?
It is plain that the fresh appeal is to our state and consequent course and character of walk. The very order of the terms indicates this; for on the side of divine grace election according to scripture necessarily precedes calling. God's choice of the Christian is in eternity; as His calling of us is in time out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:99But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Peter 2:9)). So in the opening of the First Epistle the saints were said to be elect according to God the Father's foreknowledge; but it was in virtue of the Spirit's sanctification that they were separated unto the obedience and blood-sprinkling of the Lord Jesus Christ. The well-known summary in Rom. 8:28-3028And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:28‑30) is still more precise and full. “And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those that are called according to purpose. Because whom he fore-knew he also predestinated [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he should be firstborn among many brethren. And whom he predestinated, these he also called; and whom he called, these he also justified; and whom he justified, these he also glorified.” Thus the chain of blessing is completed when the many brethren are brought even as concerns the body into conformity with their glorified Lord. The order is as clearly of God's grace; as that in our text, where calling comes before election, is of its actual application to man. And this is in keeping with the context which deals with the present moral government of souls.
The passage answers in its place to what we have in 1 Peter 1:17, 1817And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; (1 Peter 1:17‑18): “And if ye call on him as Father that without respect of persons judgeth according to the work of each, pass the time of your sojourn in fear, knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptibles, silver or gold, from your vain manner of walk handed down from fathers, but with precious blood of Christ as of a lamb unblemished and spotless,” etc. The fear enjoined is not from lack of certainty in our redemption, which on the contrary is enforced with all power and clearness. It is filial fear strengthened by the only efficacious sacrifice, but tempered because a Father holy and impartial watches over every step of our pilgrimage; and as He will not condemn us with the world, He chastens because He loves us too well to gloss over our failures. Here Christian responsibility is pressed, that there should not be inconsistency in our ways. His calling like His election is a matter of sovereign grace, and admits no question. But the case is different when we hear of our calling and election. Here negligence disorders the walk, and compromises our profession of His name, takes away our joy and enfeebles or hinders our testimony, and all the more if our conscience be tender. The heart condemns us, as is said in 1 John 3:2020For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. (1 John 3:20); and how much more does God, who greater than our heart knows all things, and draws us into self-judgment, so that it should not condemn us!
Practical fidelity, then, is urged the more with diligence to make our calling and election sure; “for doing these things” which please God, and are His will concerning us, they are made firm to our enjoyment, instead of being loose and unstable by a careless state; and so one may add, they are to others who look for our ways agreeing with our words. Walking in dependence and obedience we shall never stumble. It is therefore a most humbling thing when one thus trips by the way, and mistakes his own will or the enemy's suggestion for the Lord's guidance. How painfully it is learned that all knowledge here fails; and that we must be brought to deep self-judgment, and vigilance in looking to and leaning on the Lord that we may follow Him closely. For any one can see a failure, and flesh can censure without measure or heart. Grace alone can purify according to the standard of the sanctuary; but this may be retarded by failure in penetrating to the roots of what misled. And here it is ourselves who are to blame; for there is in Christ and the word all resource to meet the need, yea, so as to strengthen one's brethren also, as Peter himself had to learn, and learned so well.
But more encouragement follows here. “For thus shall be richly furnished to you the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Here again it is not a predicted fact that is intended, but the full realization even now by the soul that walks blamelessly before God. Thus it is that the entrance into the kingdom should be furnished. One is thus enabled to anticipate in rich measure the everlasting kingdom. So the Spirit was pleased to describe it. At any rate it is not put as a mediatorial display of glory in reigning over the earth for a thousand years, blessed as this will be; but rather what is unchanging. For there is also revealed that His servants shall serve Him and see His face, and reign forever and ever.
Here then to those walking by grace faithfully “shall be richly furnished the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Not only is evil avoided, but there is nothing to dim the eyes or burden the heart. And the future glory is made richly to fill the soul as that which, as it belongs to Him, is shared with us, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. We are thus led into it for heart enjoyment; for the Spirit, being ungrieved, is not stopped by our errors and wrong-doing to humble us, but can show us things to come. “He shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine and shall declare [it] to you.” The entrance into it shall be richly furnished in the case described for practical joy and power over all that is present, whereby Satan seeks to dazzle and occupy the unwary.