Making Your Calling and Election Sure: An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:5-11 -- By: Zane C. Hodges

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 11:1 (Spring 1998)
Article: Making Your Calling and Election Sure: An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:5-11
Author: Zane C. Hodges

Making Your Calling and Election Sure:
An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:5-111

Zane C. Hodges

Mesquite, TX

Perseverance is one of the major battlegrounds in the debate over the gospel. Many suggest that those believers who fail to persevere either lose their salvation, or else prove that they were never genuinely saved in the first place. One of the major prooftexts for this supposed doctrine is found in the first chapter of 2 Peter. There Peter commands believers to add Christian character qualities to their faith so that they might make their calling and election sure, so that they might not stumble, and so that they might be supplied with an abundant entrance to the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

There can be little doubt that Peter here conditions this abundant kingdom entrance upon making our calling and election sure by persevering in the development and maintenance of Christian character qualities. Faith alone will not be effective in securing this abundant entrance.

A careful consideration of the context of these remarks shows that they are not supporting the Reformed Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. Indeed, they actually support the opposite conclusion, that believers in Christ are secure forever, whether they add Christian character qualities to their faith or not. What is at stake, here, as we shall see, is not kingdom entrance, but abundant kingdom entrance.

In vv 3–4 of 2 Peter the Christian readers are reminded that when they came to know Christ at salvation, God imparted to them everything they needed to live a godly life, to share experientially in God’s nature, and to escape the sinful corruption of the world in which they

lived. This sets the stage for vv 5–11. We begin by considering vv 5–7 and the character qualities that believers are to add to their faith.

Adding Character to Your Faith

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love (2 Pet 1:5-7).

With the opening words of v 5, “But also for this very reason,” Peter turns to the responsibility of his Christian readers. It is precisely because God has “given to us all things that pertain to li...

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