Wherefore - Seeing the danger of apostasy, and the fearful end of them who obey not the Gospel, and thus receive the grace of God in vain; give all diligence, σπουδασατε, hasten, be deeply careful, labor with the most intense purpose of soul.
To make your calling - From deep Gentile darkness into the marvellous light of the Gospel.
And election - Your being chosen, in consequence of obeying the heavenly calling, to be the people and Church of God. Instead of κλησιν, calling, the Codex Alexandrinus has παρακλησιν, consolation.
Sure - Βεβαιαν· Firm, solid. For your calling to believe the Gospel, and your election to be members of the Church of Christ, will be ultimately unprofitable to you, unless you hold fast what you have received by adding to your faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, etc.
For if ye do these things - If ye be careful and diligent to work out your own salvation, through the grace which ye have already received from God; ye shall never fall, ου μη πταισητε ποτε, ye shall at no time stumble or fall; as the Jews have done, and lost their election, Romans 11:11, where the same word is used, and as apostates do, and lose their peace and salvation. We find, therefore, that they who do not these things shall fall; and thus we see that there is nothing absolute and unconditional in their election. There is an addition here in some MSS. and versions which should not pass unnoticed: the Codex Alexandrinus, nine others, with the Syriac, Erpen's Arabic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, later Syriac with an asterisk, the Vulgate, and Bede, have ινα δια των καλων (ὑμων ) εργων, That By (your) Good Works ye may make your calling and election firm. This clause is found in the edition of Colinaeus, Paris, 1534, and has been probably omitted by more recent editors on the supposition that the edition does not make a very orthodox sense. But on this ground there need be no alarm, for it does not state that the good works thus required merit either the calling and election, or the eternal glory, of God. He who does not by good works confirm his calling and election, will soon have neither; and although no good works ever did purchase or ever can purchase the kingdom of God, yet no soul can ever scripturally expect to see God who has them not. I was hungry, and ye gave me no meat; thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: go, ye cursed. I was hungry, and ye gave me meat; etc., etc.; come, ye blessed.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence - 2 Peter 1:5. “In view of these things, give the greater diligence to secure your salvation.” The considerations on which Peter based this appeal seem to have been the fact that such promises are made to us, and such hopes held out before us; the degree of uncertainty thrown over the whole matter of our personal salvation by low attainments in the divine life, and the dreadful condemnation which will ensue if in the end it shall be found that we are destitute of all real piety. The general thought is, that religion is of sufficient importance to claim our highest diligence, and to arouse us to the most earnest efforts to obtain the assurance of salvation.
To make your calling and election sure - On the meaning of the word “calling,” see the notes at Ephesians 4:1. On the meaning of the word “election,” see the Romans 9:11 note; 1 Thessalonians 1:4 note. Compare Ephesians 1:5. The word rendered “election” here, ( ἐκλογήν eklogēnoccurs only in this place and in Acts 9:15; Romans 9:11; Romans 11:5, Romans 11:7, Romans 11:28; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; though corresponding words from the same root denoting “the elect, to elect, to choose,” frequently occur. The word here used means “election,” referring to the act of God, by which those who are saved are “chosen” to eternal life. As the word “calling” must refer to the act of God, so the word “election” must; for it is God who both “calls” and “chooses” those who shall be saved. The word in the Scriptures usually refers to the actual choosing of those who shall be saved; that is, referring to the time when they, in fact, become the children of God, rather than to the purpose of God that it shall be done; but still there must have been an eternal purpose, for God makes no choice which he did not always intend to make.
The word “sure,” means firm, steadfast, secure, ( βεβαίαν bebaianHere the reference must be to “themselves;” that is, they were so to act as to make it certain to themselves that they had been chosen, and were truly called into the kingdom of God. It cannot refer to God, for no act of theirs could make it more certain on his part, if they had been actually chosen to eternal life. Still, God everywhere treats men as moral agents; and what may be absolutely certain in his mind from the mere purpose that it “shall” be so, is to be made certain to us only by evidence, and in the free exercise of our own powers. The meaning here is, that they were to obtain such evidences of personal piety as to put the question whether they were “called” and “chosen,” so far as their own minds were concerned, to rest; or so as to have undoubted evidence on this point. The Syriac, the Vulgate, and some Greek manuscripts, insert here the expression “by your good works;” that is, they were to make their calling sure “by” their good works, or by holy living.
This clause, as Calvin remarks, is not authorized by the best authority, but it does not materially affect the sense. It was undoubtedly by their “good works” in the sense of holy living, or of lives consecrated to the service of God, that they were to obtain the evidence that they were true Christians; that is, that they had been really called into the kingdom of God, for there is nothing else on which we can depend for such evidence. God has given no assurance to us by name that he intends to save us. We can rely on no voice, or vision, or new revelation, to prove that it is so. No internal feeling of itself, no raptures, no animal excitement, no confident persuasion in our own minds that we are elected, can be proof in the case; and the only certain evidence on which we can rely is that which is found in a life of sincere piety. In view of the important statement of Peter in this verse, then, we may remark:
(1) that he believed in the doctrine of election, for he uses language which obviously implies this, or such as they are accustomed to use who believe the doctrine.
(2) the fact that God has chosen those who shall be saved, does not make our own efforts unnecessary to make that salvation sure to us. It can be made sure to our own minds only by our own exertions; by obtaining evidence that we are in fact the children of God. There can be no evidence that salvation will be ours, unless there is a holy life; that is, unless there is true religion. Whatever may be the secret purpose of God in regard to us, the only evidence that we have that we shall be saved is to be found in the fact that we are sincere Christians, and are honestly endeavoring to do his will.
(3) it is possible to make our calling and election sure; that is, to have such evidence on the subject that the mind shall be calm, and that there will be no danger of deception. If we can determine the point that we are in fact true Christians, that settles the matter - for then the unfailing promise of God meets us that we shall be saved. In making our salvation sure to our own minds, if we are in fact true Christians, we have not to go into an argument to prove that we have sufficient strength to resist temptation, of that we shall be able in any way to keep ourselves. All that matter is settled by the promise of God, that if we are Christians we shall be kept by Him to salvation. The only question that is to be settled is, whether we are in fact true Christians, and all beyond that may be regarded as determined immutably. But assuredly it is possible for a man to determine the question whether he is or is not a true Christian.
(4) if it can be done, it should be. Nothing is more important for us to do than this; and to this great inquiry we should apply our minds with unfaltering diligence, until by the grace of God we can say that there are no lingering doubts n regard to our final salvation.
For if ye do these things - The things referred to in the previous verses. If you use all diligence to make as high attainments as possible in piety, and it you practice the virtues demanded by religion, 2 Peter 1:5-7.
Ye shall never fall - You shall never fall into perdition. That is, you shall certainly he saved.
The gospel message is far from being opposed to true knowledge and intellectual attainments. It is itself true science, true intellectual knowledge. True wisdom is infinitely above the comprehension of the worldly wise. The hidden wisdom, which is Christ formed within, the hope of glory, is a wisdom high as heaven. The deep principles of godliness are sublime and eternal. A Christian experience alone can help us to understand this problem, and obtain the treasures of knowledge which have been hidden in the counsels of God, but are now made known to all who have a vital connection with Christ. All who will may know of the doctrine (The Review and Herald, July 18, 1899). 6BC 1114.1
4, 5, 11 (Romans 8:29, 30; 1 Peter 1:2). God's Predestination—The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the Word of God with a child's simplicity, will be among the elect of God.... 6BC 1114.3Read in context »
God has appointed means, if we will use them diligently and prayerfully, that no vessel shall be shipwrecked, but outride the tempest and storm, and anchor in the haven of bliss at last. But if we despise and neglect these appointments and privileges, God will not work a miracle to save any of us, and we will be lost as were Judas and Satan. TM 453.1
Do not think that God will work a miracle to save those weak souls who cherish evil, who practice sin; or that some supernatural element will be brought into their lives, lifting them out of self into a higher sphere, where it will be comparatively easy work, without any special effort, any special fighting, without any crucifixion of self; because all who dally on Satan's ground for this to be done will perish with the evildoers. They will be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy. TM 453.2Read in context »
The Bible is the only rule of faith and doctrine. And there is nothing more calculated to energize the mind, and strengthen the intellect, than the study of the word of God. No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible. If God's word were studied as it should be, men would have a breadth of mind, a nobility of character, and a stability of purpose, that is rarely seen in these times. Thousands of men who minister in the pulpit are lacking in essential qualities of mind and character, because they do not apply themselves to the study of the Scriptures. They are content with a superficial knowledge of the truths that are full of rich depths of meaning; and they prefer to go on, losing much in every way, rather than to search diligently for the hidden treasure. FE 126.1
The search for truth will reward the seeker at every turn, and each discovery will open up richer fields for his investigation. Men are changed in accordance with what they contemplate. If commonplace thoughts and affairs take up the attention, the man will be commonplace. If he is too negligent to obtain anything but a superficial understanding of God's truth, he will not receive the rich blessings that God would be pleased to bestow upon him. It is a law of the mind, that it will narrow or expand to the dimensions of the things with which it becomes familiar. The mental powers will surely become contracted, and will lose their ability to grasp the deep meanings of the word of God, unless they are put vigorously and persistently to the task of searching for truth. The mind will enlarge, if it is employed in tracing out the relation of the subjects of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture, and spiritual things with spiritual. Go below the surface; the richest treasures of thought are waiting for the skilful and diligent student. FE 126.2
Those who are teaching the most solemn message ever given to the world, should discipline the mind to comprehend its significance. The theme of redemption will bear the most concentrated study, and its depth will never be fully explored. You need not fear that you will exhaust this wonderful theme. Drink deep of the well of salvation. Go to the fountain for yourself, that you may be filled with refreshment, that Jesus may be in you a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life. Only Bible truth and Bible religion will stand the test of the judgment. We are not to pervert the word of God to suit our convenience, and worldly interests, but to honestly inquire, “What wilt Thou have me to do?” “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price.” And what a price! Not “with corruptible things, as silver and gold, ... but with the precious blood of Christ.” When man was lost, the Son of God said, I will redeem him, I will become his surety and substitute. He laid aside His royal robes, clothed His divinity with humanity, stepped down from the royal throne, that He might reach the very depth of human woe and temptation, lift up our fallen natures, and make it possible for us to be overcomers, the sons of God, the heirs of the eternal kingdom. Shall we then allow any consideration of earth to turn us away from the path of truth? Shall we not challenge every doctrine and theory, and put it to the test of God's word? FE 127.1Read in context »
The young urge that they need something to enliven and divert the mind. I saw that there is pleasure in industry, a satisfaction in pursuing a life of usefulness. Some still urge that they must have something to interest the mind when business ceases, some mental occupation or amusement to which the mind can turn for relief and refreshment amid cares and wearing labor. The Christian's hope is just what is needed. Religion will prove to the believer a comforter, a sure guide to the Fountain of true happiness. The young should study the word of God and give themselves to meditation and prayer, and they will find that their spare moments cannot be better employed. Young friends, you should take time to prove your own selves, whether you are in the love of God. Be diligent to make your calling and election sure. It depends upon your own course of action whether you secure to yourselves the better life. 1T 503.1
Wisdom's “ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” The future abode of the righteous and their everlasting reward are high and ennobling themes for the young to contemplate. Dwell upon the marvelous plan of salvation, the great sacrifice made by the King of glory that you might be elevated through the merits of His blood and by obedience finally be exalted to the throne of Christ. This subject should engage the noblest contemplation of the mind. To be brought into favor with God—what a privilege! To commune with Him—what can more elevate, refine, and exalt us above the frivolous pleasures of earth? To have our corrupt natures renovated by grace, our lustful appetites and animal propensities in subjection, to stand forth with noble, moral independence, achieving victories every day, will give peace of conscience which can arise alone from rightdoing. 1T 503.2
Young friends, I saw that with such employment and diversion as this you might be happy. But the reason why you are restless is, you do not seek to the only true source for happiness. You are ever trying to find out of Christ that enjoyment which is found only in Him. In Him are no disappointed hopes. Prayer, oh, how is this precious privilege neglected! The reading of the word of God prepares the mind for prayer. One of the greatest reasons why you have so little disposition to draw nearer to God by prayer is, you have unfitted yourselves for this sacred work by reading fascinating stories which have excited the imagination and aroused unholy passions. The word of God becomes distasteful, the hour of prayer is forgotten. Prayer is the strength of the Christian. When alone he is not alone; he feels the presence of One who has said: “Lo, I am with you alway.” 1T 504.1Read in context »