We must CONFIRM our upward CALL & ELECTION: "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:10-11)
In the above passage, Apostle Peter exhorts us to confirm our upward call and election, which are two facets of God’s plan of salvation. Our election refers to God’s sovereign, eternal choice of us as we belong to Him. Our upward call refers to God’s action at a certain point in time when He has made His choice evident in our lives, and we respond to His call either by accepting or rejecting His plan of salvation for us. There is a distinction between the two: our election took place before the world was even created. "(God) chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love" (Eph. 1:4). However, our upward call took place at different times during our life. Chronologically, God first elects us and then He calls us. In our human experience, we first become aware of His call and then we realize we were chosen in Christ from all eternity!
So, when Apostle Peter tells us to “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure”, what he means is that we should confirm them by growing in likeness to God as part of our character formation. God wants us to invest wisely in our spiritual development through investing in spiritual qualities like faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, brotherly kindness and love into our character (vv. 5-7). When we do that, we receive wonderful returns on our investment like godliness (v. 7), fruitfulness (v. 8), assurance of our calling (v. 9) and victory over sin (v. 10). In fact, by manifesting the fruit of the Spirit, we can provide unmistakable evidence that we truly belong to Him!
A holy life thus proves the reality of our salvation. Living a holy life will keep us from stumbling and falling into sin. If we walk in the Spirit, we will be spared from being disqualified for His service (Gal. 5:16). While we move forward for Him, and we should confirm our calling and election by the fact that we have been cleansed from our old sins. Assurance of God’s call in our lives comes through the evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives (1 John 3:10, 14) as well as through the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit in our hearts (Gal. 4:6). Our true faith will persevere to the end and we will inevitably bear spiritual fruit in our lives (Gal. 5:6, 22, 23).
Simply practicing what Apostle Peter has advocated would make God’s calling and our election clear to everyone who comes in contact with us. We can then walk worthy of the Lord without stumbling along the way. By pursuing Christian growth every day, we give evidence that God really did call and choose us for Himself. Let us confirm our call and election through our lifestyle every day!