July 18

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 2 Peter 1:10

Although the calling Peter talks about here is strong enough by itself, it doesn’t feel strong and firm enough to you.  This is because you’re not yet certain that it’s meant for you.  So Peter wants to make this calling and election feel firmer with good works.

Peter considers the fruit of faith to be very important.  This fruit is directed toward our neighbors in service to them.  But the fruit doesn’t remain outside of us.  Faith is strengthened by the fruit so that we do more and more good works.  So this power is very different from physical strength.  We get tired and injure ourselves if we overuse our physical strength.  But with spiritual power, the more we use it, the stronger it becomes.  And if we don’t exercise it, it diminishes.

We shouldn’t let faith rest.  It becomes more powerful with cultivation and practice until we become certain of our calling and election.  We become certain that we cannot fail.  In addition, this passage gives us a guideline for dealing with election.  There are many frivolous spirits who don’t know what strong faith feels like.  They jump in, start at the top, and want to find out through their human reason whether God has chosen them.  They do this so that they can feel certain of their position.  We should quickly back away from this approach, because it’s not the correct way.  If we want to become certain, we must approach it the way Peter suggests, here.  If we choose a different way, we have already failed.  But if we cultivate and practice our faith over time, we will become certain so that we will never stumble.

Life of Luther

Barnas Sears, D.D.

An historic and comprehensive biography of early Christianity’s most influential leader of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther.

Controversial and visionary, Luther’s life is revealed in this rare presentation of his work as an educator and church leader. From his birth and childhood, to his religious education, and the events leading up to the Protestant Reformation, you will discover the views and experiences that led to his excommunication by the Pope in 1520. Correspondence and accounts shed further light on Luther’s defiant translation of the Bible from Latin to the language of the common man.

This unique biography is reproduced from an 1850 American Sunday School Union original, and in it you will be introduced to the pivotal life of this enigmatic man before, during, and after one of Christianity’s defining events.

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