Peter’s second letter was written at the end of his life to churches in Asia Minor. He is writing to believers in those churches, some of whom he knows personally. Here he makes the remarkable statement that they should confirm their calling. In other words, they should make sure they are truly Christians. If Peter is concerned whether these acquaintances are truly saved, certainly he would ask us to do the same.
There is a common misconception within many churches today that simply making a formal profession of faith is all that is required in order to guarantee a person’s salvation. If that were true, Peter wouldn’t need to be writing as he is here. He’s writing to people whom he calls his brothers and sisters…those who have made a formal profession of faith in Christ.
The writings of Paul and James agree that making a formal declaration of faith in Christ does not absolutely guarantee that a person is truly saved.
To help his friends confirm their faith, Peter lists qualities that provide the basis with which to confirm their calling and election. These qualities are faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. These are qualities that we should also see manifested in our own lives. While the Holy Spirit will assist us in the development of these qualities, we have a responsibility to do our part in nurturing them.
As Christian physicians, we should also follow the advice of Peter and confirm our calling and election. We should take the necessary time to look through the list of qualities that Peter gives and ask ourselves if they are present and increasing in our lives. If we’ve claimed to be a follower of Jesus for many years, and yet find these qualities still lacking, there is cause for concern. We should never fall into the trap of thinking that just because we made a profession of faith as a child that our place in heaven is reserved for us. Be diligent to confirm your calling and election as well.
Prayer: Lord, help me know the true state of my election and address the areas where I need to grow.