We are admonished by the apostle Peter to “make our calling and election sure.” You mean that we have to do something? I thought it was all God and His grace that helps us to be what He wants us to be. It is, but there remains things we must do in order for the spiritual growth to take place.
We must study and pray and eventually fast that the culprit Unbelief might skulk away out of our spiritual lives. For it is unbelief that hinders our growth. But the Spirit has left us a roadmap, a way of cutting through the haze of phony doctrines about God.
Peter tells us in his second letter the steps we should take. He explains that to grow to full maturity, we must add seven attributes to our faith.
Peter writes to those who “have obtained like precious faith with us” (2 Peter 1: 1). The elect, God’s chosen ones for this high calling, have received the same exact precious faith that the early apostles received.
Now this comes about in our lives “through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Yahshua)” (v. 1). After we were convicted of our sin-guiltiness, and after we stepped out and laid down our old sinful self on the cross and died in revelation with the sacrificial Lamb of God, we, by believing that Christ was raised from the dead, receive a newly resurrected life by faith.
It is His faith that we have received. God believed in His own power to raise up the Lamb of God, and when we believed that, then we obtained that very same belief in the form of a “new heart” and a new spirit. By believing in His resurrection, we also believe that we were raised from the dead, for we were definitely dead in our sins—the walking dead, as it were. But now we are alive from the dead, and we bear God’s very own faith in our bosom. As Paul said, “Old things are passed away,” and all things “are become new.” It is no longer the old Adamic man, writhing in the guilt of sin, that now lives, but rather the new man Christ, who has now begun His growth within our new hearts.
This is the faith we have obtained with Peter, Paul, James, and John. Faith is the foundation that must be added to, just like a builder adds walls, a roof, windows and doors to the foundation of the new house he is building. And it is this faith—God’s faith now in us, not our faith in Him—that must be added unto.
Adding Seven Spiritual Attributes Insures Three Things
We are to add to our faith “virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity [agape love]” (1: 5-7).
Peter writes that adding these seven spiritual attributes to His faith in us yields three major things in God’s plan for these latter days. First, they insure that we will not “be barren nor unfruitful” (1: 8). God wants us to bear “much fruit” and is glorified when we do (John 15: 8).
Second, the additions to our faith are how we solidify our standing as one of God’s elect; it is how we “make our calling and election sure.” Walking in these seven attributes of God’s nature insures our place in the elect. Or better put, those destined to be part of the elect will build their spiritual house with these attributes (1: 10).
Furthermore, it is through them that “an entrance shall be ministered unto [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior” (1: 11).
Adding them is how we “partake of His divine nature” (1: 4). It is how we make our calling and election sure, how we never fall, how we will be full of spiritual fruit, how we will receive an entrance into His kingdom, and how we will “partake of His divine nature.” That sums up what spiritual growth is about. That is how important these things are as outlined by Peter in his Second Epistle, Chapter 1.
A Serious Assignment
Adding these attributes is a serious assignment that only the Spirit of truth can teach, for it is He that leads us into all truth. Truth being the key word.
“Truth is fallen in the streets,” says the prophet. And there is a famine in the land, a famine of the word of God. Because of this dearth, adding these seven attributes is a formidable task. Why? Peter in the very next chapter forewarns us of how the devil will hinder our growth in becoming God’s elect. He warns us to beware of false prophets and false teachers who “shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.” And many will follow these hypocrites, who will “speak great swelling words of vanity” and will “promise them liberty” while they are “the servants of corruption” (II Peter 2:1-19).
And how does this second chapter tie into the first? These false “Christian” teachers will spew out false teachings that will hinder a young Christian’s spiritual growth. Peter gives his stark warning to us so that we would not be hijacked and taken away by the enemy, thus prohibiting us from making our calling and election sure. Bluntly put, false teachings will thwart the children of God from growing into fully matured Christians, fit to sit on the throne with Christ. Getting rid of these false concepts about God is where the study and prayer come in after true knowledge comes to us.
Isaiah wonders, “Who hath believed our report?” Who will answer the call to go all the way to the throne of God? Only the adventurous. Only the unafraid. Only the rebels who refuse to come under the yoke of the god of this world. Only those who trust in the Spirit of God within themselves, as He helps them separate the good teachings from the bad.
But man’s wisdom cannot teach this truth to the elect. Old Adamic man just cannot teach it to us, nor the well-meaning manna-gatherers of yesteryear, who fed the flock of God with the spiritual bread that they had one hundred, five hundred, or one thousand or more years ago. That cannot sustain the elect of God for these latter days. For these elect must have the “present truth”—food convenient for them.
God is doing a new thing; He is pouring out new light as to His plan and purpose. The Spirit is pouring out His truth today all over the earth. He has seven thousand unbowed to Baal, and they are like river bed conduits of His living water. Those who thirst will drink. The rest will with parched throats persist in scratching moisture out of broken cisterns of the waters of the past, repositories of the damp shadows of truth.
For God is doing a new thing in the earth, a thing that men will not believe though God Himself tells them. For He has already, even though He has blinded all but the remnant, the elect. But they will prepare and do and put on these additions to the “faith once delivered to the saints.” Kenneth Wayne Hancock