“Therefore my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election.” 2 Peter 1:10
The very idea that Christians might need to confirm their salvation – their election as born-again people, strikes many believers as odd and completely unnecessary. “Of course I’m saved and I don’t need to prove it to anyone!”
Peter thinks otherwise.
A short theological primer may be in order. St. Augustine, John Calvin and probably the majority of theologians for 2,000 years believe the Bible teaches that God chooses, or elects those he desires to save. And the rest of humanity, the un-elect if you will, remain in their unbelief and are what the church refers to as the lost.
This website offers an excellent, very brief summary of the Five Points of Calvinism, if you want to know more. https://simplyputpodcast.com/five-points-of-calvinism/.
In Calvin’s Five Points, the last one is “perseverance of the saints.” This means once a believer is born-again, the Holy Spirit guarantees his/her salvation and a true believer cannot lose their salvation.
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22
So if that’s true, why the need to confirm your salvation? The verses just before the confirm your calling and election passage in Peter, read:
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9
The key phrase is “make every effort to add to your faith.” Just by desiring to do these things, it is an indication and confirmation to you of your salvation. Unsaved people rarely pursue goodness, knowledge, self-control, godliness, etc. We don’t have to prove ourselves to God. These verses are a means of self-examination the Holy Spirit uses to give us confidence that we truly belong to God. They are meant to comfort us and also to warn us if we are not pursuing ”goodness, knowledge, godliness, ect.”
One final reason “to make every effort to add to your faith.” when these virtues are seen in us, it encourages everyone who knows us, to aspire to greater godliness as well. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been convicted to be more virtuous, after I‘ve been in the presence of kind, thoughtful, knowledgeable saints.
Many of us get on a scale every day to check our weight, why? Because it’s our hope that we’re meeting the goal we set for ourselves and it’s a warning when we’re not. Peter is challenging us to “weigh ourself” spiritually, so that we can run the race before us.
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness.” Titus 1:1