Herman Hoeksema on 2 Peter 1:10
Reformed Free Publishing Association
This is an extract from chapter 34 of Communion With God titled Assurance through Diligence, by Herman Hoeksema, pages 264-266, published by the RFPA. Hoeksema discusses 2 Peter 1:10: "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure."
Brethren, give diligence!
Be zealous to make your calling and election sure.
Let the matter have all your attention, let it be the object of your most serious endeavor, today, tomorrow, continually.
Rather, brethren, give diligence. Rather than being barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord, rather than lacking all things that characterize the Christian’s calling, rather than being blind so that you cannot see afar off and forgetting that you are purged from your old sins, give diligence and exert all the power that is in you to make your calling and election sure.
Apparently strange comparison.
Yet perfectly in harmony with the truth and all spiritual reality, if rightly understood.
For your election must be made sure through the certainty of your calling.
To the certainty of your calling, to the blessed assurance that you are now a child of light by God’s own gracious calling, you cannot attain merely by vain recollections of past conversions and idle speculations on vivid experiences in former years. Perhaps you can speak of them. Perhaps you were called in so marked a way from the darkness of a life of sin and enmity against God that you love to point out the very spot where you vividly remember the day and hour when the Lord visited you by his wondrous grace. Not all are thus suddenly and vividly called, and Paul’s conversion is not to be preferred to Timothy’s. Even so, you cannot obey Peter’s injunction and heed his admonition to make your calling and election sure by merely referring to that past hour of grace and indicating the exact place where it occurred.
Certainty with no other ground is much exposed to the wiles of the devil. Time will blur the memory of it. The accuser of the brethren will cast shadows of doubt over the reality of it.
Neither is such assurance, living merely on the past, healthy and spiritually sound. For it is not the fruit of the diligence to make our calling and election sure of which the apostle speaks in his admonition.
Alone it cannot stand as the ground of our assurance.
It may be accompanied, and often is, by failure to remember that we have been cleansed from our old sins.
Oh, certainly, blessed it is to know that once we were called from darkness into light, that the Lord did break our hard heart, that he did bend our stiff knees, that he downed the pride of our natural existence and taught us to bow in contrition and humiliation of heart and mind before him, until we were assured that our sins were washed away in the blood of the Lamb and that we might be called the children of the Most High. But that calling in the past, if it were genuine indeed, could be only the beginning of a constant struggle to walk as children of light.
Only by bearing constantly the fruit of our calling can we make our calling and election sure.
For, brethren, he who called us is holy; and unto holiness we are called!
Hence, brethren, rather give diligence.
Strive in holy zeal, through the grace of God that is in you, to add unto 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. For, pray, of what benefit would it be, and what ground of assurance regarding your own election would there be in it, if you could speak of revelations and past recollections of grace and mercy, and of most wonderful conversions, but for the present your life were barren of the fruits of grace? Vain would be your faith, false your pretended certainty and assumed confidence, doubtful your election. But if these fruits of the Spirit mark your way and characterize your walk, even though it is all very imperfect and mixed with sin, appearing like wild roses blooming in the midst of the weeds of the marsh, they are constant fruits of your calling, and through the assurance of your calling you will make your election sure.
The way of sanctification is the sole way to the assurance of our calling and election. And the way of sanctification is a way of struggle and strife, a way of self-denial and battle.
Therefore, brethren, rather give diligence, strive with all the power of the grace of God that is in you.
That you may walk the way of light, which is the way of your calling.
Then you will stumble nevermore.
In that way there is assurance!
And joy eternal!
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