Verse: 2 Peter 1:10-11 (ESV)
10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Have you ever questioned your faith? Wondered how you can know for sure if you are saved?
You're probably aware that many people outside the Church (and far too many inside of it, unfortunately) view Christianity as a set of rules to be followed - dos and don'ts. And if you do enough of the dos and don't do enough of the don'ts, then you get to go to Heaven when you die. That would be a hard scorecard to keep up with, wouldn't it?
Hopefully you are also aware that a proper understanding of the Gospel message makes it clear that this is not the case. That Jesus's death and resurrection ensured that we wouldn't be required to earn our way into Heaven. What a relief, right?! But that doesn't make it any easier to know if I'm saved!
Unfortunately, in the modern church, there's also been something of a swing too far in the other direction, in the name of "Christian liberty". This is the idea that, since we are not bound by the Law, we won't be judged by our actions, and we can basically do as we please (within reason), as long as we have a relationship with Christ.
But in the passage above, Peter reminds us that it is the qualities we exhibit in our daily lives that will "confirm your calling and election". These qualities (found in verses 5-7: faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love) are the evidence, to ourselves and to others, of our relationship with Christ.
Peter says that if we "practice these qualities" we "will never fall". Not in the sense that there is a risk of losing our salvation, but that by focusing on these things, we won't fall victim to being unproductive in our spiritual lives, to wasting time questioning our salvation, or even to falling back into sinful behaviors we have left behind.
If you want to be certain of your salvation, meditate on these verses, memorize these qualities, and "practice" them.
God, help me to grow in the qualities Peter laid out, that I might remind myself of my standing with you, but also be an example to those around me of your love and free gift of salvation that is available to them. Amen.