Spiritual Development

2 Peter 1.10 exhorts us to make every effort to confirm our calling and election.images

Most evangelical Christians define a person’s salvation by whether or not they believe they are going to heaven if they were to die today.

The answer they are looking for is the confession that the person invited Jesus into their lives to forgive their sins and believe His promise to receive them into His heaven forgiven because of His gracious pardon obtained through His shed blood. Satisfied they believe a person is saved because they made the proper confession they move on never to think again about this salvation we or they supposedly obtain.

Very simple really but perhaps overly simplistic.

It is interesting the Apostle Peter who knew a thing or two about being forgiven and needing forgiveness, about confessing commitment but denying that commitment, exhorts his audience to ‘make every effort’ to confirm our salvation.

A belief and a confession need little ‘more effort’ if that is all there is to our salvation. Perhaps there is more than just believing and confessing expected by God of those who continue to live as Christians.

It is also interesting that in the gospels the only entities who always express proper belief by virtue of their perfect confession are demons. They never waver from identifying Jesus properly and believe unequivocally in His divine personage yet I don’t expect any of us will meet them in God’s heaven.

Previous to Peter’s exhortation to work hard at our salvation is his description of the levels, if you will, for developing our salvation.

He commands that we add to our faith, goodness, and to that, knowledge, then to that, self-control, and to that, perseverance, then to that, godliness, and to that, mutual affection, then to that, love.

This process of spiritual development is not the means for acquiring salvation but the means of identifying that salvation within a person.

I wonder how well we are really doing at moving through these stages and what does it mean if we are making no effort at all?

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