A Dispensational Approach
By R. B. Shiflet
I. INTRODUCTION 1:1
II. INVOCATION 1:2-3
III. IDEAL SPIRITUAL LIVING 1:5-7
IV. INCREASING KNOWLEDGE 1:8
V. IMMINENT DANGER 1:9
VI. IMPORTANT DISTINCTION 1:10
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” (2 Peter 1:10)
After having given his readers a list of Christian virtues that come from God, Peter calls attention to the responsibility of believers to make sure of their salvation. The expression “give diligence” translates a word that is familiar to all of us who study the Bible dispensationally. For example, in Ephesians 4:3, we read, “Endeavoring [giving diligence] to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We rejoice in the precious doctrine of the one body of Christ, the church for today. We must endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit: one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father.
The word is also found in 2 Timothy 2:15, where it is translated study. We are to be diligent to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that do not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
The appeal that Peter makes in this verse stresses the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of the believer in our salvation. It is a Biblical principle that “salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). And yet this salvation, a gift from God, must be received. Our Lord Jesus said: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; [Sovereignty of God] and him that cometh to me [responsibility of man] I will in no wise cast out. Our finite minds cannot harmonize these two important doctrines, but that does not mean they are not true. When our risen Lord called the disciples to “Come and dine” he had the food ready, but they would not have received the benefit had they not eaten. A benefactor may give a college scholarship to a high school student, but he will not be college-educated unless he pursues his studies.
The last clause in this verse has been misinterpreted and used to teach the possibility of losing one’s salvation: “if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” The word translated “fall” means “to stumble, or to cause others to stumble.” The point, as I see it, is that a consistent Christian walk, in any dispensation, results in assurance in the believer’s personal life and a good testimony in the lives of those around him.
(To Be Continued)