The If-Condition in the

General Epistles
2 Peter

    Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. [5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; [6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; [7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. [8] For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [9] But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. [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 1:4-10

GOD’S EXCEEDING GREAT and precious promises are given to us that by obedience and faith through them we become partakers of the divine nature. To this purpose we must give all diligence. We must make every effort by the exercise of faith to add to our souls all spiritual goodness, knowledge, self-control, stedfastness, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. The development of these spiritual qualities makes us that we be neither barren nor unfruitful in the Lord. He that lacks these things is blind and barren in the Lord and hath forgotten that he was “purged from his old sins”. Peter speaks of those who had been once saved but had not made their calling and election sure by doing “these things”. You may agree that anyone who had been purged from his old sins had been saved.


Peter speaks of those once-saved people over whom the mastery of sin had regained control. They were blind and could not see afar off like the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11:13. They could not see heavenly things. Their spiritual eyes were diseased. They could not see God’s interests, but with an eagle-eyed vision they could see to the depths of their own selfish interests. With sharp vision they saw every detail of their money and possessions but stumbled over the things of God in the darkness of their blinded souls. As one must do these things to make his salvation sure, then the salvation of those who do them not is unsure. Jesus said some astonishing things about darkness…


    The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. [23] But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22-23


    Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. Luke 11:35


    Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. John 12:35


    And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19


All who love darkness shall in the end be “cast out into outer darkness” (Matt. 8:12). All who love the light make their calling and election sure by doing “these things”. They continue to do these things and the eternal purpose ever deepens and widens in their souls as they progress toward the end.


Jesus taught in these Scriptures that our only security against darkness is to continually walk in the light. Those who do this have a “single eye”.


 David said:

    One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…” Psalm 27:4


Paul said:

    “… but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching [straining] forth unto those things which are before, [14] I press toward the mark for the prize …” Philip. 3:13-14


  James said:

    A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8


The athlete in Paul’s Olympic illustration knew the importance of keeping his eye on the goal. Those who continue in sin continue to pass into a deeper state of darkness and death. It is a deadly progression that leads to “a sin death”.


We do not save ourselves. We cannot save ourselves, but by giving heart-cooperation to God’s conditions for salvation, we make it possible for His mercy and grace to save us. Peter told Calvinists, Arminians, Eternal Securitists, and all: “… give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” Those who do these things are God’s predestinated ones. These are the ones who shall never perish: nor can anyone pluck them out of God’s hand. Neither death, nor life, nor satan, nor anything can ever separate them from God’s love.

Theologians are puzzled about the mysterious relation between the divine and human wills. But what is unrevealed need not trouble us. We are concerned with what is revealed, and that is the conditions of salvation. Peter, in his First Epistle (1:2) wrote:


        “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ….” 1 Peter 1:2


Here again is evidence that in the Scriptures election or predestination does not stand alone as unconditional but had conditional connectives. It is through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience. This is why we have argued all the way from Genesis. Did you ever hear an Eternal Security teacher make election conditional upon sanctification and obedience?

Peter said God’s calling and election is sure for those who “make” it so. Jesus is the Surety of God’s salvation covenant (Heb. 7:22). The Divine Elector chose sanctification, obedience, and Calvary’s covenant blood as means to make salvation sure. His Covenant of Surety is certain for all who remain under the security of the “sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ”. Salvation is of the Jews. Peter, a Jew, made salvation conditional upon the successive performance of acts specified in the covenant.


Peter asked:

    And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1 Peter 4:18


If the righteous, because of the sharp trials, sufferings, and testings, are saved with difficulty, where shall those appear who continue in sin? What is your answer to Peter’s question?



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