“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, AV)
In every school that I ever attended, there have been examinations. One of the most important exams in college was a course’s final examination. In my freshmen year at Drexel University, I had to take Calculus-2. Frankly I did not do much studying in this course and leading up to the final, I was failing the course. I asked the teacher if I could drop the course and she stated yes, but I should consider trying to do well on the final. I guess the reason was that I received an A in Calculus-1. Well, I spent a week going through all the course materials and the sample problems. I was a little scared on the day of the final since I finished before anyone else in the class. So, I went over the exam problems again and was certain that it was perfect. Then I got up, turned in my test booklet, and was the first student to leave the room. Yes, I got an A on the final and passed the course.
The point here is that I rechecked each problem on the final to make sure it was correct. Peter in this verse tells us that believers should do the same thing in their spiritual lives. We should all examine ourselves to confirm our “calling and election.” Every professing Christian should look at his or her faith to ensure that it is genuine. How is the believer to have the assurance of their salvation? It will be through the evidence of godliness in his or her character.
The self-examination goes basically like this. Ask the question, what defines my life? If sin, the flesh and its passions are the things that characterize a professing believer, something is amiss. However, if a relationship with Christ and a heartfelt pursuit of God and His righteousness characterizes the professing believer’s life, that person has the evidences of true faith.
If you take this examination or reexamination of your life and discover that something is amiss, there are two possibilities. First, there is a possibility that your profession of faith is wanting. In other words, your profession may not be genuine. In this case, you should reassess your conversion experience. Was there a true understanding of your sinful condition and your need for the salvation that comes by God’s grace alone through faith in Christ and His death on the cross for you, apart from any effort to save yourself by good works.
The second possibility is that you have been walking off the path of righteousness. Perhaps you have been unrepentant of sin in your life. Perhaps you have become spiritually proud and forgotten how far short of God’s glory that you still fall. Perhaps you have grown cold in your relationship with Christ and your pursuit of righteousness.
The solution for both of these possibilities is basically the same. It is to go to God with a humble and broken heart over your spiritual condition. It is to seek Him and His forgiveness. For those who’s profession is not genuine, it is to seek God for salvation by trusting in Christ alone. For those who have grown cold, it is to cry out to God to renew your heart for Him.
Do not fail to prayerfully examine your own heart for God.