Recently I asked someone if her salvation was secure. She gently patted her chest and said, “I know I am saved because I feel it in my heart.” For many people emotions and feelings have become the guarantee of their salvation. Others appeal to their good works or generosity to affirm their security. But Peter’s challenge to secure our salvation involves more than emotions and works (2 Pet. 1:10).
When Adam and Eve sinned, it ushered in the fall of humanity because every person has sinned— except one (Rom. 5:12-13). Since the Garden God worked and planned to orchestrate man’s salvation. Jesus paid the ransom price for our redemption. And now, God pleads with us to accept his offer of grace.
However, God established a plan for rescuing us from death—the wage of sin (Rom. 6:23). Without God’s grace we have no hope of escaping hell. Money cannot buy pardon. Good works cannot nullify iniquity. Emotions cannot whisk away the spiritual jeopardy. Only God can save us.
Once we realize the danger of sin, we must trust God. Trust means we believe we cannot save ourselves. We believe God wants us to be saved (2 Pet. 3:9). We believe he can save us (Heb. 7:25). We believe Jesus is his way of salvation (John 8:24; 14:6). This faith forms the foundation of hope.
Upon this foundation of faith, we build a life of repentance (Luke 13:3-5). This requires us to refocus our eyes on God, and not this world (Mat. 6:19-24). It means turning away from sin and seeking the things above (Col. 3:1-2). Repentance renews of our minds, transforming them to pursue spiritual things (Rom. 12:1-2).
Our new mindset must be declared to the world. Our friends and families need to know about our changed allegiances, so we confess Jesus as our Lord and Master (Rom. 10:9-10). Salvation is not solely a private personal revolution. It includes a dynamic, outward announcement of faith.
After faith, repentance, and confession, Jesus commanded us to be baptized (Mark 16:16). Through baptism we wash away the sins that threaten us (Acts 22:16). Through baptism we put on Christ as a new cloak (Ga. 3:26-27). Through baptism the guilt of our sins are forgiven (Acts 2:38). Through baptism our relationship with Jesus is changed to disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). Through baptism we are saved (1 Pet. 3:21).
When Peter told us to “confirm our calling and election,” he is challenging us to make sure we have obeyed God’s plan of salvation. For many people, their redemption relies on how their hearts feel, or on the word of a preacher, friend, or parent. But sincere feelings may be wrong like Paul’s (Acts 23:1; 24:16; 26:9). Friends and family can lead us astray (Acts 18:24-26; Gal. 1:14). Good works cannot remove the guilt of sin (Acts 10:1-4; Eph. 2:9; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit. 3:10).
God wants us to examine ourselves in light of his word. Only God can determine the way to him, and only our hearts know if we have followed it (Rom. 8:16). “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election” (2 Pet. 1:10).