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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023

 

Vs. 10 - Make Certain

02.3.4

“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;”  -  2 Peter 1:10

 

'Therefore' (διὸ) is a conjunction.  It's purpose is to bind these verses together.  So, given the exhortations in verses 8 and 9, then follows verse 10 which should be seen as linked to those preceding verses.

 

Note that Peter calls us 'brethren' (ἀδελφοί).  As was noted in the comments on verse 1, Peter is writing to Christians “. . . who have received a faith of the same kind as ours. . .”  He is not writing to the unsaved.  He assumes that his readers have a saving experience of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Given the above, he then notes that we as Christians need to be 'diligent' or earnest (σπουδάσατε).  This verb is an active, imperative verb.  As an imperative it is a command to all Christians.  That is what an imperative is.  It's a command.  Also, as an active verb, it tells us that we have to be active in our diligence.  Taken together this verb has the strong implication that there is something we as Christians can and must do to facilitate our spiritual growth.  We are not meant to lean back in God's arms, expecting to be carried everywhere.  Instead, we are to be actively involved in shaping our lives and our characters more closely into conformity to Christ's character.

 

What are we to be diligent about?  We are “. . . to make certain about His calling and choosing you”.  ποιεῖσθαι, often translated as 'to make', is a present tense middle infinitive.  Thayer (1976, p. 525) notes:  “while ποιεῖν signifies to be the author of a thing (to cause, bring about, as ποιεῖν πόλεμον, εἰρήνην), ποιεῖσθαι denotes an action which pertains in some way to the actor (for oneself, among themselves, etc., as σπονδάς, εἰρήνην ποιεῖσθαι), or which is done by one with his own resources (the 'dynamic' or 'subjective' middle), as πόλεμον ποιεῖσθαι (to make, carry on, war)" (http://biblesuite.com/greek/4160.htm).  Thus, again we find that we are to actively involve ourselves in 'making' our character.

 

And what are we to diligently make?  We are to make 'your' 'calling and choosing' 'certain'.  The word 'your' in this phrase is ὑμῶν, a personal pronoun, 2nd person plural, genitive.  Being a genitive, it is linked to the noun(s) calling and choosing.  We're not talking about just anybody's calling and choosing, we're talking about your calling and choosing in particular.

 

As we are talking about calling and choosing, it is reasonable to remember that the One doing the calling and choosing is God, not us.  Clearly, God's calling and choosing (aka election) is clearly beyond our abilities.  Yet, there is something that we can do.  We can make God's calling and election 'certain', firm, steadfast, enduring, or sure (the word in the Greek is βεβαία). (See also:  http://biblesuite.com/greek/949.htm,  Helps Word-Studies for a helpful analysis).  βεβαία is an adjective in the accusative.  Again, being an adjective it describes or modifies the noun(s) calling and choosing.  How does it modify it?  As an accusative it describes it's noun(s) as the goal or object of the action.  Thus, we are not to be simply chosen, but firmly, certainly and steadfastly chosen.

 

“. . . for as long as you practice these things, . . .”  Here's our old friend, 'these things' again.  Remember, we're talking about the qualities noted in verses 5-7.  The text also says that 'as long as you practice'.  The Greek word here is ποιοῦντες, a present, active participle.  The active nature of the word stresses that we are to be involved in adding and strengthening the qualities in verses 5-7.  The active nature of this word is strengthened by it being cast as a participle.  The fact that this is a present tense verb tells us that this is to be an ongoing activity.  This is not a 'one and you're done' kind of thing.  Striving to develop the character qualities found in verses 5-7 will take us the rest of our lives.  The aorist tense speaks of a completed action.  In contrast, the present tense, which this is, speaks of continuing action.

 

What then happens if we continue to practice 'these things'?  IF we do, THEN we will 'never stumble'.  Recall what Jesus said about stumbling:  “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you.  It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.” (Matt 18:9).  Also recall that in 1 Pet 2:6-8 Christ Himself is portrayed as a "stone of stumbling".  As the disbelievers who 'stumble' over Him are appointed to doom, so, if we continue to actively practice 'these things' we will not stumble and thereby avoid being cast into hell.