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Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1998 -- Volume 11:20

Making Your Calling and Election Sure:
An Exposition of 2 Peter 1:5-111


   Perseverance is one of the major battlegrounds in the debate over the gospel. Many suggest that those believers who fail to persevere either lose their salvation, or else prove that they were never genuinely saved in the first place. One of the major prooftexts for this supposed doctrine is found in the first chapter of 2 Peter. There Peter commands believers to add Christian character qualities to their faith so that they might make their calling and election sure, so that they might not stumble, and so that they might be supplied with an abundant entrance to the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

   There can be little doubt that Peter here conditions this abundant kingdom entrance upon making our calling and election sure by persevering in the development and maintenance of Christian character qualities. Faith alone will not be effective in securing this abundant entrance.

   A careful consideration of the context of these remarks shows that they are not supporting the Reformed Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. Indeed, they actually support the opposite conclusion, that believers in Christ are secure forever, whether they add Christian character qualities to their faith or not. What is at stake, here, as we shall see, is not kingdom entrance, but abundant kingdom entrance.

   In vv 3-4 of 2 Peter the Christian readers are reminded that when they came to know Christ at salvation, God imparted to them everything they needed to live a godly life, to share experientially in God's nature, and to escape the sinful corruption of the world in which they lived. This sets the stage for vv 5-11. We begin by considering vv 5-7 and the character qualities that believers are to add to their faith.

Adding Character to Your Faith

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love (2 Pet 1:5-7).

   With the opening words of v 5, "But also for this very reason," Peter turns to the responsibility of his Christian readers. It is precisely because God has "given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (v 3) that Christians are now responsible to draw upon these provisions in order to build a godly character in an ungodly world.

   To put it another way, because of what God has done (vv 3-4), there is now something we should do (vv 5-7). It is true, of course, that we cannot develop real Christian character apart from the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But obviously, the gift of the Spirit Himself is one of the necessary provisions God has made for us as mentioned in v 3. Our responsibility is real, however, for in order for Christian character to develop, we must cooperate with the Spirit's work in us and draw upon the spiritual resources God has provided.

   Spirituality, then, is a choice. It does not come automatically or inevitably. Those who think it does are not looking closely enough at the Scriptures.

   Thus in vv 5-7 Peter tells us something we are to do and to do with "all diligence." And what is that? To begin with, we are to add virtue to our faith. The Greek word used for "virtue" here (areth ) is a general word for moral excellence. In the ethical teaching of the Hellenistic world of Peter's day, the word seems often to have indicated mastery over one's baser passions and lusts. Thus the translation "virtue" is more or less on target. Even our word "morality" is not too wide of the mark.

   Every Christian starts out his Christian experience with "faith." After all, we are saved by grace through faith. But one of our first responsibilities is to begin to build on that faith a life that is "virtuous"-that is, a life that can be characterized as highly moral and ethical. Indeed, if the Christian fails to add "virtue" to his faith, his faith will soon become what James described as "dead faith" (Jas 2:14-26). Its vitality and productivity will disappear. In fact, Peter says this same thing in his own way in vv 8-9!

   But the Christian disciple is not to be satisfied with "morality" alone, as important as that is. To "virtue" he should also add "knowledge." Morality, we must remember, is not simply a rigid adherence to a set of rules. If virtue becomes nothing more than conformity to commands (though it is that in a real sense), it is in danger of degenerating into legalism. Morality must be constantly informed and guided by knowledge.

   Indeed, the writer of Hebrews defined spiritual maturity as belonging to "those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil" (Heb 5:14). The believer is not to remain a babe in Christ who does things simply because he is told to do them-though that is the proper place to start our obedience to God. But God wants us to grow in spiritual understanding so that we not only do what is right but also understand why it is right!

   In other words, in Christian living God wants us not only to do but to discern. For that we need the ever-deepening "knowledge" of God's Word.

   To "knowledge," however, the believer is also to add "self-control." The Greek word translated "self-control" (enkrateia ) is hard to define precisely here. It could, of course, refer to control of our physical drives. But in the ethical thought of Peter's day it could apparently indicate that personal prudence which avoided extremes and led to moderation rather than self-indulgence.

   A meaning like "disciplined moderation" would probably come close to the mark here. Out of "knowledge" there should arise that down-to-earth restraint which leads to a balanced life free from harmful extremes. We might describe this as "balanced self-discipline" in all that we do.

   But further, to "self-control" Peter urges us to add "perseverance." Clearly the person who cultivates a virtuous life, which is reinforced by knowledge and self-discipline, is well prepared for the worst of times. But in the midst of trial and disappointment he will find his virtue, knowledge, and self-discipline all put to the test. Can he maintain his own standards and self-control? What he needs, therefore, is to develop "perseverance" so that neither Christian character nor conduct is marred or damaged by even the hardest of personal trials.

   Here we should recall Paul's statement that "tribulation produces perseverance" (Rom 5:3). James also declared that "the testing of your faith produces patience" (= perseverance; the same word as is found here in 2 Peter and in Rom 5:3). Every difficulty of life can become an opportunity to develop the very quality of which Peter speaks.

   It may also be suggested that this quality cannot become a really solid trait in us until God has sent us through some hard experiences. This is one reason we should "count it all joy when we fall into various trials" (Jas 1:2).

   But to "perseverance" we should also add "godliness." In everyday use, the word here (eusebeia) suggested "piety, godliness, religion"2 and reverence, loyalty, and fear of God. In the NT, it seems to have definite overtones of the awe in which God should be held.

   The writer of Hebrews uses this word when he writes that our Lord, in praying for deliverance from death, "was heard because of His godly fear" (Heb 2:7). He uses it again at the end of the main section of his book where he says "...let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (= eusebeia; Heb 12:28, italics added).

   Out of the trials of life can come not only the quality of "perseverance," but also a deepening of our reverence and awe for the living God. Not only can we come to acknowledge His sovereign control over our lives-including His right to send us hard times-but we can also learn to praise Him for the mercies He grants in our deepest times of need. Such attitudes are a part of the humble reverence for our Maker which is an indispensable ingredient in true "godliness."

   It is in v 7 that we now meet the two crowning pinnacles of fully-developed Christian character. They are first, "brotherly kindness" (= philadelphia, that is "brotherly love"); and second, love itself (= agaph).

   Experience among the Lord's people shows only too plainly how often "brotherly love" fails or is absent altogether in Christian-to-Christian relationships. This should not surprise us since "brotherly love" is here presented as one of the two final additions to developed Christian character. And although babes in Christ may experience it intermittently and in measure, consistent, ongoing "brotherly love" is the product of the qualities that precede it in Peter's list. For in constructing a Christian character marked by virtue, knowledge, balanced self-discipline, perseverance, and a God-fearing behavior, the Christian lays down exactly the right kind of supporting platform for a life marked also by "love toward the brethren" and "love toward all men."

   In the process of Christian living, few things must endure heavier blows than do "brotherly love" and "love." People are in so many ways hard to love and even fellow believers are frequently a source of disappointment and trial. No one can crown his Christian experience with consistent displays of love apart from laying the groundwork suggested by the preceding qualities in Peter's list.

   It should also be noted that "brotherly love" precedes "love." This implies that "love" is not only the capstone of the list but is also wider than our circle of fellow believers. Like God Himself (John 3:16), we are to love the unsaved. If and when we do, evangelistic efforts will be far more than obedience to the Great Commission. They will also be the outflow-through us-of the God-like love which caused the Father to send the Son to be the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

   Or to put it another way, the character Peter describes in this list turns out to be, in the last analysis, the character manifested here on earth by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Short-Term Results of Character-Building

   For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins (2 Pet 1:8-9).

   In v 8 Peter now calls attention to the positive results of the character-building process he has just described in vv 5-7.

   The Christian man or woman who has the qualities mentioned, and who has them in increasing measure, will be a fruitful person. The English word "abound" represents a Greek participle (pleonazonta) that could easily be rendered "are abounding" or "are increasing." It is not merely that the apostle wants these qualities to be possessed ("are yours") by his readers. He also wants the qualities to be steadily increasing in them as well. Only then can fruitfulness in Christian living be assured.

   It has often been said that in Christian experience we can never really remain "static." Instead, we are either continuing to grow or we have begun to slip backward. None of the admirable spiritual qualities mentioned in vv 5-7 can ever be said (in this life) to have reached a level beyond which no progress is possible. No matter how much I love, for example, I can always love more--and more and more! But equally, I must not suppose that I can never love less than I currently do (cf. Matt 24:12). None of the qualities of vv 5-7 are permanently mine while I live in my sinful body. Deterioration in our Christian character is a danger we must all guard against.

   "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor 10:12). It is not enough for a believer simply to have these qualities in some measure. If they are not "increasing" in him, this is a clear danger sign that his fundamental fruitfulness for God has been impaired.

   "But," says Peter, "if 'these things' are both yours and increasing in you, I can guarantee that they will protect you from being barren or unfruitful." The Greek word translated "barren" here (argos ) might better be translated "idle, lazy," or "useless, unproductive."3 The concept suggested by this word is crucial. A Christian who is "inactive" in his Christian faith is also going to be "unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Conversely, a vigorous, active believer who serves God will most assuredly be "fruitful."

   So the key to vigor and productivity in the Christian life is to be found in the character qualities of vv 5-7. If the transforming power of God is at work in me, changing me, it will also be at work through me! Or as Paul would say, "It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Phil 2:13).

   The correlation Peter makes between Christian character and fruitful Christian activity is not stressed nearly enough in the modern church. Churches are often divided and damaged by "active" members who lack many of the qualities (including "brotherly kindness!") which Peter talked about. "Activity" can occur without character development, but ongoing "fruitfulness" cannot!

   Suppose, then, that a Christian lacks these spiritual qualities. What is true of him? Peter points out three things (shortsighted, blind, and forgetful) in v 9.

   First, the character-deficient Christian can be said to be "shortsighted." The Greek verb muwpazw seems to suggest the sort of "squinting" which is so noticeable in near-sighted people. Such people cannot see very far in front of them.

   What does Peter have in mind? Since the epistle as a whole lays heavy stress on the reality and certainty of the Lord's coming (see vv 11, 16, 19, and 3:4-14), the apostle is probably thinking of believers who no longer look ahead to the Rapture. Instead, their vision is severely limited to the here and now. People who live simply for the present time, or for the present world, are tragically "shortsighted."

   But that is not all. Second, a Christian who lacks the qualities mentioned in vv 5-7, is also "blind." Commentators have wrestled needlessly with the supposed tension between calling a person both "shortsighted" and "blind." Even the NKJV attempts to harmonize with the translation "shortsighted, even to blindness." But the Greek text does not say this.

   In fact, the word order of the original text actually calls for a translation like this:

For he who lacks these things is blind, short sighted, and has forgotten...

   Thus the term "blind" is actually the first-mentioned trait of the character-poor believer, while "shortsighted" is the second.

   We may say, therefore, that a person without the vital qualities of vv 5-7 suffers from spiritual "blindness" since he does not see reality, life, or Christian experience as God sees them. He is blind to the spiritual truths which he needs to grasp in order to function properly in this present world. Like a blind man, lacking either cane or guide-dog, he trips and stumbles constantly (see v 10!).

   But a person who is blind to the spiritual realities of life from God's viewpoint is also "shortsighted" about the future. He is not challenged by the Second Advent to be a better person than he is (see 3:11-14). There is no need to twist these concepts into a formal and physiological harmony. Metaphors need not be physically compatible to be clear and comprehensible. On a spiritual level, a person can be both "blind" and "shortsighted."

   Third, he can also be "forgetful." So Peter charges that the Christian who lacks the proper character "has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins."

   But note! This individual is a Christian! He has been "cleansed from his old sins." This statement by the apostle makes it unmistakable that he can conceive of a "cleansed" believer lacking the qualities found in vv 5-7. He deplores the spiritual condition of such a person, but he in no way raises questions about that person's salvation.

   Peter was certainly a spiritual realist even if many modern theologians are not. He does not take it for granted that spiritual growth will occur automatically or inevitably. Indeed, the character development he thinks of cannot occur apart from the believer "giving all diligence" toward that end (v 5). This does not mean, of course, that the believer does this all on his own. God supplies the basic resources and provides help along the way. But Christian growth will not occur apart from our diligent participation in the process. If we learn nothing else from this passage, we must learn this. We do not passively experience Christian growth, but actively pursue it!

   In what sense, then, does the non-growing Christian "forget" his past cleansing? It is doubtful that Peter means that he simply cannot recall the fact. (Though in extreme cases that might be true.) However, both in Greek and in English, the word "forget" can also mean "to lack concern for," "to neglect." New Testament examples of this significance, with a Greek verb meaning "to forget," are Phil 3:13 and Heb 6:10; 13:2, 16.

   The expression used here by Peter (lathan labwn , literally, "receiving forgetfulness") no doubt contains a similar connotation. The blind and shortsighted believer is disregarding and neglecting his past experience of God's forgiveness.

   This implies, of course, a lack of appreciation for God's mercy in the past. But it also shows an unconcern about new sins which will also require forgiveness from God. Naturally this does not mean that such a Christian is in danger of losing eternal life. That is not at all the issue. Yet the fact remains that sinning believers must seek their Father's forgiveness in order to renew their fellowship with him (see 1 John 1:7-9). One who has already tasted God's forgiving grace-and who keeps that experience in mind-cannot lightly accumulate new failures that need forgiveness as well. The proper kind of remembrance of our past cleansing ought to galvanize us to pursue holiness and growth.

   Even when we remember that we are forgiven people, we have "forgotten" what that means if our lives do not reflect true growth in grace (see 2 Pet 3:17-18).

   In summary, then, Peter declares that character-deficient Christians are "blind" at the present moment, "shortsighted" about the future, and "forgetful" of God's grace in the past.

The Long-Term Results of Character-Building

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet 1:10-11).

   In view of these facts, diligence is all the more desirable in developing such a lifestyle. The NKJV's rendering of v 10, be even more diligent, implies that their diligence should increase. But another rendering (favored by the position of the Greek words) would be: "All the more, therefore, brethren, be diligent..." This can then mean something like: "After what I have just said about these qualities [in vv 8-9], you have all the more reason to be diligent." Peter has thus far argued for the moral development presented in vv 5-7 on the basis of (1) God's gracious provisions for Christian living (vv 3-4) and on the basis of (2) the personal results, both positive and negative, that the presence or absence of these traits produce (vv 8-9). The first reason was quite adequate to motivate diligence in spiritual growth. But the second reason gave his readers even more incentive to be diligent.

   But the personal results affecting our present quality of life (vv 8-9) carry with them other results of broader scope. These include verification of our election and a magnificent entrance into the coming kingdom of God.

   Thus, in v 10, Peter does not simply repeat his earlier command to diligently add the qualities of vv 5-7. Instead he enjoins his readers to make their calling and election sure. But this statement has often been misinterpreted and misapplied. It deserves our careful attention.

   The Greek word translated "sure" is the adjective bebaios. Moulton and Milligan give us helpful insight into this word. They write:

Deissmann (BS, p. 104 ff.) has shown very fully how much force the technical use of this word and its cognates to denote legally guaranteed security adds to their occurrence in the NT.4

   A particular example is drawn from a Greek papyrus which is translated, "and I will further guarantee [parexomai....bebaia] the property always against all claims with every guarantee [bebaiosei ]." J. B. Mayor writes of the Greek phrase for "make sure" in 2 Pet 1:10 that it equals the simple verb bebaioun and means "'to certify,' 'confirm,' 'attest'."5

   This should make it clear that we are in no way required to conclude, as does the standard Greek lexicon, that the meaning here is "to confirm the call, i.e., so that it does not lapse."6 As Paul has told us, "the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (Rom 11:29).

   Still less can this text mean that Christians are to confirm their call and election (to eternal salvation) to themselves. Such an idea is completely foreign to this passage (and to the NT!). Peter has just finished addressing his readers as "those who have obtained like precious faith with us" (1:1). Moreover, in vv 3-4 he unmistakably treats them as Christians whom God has richly endowed. To suggest that despite these direct statements by the apostle, his readers are still uncertain about their "call and election" to eternal life, is to force on the text an alien theological presupposition. This idea is not the product of exegesis at all, but the torturing of the text into conformity with a preconceived opinion.

   In light of the comments of Moulton and Milligan and of Mayor (quoted above), the meaning of this verse should be obvious. Given its legal usage, the phrase bebaion...poieisthai can mean "to certify," "to offer valid confirmation"-i.e., to others. That is, when a Christian develops the character qualities of vv 5-7, he is producing valid evidence for others to observe that God has indeed "called" and "chosen" him. This is similar to James's doctrine of justification by works before men.7 The unsaved are not likely to believe that we are in God's favor on our own say-so alone. But a life filled with moral virtue and capped with love (v 7) can be very persuasive. As the Lord Jesus put it: "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).

   If we understand the text this way, we can look again at the words your call and election. If the word election (eklogh = selection, choosing) referred to our being chosen before time (as in Eph 1:4), it is surprising that the phrase is not reversed: "your election and calling." That sequence would conform, for example, to Rom 8:30 where we read "whom He predestined, these He also called."

   It seems probable, therefore, that we have here one of the many verbal allusions in the Petrine epistles to the teaching Peter had heard from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The sequence call-choose brings to mind the famous statement by our Lord that "many are called, but few are chosen (eklektoi , italics added). These words, however, occur only twice in the Gospels, both instances being in Matthew (20:16; 22:14). But there is little reason to doubt that Peter must have heard them many times. In the Gospels, we only have a fragment of our Lord's spoken words (see John 21:25).

   In any case, this statement by Jesus occurs in eschatological contexts both times it is used in Matthew. In one of these places, it concludes the parable of the workers in the vineyard (20:1-16) and follows the vineyard owner's decisive pronouncement about the wages of the workers (vv 13-15). In the other place, it follows the parable of the wedding supper (22:1-14) and follows the host's decisive command to expel the improperly dressed man (vv 12-13). It is beyond the scope of this article to expound these parables here. Suffice it to say this, clearly the parable about the vineyard workers refers to Christian service up to our Lord's return, while the man in the parable of the wedding feast has not prepared himself for the host's review and represents a believer unprepared for the Judgment Seat of Christ.8

   From both parables it is plain that the "choice" is made after the "call"! The vineyard workers are all "called" to labor (i.e., "invited;" the Greek verb is of the same root as "calling" in 2 Pet 1:10), but the "choice" about their wages is made when the vineyard owner appears in the evening. Some are "chosen" to receive pay equal to those who have worked longer. In the wedding feast situation, many are "invited" and many turn down the invitation. But even one who came poorly dressed is not "chosen" to participate, although he had been "called" (invited).

   What does all this mean for our text here? Clearly Peter encourages the building of Christian character (vv 5-7) which, in turn, leads to Christian activity and fruitfulness (v 8). This kind of lifestyle leads to pay, as it did for the vineyard workers in Matthew 20. (The common Greek word in the NT for "reward" [misthos ] basically means pay.) Unlike the poorly dressed man who appeared at the wedding feast, the lifestyle Peter commands will prepare his readership to be properly "clothed" when they meet their Lord. Indeed, he states just such a desire for them at the end of the epistle:

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him, without spot and blameless...(3:14, italics added).

   We propose, therefore, that Peter's words do not refer here to a pre-temporal election to eternal salvation, which by its very nature would precede the call to salvation. Instead, all Christians have been given a "royal" summons by God Himself, "who calls [us] into His own kingdom and glory" (1 Thess 2:12). And a supremely significant part of that glory is the privilege of co-reigning with Christ (2 Tim 2:12; Rev 2:26-27; 3:21). But not all Christians are chosen to co-reign! Paul writes: "If we endure, we shall also reign with Him" (2 Tim 2:12, italics added); and he also wrote, "and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together" (Rom 8:17b, italics added).

   Peter, therefore, wishes his readership to produce in their lifestyle appropriate verification that they are "royal" people, destined for high honor in the coming kingdom of God. By doing these things (i.e., the things Peter is talking about), their road into the glories of that kingdom will be smooth. They will not stumble on that path and thus run the risk of losing the rewards they are "called" to obtain (see 1 Cor 9:27). Instead, they shall prove themselves "chosen" for the divine reward.

   This understanding of v 10 finds immediate support in v 11. All born-again Christians will enter the kingdom of Christ, but those who develop the Christian character described in this chapter will have a special kind of entrance. For so, says Peter, an entrance will be supplied to you ABUNDANTLY! The word "abundantly" translates the Greek adverb plousiws , which more precisely means richly. (The adjective/noun plousiws is the usual word in the NT for "rich" or "rich man.") This idea recalls the Lord's teaching in Luke 12 where He censures the life of the rich fool with these words:

So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich [ploutwn ] toward God (Luke 12:21, italics added).

   This important statement in Luke is followed by an exhortation from Jesus to His disciples (see Luke 12:1) not to be concerned by their daily needs, but to rely on God for them (12:22-31). Verse 31 concludes the exhortation by urging that God's kingdom be given priority: "But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you."

   The very next statement by our Lord also relates to this kingdom ("It is the Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," v 32, italics added) and is followed by an exhortation to lay up heavenly treasure (12:33-34). Clearly, the seeking and gaining of the kingdom and of heavenly treasure are interwoven themes in the teaching of our Lord. The doctrine they pertain to is the doctrine of rewards.

   This is equally true of 2 Pet 1:10-11. Salvation from hell is not in view. Heavenly reward is the real theme. The holy and fruitful lifestyle of vv 3-8 can be a demonstration-a verification-that an individual Christian has not only been "called," but actually "chosen," for great reward in God's future kingdom. As he or she diligently pursues this pathway, doing the things that Peter has enjoined, he will be able to avoid any serious spiritual fall (you will never stumble). Thus his pathway can climax in a rich entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Everlasting wealth, or treasure, can be his in an everlasting kingdom.

   The study of this important passage, in the light of its relationship to future reward, can be appropriately concluded with the words of Michael Green who writes on v 11 as follows:

This passage agrees with several in the Gospels and Epistles in suggesting that while heaven is entirely a gift of grace, it admits of degrees of felicity, and that these are dependent upon how faithfully we have built a structure of character and service upon the foundation of Christ. Bengel likens the unholy Christian in the judgment to a sailor who just manages to make shore after shipwreck, or to a man who barely escapes with his life from a burning house, while all his possessions are lost. In contrast, the Christian who has allowed his Lord to influence his conduct will have abundant entrance into the heavenly city, and be welcomed like a triumphant athlete victorious in the Games. This whole paragraph of exhortation is thus set between two poles: what we already are in Christ and what we are to become. The truly Christian reader, unlike the scoffers, will look back to the privileges conferred on him, of partaking in the divine nature, and will seek to live worthily of it. He will also look forward to the day of assessment, and strive to live in light of it.9

1This article, originally published in three parts in The Kerugma Message (Nov-Dec 1991, and Spring and Winter 1992), has been slightly edited and revised and is used by permission of Kerugma, Inc. Individuals may receive The Kerugma Message at no cost by sending their name and address to Kerugma, Inc., PO Box 141167, Dallas, TX 75214.

2BGD, 326.

3Ibid., 104.

4Moulton and Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, 107.

5Mayor, J. B., The Epistle of St. Jude and the Second Epistle of Saint Peter, 98.

6BGD, 138.

7Hodges, Zane C., The Gospel Under Siege, 2nd ed., 32-36.

8For very helpful discussions of Matt 22:1-14, see the article by Gregory Sapaugh, "A Call to the Wedding Celebration: An Exposition of Matthew 22:1-14," Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society 5 (Spring, 1992): 11-34; and the article by Michael G. Huber on "The 'Outer Darkness' in Matthew and Its Relationship to Grace," in the Autumn 1992 issue of this same journal. See also the chapter, "The Darkness Outside," in my book Grace in Eclipse.

9Green, Michael, The Second Epistle of Peter and the Epistle of Jude, Tyndale Bible Commentaries, 76-77.

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