1:1-11 Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as really as it does the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly as of another; and every sincere believer is by his faith justified in the sight of God. Faith worketh godliness, and produces effects which no other grace in the soul can do. In Christ all fulness dwells, and pardon, peace, grace, and knowledge, and new principles, are thus given through the Holy Spirit. The promises to those who are partakers of a Divine nature, will cause us to inquire whether we are really renewed in the spirit of our minds; let us turn all these promises into prayers for the transforming and purifying grace of the Holy Spirit. The believer must add knowledge to his virtue, increasing acquaintance with the whole truth and will of God. We must add temperance to knowledge; moderation about worldly things; and add to temperance, patience, or cheerful submission to the will of God. Tribulation worketh patience, whereby we bear all calamities and crosses with silence and submission. To patience we must add godliness: this includes the holy affections and dispositions found in the true worshipper of God; with tender affection to all fellow Christians, who are children of the same Father, servants of the same Master, members of the same family, travellers to the same country, heirs of the same inheritance. Wherefore let Christians labour to attain assurance of their calling, and of their election, by believing and well-doing; and thus carefully to endeavour, is a firm argument of the grace and mercy of God, upholding them so that they shall not utterly fall. Those who are diligent in the work of religion, shall have a triumphant entrance into that everlasting kingdom where Christ reigns, and they shall reign with him for ever and ever; and it is in the practice of every good work that we are to expect entrance to heaven.
10. Wherefore—seeking the blessed consequence of having, and the evil effects of not having, these graces (2Pe 1:8, 9).
the rather—the more earnestly.
brethren—marking that it is affection for them which constrains him so earnestly to urge them. Nowhere else does he so address them, which makes his calling them so here the more emphatical.
give diligence—The Greek aorist implies one lifelong effect [Alford].
to make—Greek middle voice; to make so far as it depends on you; to do your part towards making. "To make" absolutely and finally is God's part, and would be in the active.
your calling and election sure—by ministering additionally in your faith virtue, and in your virtue knowledge, &c. God must work all these graces in us, yet not so that we should be mere machines, but willing instruments in His hands in making His election of us "secure." The ensuring of our election is spoken of not in respect to God, whose counsel is steadfast and everlasting, but in respect to our part. There is no uncertainty on His part, but on ours the only security is our faith in His promise and the fruits of the Spirit (2Pe 1:5-7, 11). Peter subjoins election to calling, because the calling is the effect and proof of God's election, which goes before and is the main thing (Ro 8:28, 30, 33, where God's "elect" are those "predestinated," and election is "His purpose," according to which He "called" them). We know His calling before His election, thereby calling is put first.
fall—Greek, "stumble" and fall finally (Ro 11:11). Metaphor from one stumbling in a race (1Co 9:24).