I would like us to look primarily at two passages of Scripture. The first one was written by a man who had FAILED in the faith but he learned how to prevent future failure and the second one was written by a man who may not have failed but he tells believers exactly what they must do so they don’t fail.

Let’s read 2nd Peter 1:10: “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things YOU WILL NEVER STUMBLE” (NKJV). I’m sure we all remember reading of Peter’s GREAT FALL on that fateful day when he “denied the Lord three times” (see Matthew 26:69-75). The Lord had warned him that this would happen but in pride and self-confidence he said to Jesus, “Even if all are made to STUMBLE because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” We learn in Peter’s example that PRIDE and SELF-CONFIDENCE will indeed cause us to STUMBLE. Peter learned this lesson well and his desire, when writing his 2nd Epistle, was to teach us “how not to stumble.” What does he mean in saying, “Make your call and election sure?” He can’t mean that God’s choosing us and then calling us to salvation is dependent on us, for these were part of God’s eternal purposes before we were even born (see Ephesians 1:4 and Romans 8:30). So, they are SURE because they are based on what God has done and not on what we do. I believe Peter was referring to us CONFIRMING our call and election by “growing in the knowledge of the Lord and becoming more like Him.” In other words, he is speaking of SPIRITUAL GROWTH. His last words in this epistle speak to this, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3:18). This is also how he begins his letter too, for we read in verses 2-3, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO LIFE AND GODLINESS, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” Peter had learned that the secret to NOT FALLING was to keep gaining “the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” He knew that the more we learn about our blessed Lord and Savior, the more we will experience His divine power which has “given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Do you want to experience this power and live a life of godliness? Then get into the Word of God every day (as often as you can throughout the day) and allow the Spirit of God to teach you about the Lord Jesus Christ and His marvelous love, grace and holiness. As the Spirit presents Christ to your mind and heart you will be “transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2nd Corinthians 3:18). Before we go on to the next passage, I would encourage you to read verses 5-7 where Peter explains the process of spiritual growth and then he says, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 8). If we are growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, we won’t be FAILING; we will be FRUITFUL, for we will be manifesting to all around us the very life of the Lord Jesus!

Now let’s read Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to KEEP YOU FROM STUMBLING, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” Jude knew, like Peter, that “God our Savior” is the only one who can keep us from stumbling. We already saw that we can’t do this through our own strength or power; it is through the divine power that we receive as we are constantly learning of our Lord and Savior. Jude echoes this truth and adds three more in verses 20-21, “But you, beloved BUILDING YOURSELVES UP on your most holy faith, PRAYING in the Holy Spirit, KEEP YOURSELF in the love of God, LOOKING for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Let’s consider these 4 things briefly:

1) We “build ourselves up on our most holy faith” by reading and obeying God’s Word (James 1:22-25).

2) We “pray in the Holy Spirit” as we allow the Spirit to lead and guide us as we pray. This means we don’t recite vain and repetitious prayers (Matthew 6:7); we pray from the heart according to the will of God as revealed in His Word (Romans 8:26-27 with 1st John 5:14-15).

3) We “keep ourselves in the love of God” by constantly focusing on HIS LOVE FOR US. John the Apostle referred to himself several times as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20, 24) and that’s what we need to keep before us.

4) We “look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ” as we “eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21). Our “eye of faith” needs to be fixed on this “blessed hope” (see Titus 2:13).

If we do these FOUR THINGS we will NOT FALL; for God, “who is able to keep us from stumbling,” will give us the victory and prevent us from falling. (463.1)  (DO)