LII. THE LORD THE PERFECTER
`I will cry unto God most High; unto God that performeth all things for me.' -- Ps. 57:2
`The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.' -- Ps. 138:8
`Being confident of this very thing, that He which began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.' -- Phil. 1:6
`For of Him, and through Him, and unto Him are all things. To Him be the glory for ever and ever.' -- Rom. 11:36
We read that David was once dispirited by unbelief, and said: `I shall one day perish by the hand of Saul.' So even the Christian may indeed fear that he shall one day perish. This is because he looks upon himself and what is in him, and does not set his trust wholly upon God. It is because he does not yet know God as the Perfecter. He does not yet know what is meant by His name being: `I am the Alpha and the Omega: the Beginning and the End: the First and the Last.' If I really believe in God as the beginning out of whom all is, then must I also trust Him as the continuation by whom, as also the End to whom, all is.
God is the beginning: `He who began a good work in you:' `Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.' It is God's free choice, from before the foundation of the world, that we have to thank that we became believers, and have the new life. (John 15:16; Rom. 8:29,30; Eph. 1:4,11) Those that are still unconverted have nothing to do with this election: for them there is the offer of grace and the summons to surrender. Outside, over the door of the Father, stands the superscription: `Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out.' This every one can see and understand. No sooner are they inside the door than they see and understand the other superscription: `All that the Father giveth Me shall come to me.' (John 6:37) Then they can discern how all things are of God: first obedience to the command of God, then insight into the counsel of God.
But then it is of great moment to hold fast this truth: He has begun the good work. Then shall every thought of God strengthen the confidence that He will also perfect it. His faithfulness, His love, His power, are all pledged that He will perfect the good work that He began. Pray, read how God has taken more than one oath regarding His unchangeable faithfulness: your soul will rest in this and find courage. (Gen. 28:15; Ps. 89:29,34,35,36; Isa. 54:9,10; Jer. 33:25,26)
And how shall He finish His work? What has its origin from Him is sustained by Him, and shall one day be brought to Him and His glory. There is nothing in your life, temporal or spiritual, for which the Father will not care, because it has influence upon you for eternity. (Matt. 6:25,34; 1 Pet. 5:7) There is no moment of day or night in which the silent growth of your soul is not to go forward: the Father will take care of this, if you believe. There is no part of your destiny as a child of God, perhaps in things of which you have as yet not the least thought, but the Father will continue and complete His work in it. (Isa. 27:2,3; 51:12,13) Yet upon one condition. You must trust Him for this. You must in faith suffer Him to work. You must trustfully say: The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me. You must trustfully pray: I will cry unto God that performeth all things for me. Christian, pray, let your soul become full of the thought: The whole care, for the continuation and the perfecting of God's work in me, is in His hands. (Heb. 10:35; 13:5,6,20,21; 1 Pet 5:10)
And how glorious shall the perfecting not be. In our spiritual life, God is prepared to exhibit His power in making us partakers of His holiness and the image of His Son. He will make us fit, and set us in a condition for all the blessed work in His kingdom that He would have from us. Our body He will make like to the glorious body of His Son. We may wait for the coming of the Son Himself from heaven to take His own to Him. He will unite us in one body with all His chosen, and will receive and make us dwell for ever in His glory. O how can we think that God will not perfect His work? He will surely do it, He will gloriously do it, for every one that trusts Him for it.
Child of God, pray, say in deep assurance of faith: The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me. In every need say continually with great boldness: I will call on God, that performeth all things for me. And let the song of your life be the joyful doxology: `From Him, and through Him and to Him are all things: to Him be the glory for ever. Amen.
Lord God, who shalt perfect that which concerneth me, teach me to know Thee and to trust Thee. And let every thought of the new life go hand in hand with the joyful assurance: He who began a work in me will perfect it. Amen.
1. `He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.' It brings but little profit to begin well; we must hold the beginning of our hope firm unto the end. (Matt. 10:27; 24:13; Heb. 3:14,16; 11:12)
2. The perseverance of the saints -- in holiness -- is one of the characteristic articles of doctrine of the Reformed Church. The grace of regeneration is inadmissible.
3. How do we explain the falling away of some believers? They were only temporary believers: they were partakers only of the workings of the Spirit. (Heb. 6:4)
4. How do I know whether I am partaker of the true new birth? `As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God' (Rom. 8:14). The faith that God has received me is matured, is confirmed, by works, by a walk under the leading of the Spirit. 5. How can any one know for certain that he will persevere unto the end? By faith in God the Perfecter. We may take the Almighty God as our keeper. He that gives himself in sincerity to Him, and trusts wholly in Him to perfect His work, obtains a divine certitude that the Lord has Him, and will hold him fast unto the end.
Child of God, live in fellowship with your Father: live the life of faith in your Jesus with an undivided heart, and all fear of falling away shall be taken away from you. The living sealing of the Holy Spirit shall be your assurance of perseverance unto the end.