Posts Tagged ‘Called’

All of Grace—Why Saints Persevere

Chapter Eighteen

All of Grace—Why Saints Persevere

THE HOPE which filled the heart of Paul concerning the Corinthian brethren we have already seen to be full of comfort to those who trembled as to their future. But why was it that he believed that the brethren would be confirmed unto the end?

I want you to notice that he gives his reasons. Here they are:

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9).

The apostle does not say, “You are faithful.” Alas! the faithfulness of man is a very unreliable affair; it is mere vanity. He does not say, “You have faithful ministers to lead and guide you, and therefore I trust you will be safe.” Oh, no! if we are kept by men we shall be but ill kept. He puts it, “God is faithful.” If we are found faithful, it will be because God is faithful. On the faithfulness of our covenant God the whole burden of our salvation must rest. On this glorious attribute of God the matter hinges. We are variable as the wind, frail as a spider’s web, weak as water. No dependence can be placed upon our natural qualities, or our spiritual attainments; but God abideth faithful. He is faithful in His love; He knows no variableness, neither shadow of turning. He is faithful to His purpose; He doth not begin a work and then leave it undone. He is faithful to His relationships; as a Father He will not renounce His children, as a friend He will not deny His people, as a Creator He will not forsake the work of His own hands. He is faithful to His promises, and will never allow one of them to fail to a single believer. He is faithful to His covenant, which He has made with us in Christ Jesus, and ratified with the blood of His sacrifice. He is faithful to His Son, and will not allow His precious blood to be spilled in vain. He is faithful to His people to whom He has promised eternal life, and from whom He will not turn away.

This faithfulness of God is the foundation and cornerstone of our hope of final perseverance. The saints shall persevere in holiness, because God perseveres in grace. He perseveres to bless, and therefore believers persevere in being blessed. He continues to keep His people, and therefore they continue to keep His commandments. This is good solid ground to rest upon, and it is delightfully consistent with the title of this little book, “ALL OF GRACE.” Thus it is free favor and infinite mercy which ring in the dawn of salvation, and the same sweet bells sound melodiously through the whole day of grace.

You see that the only reasons for hoping that we shall be confirmed to the end, and be found blameless at the last, are found in our God; but in Him these reasons are exceedingly abundant.

They lie first, in what God has done. He has gone so far in blessing us that it is not possible for Him to run back. Paul reminds us that He has “called us into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ.” Has he called us? Then the call cannot be reversed; for, “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” From the effectual call of His grace the Lord never turns. “Whom he called them he also justified, and whom he justified them he also glorified:” this is the invariable rule of the divine procedure. There is a common call, of which it is said, “Many are called, but few are chosen,” but this of which we are now thinking is another kind of call, which betokens special love, and necessitates the possession of that to which we are called. In such a case it is with the called one even as with Abraham’s seed, of whom the Lord said, “I have called thee from the ends of the earth, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.”

In what the Lord has done, we see strong reasons for our preservation and future glory, because the Lord has called us into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ. It means into partnership with Jesus Christ, and I would have you carefully consider what this means. If you are indeed called by divine grace, you have come into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, so as to be joint-owner with Him in all things. Henceforth you are one with Him in the sight of the Most High. The Lord Jesus bare your sins in His own body on the tree, being made a curse for you; and at the same time He has become your righteousness, so that you are justified in Him. You are Christ’s and Christ is yours. As Adam stood for his descendants, so does Jesus stand for all who are in Him. As husband and wife are one, so is Jesus one with all those who are united to Him by faith; one by a conjugal union which can never be broken. More than this, believers are members of the Body of Christ, and so are one with Him by a loving, living, lasting union. God has called us into this union, this fellowship, this partnership, and by this very fact He has given us the token and pledge of our being confirmed to the end. If we were considered apart from Christ we should be poor perishable units, soon dissolved and borne away to destruction; but as one with Jesus we are made partakers of His nature, and are endowed with His immortal life. Our destiny is linked with that of our Lord, and until He can be destroyed it is not possible that we should perish.

Dwell much upon this partnership with the Son of God, unto which you have been called: for all your hope lies there. You can never be poor while Jesus is rich, since you are in one firm with Him. Want can never assail you, since you are joint-proprietor with Him who is Possessor of Heaven and earth. You can never fail; for though one of the partners in the firm is as poor as a church mouse, and in himself an utter bankrupt, who could not pay even a small amount of his heavy debts, yet the other partner is inconceivably, inexhaustibly rich. In such partnership you are raised above the depression of the times, the changes of the future, and the shock of the end of all things. The Lord has called you into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ, and by that act and deed He has put you into the place of infallible safeguard.

If you are indeed a believer you are one with Jesus, and therefore you are secure. Do you not see that it must be so? You must be confirmed to the end until the day of His appearing, if you have indeed been made one with Jesus by the irrevocable act of God. Christ and the believing sinner are in the same boat: unless Jesus sinks, the believer will never drown. Jesus has taken His redeemed into such connection with himself, that He must first be smitten, overcome, and dishonored, ere the least of His purchased ones can be injured. His name is at the head of the firm, and until it can be dishonored we are secure against all dread of failure.

So, then, with the utmost confidence let us go forward into the unknown future, linked eternally with Jesus. If the men of the world should cry, “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?” we will joyfully confess that we do lean on Jesus, and that we mean to lean on Him more and more. Our faithful God is an everflowing well of delight, and our fellowship with the Son of God is a full river of joy. Knowing these glorious things we cannot be discouraged: nay, rather we cry with the apostle,

“Who shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?”

Charles H. Spurgeon—All of Grace

Follow along as we read this short but marvelous book. Download your copy here. Next chapter will go out Wednesday July 4 at 8:00 AM. Central Standard Time.

Chapter VIII : Of Christ the Mediator

1. It pleased God in his eternal purpose, to chuse and ordain the Lord Jesus his only begotten Son, according to the Covenant made between them both, (a) to be the Mediator between God and Man; the (b) Prophet, (c) Priest and (d) King; Head and Saviour of his Church, the heir of all things, and judge of the world: Unto whom he did from all Eternity (e) give a people to be his seed, and to be by him in time redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and glorified.

a Is. 42.1. 1 Pet. 1.19,20.

b Act. 3.22.

c Heb. 5.5,6.

d Ps. 2.6, Luk. 1.33 Eph. 1.23 Heb. 1.2. Act. 17.31

e Is. 53.10. Joh. 17.6. Rom.8:30.

2. The Son of God, the second Person in the Holy Trinity, being very and eternal God, the brightness of the Fathers glory, of one substance and equal with him: who made the World, who upholdeth and governeth all things he hath made: did when the fullness of time was come take unto him (f) mans nature, with all the Essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, (g) yet without sin: being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Womb of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit coming down upon her, and the power of the most High overshadowing her, (h) and so was made of a Woman, of the Tribe of Judah, of the Seed of Abraham, and David according to the Scriptures: So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, were inseparably joined together in one Person: without conversion, composition, or confusion: which Person is very God, and very Man; yet one (i) Christ, the only Mediator between God and Man.

f Joh. 1.1.14. Gal. 4.4.

g Rom. 8.3. Heb. 2.14.16,17. ch. 4.15.

h Luk. 1.27,31.35.

i Rom. 9.5. 1 Tim. 2.5.

3. The Lord Jesus in his humane nature thus united to the divine, in the Person of the Son, was sanctified, & anointed (k) with the Holy Spirit, above measure; having in him (l) all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in whom it pleased the Father that (m) all fullness should dwell: To the end that being (n) holy, harmless, undefiled, and full (o) of Grace, and Truth, he might be throughly furnished to execute the office of a Mediator, and (p) Surety; which office he took not upon himself, but was thereunto (q) called by his Father; who also put (r) all power and judgement in his hand, and gave him Commandement to execute the same.

k Ps. 45.7. Act. 10.38 Joh. 3.34.

l Col. 2.3.

m Col. 1.19.

n Heb. 7.26.

o Joh. 1.14.

p Heb. 7.22.

q Heb. 5.5.

r Joh. 5.22.27. Mat. 28.18. Act. 2.36.

4. This office the Lord Jesus did most (s) willingly undertake, which that he might discharge he was made under the Law, (t) and did perfectly fulfill it, and underwent the (u) punishment due to us, which we should have born and suffered, being made (x) Sin and a Curse for us: enduring most grievous sorrows (y) in his Soul; and most painful sufferings in his body; was crucified, and died, and remained in the state of the dead; yet saw no (z) corruption: on the (a) third day he arose from the dead, with the same (b) body in which he suffered; with which he also (c) ascended into heaven: and there sitteth at the right hand of his Father, (d) making intercession; and shall (e) return to judge Men and Angels, at the end of the World.

s Ps. 40.7,8. Heb. 10.5-11. Joh. 10.18.

t Gal. 4 4. Mat. 3.15.

u Gal. 3.13. Isa. 53.6. 1 Pet. 3.18.

x 2 Cor. 5 21.

y Mat. 26.37,38. Luk. 22.44. Mat. 27.46.

z Act. 13.37.

a 1 Cor. 15.3,4.

b Joh. 20.25.27.

c Mark 16 19. Act. 1.9,10,11.

d Rom. 8.34. Heb. 9.24

e Act. 10.42. Rom. 14.9,10. Act. 1.10. [It appears that the reference to Act_1:10 in the original manuscript is an error. Most modern editions have Act_1:11, which seems more relevant.]

5. The Lord Jesus by his perfect obedience and sacrifice of himself, which he through the Eternal Spirit once offered up unto God, (f) hath fully satisfied the Justice of God, procured reconciliation, and purchased an Everlasting inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven, (g) for all those whom the Father hath given unto him.

f  Heb. 9.14. ch. 10.14.Rom. 3.25,26.

g Joh. 17.2. Heb. 9.15.

6. Although the price of Redemption was not actually paid by Christ, till after his Incarnation, (*) yet the vertue, efficacy, and benefit thereof were communicated to the Elect in all ages successively, from the beginning of the World, in and by those Promises, Types, and Sacrifices, wherein he was revealed, and signified to be the Seed of the Woman, which should bruise the Serpents head; (h) and the Lamb slain from the foundation of the World: (i) Being the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

* 1 Cor. 4.10. Heb. 4.2. 1 Pet. 1.10,11.

h Rev. 13.8.

i Heb. 13.8.

7. Christ in the work of Mediation acteth according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to it self; yet by reason of the Unity of the Person, that which is proper to one nature, is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the Person (k) denominated by the other nature.

k Joh. 3.13. Act. 20.28.

8. To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, he doth certainly, and effectually (l) apply, and communicate the same; making intercession for them, uniting them to himself by his spirit, (m) revealing unto them, in and by the word, the mystery of salvation; perswading them to believe, and obey; (n) governing their hearts by his word and spirit, and (o) overcoming all their enemies by his Almighty power, and wisdom; in such manner, and wayes as are most consonant to his wonderful, and (p) unsearchable dispensation; and all of free, and absolute Grace, without any condition foreseen in them, to procure it.

l Joh. 6.37. ch. 10.15.16. & ch. 17.9.Rom. 5.10.

m Joh. 17.6, Eph. 1.9. 1 Joh. 5.20.

n Rom. 8.9.14.

o Ps. 110.1. 1 Cor. 15.25,26.

p Joh. 3.8 Eph. 1.8.

9. This office of Mediator between God and Man, is proper (q) onely to Christ, who is the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church of God; and may not be either in whole, or any part thereof transfer’d from him to any other.

q 1 Tim. 2.5.

10. This number and order of Offices is necessary; for in respect of our (r) ignorance, we stand in need of his prophetical Office; and in respect of our alienation from God, (s) and imperfection of the best of our services, we need his Priestly office, to reconcile us, and present us acceptable unto God: and in respect o our averseness, and utter inability to return to God, and for our rescue, and security from our spiritual adversaries, we need his Kingly office, (t) to convince, subdue, draw, uphold, deliver, and preserve us to his Heavenly Kingdome.

r Joh. 1.18.

s Col. 1.21. Gal. 5.17.

t Joh. 16.8. Ps. 110.3 Luk. 1.74.75.

The 1677/89LondonBaptist Confession