Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
I. OF WHAT WAS PAUL CONFIDENT?
1. That the work of salvation in this people would be perfected. They were running a race, and he was confident that they would receive the prize. They were the workmanship of the Divine redeeming hand; Paul was confident that the work would not be forsaken by the Workman. That God would perfect this work. "It is God that worketh in you." Paul knew that his own influence was nothing, except as it was the medium and the vehicle of the influence of God.
2. That the work would be finished in the day of the Lord. In that day every work will be tried as by fire. God's work in this people would appear then to be perfected. A sublime persuasion, this! To stand on some moorland and see some young oaks planted, and feel quite confident that they would grow to perfection; to visit a dockyard slip, and to see the timbers of the keel of a first-rate man-of-war laid down, and to feel confident that she would answer every trial of her strength, until she had rendered full service to the nation; to be present at some important public undertaking, and to feel sure that it would be noble, and prosperous, and of national benefit; to hear the birth cry of a human being, and to feel confident that its path from the cradle to the sepulchre would be that shining brighter and brighter unto perfect day, are all glorious positions; but they cannot be compared, so far as true greatness and moral grandeur are concerned, with the position of Paul here. The sublimity of this persuasion is largely connected with the love of Paul's heart. The multitude are thoughtless, indifferent, and careless about each other, or they are envious and malicious. But this is true, sincere, pure Christian love, which writes, "Being confident of this very thing."
II. ON WHAT DID PAUL'S CONFIDENCE REST?
1. On the character and resources of the Worker. It does not rest on the Church. Not because Church polity is all right, because you are thoroughly orthodox, nor because your modes of worship are just what they ought to be. The foundation of his confidence was God in Christ. Men fail in work by loss of means and of power, by change of purpose, by their dependence upon others, and by reason of death. But it is not thus with the Creator.
2. On the nature and quality of the work about which he is assured. The work is remedial to the creature, and supremely honourable to the redeeming God.
3. On the fact that the commencement of this work was by God Himself. The beginning is the pledge of the consummation. Even a wise man does nothing at random.
4. On the fact that a day is fixed for exhibiting this work in all its completeness. The day of Christ, without redemption, would indeed be a dark day.
5. He happens to blend with all this his own experience of the faithfulness and wealth of the redeeming God — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
III. HOW DID THIS CONFIDENCE OPERATE ON PAUL?
1. It did not prevent Paul praying for these people.
2. It gave fervency and gladness to his intercessions.
3. It did not keep Paul from exhorting the people and directing them to the use of means. Conclusion: Cherish such confidence concerning yourselves and each other, but be devoutly careful not to abuse it.
Parallel VersesKJV: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: