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. THE SIGNS WHEREBY WE MAY KNOW GOD HAS BEGUN THIS GRACIOUS WORK.
1. The signs are not to be sought in any set methods or patterns by which God is supposed to begin His work of training the soul for Himself. His ways are endless. Some souls have to be smitten: for others a gentle look is enough, e.g., Saul and Zacchaeus.
2. There are certain impressions and effects produced by the preaching of the gospel or by the ways of God in His providence which are sometimes mistaken for signs of a gracious work. The consequences of sin may fill the conscience with remorse, and vows made to begin a new life. A sense of happiness springs up in emotional natures on a very superficial acquaintance with religion and its responsibilities. Nor is the sign found in a head well informed.
3. What then is the sign? Love to God, Christ, man, showing itself in trust and obedience, and goodness.
II. THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THIS GOOD WORK WILL BE PERFECTED BY GOD.
1. Remember that so long as you are in this world the work is incomplete. For the development of a soul in Christ's likeness time is necessary. "First the blade," etc. Some are discouraged because they cannot see the full corn at once. If it is time for the full corn, however, do not be satisfied with the ear or blade. It is the indolent man who thinks he has only to believe once for all.
2. You must concur in God's work as it advances from stage to stage till it is completed in the day of Jesus Christ. Growth proceeds slowly if it is to endure. Mushrooms spring up in the night but they soon decay.
(R. Tuck, B. A.)
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: