THE PORTION, PROSPECT, AND PRESERVATION OF GOD’S PEOPLE
“So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” I Cor. 1.7,8.
It is always much pleasanter to praise than to blame; and when we are compelled to blame, it is best to imitate the Apostle by drawing attention to the good we see in others before we speak, when necessary, of their faults. There were sad divisions at Corinth among Christians, and many other evils; but the Apostle judiciously commends what was good before he censured what was bad. So, speaking of God’s people only, he tells us of:
1. Their portion. “Ye come behind in no gift.” Who made them to differ? “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from above.” Accordingly, salvation is a gift. Christ, the Spirit, faith, eternal life, are all gifts. Hence the Corinthian Christians were in everything enriched by Him. (Eph. 4.7-13).
2. Their prospect. “Waiting for the coming of our Lord.” Men of the world have no good prospect. Possession of present fancied good is their choice. They are like Cain, i.e. possession. They love “the bird in the hand”. They love to have many goods laid up for many years, so as to eat, drink, and be merry. They have their good things in their lifetime. God’s people have indeed good things in possession, but far better things in prospect. ‘Mount Zion in prospect is better than Mount Seir in possession.’ Hence they live, walk, work, and wait by faith. Their prospect is grounded on the promise of Christ’s second coming, and for that coming they wait, and pray.
3. Their preservation. Who shall confirm you to the end.” Preserved in Jesus Christ before conversion (Jude 1), and how much more after it! Preserved by being rooted in love, like good trees in good soil. Preserved by being grounded in love, like a building gettling together, firmly united, and resting on a solid foundation. Blameless, i.e. free from every charge. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” (Rom. 8.33).