Saturday, March 8, 2014

"The Author and Finisher"

The Author and Finisher

     Unto believers tempted to wander from their confidence and submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, the writer of Hebrews provides the restorative that reinvigorates godly devotion.

    "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.   For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:1-3).

    The Lord Jesus who begins our faith through the new birth will ultimately fulfill it by glorification (Romans 8:30).  No less assurance would suffice in securing our hearts, even as the Apostle Paul exulted, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).  This does not mean that every believer will live a triumphant life of faithfulness to the end.  Indeed, no less than Paul himself expressed uncertainty that he would finish his course of ministry: "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (I Corinthians 9:27).  Concerning his grace originated and sustained relationship with God, however, the Apostle knew beyond doubt that the Lord Jesus secured his redeemed heart: "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against the day" (II Timothy 1:12). 

     The Author and the Finisher are thus one and the same.  The more we discover the Lord Jesus in such glorious light, the more we walk accordingly.  Indeed, every weight that burdens us and every sin that besets us originates in distraction from the Source of our enabling, namely, "Christ, the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:24).  Thus, the "wearied and faint" must look to "the Author and Finisher."  Thereby the Holy Spirit renews confidence and consecration, and thereby the life of today reveals in us the "good work" God promises to complete no less than He commenced.

    "Consider Him" - Who is the Lord Jesus?  What has He done?  What is He doing?  And what does He promise to do forevermore?  In times of realized distraction and its accompanying fruits of unbelief and sin, we do well to remember truths of our Savior already known, and to heed the Apostle Peter's command to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18).  Thereby we rejoice in assurance, we repent in confession, and we reinvigorate our hearts through realization of so great a salvation, provided by so great a Savior.  "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end" He proclaims (Revelation 1:8).  To the degree we know and embrace such truth will be the degree to which we know and experience our Lord's perpetual working to continue and fulfill in us that which He started.

"Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(II Corinthians 3:18)






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