The “therefore” in the above verse refers to the promise of our Lord’s coming for us in the preceding verses: “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. … Therefore … be ye steadfast, unmovable.” The present time is a time of labor and sowing; the time of reaping will be at His coming. “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Let us therefore “be … steadfast [and] unmovable,” settled and not stirred away from our course, remembering to “judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God,” never forgetting “that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Now is the time to serve our Lord, Seeking to bring honor to Him; Bearing witness to His great mercy Makes the things of the earth grow dim.
Who among God’s redeemed children can even faintly comprehend what it will be like when we are in glory with our blessed Lord, “when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe”? What will it mean when “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away”? What will it be when we sing that “new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth”? No, we cannot even begin to comprehend what it will be, but by faith we “reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” at His coming. “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
We shall see Him in His glory, And like Him we then shall be, To sing and praise Him forever, For His grace that made us free.
Let not the Christian who has unjudged and unconfessed sin in his life suppose that God will answer his prayers. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” And, “likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands. … Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
A heart in fellowship with God And no unjudged sin between May come to Him in confidence And upon His promise lean.
To “abide” is to “continue,” to “remain.” Obviously, it does not refer to our salvation, for the true believer will always “continue” to be saved; he will “remain” saved forever. Our Lord said, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” To “abide,” then, has reference to our fellowship with the Lord, and “the fruit of the Spirit … love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” is borne only as we “stay” in fellowship with Him. “The fruits of righteousness … are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God,” and our Lord said, “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit,” and “if ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love,” and “if ye continue [abide] in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river … neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
“Abide in Me,” our Savior said, And fruit for God you will bear; Your life will be a light for Him; The gospel message you’ll share.
Just before our Lord went back to heaven, He promised His own that “ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” This promise was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost and baptized all believers into one body. Since that time, whenever a person is born again by faith in Christ as Savior, that person then becomes a partaker of that “one baptism,” so that “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” and every true Christian has been made partaker of the Spirit’s baptism, “for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” Thus we have great responsibility toward every other member of His body, for we are “every one members one of another,” and “none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” Therefore let us be “distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality,” and let us “rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” And “let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another,” “having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”
I need to consider others Who are loved by the Lord as I, Who have needs and burdens daily, And whose hearts hold many a sigh.
How appropriate is this “prayer of Moses the man of God,” for the Lord wants His redeemed people to show forth His beauty to those whose lives touch ours. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. … Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” As we look at Him and to Him in the Word of God, “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
May my dear Lord be seen in me As I live here among men; May His image be not effaced By my sin and self within.
Let nothing, dear Christian, come between your heart and the hope of the Lord’s imminent coming. Remember His promise that “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Pay no attention to those who say that certain prophetic events must take place before the Lord can come for His saints. We look not for events, but for Him. “Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” And heed not those who say that the tribulation, or a part of it, must first come. In speaking of that awful coming time of wrath, God’s Word assures us that “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” And refuse the legalistic teaching which says that all believers will not be raptured, but only those who have attained to superior spirituality or who are intently looking for Him, for God’s Word assures us that “we shall all be changed” at His coming. So, “now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”
It may be today He shall come To take us home to glory To abide with Him forever, To sing redemption’s story.
How gracious is our Lord to invite us to throw over on Him all that would distract us or make us anxious, because it matters to Him about us. Our cares are of interest and concern to Him. Therefore He bids us to “trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.” So “cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Whatever distractions or worries might come, let us never forget that “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way.” To cast “all your care upon Him” is to recognize and rest in the fact that “He careth for you.” He has myriad ways to bring help to His people in any circumstances, for He is “the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” So “be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God,” who has said, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” Let us rejoice that it matters to Him concerning us, and “let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
It is His concern about you, Where’er you stand in this hour, So lay your burden upon Him Who delights to show His power.
The above questions are asked in view of the statement that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Is such abounding grace a cause for the believer in Christ to permit sin in his life? No! Rather, “the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead: and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again,” for He “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world,” that the Christian “no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Our Savior “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” and “ye were … redeemed … from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers … with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot.” “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God … and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
The world, the flesh and the devil All unite to claim our life; God’s grace alone can deliver, And end our failure and strife.
How very far off we were before we knew God’s grace “in Christ Jesus.” We “were dead in trespasses and sins … [and] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation … in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” We had “no hope, and [were] without God in the world,” “and all our righteousnesses [were] as filthy rags.” But by simple faith in the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, we have “passed from death unto life” and “are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” How nigh? “He hath made us accepted in the beloved,” and “as He is, so are we in this world.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” It is written that “both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Our great high priest prayed “that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”
His own are loved as He is loved, For we stand before God in Him, “Accepted in the beloved,” And forgiven of all our sins.