(Spurgeon, All of Grace. part 6)

displayed enough folly to make you ashamed of yourselves? If we
were to shut ourselves up in the lone cell of a hermit,
temptation would follow us; for as long as we cannot escape from
ourselves we cannot escape from incitements to sin. There is that
within our hearts which should make us watchful and humble before
God. If he does not confirm us, we are so weak that we shall
stumble and fall; not overturned by an enemy, but by our own
carelessness. Lord, be thou our strength. We are weakness itself.
     Besides that, there is the weariness which comes of a long
life. When we begin our Christian profession we mount up with
wings as eagles, further on we run without weariness; but in our
best and truest days we walk without fainting. Our pace seems
slower, but it is more serviceable and better sustained. I pray
God that the energy of our youth may continue with us so far as
it is the energy of the Spirit and not the mere fermentation of
proud flesh. He that has long been on the road to Heaven finds
that there was good reason why it was promised that his shoes
should be iron and brass, for the road is rough. He has
discovered that there are Hills of Difficulty and Valleys of
Humiliation; that there is a Vale of Deathshade, and, worse
still, a Vanity Fair--and all these are to be traversed. If there
be Delectable Mountains (and, thank God, there are,) there are
also Castles of Despair, the inside of which pilgrims have too
often seen. Considering all things, those who hold out to the end
in the way of holiness will be "men wondered at."
     "O world of wonders, I can say no less." The days of a
Christian's life are like so many Koh-i-noors of mercy threaded
upon the golden string of divine faithfulness. In Heaven we shall
tell to angels, and principalities, and powers, the unsearchable
riches of Christ which were spent upon us, and enjoyed by us
while we were here below. We have been kept alive on the brink of
death. Our spiritual life has been a flame burning on in the
midst of the sea, a stone that has remained suspended in the air.
It will amaze the universe to see us enter the pearly gate,
blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. We ought to be
full of grateful wonder if kept for an hour; and I trust we are.
     If this were all, there would be enough cause for anxiety;
but there is far more. We have to think of what a place we live
in. The world is a howling wilderness to many of God's people.
Some of us are greatly indulged in the providence of God, but
others have a stern fight of it. We begin our day with prayer,
and we hear the voice of holy song full often in our houses; but
many good people have scarcely risen from their knees in the
morning before they are saluted with blasphemy. They go out to
work, and all day long they are vexed with filthy conversation
like righteous Lot in Sodom. Can you even walk the open streets
without your ears being afflicted with foul language? The world
is no friend to grace. The best we can do with this world is to
get through it as quickly as we can, for we dwell in an enemy's
country. A robber lurks in every bush. Everywhere we need to
travel with a "drawn sword" in our hand, or at least with that
weapon which is called all-prayer ever at our side; for we have
to contend for every inch of our way. Make no mistake about this,
or you will be rudely shaken out of your fond delusion. O God,
help us, and confirm us to the end, or where shall we be?
     True religion is supernatural at its beginning, supernatural
in its continuance, and supernatural in its close. It is the work
of God from first to last. There is great need that the hand of
the Lord should be stretched out still: that need my reader is
feeling now, and I am glad that he should feel it; for now he
will look for his own preservation to the Lord who alone is able
to keep us from failing, and glorify us with His Son.
     I WANT YOU TO NOTICE the security which Paul confidently
expected for all the saints. He says--"Who shall confirm you unto
the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus
Christ." This is the kind of confirmation which is above all
things to be desired. You see it supposes that the persons are
right, and it proposes to confirm them in the right. It would be
an awful thing to confirm a man in ways of sin and error. Think
of a confirmed drunkard, or a confirmed thief, or a confirmed
liar. It would be a deplorable thing for a man to be confirmed in
unbelief and ungodliness. Divine confirmation can only be enjoyed
by those to whom the grace of God has been already manifested. It
is the work of the Holy Ghost. He who gives faith strengthens and
establishes it: He who kindles love in us preserves it and
increases its flame. What He makes us to know by His first
teaching, the good Spirit causes us to know with greater
clearness and certainty by still further instruction. Holy acts
are confirmed till they become habits, and holy feelings are
confirmed till they become abiding conditions. Experience and
practice confirm our beliefs and our resolutions. Both our joys
and our sorrows, our successes and our failures, are sanctified
to the selfsame end: even as the tree is helped to root itself
both by the soft showers and the rough winds. The mind is
instructed, and in its growing knowledge it gathers reasons for
persevering in the good way: the heart is comforted, and so it is
made to cling more closely to the consoling truth. The grip grows
tighter, and the tread grows firmer, and the man himself becomes
more solid and substantial.
     This is not a merely natural growth, but is as distinct a
work of the Spirit as conversion. The Lord will surely give it to
those who are relying upon Him for eternal life. By His inward
working He will deliver us from being "unstable as water," and
cause us to be rooted and grounded. It is a part of the method by
which He saves us--this building us up into Christ Jesus and
causing us to abide in Him. Dear reader, you may daily look for
this; and you shall not be disappointed. He whom you trust will
make you to be as a tree planted by the rivers of waters, so
preserved that even your leaf shall not wither.
     What a strength to a church is a confirmed Christian! He is
a comfort to the sorrowful, and a help to the weak. Would you not
like to be such? Confirmed believers are pillars in the house of
our God. These are not carried away by every wind of doctrine,
nor overthrown by sudden temptation. They are a great stay to
others, and act as anchors in the time of church trouble. You who
are beginning the holy life hardly dare to hope that you will
become like them. But you need not fear; the good Lord will work
in you as well as in them. One of these days you who are now a
"babe" in Christ shall be a "father" in the church. Hope for this
great thing; but hope for it as a gift of grace, and not as the
wages of work, or as the product of your own energy.
     The inspired apostle Paul speaks of these people as to be
confirmed unto the end. He expected the grace of God to preserve
them personally to the end of their lives, or till the Lord Jesus
should come. Indeed, he expected that the whole church of God in
every place and in all time would be kept to the end of the
dispensation, till the Lord Jesus as the Bridegroom should come
to celebrate the wedding-feast with his perfected Bride. All who
are in Christ will be confirmed in Him till that illustrious day.
Has He not said, "Because I live ye shall live also"? He also
said, "I give unto my sheep eternal life; and they shall never
perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." He that
hath begun a good work in you will confirm it unto the day of
Christ. The work of grace in the soul is not a superficial
reformation; the life implanted as the new birth comes of a
living and incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth for ever;
and the promises of God made to believers are not of a transient
character, but involve for their fulfilment the believer's
holding on his way till he comes to endless glory. We are kept by
the power of God, through faith unto salvation. "The righteous
shall hold on his way." Not as the result of our own merit or
strength, but as a gift of free and undeserved favor those who
believe are "preserved in Christ Jesus." Of the sheep of His fold
Jesus will lose none; no member of His Body shall die; no gem of
His treasure shall be missing in the day when He makes up His
jewels. Dear reader, the salvation which is received by faith is
not a thing of months and years; for our Lord Jesus hath
"obtained eternal salvation for us," and that which is eternal
cannot come to an end.
     Paul also declares his expectation that the Corinthian
saints would be "Confirmed to the end blameless." This
blamelessness is a precious part of our keeping. To be kept holy
is better than merely to be kept safe. It is a dreadful thing
when you see religious people blundering out of one dishonor into
another; they have not believed in the power of our Lord to make
them blameless. The lives of some professing Christians are a
series of stumbles; they are never quite down, and yet they are
seldom on their feet. This is not a fit thing for a believer; he
is invited to walk with God, and by faith he can attain to steady
perseverance in holiness; and he ought to do so. The Lord is
able, not only to save us from hell, but to keep us from falling.
We need not yield to temptation. Is it not written, "Sin shall
not have dominion over you?" The Lord is able to keep the feet of
His saints; and He will do it if we will trust Him to do so. We
need not defile our garments, we may by His grace keep them
unspotted from the world; we are bound to do this, "for without
holiness no man shall see the Lord."
     The apostle prophesied for these believers, that which he
would have us seek after--that we may be preserved, blameless
unto the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." The revised version has
"unreproveable," instead of "blameless." Possibly a better
rendering would be "unimpeachable." God grant that in that last
great day we may stand free from all charge, that none in the
whole universe may dare to challenge our claim to be the redeemed
of the Lord. We have sins and infirmities to mourn over, but
these are not the kind of faults which would prove us to be out
of Christ; we shall be clear of hypocrisy, deceit, hatred, and
delight in sin; for these things would be fatal charges. Despite
our failings, the Holy Spirit can work in us a character spotless
before men; so that, like Daniel, we shall furnish no occasion
for accusing tongues, except in the matter of our religion.
Multitudes of godly men and women have exhibited lives so
transparent, so consistent throughout, that none could gainsay
them. The Lord will be able to say of many a believer, as he did
of Job, when Satan stood before Him, "Hast thou considered my
servant, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and
escheweth evil?" This is what my reader must look for at the
Lord's hands. This is the triumph of the saints--to continue to
follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, maintaining our integrity
as before the living God. May we never turn aside into crooked
ways, and give cause to the adversary to blaspheme. Of the true
believer it is written, "He keepeth himself, and that wicked one
toucheth him not." May it be so written concerning us!
     Friend just beginning in the divine life, the Lord can give
you an irreproachable character. Even though in your past life
you may have gone far into sin, the Lord can altogether deliver
you from the power of former habits, and make you an example of
virtue. He can not only make you moral, but He can make you abhor
every false way and follow after all that is saintly. Do not
doubt it. The chief of sinners need not be a whit behind the
purest of the saints. Believe for this, and according to your
faith shall it be unto you.
     Oh, what a joy it will be to be found blameless in the day
of judgment! We sing not amiss, when we join in that charming
     Bold shall I stand in that great day,
     For who aught to my charge shall lay;
     While through Thy blood absolved I am,
     From sin's tremendous curse and shame?
     What bliss it will be to enjoy that dauntless courage, when
heaven and earth shall flee away from the face of the Judge of
all! This bliss shall be the portion of everyone who looks alone
to the grace of God in Christ Jesus, and in that sacred might
wages continual war with all sin.
     THE HOPE which filled the heart of Paul concerning the
Corinthian brethren we have already seen to be full of comfort to
those who trembled as to their future. But why was it that he
believed that the brethren would be confirmed unto the end?
     I want you to notice that he gives his reasons. Here they
     God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship
of his Son Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:9).
     The apostle does not say, "You are faithful." Alas! the
faithfulness of man is a very unreliable affair; it is mere
vanity. He does not say, "You have faithful ministers to lead and
guide you, and therefore I trust you will be safe." Oh, no! if we
are kept by men we shall be but ill kept. He puts it, "God is
faithful." If we are found faithful, it will be because God is
faithful. On the faithfulness of our covenant God the whole
burden of our salvation must rest. On this glorious attribute of
God the matter hinges. We are variable as the wind, frail as a
spider's web, weak as water. No dependence can be placed upon our
natural qualities, or our spiritual attainments; but God abideth
faithful. He is faithful in His love; He knows no variableness,
neither shadow of turning. He is faithful to His purpose; He doth
not begin a work and then leave it undone. He is faithful to His
relationships; as a Father He will not renounce His children, as
a friend He will not deny His people, as a Creator He will not
forsake the work of His own hands. He is faithful to His
promises, and will never allow one of them to fail to a single
believer. He is faithful to His covenant, which He has made with
us in Christ Jesus, and ratified with the blood of His sacrifice.
He is faithful to His Son, and will not allow His precious blood
to be spilled in vain. He is faithful to His people to whom He
has promised eternal life, and from whom He will not turn away.  
   This faithfulness of God is the foundation and cornerstone of
our hope of final perseverance. The saints shall persevere in
holiness, because God perseveres in grace. He perseveres to
bless, and therefore believers persevere in being blessed. He
continues to keep His people, and therefore they continue to keep
His commandments. This is good solid ground to rest upon, and it
is delightfully consistent with the title of this little book,
"all of grace." Thus it is free favor and infinite mercy which
ring in the dawn of salvation, and the same sweet bells sound
melodiously through the whole day of grace.
     You see that the only reasons for hoping that we shall be
confirmed to the end, and be found blameless at the last, are
found in our God; but in Him these reasons are exceedingly
     They lie first, in what God has done. He has gone so far in
blessing us that it is not possible for Him to run back. Paul
reminds us that He has "called us into the fellowship of his Son
Jesus Christ." Has he called us? Then the call cannot be
reversed; for, "the gifts and calling of God are without
repentance." From the effectual call of His grace the Lord never
turns. "Whom he called them he also justified, and whom he
justified them he also glorified:" this is the invariable rule of
the divine procedure. There is a common call, of which it is
said, "Many are called, but few are chosen," but this of which we
are now thinking is another kind of call, which betokens special
love, and necessitates the possession of that to which we are
called. In such a case it is with the called one even as with
Abraham's seed, of whom the Lord said, "I have called thee from
the ends of the earth, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I
have chosen thee, and not cast thee away."
     In what the Lord has done, we see strong reasons for our
preservation and future glory, because the Lord has called us
into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ. It means into
partnership with Jesus Christ, and I would have you carefully
consider what this means. If you are indeed called by divine
grace, you have come into fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ,
so as to be joint-owner with Him in all things. Henceforth you
are one with Him in the sight of the Most High. The Lord Jesus
bare your sins in His own body on the tree, being made a curse
for you; and at the same time He has become your righteousness,
so that you are justified in Him. You are Christ's and Christ is
yours. As Adam stood for his descendants, so does Jesus stand for
all who are in Him. As husband and wife are one, so is Jesus one
with all those who are united to Him by faith; one by a conjugal
union which can never be broken. More than this, believers are
members of the Body of Christ, and so are one with Him by a
loving, living, lasting union. God has called us into this union,
this fellowship, this partnership, and by this very fact He has
given us the token and pledge of our being confirmed to the end.
If we were considered apart from Christ we should be poor
perishable units, soon dissolved and borne away to destruction;
but as one with Jesus we are made partakers of His nature, and
are endowed with His immortal life. Our destiny is linked with
that of our Lord, and until He can be destroyed it is not
possible that we should perish.
     Dwell much upon this partnership with the Son of God, unto
which you have been called: for all your hope lies there. You can
never be poor while Jesus is rich, since you are in one firm with
Him. Want can never assail you, since you are joint-proprietor
with Him who is Possessor of Heaven and earth. You can never
fail; for though one of the partners in the firm is as poor as a
church mouse, and in himself an utter bankrupt, who could not pay
even a small amount of his heavy debts, yet the other partner is
inconceivably, inexhaustibly rich. In such partnership you are
raised above the depression of the times, the changes of the
future, and the shock of the end of all things. The Lord has
called you into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ, and by
that act and deed He has put you into the place of infallible
     If you are indeed a believer you are one with Jesus, and
therefore you are secure. Do you not see that it must be so? You
must be confirmed to the end until the day of His appearing, if
you have indeed been made one with Jesus by the irrevocable act
of God. Christ and the believing sinner are in the same boat:
unless Jesus sinks, the believer will never drown. Jesus has
taken His redeemed into such connection with himself, that He
must first be smitten, overcome, and dishonored, ere the least of
His purchased ones can be injured. His name is at the head of the
firm, and until it can be dishonored we are secure against all
dread of failure.
     So, then, with the utmost confidence let us go forward into
the unknown future, linked eternally with Jesus. If the men of
the world should cry, "Who is this that cometh up from the
wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?" we will joyfully confess
that we do lean on Jesus, and that we mean to lean on Him more
and more. Our faithful God is an everflowing well of delight, and
our fellowship with the Son of God is a full river of joy.
Knowing these glorious things we cannot be discouraged: nay,
rather we cry with the apostle, "Who shall separate us from the
love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?"
     IF MY READER has not followed me step by step as he has read
my pages, I am truly sorry. Book-reading is of small value unless
the truths which pass before the mind are grasped, appropriated,
and carried out to their practical issues. It is as if one saw
plenty of food in a shop and yet remained hungry, for want of
personally eating some. It is all in vain, dear reader, that you
and I have met, unless you have actually laid hold upon Christ
Jesus, my Lord. On my part there was a distinct desire to benefit
you, and I have done my best to that end. It pains me that I have
not been able to do you good, for I have longed to win that
privilege. I was thinking of you when I wrote this page, and I
laid down my pen and solemnly bowed my knee in prayer for
everyone who should read it. It is my firm conviction that great
numbers of readers will get a blessing, even though you refuse to
be of the number. But why should you refuse? If you do not desire
the choice blessing which I would have brought to you, at least
do me the justice to admit that the blame of your final doom will
not lie at my door. When we two meet before the great white
throne you will not be able to charge me with having idly used
the attention which you were pleased to give me while you were
reading my little book. God knoweth I wrote each line for your
eternal good. I now in spirit take you by the hand. I give you a
firm grip. Do you feel my brotherly grasp? The tears are in my
eyes as I look at you and say, Why will you die? Will you not
give your soul a thought? Will you perish through sheer
carelessness? Oh, do not so; but weigh these solemn matters, and
make sure work for eternity! Do not refuse Jesus, His love, His
blood, His salvation. Why should you do so? Can you do it?
     I beseech you,
     Do not turn away from your Redeemer!
     If, on the other hand, my prayers are heard, and you, my
reader, have been led to trust the Lord Jesus and receive from
Him salvation by grace, then keep you ever to this doctrine, and
this way of living. Let Jesus be your all in all, and let free
grace be the one line in which you live and move. There is no
life like that of one who lives in the favor of God. To receive
all as a free gift preserves the mind from self-righteous pride,
and from self-accusing despair. It makes the heart grow warm with
grateful love, and thus it creates a feeling in the soul which is
infinitely more acceptable to God than anything that can possibly
come of slavish fear. Those who hope to be saved by trying to do
their best know nothing of that glowing fervor, that hallowed
warmth, that devout joy in God, which come with salvation freely
given according to the grace of God. The slavish spirit of self-
salvation is no match for the joyous spirit of adoption. There is
more real virtue in the least emotion of faith than in all the
tuggings of legal bond-slaves, or all the weary machinery of
devotees who would climb to Heaven by rounds of ceremonies. Faith
is spiritual, and God who is a spirit delights in it for that
reason. Years of prayer-saying, and church-going, or chapel-
going, and ceremonies, and performances, may only be an
abomination in the sight of Jehovah; but a glance from the eye of
true faith is spiritual and it is therefore dear to Him. "The
Father seeketh such to worship him." Look you first to the inner
man, and to the spiritual, and the rest will then follow in due
     If you are saved yourself, be on the watch for the souls of
others. Your own heart will not prosper unless it is filled with
intense concern to bless your fellow men. The life of your soul
lies in faith; its health lies in love. He who does not pine to
lead others to Jesus has never been under the spell of love
himself. Get to the work of the Lord--the work of love. Begin at
home. Visit next your neighbors. Enlighten the village or the
street in which you live. Scatter the word of the Lord wherever
your hand can reach.
     Reader, meet me in heaven! Do not go down to hell. There is
no coming back again from that abode of misery. Why do you wish
to enter the way of death when Heaven's gate is open before you?
Do not refuse the free pardon, the full salvation which Jesus
grants to all who trust Him. Do not hesitate and delay. You have
had enough of resolving, come to action. Believe in Jesus now,
with full and immediate decision. Take with you words and come
unto your Lord this day, even this day. Remember, O soul, it may
     now or never
     with you. Let it be now; it would be horrible that it should
be never.
     Again I charge you,
     meet me in heaven.

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01: spgr-06.txt