What a song of holy exultation with which to close a letter that has drawn so dark a picture of the dangers besetting the path of the faithful man! God lives and reigns. His power is limitless. His grace is boundless. His glory and majesty will through all eternity remain untouched by all the evil thoughts and ways of sinful men. The Christian can pillow his head on these blessed and soul-inspiring truths, and so rise above all discouragement, and go on in holy confidence to more than conquer!
“Unto him that is able” (24)—this is what gives new strength to the wearied warrior. Weak and helpless in himself, he looks up in faith to the One who is able and thus out of weakness he is made strong. Let the difficulties of the path be what they may—however thickly strewn with briars and snares—God is able to keep the trusting soul from stumbling. David knew this when he sang, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4). This is comfort enough for faith in the darkest and most trying hour. I may not see a step before me, but He who is able sees the end from the beginning, and bids me confide in His love and wisdom. Thus I implicitly trust myself to His guidance.
No believer would question the power of God to keep him five minutes without stumbling. But He who can keep for five minutes can keep you for sixty. He who can keep for an hour can keep you for twenty-four. And He who can keep for one day can keep you all the days if your eye and heart are fixed on Him. For this very purpose our Lord Jesus Christ has been “separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26). He prayed, “For their sakes I sanctify myself [or, set myself apart], that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:19). Thus He became in heavenly glory the object of His people’s hearts, that daily “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) they might be kept from stumbling. And as He has everything we need for our earthly journey, so the end is sure. He is able “to present you faultless before.. .his glory.” There will be no failure here. God has predestined every believer to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). To this end Christ, who loved the church and gave Himself for it, is now engaged in its sanctification and daily cleansing by water-washing of the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing (Ephesians 5:25-27). Then the Eve of the last Adam will be revealed in the same glory with Himself—and all because God is able! Blessed heart-refreshing, and soul-uplifting truths are these!
In verse 25 the King James version ascribes adoration and praise to “the only wise God our Saviour.” The Revised version, and all later translations, omit the word “wise,” as unsupported by the better authorities. But granting it to be an alteration made inadvertently or otherwise by some pious scribe, it shows the effect that the transcribing of this Epistle had on this unknown soul. Contemplating it, his heart was filled and he cried in hallowed ecstasy, “This God is the only wise God. He is indeed perfect in wisdom.” He is indeed the
only God, for all others are but the imaginings of men’s minds. The believer does not view Him as judge, but with purged conscience worships before the mercy seat as he acknowledges Him as his Savior-God. He it was who so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son that we might live through Him.
Thus all blessing flows down to us from the heart of God “through Jesus Christ our Lord,” in whose name we return our feeble praises. To Him belongs all “glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever” (25). For this Christ Jesus gave Himself when He died to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Thus He became the Lamb of God who carries away the sin of the world. Even though we still see the effects of sin that mars God’s creation, He is still working out His eternal purpose. When time has run its course, and the last remains of sin are banished to the lake of fire, then the sinless ages of eternity will be ushered in. Then God will be all and in all forevermore, and none will dispute His authority or seek to detract from His glory again.
“Amen,” swells up from every believer’s breast, and faith looks on with joyful anticipation to the accomplishment of every one of His good promises. This affirmative word is, in the succeeding book of Revelation, used by the Son of God as one of His own names, or titles: “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14). He is, in His own character, the affirmation of all God’s plans and ways. Through Him all will end in perfection. All glory, majesty, and authority will be ascribed to the God of all grace while endless ages roll on to infinity. Amen and Amen!