“who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:8-9)
Who will confirm the believer till the day of Christ? A quick glance back to verse four reminds us of that answer. Paul had addressed his thanksgiving to God (vs.4a), the one who bestows grace (vs.4b). God is the one who calls believers into fellowship with His Son (vs.9b). And part of what makes that grace so amazing is that it is completely sustaining; it confirms believers till the end.
If we are to hope and rest in this promise we would do well to understand it better. What exactly is meant by “confirm?” The Greek word behind our English translation is bebaiosei– it is a future tense verb and it means “will sustain” or “will make sure.” Using language from the verses above, Paul was in essence telling the Corinthian Christians that they would be sustained so that they will be blameless (1 Cor. 1:8b), or without fault or condemnation, presented to Christ as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle (Eph. 5:27), on the day of Jesus’ glorious appearing (1 Cor. 1:8c). In other words, God sustains His church so that His church finishes the race and keeps the faith (2 Tim. 4:7). Since He effectually calls His elect into fellowship with His Son (1 Cor. 1:9a), we can be confident, as Paul was, that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). Since the One who called us is faithful, we can be certain that He will present us blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:23-24).
Granted we are studying Paul’s epistle, but we would do well to remember part of Peter’s story. Satan had desired to sift Peter like wheat but Jesus prayed for him, that his faith would not fail (Lk. 22:32). Peter’s faith would have failed had not Jesus prayed. As an outworking of the divine will, Jesus’ intercession ensured Peter’s salvation. Your name may nor may not be Peter, and you are surely not an apostle, but you enjoy a similar intercessory privilege. You have a High priest who is able to “save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). Yes, it’s a different passage but it’s the same principle – the Author of a believer’s faith is also the Finisher (Heb. 12:2). The God who calls us into fellowship with His Son ensures that we stay in the blessed state of friendship and fellowship with His Son. And part of the means to that end is the intercession of that very Son. So if you’ve sung Amazing Grace because you’ve been amazed by saving grace, maybe you can tweak the words a little bit, turn some of the past tense verbs into present verbs, and thank God for the sweet sound of sustaining grace. It would go a little something like this:
Sustaining grace how sweet the sound that saves a wretch like me…