God establishes men who believe Him according to the words spoken by His ministers and their preaching of Jesus according to the mystery hidden in the Law and the prophets. For to this extent He is able. He prepares His ministers in various ways so that they deliver His desire. He calls them just as the called, but refines them such that the men who hear them are established by Him. Through refining they come to know Him just as He willed for them. They obtain a gospel of their own that is according to His knowledge. His knowledge is in His word, which is Jesus, the hidden mystery in the Law and the prophets. Therefore, Paul said, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past” (Rom. 16:25).
God is always able to appoint ministers for His purpose. In every generation He calls men and trains them to fulfill His desire. Therefore, it is not surprising that many believe in the Lord. His ministers have in them the heavenly wisdom, which is Christ. They deliver His intentions to men. Men understand them through the wisdom in their words. For the same reason Paul too had a gospel of his own that was according to the knowledge of God. His gospel consisted of his many experiences for Christ’s sake besides preaching Him by revealing the knowledge of Him from the Law and the prophets. He was to God the wisdom of Christ for men. In fact, what God has spoken of Paul is evidence for this when He elsewhere said He will show him how much he must suffer for His name’s sake. For this reason, the gospel spoken by the men of God cannot be overthrown. For it is the power of God and as many as are amazed by it will certainly come to know Him. And as it has been said and witnessed, even since the past ages, it is God who brings forth a people for Himself by power.
In order that He brings forth a people God constantly works in His ministers. Those whom He brought forth, He establishes. The established will have no regrets. They will be established in all things pertaining to God and to life according to the gospel of His ministers. They stand uncondemned as they dwell on the knowledge of God and His working nature toward them. They engage in obedience that is by faith. It avails them the way of Christ. If it is in you, it suffices you “so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints” (1 Thess. 3:13).
When the time of your appraisal comes, all that matters to God is the condition of your heart. For this cause He prepares ministers that are refined to possess His knowledge so that you who hear them might grasp His holiness for blamelessness. It is of utmost importance that Christians realize God’s yearning for their hearts. It does not matter what they do or how they appear as long as they are not transformed in His holiness. For God desires their appearance and works to come from holiness. Therefore, when you are amazed by the words of those speaking for Christ, do not delay in turning to Him. The longer you delay the difficult it becomes for you to understand the purpose of obedience. Obedience takes you to the depths of God, even the depths that are known only to His Spirit. And since He has given His Spirit as a pledge to the obedient, if you are transformed by Him, will not be aloof to His depths. He who has not known the depths of God is under great disadvantage. “Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever” (Rev. 15:7).
Nevertheless, obedience keeps you away from His wrath. When you have obeyed the gospel of the minister of God, you go to the presence of God. In His presence there is no wrath. Many are disregarding the nature of God, who in great patience is longing to reveal the glory of His Son. And, He even created the creation in such a way that it too longs to reveal His sons. So, while God is working to reveal the glory of His son, i.e. by bringing forth a people for Him, He is also working to glorify Him by revealing those that do not wish to be His sons. For this reason, the gospel includes both wrath and grace. However, obedience is the attribute that calls for His grace.
As obedience is known to appear by faith, faith is known to appear by hearing the word. “She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word” (Luke 10:39). Hearing His word is the only way to be established by God. Christ continues to speak through the gospel of His ministers. This gospel is a virtue availed to them by their obedience. People that listen to it are like Mary that sat at the Lord’s feet. For the demonstration of the power of the gospel remains a constant when proclaimed according the knowledge of God. To this end God powered the gospel with His Spirit. He who has it knows the virtue it brings. It is the kindness of God. Then, to all who hear and obey, the gospel signifies grace alone. They become the ways for Christ’s glory. Jesus, who certainly knew the virtue the gospel brings, prepared men to be like Him and commanded them to prepare many more like them. The result is well known – people received the kindness of God. And for this reason, Paul too did not hesitate in asking Christians to imitate him as he imitated Christ.
God’s ministers are availed to people that they may observe them and obtain the imperishable kindness. Through them He takes control over the obedient. “Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?” (Rom. 7:1). Even so, God has jurisdiction over those who obey the gospel of His ministers. What is the advantage? Wrath is avoided; kindness is multiplied. If you have become a Christian by the gospel of God’s minister, you should know the multiplicity of His kindness. What do I mean? You who are under God ought to receive grace upon grace. This reflects your obedience to Christ or sitting at His feet. You will be searching the depths of God. What flesh and blood did not give, His jurisdiction over you constantly rewards you. His kindness gives you everything, even the things that you could not consider as essential to you. So, the knowledge of God in a minister cannot be overthrown. It is a minister to you who are hearing “so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:12).
When you received the knowledge of God so as to walk in a manner worthy of Him, His holiness appears in you making your heart blameless. This brings glory to God before the world that is in excruciating pain. Blameless heart produces blameless fruit. For to this end also God appointed ministers that He should set you apart from sin and all its forms; that He should give you the Christ for wisdom, sanctification, redemption and righteousness. While you possess this Christ you will lose the power to walk in an unworthy manner. Then, at the time of your appraisal God will regard your blamelessness. Whatever you did or the manner in which you appeared was for His glory. For this has been your strength all the days of your life: “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last’” (Rev. 1:17).