"I have finished the work thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4)
The work of salvation was something that Christ Himself had to do, and He could therefore speak of it as being done. "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Now I want to put that in the form of a negative like this: The Lord Jesus Christ did not come into this world to tell us what we have to do; He came Himself to do something for us that we could never do for ourselves. These negatives are all so essential, because there are people who believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, but if you ask them what He came into this world to do, their answer will be that He came to tel us what we must do ourselves. Or they talk about good works and say that if we do this or that, we will make ourselves Christian and make ourselves right with God. No! Our Lord says here, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."
The truth that we have to take hold of is that which is emphasized here, and the best way to understand it is to consider what it was He did, and, too, what He was doing beforehand. He came to do certain things Himself, and we are saved by what Christ has done for us, and not by what He tells us to do. The work of salvation is His work and His doing, and He came specifically to do it; and here, in these words, He looks ahead, as it were, to His death on the Cross, as well as back to what He has already done. Under the shadow of the Cross, He reviews the whole work, and He is able to say, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." "I have completed it." So a very good way of testing whether we have a right or wrong way of looking at salvation is to ask ourselves whether we see Christian salvation as something that is exclusively and entirely the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Thought to Ponder: Christ came to do something for us that we could never do for ourselves.