“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
In our minds we understand that our salvation depends entirely on the grace of God apart from works (Ephesians 2:8-9). This amazing grace came to maximal, breathtaking expression in the flawless life and redemptive work of our Lord Jesus. Though we believe this as a philosophical proposition, we sometimes slip into old, incorrect modes of thinking. We sometimes wonder whether a saved person could wander so far from the faith and into sinful behavior that he actually forfeits his salvation. We must understand that none of us deserved to be saved in the first place. We were all enemies of God in our minds by wicked works (Colossians 1:21); we were all slaves of sin (Romans 6:17). Even so, God reconciled us to Himself by the death of His Son (Romans 5:8-11). Our abysmal conduct before we received Jesus was enough to make us undeserving of salvation. Our flawed performance after receiving Jesus makes us undeserving of keeping it. Praise God, our salvation is in no way dependent upon our performance but on Christ’s! As today’s verse passage reminds us, the eternal security of the believer has nothing to do with us, but rests entirely on the greatness of the Savior. Though we are not yet all we are called to be, God will complete in us the good work He has started (Philippians 1:6). Jude reminds us that we are preserved in Christ Jesus (Jude 1). Paul of course agreed, reminding the saints that God will confirm us unto the end, that we may be blameless at the Lord’s coming (1 Corinthians 1:8). There is a day coming, dear saints, when we will be revealed to all creation as the glorified, sinless and spotless sons of God (Romans 8:18-30). Even now we are called to participate in this great transformation. In this mysterious synergism, we are to train ourselves to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7), working out our own salvation, knowing that “it is God which worketh in [us] both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Our Good Shepherd Who gave His life for His sheep acts both as a guide and as an Advocate, representing us flawlessly moment by moment in the Third Heaven (1 John 2:1). Now our glorified and perfected merciful and faithful High Priest “is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). As we contemplate these marvelous realities, let us also reflect upon one of the greatest doxologies ever recorded: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 24-25). Hallelujah and Maranatha!
God bless and encourage you today,