The Security Of The Sheep
Read the tenth chapter of John carefully. You will find that the Lord Jesus Christ, as our good Shepherd has voluntarily assumed all responsibility for his sheep. What blessed comfort this affords to his sheep!
Sheep are weak, helpless, defenseless creatures. They have no strength to withstand their enemies. If they are lost, they cannot find their way home again. If sick, they cannot fight off their disease. If threatened, they cannot run fast enough to escape danger. If attacked, they cannot defend themselves.
The only security sheep have is in their shepherd. If their shepherd is wise, good, and strong, they are secure. If the sheep survive, if they live and flourish, the honor belongs to the shepherd. If the sheep perish, the blame belongs to the shepherd. It is the shepherd’s responsibility to keep the sheep.
The doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ is very plain. We who believe are Christ’s sheep, weak, helpless, defenseless creatures. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Shepherd, wise, good, and strong. Because Christ is our Shepherd, we are secure in him. This is what the Son of God, our dear Shepherd, says concerning all his sheep: “They shall never perish!” Those words declare and assure us of the absolute, infallible, unwavering security of God’s elect in Christ.
I realize that many pervert the doctrine of Holy Scripture concerning the eternal security and preservation of God’s elect in Christ. Many twist it into a lie to the eternal ruin of their souls. They attempt to justify their ungodliness by claiming to believe in God’s sovereignty to the exclusion of all responsibility. They try to soothe their consciences with the delusion that they really are saved, though they live in utter, abhorrent ungodliness. Others cry, “Such preaching as that promotes lawlessness and antinomianism.” Because they must be ruled by law, they presumed that everyone must. Because they are forced servants and mercenary soldiers, they presume that there is no such thing as voluntary obedience to the Son of God.
I am sorry for that; but I will not hold back the truth of God for fear that some godless wretch will pervert it or be offended by it. Our Lord never hesitated to preach the truth, even when he knew that the people to whom he was preaching would twist his words, pervert his doctrine, or be offended by the gospel he preached. Christ preached the fulfilment of the law; and his enemies said, “He is an enemy of the law.” Our Lord preached election; and they took up stones to kill him. The Son of God preached the free forgiveness of sin; and they said, “He is the friend of publicans and sinners, a promoter of licentiousness.” Christ preached moral freedom, freedom of conscience, and his enemies said, “He is a glutton and a wine bibber.”
Following the example of Christ, I intend to ever set before you, in the clearest terms possible, the absolute security and preservation of God’s elect in Christ. Some may be confused by it. Some may twist and pervert my doctrine to the ruin of their souls. For believers, the doctrine of the believer’s infallible security in Christ is full of comfort, assurance and inspiration. It is the greatest motive and incentive there is for godliness.