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What is more certain than death or taxes? The salvation of genuine believers in Christ. There is a certain connection between the crucifixion of Christ and the final salvation of all his people. Jesus’s sacrificial death will result in a definite amount of good. When something is definite, it is fixed, certain, and clear.
Because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.Ephesians 1:11 NLT
What Christ has made possible by His death cannot be undone. No one can prevent God’s will from being done.
The Good Shepherd Secures Salvation
Jesus, our shepherd, watches over all of us believers under his care to preserve them for salvation.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
Isaiah 40:11 ESV
Why all this care? Because: “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11 ESV). Therefore, “he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability” (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV). “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed” (Isaiah 54:17 ESV). “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29 ESV).
God saves people who can feel and admit their need for help. The weak and fainting, the little lambs, and those with young are all named. He is fit to guide his flock through this desert of life because:
- He gave his life for the sheep.
- He knows all their enemies, both inside and out; “in [God] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3 ESV).
- He has all power in Heaven and Earth in his hands.
- He is like us in every way but did not sin when he suffered (Hebrews 2:17-18). “He will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 ESV).
Mark the words: “He will save his people.” And who would dare say that he might fail to save even one of his people? Everyone who is supposed to be in heaven will be in heaven. In view of this David could say:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.Psalm 23:1, 3, 4, 5, 6 ESV
He restores my soul.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The very ground on which he said this was, “He is my shepherd.” As such he died for me, therefore I will fear no evil. He died for me, poor, unworthy me. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” All this, because he is my shepherd. This blessed shepherd cares for his saints.
Jesus’s Salvation Protects Believers
God, being in control of everything as creator, has an intentional plan for salvation. Salvation encompasses past, present, and future events. Jesus has already saved us (he died). Jesus is saving us (he protects and keeps us safe). Jesus will save us (he will give us glorified new bodies that will last forever).
He will not let you stumble;Psalm 121:3-5 NLT
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
Oh, Christian! for whom Jesus gave his very life; you, also, who are passing through tribulation, tempted, tried, fainting, weak, often exclaiming: “When I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. … Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:21, 24 ESV). Don’t forget that God, your keeper, never sleeps nor slumbers. Your God who does not sleep watches over you and protects you from harm. There is a certain and undeniable relationship between the sufferings of Christ and the deliverance of his people, as there is between the payment of the price and the delivery of the goods.
“Who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4 ESV). Not that we might escape evil if we could, but that “He might deliver us.” Every experimental Christian believes that God seeks, finds, turns, and saves his people.
An experimental Christian experiences Christ in his inner man… but a Christian in name only is like those Israelites of old who could honor God with their lips but their hearts were far from Him (Isaiah 29:13). And the difference between these two couldn’t be greater. It is not those who merely have a profession of Christ who will see the Kingdom of God, it is those who have been born from above (John 3:3).The Well Reformed Church Boise
When Jesus, our God, saves, he “saves to the utmost” (Hebrews 7:25). All his power is involved and nothing can thwart his plan. Those who can see and believe this with the faith of even the size of a mustard seed have eternal life.
This is post 2 in a series; you can read the previous post. This post started as the public domain works of J. H. Oliphant. While substantially the same in many ways, I modernized the language and added my thoughts to provide greater clarity for my readers.
Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.