Church Weekly
17 Sep 2023



Dear Members in Christ,                                                                                                                   

Assurance of Salvation (Part 2) – No device of man can shake our confidence in God

As Christians, we are taught that our salvation is assured by the will of the Almighty God. What about evil men who would seek to derail our faith? Can they succeed in shaking our faith in our eternal salvation in Christ Jesus?

We learn from the earlier article, the “Assurance of Salvation” (Part 1) that as Children of God, our Lord Jesus Christ assures us of our eternal salvation by His precious Word. Also, it is God’s will to preserve every one of His saints until the day of His coming. In today’s article, we shall deal with the question of an external agent causing a believer’s assurance of salvation to be taken away. Namely, is an external agent able to upset God’s plan of salvation by causing the believer to turn from the Gospel message? For the answer, we look at the Bible passage from John 10:27-29.

“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. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” John 10:27-29

The Bible is absolutely clear that no sheep can be plucked out of the Saviour’s hand. The use of the phrase “my sheep” makes it clear that the Lord Jesus is referring to His very own flock. This applies to believers only. We have the perfect assurance from our Lord Jesus that no man can remove us from the salvific protective care of our Lord and Saviour.

A. God assures us of our salvation, that we will follow our Good Shepherd

It is without a doubt that the Lord Jesus refers to believers when He calls them “my sheep”. In addition, He names two characteristics of those who qualify as His sheep. In John 10:27, He says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

This is not some vague notion such as “I’ve said the sinner’s prayer so I am a believer” or “I was baptized in the church, therefore, I’m a Christian”. There are clear distinctions between a true believer and one who is merely giving a false profession. Firstly, the true believer will know the Saviour’s voice. The words of scripture are the words that our Lord Jesus wants us to hear and obey, thus we will identify it as the Shepherd’s voice.  Secondly, the Lord Jesus will confess these as His true sheep. Just as a shepherd in ancient times knows every sheep in the flock, the Lord Jesus knows every one of us who has put our trust in Him. Finally, the true sheep will follow the Good Shepherd, our Lord Jesus. These characteristics distinguish true believers from one who is merely professing the faith without true conversion.

Dearly beloved, let us be assured of our faith in the Lord Jesus. Are we hearing His voice and obeying the words of scripture? Are we following Him as a flock of sheep following their Master in the pasture? If we are, we know that the Lord has assured us that we are His very own. Let us strengthen one another’s faith by a constant fellowship in prayer and the study of scriptures together. That way, we may hear the Master’s voice, and follow Him.    

B. God assures us that no device or doctrine of any kind may disannul our salvation

Therefore, to those whom the Lord Jesus knows as “my sheep” meaning God’s child, the Lord Jesus has this to say,

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” John 10:28, 29

The Lord Jesus gives the full assurance that those who are His very own will be granted eternal life. They will never perish, because their sins have been atoned by the Lord Jesus on the cross. What blessed hope this is for even the worst of sinners, that Christ by His death can offer the forgiveness of sins to all that trust in His finished work of atonement.

Furthermore, for those who are saved, no external agent can take away from them the free gift of salvation and eternal life. The first remarkable note is that no one can pluck a believer out of the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ. The God and the author of our salvation assures us of our blessedness in Him. The second mention in verse 29 is that no one can pluck them from the Father’s hand. This is a qualified statement, for the Lord Jesus makes it clear that the Father in Heaven is “greater than all”. No creature or force or cruel intent can take away the salvation of a believer. This speaks of the great power of God to keep us eternally in His care and protection. Notice that the phrase says, “greater than all”. The emphasis is that no external agent can sabotage God’s plan of salvation for His child simply because God has the infinite power to guard and keep His own. 

Dear brothers and sisters, the assurance of salvation for the true believer is guaranteed by the words of scripture. It is backed by the power of an infinitely powerful God for all eternity. Let us be encouraged to serve God with a heart of truth and sincerity. If anyone suffers a spiritual setback, do not be discouraged. God has assured us of our salvation. It is our duty as His children to hear His voice, obey Him and follow Him. May the Lord Jesus bless us with such a heart of obedience. Amen.

In His Service,
Rev. Lim Seh Beng, Pastor