References: Psalm 23:4, John 10
Faithful in maintaining salvation
The faithfulness of the Savior means–ultimately, simply–everything about our relationship with God is about God and what He has done and continues to do for His people. There is one more aspect to His faithfulness which must not be forgotten.
The faithfulness is the food of eternal life
Think again about that steep, dangerous, difficult mountain path in relationship to your life here on earth. As is indicated in the rest of Psalm 23, there are certainly many blessings along the way. In the midst of struggle, we do enjoy the daily comfort that Jesus is our Shepherd.
But as demonstrated by this picture, in the life of the believer, there exists constant danger and temptation to follow a wrong path. Yet the purpose of the path is to reach the good pasture at the mountain’s top, reachable by means of traversing the dangerous pathway. The pasture of wonderful, life-giving food waits at the journey’s end. It is the reason why the shepherd would lead His sheep on this path.
So here is the thing: when Jesus, the faithful Savior and Good Shepherd, takes His sheep on this path, not only is He faithful in escorting you on that path, not only is He faithful in leading you along the right path, He is also faithful in that He will get you to the pasture with the good food unto life eternal.
There will not be one, no matter how weak they are in themselves, that are in fact His lambs, who will not make it. The faithful Savior brings His sheep to the pasture of eternal life. He does not just point you in the right direction, or just encourage you or scold you about the dangers along the way. No. He will bring you who belong to Him to eternal life.
Nothing in this world, our own weakness, the temptation of falsehoods of one kind or another, not even the greatest threat from the created world, be it weather, war or disease, can thwart the purpose of the Good Shepherd.
As we read from John 10, Jesus makes a promise to you. He says, “No one is able to snatch them out of my father’s hand.” The Apostle Paul speaks of this at length in Romans 8 and he concludes the section with the words in vs. 37-39 (ESV):
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep, whose voice His sheep hear and follow, is the hope, the comfort of his people. It is in Him where you will find assurance.
His faithfulness to His sheep
As God’s people, we desire everyone to hear and follow the voice of the Shepherd. We call them to that voice. Different ideas claim (wrongly) to answer to the problems of life, but we uphold Jesus as the only answer which really counts, the only true answer.
In doing so, we need to be careful to understand that He is not given as a possible Savior, one who is sort of just there, and anyone who then wants to can take advantage of his gift. The Christ of the Scripture is always presented in a very personal way as your Savior. With the fall into sin, this world and every person in it is lost, dead in sin. When anyone is saved, Satan loses and the world is saved.
God came to Adam and Eve with a promise of salvation for them. He promised a mediator of the covenant to Abraham, and said in him all the families of the world would be blessed. God is the creator and sustainer of all; He is the covenant God, the one who puts His protective arms around His people as a shield.
Keep this formula in mind: God said, “I will be your God and you shall be my people” (Ex. 19). This is a specific and very personal relationship which God establishes with His people, because He has a people who belong to Him. You will find the most complete statement of this by the prophet Ezekiel 34:11ff. There are sheep which belong to Him; they are scattered, but He will gather them.
The basic concept of redemption presented in Scripture is that of a faithful God who sent a faithful Savior, who will deliver on His promise. It is a promise made to you.
There is a very important place for the science of medicine, and we are grateful to God for this gift. We are also very grateful that God in His wisdom has given us a world in which civil authorities have a place in providing for a safe place to live. We are responsible to take care of ourselves and others. To simply say “Well, Jesus is my Savior” and then throw all caution to the wind is absolutely irresponsible.
But medicine, government, or self-preservation are not the things we ultimately put our hope in. Yes, life at time is seriously dangerous and filled with uncertainties, but we do not live in fear. In fact, it is in times of turbulence such as this that the child of God can face life with total confidence and calmness.
May the faithful Savior who works faith in you lead you to this confidence and certainty. May you remain at peace in this and any other situation in life.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.