John 10:27-29: "My sheep
hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I
give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and
no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has
given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to
snatch them out of the Fatherís hand."
Often I have seen at the end of
letters and E-mails the uplifting words - "In His Grip".
This short phrase captures the essence of our eternal
security in Christ. It expresses the Lordís resolve to
protect His sheep as the Chief Shepherd of our thoughts,
emotions, words, motives, conduct, and affections. He
lovingly guards our entire being. The good Shepherd keeps
His sheep safe.
There are many so-called
Christians who profess their allegiance to Christ, but who
will hear on the day of judgment the terrifying words from
our Lord- "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who
practice lawlessness", Matt 7:23. They profess to
follow Christ, but their defenseless location outside "His
grip" is marked by disobedience. They lack saving faith.
Christís words to the rebellious Jews in John 10:26
explain why Ė "But you do not believe because you are not of
But true believers have been
granted saving faith, Eph 2:8. God has lifted them
out from the dominion of sin [Rom 6:1-12], from the
rule of Satan [1 John 5:18-19], and from the power of
the world [1 John 5:5]. Thus they hear and confide in
their Shepherdís voice. As Jesus states in John 10:4-5,
"When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and
the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger
they will not follow, but will flee from him, because they
do not know the voice of strangers."
Safe "In His Grip", we abide
eternally in His omnipotent hand. Our shepherd works
continually to guard us from any spiritual danger
threatening our ability to follow Him. He shields us against
any trials beyond our capacity to endure, 1 Cor 10:13.
No one, and no thing, no person or circumstance, is able to
snatch us out of His grip. He is holding onto us tightly in
Make sure you are His sheep:
Genuine sheep are the objects
of His loving protection. They know they are His because
they heed His voice in Scripture. They do not
who would lead them away from His Word. When they fall, He
rescues them, Matt 18:12-14. Thus Godís sheep are
able to say, "He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths
of righteousness for His names sake",
Make sure that you are in His
grip. Are you consistently and progressively following His
voice? Or are you listening to the perilous voice of a
stranger? Those who follow their own will, the lusts of the
flesh, are not His sheep. Despite their steadfast profession
of faith, they are not His. Thus they will be thrown like
most, Matt 7:13-14, into the eternal fires of hell Ė
Matt 10:28; 25:30, 41; Luke 13:26-28.
Assurance of salvation is based
on Godís power which enables us to understand and follow His
lead with progressive steadiness and skill, 2 Pet 1:1-11.
Godís sheep possess a Spirit wrought capacity to sort out
the contrary voices within and without leading them astray.
Examine yourselves to make sure the Shepherd is within you,
2 Cor 13:5!
2. Rely on Him to feed
In Psalm 23:1-2, we find
the blessed truth that God is our Shepherd who leads us
beside quiet waters and into green pastures. Thus our souls
do not want for what is needed to sustain and satisfy. Our
inner persons are strengthened by the nourishing food which
He Himself gives His sheep from His own green grass. In
John 10:9-10, Christ assures His sheep that they will be
led by Him to "find pasture". They will "have life", and
"have it abundantly".
Eat from the Word in rich
communion with our Shepherd through His Spirit. Let the
"word of Christ richly dwell within you", Col 3:16.
Seek the grace to crave the "milk" of the Word like a
nursing babe Ė 1 Pet 2:1-2. Seek Him earnestly in His
Word so that your souls are fed with the abounding supply of
His own divine power and spiritual nutrition.
3. Let your Shepherd
deal with danger:
knocks on your door, so to speak, look through the "peep
hole", turn around, and tell Jesus, "Lord it is for You".
When you resist Satan by drawing near to Christ "the devil
will flee from you, James 4:7-8. Let your Shepherd
deal with the powers of darkness which seek to harm. Let His
Spirit destroy the power of sin as it tries to sow
corruption into your heart, Rom 8:13, Gal 6:8. "God
is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble",
Let your Shepherd deal with any
lurking dangers. He promises to protect you. He is the good
Shepherd who "lays down his life for the sheep", John
10:11, 14. We who are saved have "returned to the
Shepherd and Guardian" of our "souls", 1 Peter 2:25.