And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish. — John 10:28
The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For a child of God to mistrust God’s love, His truth, His faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him—by doubting His upholding grace? Christian! it is contrary to every promise of God’s precious Word that you should ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget—yet will I never forget you.” What were the value of that promise, “The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, says the Lord who has mercy on you.” Where were the truth of Christ’s words, “I give unto My sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, who gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved—if one child of God would perish. Where were the veracity of God, His honor, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath—if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away?
Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonor God. Arise, shake yourself from the dust, and put on your beautiful garments.
Remember that it is sinful to doubt His Word wherein He has promised you that you shall never perish. Let the eternal life within you express itself in confident rejoicing.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? — Ps 27:1
Here is personal interest—“my light,” “my salvation”; the soul is assured of it, and therefore declares it boldly. Into the soul at the new birth divine light is poured as the precursor of salvation; where there is not enough light to reveal our own darkness and to make us long for the Lord Jesus, there is no evidence of salvation. After conversion our God is our joy, comfort, guide, teacher, and in every sense our light—He is light within, light around, light reflected from us, and light to be revealed to us.
Note, it is not said merely that the Lord gives light but that He is light; nor that He gives salvation but that He is salvation. He, then, who by faith has laid hold upon God, has all covenant blessings in his possession. This being made sure as a fact, the argument drawn from it is put in the form of a question, “Whom shall I fear?” A question which is its own answer. The powers of darkness are not to be feared, for the Lord, our light, destroys them; and the damnation of hell is not to be dreaded by us, for the Lord is our salvation.
This is a very different challenge from that of boastful Goliath, for it rests, not upon the conceited vigor of an arm of flesh but upon the real power of the omnipotent I AM.
“The Lord is the strength of my life.” Here is a third glowing epithet, to show that the writer’s hope was fastened with a threefold cord which could not be broken. We may well accumulate words of praise where the Lord lavishes deeds of grace. Our life derives all its strength from God; and if He deigns to make us strong, we cannot be weakened by all the machinations of the adversary.
“Of whom shall I be afraid?” The bold question looks into the future as well as the present. “If God is for us,” who can be against us, either now or in time to come?