Peter Misselbrook's Blog
May 19 2013 - John 10:22-42 – I and the Father are one

Jesus often spoke of his unity with the Father – a unity of mind, purpose and action. But none of these sayings is more precious than this: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand" (John 10:27-29). The Father and the Son (and, we might add, the Spirit), are united in saving purpose. The Father so loved the world that he sent his Son to save us. The Son so loved us that he came and gave himself for us. Both Father and Son are intent upon seeking and saving that which was lost, and upon ensuring that those sought and saved are never lost again. No wonder Paul can say:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)

There are many uncertainties in life, but here is a certainty in life and in death; it is sealed by the promise of the Father, the blood of the Son and the power of the Spirit. This truth was wonderfully expressed in an old hymn by Augustus Toplady:

The work which his goodness began, the arm of his strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen, and never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now, nor all things below or above,
Can make him His purpose forgo, or sever my soul from his love.

My name from the palms of his hands eternity will not erase;
Impressed on his heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is giv’n;
More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in heav’n.

Those who have come to trust in Christ and follow him are safe in his keeping. They are held fast in the mighty hands of the Father and of the Son and kept safe by the power of the Spirit.

Father God, I praise you for the assurance given by your Spirit that I am your child and will never be disowned. Help me by that same Spirit to live as your child, reflecting the character and purpose made visible in Christ, my elder brother. Let me never make confidence the grounds for carelessness or security an excuse for sin.

Peter Misselbrook