By Don Fortner
With these two simple words our Lord distinguishes his people from all the rest of mankind. Let men deny it as they will, and let them denounce me for preaching it if that gives them pleasure, but the God of the Bible does distinguish between men. He chooses some and passes by others. He redeems some and leaves others under the curse of the law. He calls some and rejects others. He saves some and damns others. Grace is God’s prerogative. He has mercy on whom he will have mercy.
Our Lord makes this very plain. He said to the unbelieving Jews, who refused to believe him, ‘Ye are not of my sheep.’ And he told them plainly that God had not given them the gift of faith, because they were not numbered among his sheep. ‘Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep.’ The gift of faith, like all other gifts of grace, is reserved for the Lord’s sheep, God’s chosen, covenant people (Eph. 1:3-6).
‘If you are a believer, one of that great multitude to whom God has given faith in Christ, it is because you are one of his sheep, elect and precious to the Lord. God our Savior says of you, you are my sheep’. Truly, his grace is ‘amazing grace’. In everlasting love, by sovereign, deliberate choice, the Son of God has distinguished you from all other people and made you to be his sheep, his own peculiar possession!
The Lord Jesus Christ has special grace reserved for his sheep. He does many things for his sheep, which he does not do for other men. He agreed in the covenant of grace to save his sheep John 10: 16). He laid down his life in the place of his sheep (John 10: 11, 15). Our Lord prays for his sheep (John 17:9-11, 15, 20). The Son of God calls his sheep to himself (John 10:3). The Good Shepherd knows his sheep, gives eternal life to his sheep, protects his sheep, provides for his sheep, preserves his sheep and holds his sheep in his almighty hand John 10:27-30). What a privilege it is for a believing sinner to look upon the incarnate God and say, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd,’ and to hear him say, ‘My sheep’!