Make no mistake, scripture answers this question without ambiguity, so that if any deny this truth, they must deny scripture. “For the transgression of my people was He stricken” (Isa. 53:8; Matt. 1:21; Rom. 11:26-27). “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him” (John 17:1-2). Who are those called “my people”? They are those the Father gave to Christ (John 10:29). But who were given to Christ? Those the Father chose in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him in love (Eph. 1:4; 5:25; 2 Thess. 2:13-14). The Father commanded His Son to lay down His life “for the sheep” (John 10:11, 15, 17). They were called His sheep before He died for them and before He called them (John 10:27). He knew them before He called them (John 10:27). Those for whom Christ died are the same as those that He must bring (John 10:15-16). He calls them. They hear His voice; they follow Him (John 10:26-27). To all of these, and to these alone, Christ gives eternal life (John 10:28). These are those who never perish (John 10:28). No man can take any of these out of His hand (John 10:28). All those that belong to Christ were given to Him by His Father (John 10:29). The Father gave all of His people to His Son, so that all who belong to the Father by eternal election were given to the Son. Furthermore, the Son has none but those given to Him by His Father (John 17:10; Eph. 1:4). The Father has no people but those He gave to His Son, nor does the Son have one sheep whom the Father did not eternally adopt and give to Him as their Surety (Heb. 7:22; 1 Pet. 1:20; Heb. 13:20). There are many people in this world who were not made sheep by God’s eternal choice, many who were not adopted (“to chose”) as sons by the Father, and who were not given to Christ. The Father did not command our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to lay down His life for them, to call them, to give them eternal life, to save, to keep and to never let perish those who were not His sheep (John 10:26). Those not chosen by God, not redeemed by Christ, were left to answer God in their own person (Matt. 25:34, 41-46). All who were not given by the Father to Christ, for whom Christ did not die, do not believe Him (John 10:26). Having been left to themselves, they remain in their willful unbelief (Rom. 11:32). But those that belong to Christ believe Him because they were ordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48). If Christ’s chosen sheep do not yet believe Him, they will when they hear His voice (John 10:16, 27; Ps. 110:3). None can take from Christ one sheep that belongs to Him (John 10:28; Rom. 8:35-39). The Father and the Son are one. All who belong to the Father and the Son are kept by the power of our sovereign, saving God (John 10:29-30; 1 Pet. 1:5). Sheep have always been sheep; goats will always be goats. Goats do not become sheep, nor do sheep become goats. But God reveals those who are His sheep when they hear the Shepherd’s voice (John 10:27; Gal. 1:15).
John 6, John 10 and John 17 give an undeniable answer to the question, “For whom did Christ die?” He died for His people (Matt. 1:21). He did not die for all people in the world. On this scripture is clear throughout. To deny this is to not only deny scripture, but to deny the deity of Christ. If "Jehovah is salvation," the meaning of His name, JESUS, then if He does not save those for whom He is made salvation, He is not Jehovah God (Ps. 27:1; Isa. 12:2; Ps. 35:3; Matt. 1:21). If Jesus Christ is eternal, almighty God the Son (Isa. 9:6; Rev. 1:8, 11, 18; Matt. 1:23; John 20:28), and if He died for His sheep, then all for whom He died were saved by His death and can never be condemned (Heb. 1:3; 10:14-18; Rom. 8:34). God has eternally been the refuge and defense and salvation for His elect (Rom. 8:31; Heb. 8:10). He is for them now, and will be for them to everlasting. Therefore, none can separate them from Him. None can lay one charge to any of them (Num. 23:21; Jer. 50:20; Rom. 8:31, 33). Furthermore, if God did not spare His Son from His just wrath on account of the sins of His elect people that were laid upon Him, but “delivered Him up [to judgment] for us all”, and if He shall give “us” all things with Him, then there is an inseparable link between those chosen by God the Father from eternity, those for whom Christ was delivered up to judicial death, those given everlasting righteousness in Him (Rom. 5:17; 1 Cor. 1:30; Isa. 45:24-25), those who are called the sons of God (Gal. 4:4-6; 1 John 3:1-2), who are given the Spirit of His Son in their hearts (John 3:8-15; Rom. 8:9-11, 14-16; Gal. 3:8, 13-14; 4:4-6), given faith (2 Pet. 1:1; Acts 13:48), given eternal life (Rom. 6:23; John 10:28), who are given no less than all things with Christ (Rom. 8:32)! God gave all things by covenant promise to the elect in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 13:20; Matt. 25:34). Our Lord Jesus Christ met every condition for all covenant blessings to flow to His people when He gave Himself in life and death, when He shed His own precious blood (Mat. 26:28; Heb. 13:20).
We hold fast to these truths concerning our great God and Savior with the utmost love and thanksgiving. All who are saved are saved because God did it, from first to last. They were chosen by God the Father, redeemed by Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, given life by the Spirit of God, are kept by the power of God and will be presented faultless in the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (John 6:63; Eph. 2:4; 1 Pet. 1:5; Jude 24). And all who are not saved were not chosen, were not redeemed, do not have the Spirit of God, and willfully continue in their unbelief (Rom. 8:9; 2 Thess. 1:8; 2:10-12; 13-14).
Nothing assures me of my salvation but God-given faith in God’s word that tells me Christ accomplished and obtained eternal salvation for every sinner for whom He died (Heb. 9:12; 10:10-14; Isa. 45:17). My only assurance is that Christ died, rose, reigns and intercedes for His own (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 10:19-23). My assurance is that Christ was, now is, and forever shall be my Answer to God the Judge of all (1 John 2:1; Gen. 43:8-9; 44:18-34; Phm. 1:12, 17-18)! Therefore, if you deny me this truth, that Christ died only for His people and actually saved them; if you deny that in so doing, He cleansed them from all their sins, clothed them in His righteousness and eternally redeemed them from all sin and death to eternal life (Lev. 16:30; Rom. 5:21; Heb. 1:3; 9:12; 10:10, 14, 17-18), then you take away all my hope. You take from me the God I love and the Savior I worship (John 4:22-24). I make no apology. Such a denial constitutes an assault and persecution. It is the lie of this religious world. It came from the devil. My only defense is Christ who shed His blood for sinners in victorious triumph over all my enemies to the glory of God (Col. 2:14-15; Rev. 12:11; Eph. 6:10-18; Luke 1:68-75). “I need no other argument, I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me!”
I believe Christ. Why? According to scripture, it is because I was ordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48). Why do I believe the Son of God as all my salvation (Isa. 12:2), who came in the flesh, was crucified, has risen, is now reigning and interceding? According to scripture, it is because I have been born of the Spirit of God (John 3:14-15). Why is Christ precious to me? According to scripture, it is because I have been given precious faith (1 Pet. 1:7; 2:4)? It is because, according to scripture, Christ died for me (Gal. 3:13-14; 4:4-6; Acts 3:16; 26:17-18)! I am a great sinner. (Even you can see that.) My great sin gives me confidence that God will be greatly glorified if He saves me (Ps. 25:11; Isa. 43:25). Christ came to save sinners for His name’s sake, and He actually accomplished what He came to do (1 Tim. 1:15; Ps. 79:9; 65:3; Heb. 1:3; 10:12). My confidence is that Christ shed His blood for sinners. I have nothing to claim in coming to God but His word that tells sinners to look to Him (Isa. 45:22; 55:1-3; John 1:29; 3:14-15), to come to God by Him (John 14:6; Heb. 10:19). God’s grace alone has given His sheep these words and has given them His Spirit to convince them that in themselves they are nothing at all (John 16:8-11; Rom. 3:10-12), but that Jesus Christ is their all in all (Col. 2:9-10; 3:11). Thank God! Oh, thank God!! We have an almighty, gracious Savior who finished the will of God and obtained the eternal salvation of all of His people! “Turn your eyes upon Jesus” (John 1:29; Heb. 12:2; Isa. 45:22)! Let every dissenting voice be silenced in submission to our great conquering King!