God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. Much more certain, He commanded the salvation of His elect. When God our Father chose His people in Christ, He chose them to salvation (2 Thess. 2:13-14). He ordained them to eternal life (Acts 13:48). In the counsel of His own will, He determined to save them. He commanded His will be done. I love to think about the absolute certainty of the will of God. I love to think how by His sovereign authority He commands all of His will to be done and then does all of His will by His Son and by His Spirit. “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isa. 46:11).
This is what our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said was the reason why He came into the world and took our nature into union with Himself:
“5 When he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God” (Heb. 10:5-7).
From eternity, God’s eternal will was in the heart of His Son, our Savior. He is the Son of God. All that is in His Father’s heart is in His heart. He is one with His Father: one in nature, one in will, one in work, one in glory. It is to the Father and the Son that God’s one elect people belong (John 17:10). The Father does nothing but what He does by His Son.
“The Father loveth the Son and hath committed all things into His hand” (John 3:35). “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth” (John 5:19-20).
For making this true claim, the Jews sought to kill Jesus (John 5:17). The Father entrusted to His Son all of His will, all of His people and all of His glory. Jesus said,
“15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father...24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one” (John 10:15).
Christ’s meat and drink was to do His Father’s will (John 4:34). His Father gave Him a work to finish (5:36). He came down from heaven to do that work (John 6:38). That work was to save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21), to raise them up on the last day to eternal glory with Himself (John 6:37, 39-40; 2 Tim. 2:10). His Father commanded Him to lay down His life for His "sheep." That was His work. Salvation of His sheep were the scope of His work. That was His Father’s command. That is the work He finished. That was His success. As a corn of wheat, He could not bring forth this fruit to His Father except He first die (John 12:23-33). But His Father lifted Him up on the cross of cursing. And to our Savior on that cross He draws all of His people to see Him who accomplished His Father’s will and finished His Father’s command to save His people from their sins by His own substitutionary death. He finished the work His Father gave Him to do (John 17:4). He finished all that was written of Him in the volume of the book, all of His Father’s work (John 19:28-30; Heb. 10:7). He forever sanctified and He forever perfected His people by His one offering of Himself in sacrifice of satisfaction to His Father for their sins (Heb. 10:5-14; Isa. 53). And then He sat down on the right hand of God (Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12). This was His Father’s command. He completed that work. Nothing need be or can be added to it. O my soul! Rest here in Christ!!
God our Father has given commandment to save His people. All who believe Christ were called by His Spirit to this salvation by grace (Gal. 1:6; Eph. 2:4-10). They find the greatest comfort in His command: “Thou hast given commandment to save me” (Psalm 71:3)!
Psalm 71 is a sweet song of an old saint who trusted His God and Savior from his youth (v5) until the time of his old age (vv. 9, 17-18). This dear saint reflects on the salvation, the righteousness and the faithfulness of His God and Savior whom he gladly owns as his only trust and hope (v5). He makes supplication to Him to remember His everlasting goodness and His commandment to save him (v3). All who look to Christ also find sweetness in this Psalm. If we are Christ’s, we have been His from eternity, separated to the glory of the grace of our God and Father from our mother’s womb, even before the foundation of the world was laid (Gal. 1:15; Rom. 9:23).
“1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. 2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. 3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress” (Psalm 71:1-3).
“15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. 16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. 17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. 18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come” (Psalm 71:15-18).
To our God and Savior be all praise forever and ever. Amen.