by Allan Knapp
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Christ protects in many ways. Here are five of them.
Christ’s common grace guards all living things on the earth because the natural laws He created are set up to support and feed his creatures, to give life and breath. The sinfulness of men deserves God’s wrath, but apocalyptic visions of the earth’s atmosphere getting sucked away or an asteroid destroying the planet are not going to happen because God is protecting it and us. At least until the Day of Judgement, when all bets are off except that God’s people will be with Him.
For God’s people, the sanctification process is one of Christ’s protection mechanisms. Once a person recognizes the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as Lord of his life, the logic and goodness of God’s commandments are abundantly clear. We can say with the Psalmist,
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. (Psalm 19:7-9)
We know many ways our lives are better and we are saved from foolish and stupid steps because we obey the commandments ordered by Him who created the universe; we often see otherwise in the lives of those who have not yet been saved.
Christ protects our prayers in at least two ways. First, Romans 8:26,27 and 34 tell us He and the Holy Spirit are interceding, making our prayers better by being in line with the will of God. Second, there is a lot to worry about if we only stare at the Truth and Hope Initiative prayers: election results, broad cultural discord, racial tension, COVID threats to health and liberty, the persecuted church around the world, and any number of personal problems. But when we let our requests be known to God, the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
Christ will not lose any of his sheep. The souls of believers are guarded and will be with God in the new heaven and new earth. This is the Perseverance of the Saints part of the Doctrines of Grace and is echoed in the great phrase of Heidelberg Question Answer #1: “Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life.”
Christ protects us by keeping His promises. He has proven Himself to be unchanging in His character, including being always powerful and good, merciful and just. We do not know what the future holds in this life but we do know we will continue to be sinners, and Jesus will be with us. It is indeed a great comfort to know that Christ keeps ALL his promise, including that he will protect us.