Consider God the Son in His mediatorial character. The elect were committed unto Him as a trust by the Father: said He Thine they were and Thou gayest them Me" (John 17:6). In the covenant of redemption Christ offered to act as their Surety and to serve as their Shepherd. This involved the most stupendous task which the history of the universe records: the Son’s becoming incarnate, magnifying the Divine Law by rendering to it perfect obedience, pouring out His soul unto death as a sacrifice to Divine justice, overcoming death and the grave, and ultimately presenting ‘faultless" before God (Jude 24) the whole of His redeemed. As the good Shepherd He died for His sheep, and as the great Shepherd it is His office to preserve them from this present evil world. If He failed in this task, if any of His sheep were lost, where would be His faithfulness to His engagement? where would be the efficacy of His atonement? how could He triumphantly exclaim at the end "Behold land the children which God hath given Me" (Heb. 2:13)?
The person of the Holy Spirit is equally concerned in this vital matter. It is not sufficiently realized by the saints that they are as definitely indebted to the third Person of the Godhead as truly as they are to the first and second Persons. The Father ordained their salvation, the Son in His mediatorial character purchased it, and the Spirit "applies" and effectuates it. It is the blessed Spirit’s work to make good the Father’s purpose and the Son’s atonement: "He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5). Said Christ to His disciples "I will not leave you orphans (though I leave this world): I will come to you" (John 14:18). That promise given on the eve of His death was made good in the gift of the Spirit "But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, the same shall teach you all things" (John 14:26). Christ’s redeemed were thus entrusted to the love and care of the Spirit, and should any of them be lost where would be the Spirit’s sufficiency? where His power? where His faithfulness?
This, then, is no trivial doctrine we are now concerned with, for the most momentous considerations are inseparably connected with it. We are satisfied it is because of their failure to realize this that so many professing Christians perceive not the seriousness of their assenting to the opposing dogma of the total apostasy of saints. If they understood more clearly what was involved in affirming that some who were truly born again fell from grace, continued in a course of sin, died impenitent and were eternally lost, they would be slower to set their seal unto that which carried such horrible implications. Nor may we regard it as a matter of indifference where such grave consequences are concerned. For any of the elect to perish would necessarily entail a defeated Father, who was balked of the realization of His purpose: a disappointed Son, who would never see the full travail of His soul and be satisfied; and a disgraced Spirit, who had failed to preserve those entrusted to His care. From such awful errors may we be delivered