25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
Good afternoon and a Happy New year to you all. Our Lord Jesus has been faithful in His words since creation. 2019 was a very fruitful and blessed year. Throughout the year we had gone through some good and peaceful times, and yes…we all faced some challenges, some struggles and yet, our Lord was there each and every step.
As we start this new year, it is good to be reminded of who we are and who our God is. For this year to be as fruitful as the last, we need to remember who Jesus is in our lives. He is our Creator. Lord and Savior. Our Great Provider. He is our Good Shepherd.
The Bible is like a gold mine, and the deeper you dig the, more rich gems you find. This shepherd chapter is like a crown jewel, and it is difficult to look away. You see…for you and I, we need to keep Jesus high and lifted up. We cannot look at Him as we do each other. To keep us from being conceited, remember where we came from. Back to creation…Adam and Eve.
From Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”. From dust, soil, dirt. A non-living thing until God gave it life. How about Eve? Gen 2:20-22…God said, “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. Woman/Eve was created through Adams rib. Dirt and rib. That is where we came from. They live because God gave them life.
You and I, we are no different from Adam and Eve. Because sin entered the world, we were dead. We may walk, talk do normal things humans do, but inside we were dead. But by Gods grace…we were given life. God has given us this new life…a life that belongs to Him.
From our opening text, we can see that Jesus called Himself the “Good Shepherd”. One who takes care of His own/ His sheep. How does a shepherd take care of his sheep? He would care for them, protect them, feed them…because they are precious to him.
Jesus is our “Good Shepherd”. We would not have made it this far if it wasn’t for Jesus, our Good Shepherd. You see, throughout the years…since God has breathe life into our lives and made us new. He never left. He has always been there. He has remained faithful in His words.
Our Good Shepherd, our True Shepherd, is the Faithful Shepherd! Eternal security, soul security. It's a clear and comforting doctrine. This is a major truth in God's Word, and it's always been amazing to me that some people debate it. Many debate it, because they want some part in it. Its all God.
If you are saved, then you are safe and secure! I guess it is debated by some because of how so many professing Christians seem to 'take advantage' of their soul security. I remind you that the Bible assures you that if that is your attitude, you've never been truly saved!
But remember, this chapter is all about the Shepherd and His abilities, not the sheep and anything of themselves. This doctrine of the Faithful Shepherd who secures us is all about His integrity and faithfulness, not ours.
In and of ourselves, we are insecure. Our security is provided by the Faithful Shepherd. He that saved us is the one who is faithful to keep us saved. Salvation: How did we get it? By grace, as a gift, and not of ourselves. How do we stay saved? The same way!
We are secure because:
We are in His possession. v. 27 First 2 words. "My sheep". It's possessive. v. 29 'given them to Me'. It's possessive.
Here's what everyone is saying these days. "We're all God's sheep...all God's children, even if wayward/lost". That is simply not the case. Not according to scripture. V26 “you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. He says to the unbelievers. Actually, the Bible divides us into 2 categories: sheep and goats.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Don't believe the false doctrine… which says, We're all going to heaven regardless of the differences in our beliefs.
How many here are one of God's sheep? If so, you are in His possession. And why so?
Because He/Jesus sought you.
Luke 15 is God's lost and found department. Lost silver, lost son, lost sheep. In the latter, a shepherd had 100 sheep, and lost one of them. In business, that would be just a 1% loss...very acceptable.
ill.--Wal-Mart's loss rate is 1.6%, based on shoplifting, employee theft, and other factors. Poor little company!
In God's economy, we're not talking about jewelry, DVDs, or flatscreens. We're not even talking about sheep! Sheep in the parable is a picture of people! No shrinkage is acceptable to the shepherd. Even if you were the only lost soul on earth, Jesus would have come down to seek and find you! And even a saved soul sometimes wanders astray, but the shepherd goes out and brings him back in, no exceptions. It's the mark of a true believer, they may wander for a while, but God will bring them back around… if they are truly His child, His sheep!
If you are a wandering sheep, know this: The Lord is more committed to you that you are to Him! He's more faithful to you than you are to Him. He loves you where you are but loves you too much to leave you there! He'll do what it takes to bring you home.
“27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Those whom the Lord has called will follow…His voice only. They will never follow a strangers voice. Because they were created to follow Him. They were created for Him, for His purpose.
Far worse than being physically lost is being spiritually lost. Think of that word "Lost". It's God's word for an unsaved person. What would it be like to be lost forever? Hell is real, and forever, and those who are there are lost to that place forever. But also lost from God, the Father, the faithful Shepherd. Separated from Him, from everyone, from any light, from all hope...all is lost!
10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
And also…let me remind you of how precious you are…
11 “I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep and am known by My own.
a. He sought you. b. He bought you.
vv. 11-13 A hireling is a hired hand...not a real shepherd. He doesn't care...he just wants a paycheck. He has no special relationship with the sheep like the shepherd does. The hireling doesn't risk his life [v. 13]
If you aren't saved, you don't have a shepherd, you have a hireling named Satan. He doesn't care about you and will dump you in an instant in the gutter. Don't think the devil is your fun friend and then treat God like your enemy who wants to spoil your fun...you've got it all backwards.
Jesus gave His life for you…voluntarily! V11 “The good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep”.
That is what Jesus did…He gave his life for His sheep. And also…
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes 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 command I have received from My Father.”
You see… Jesus laid down His life for our salvation. His life for ours. With the devil it’s the exact opposite, he will not lay down his life for anyone. It is your life that he will take.
When humans die, they raise their heads for one last gasp of air. When Jesus died, He bowed His head and surrendered His life away willingly, He predicted how He would die, when, and where, and why. Soldiers didn't keep Him on that cross, nor nails. It was love! And His soul didn't leave His body until He was ready to 'give up His spirit. “It is finished”
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “it is finished” and bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
That is what Jesus/The good Shepherd did for His sheep. Why do we get to go to heaven when we die in Christ? It's not because God overlooks our sin, but because He took our place, and gives us His place...trading spots with us!
2 But he who enters by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. 3 To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when He brings out His own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.
The security of the sheep is a reflection on the Shepherd. If He sought us, and bought us, and then lost us, it wouldn't look too good on Him. But what Jesus does, He does right! He had already promised the Father that every one of them would safely arrive. And He's not about to let the Father down! When something belongs to God, it belongs to Him forever!
Pastor Richard Santos
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