For This Purpose

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:7-10 ESV

Who are the sheep? They are all who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of their lives. They are those who listen to him, not just with their ears, but with their hearts, who heed his words, and who follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways; who walk with Him according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Jn. 10:27; Jn. 14:23-24; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Eph. 4:17-24).

Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the only door (way) to salvation from sin and to eternal life with God. Anyone else promising a way to God the Father and to heaven apart from Jesus Christ, and apart from the way that Jesus provided, is a thief and a robber, because they steal the truth from people’s hearts and they feed their minds with lies they make up. And, Jesus’ true sheep (followers) will not listen to them. They will not follow them.

But, we aren’t saved from our sins just so we can escape hell and just so we can go to heaven when we die. When we believe in Jesus Christ, we enter into relationship with him, similar in nature as to a marriage relationship, with us, his church, as his bride, and with him as our husband. And, now he is our Lord (master). And, we have spiritual intimacy with him.

For, eternal life with God doesn’t just begin when we die or when Jesus comes back for us, his bride. Eternal life with God begins the moment we trust in him to be our Lord and Savior, by turning away from our lifestyles of sin to follow Him in surrender to his will and in obedience to his commands. And, now He is ours, and we are his, and we have sweet fellowship together.

We left our old lives behind us to follow Him, and now He has given us new lives in him, created to be like Him in true righteousness and holiness. So, daily we listen to him speak his words to our hearts. Daily we die to sin and self, we resist Satan, we flee temptation, and we put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. And, we walk in obedience to his Word, and we grow stronger in our faith in him.

For, belief in Jesus is not just a religion, or some religious creed or practice. It is a lifestyle. He is the air that we breathe. He is our purpose for living. He is the one who gives us guidance and direction, who comforts us in sorrow, who encourages us when we are down. He creates miracles of his grace in our lives, and he walks with us through the storms and the valleys of life, too. And, he is not only our Lord, but he is our best friend!

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. John 10:11-13 ESV

The reason all of this is possible is because Jesus, God the Son, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, was born as a baby with God as his Father and with a woman as his mother. So, when he walked on this earth he was fully God yet fully man, yet without sin. And, his purpose in coming to the earth was to die on a cross, to put our sins to death, and to provide the way for us to die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).

He gave his life up for us on that cross, though, not just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. But, he died to deliver us out of our slavery to sin and to empower us to live righteously, and to live godly and holy lives pleasing to him. He died for our freedom from bondage to sin, not just so we could be free from the punishment of sin. Hallelujah! And, I am so thankful! (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:17-24; Lu. 9:23-25)

Jesus cares about us. He is concerned when we sin against him, and when we wander off from the right way. He hurts when we hurt. He sympathizes with our weaknesses. And, that is why he has given us the books of the New Testament, to encourage us, to give us his instructions, to help us to walk holy before him, and to warn us, too, against going astray. And, that is why he has called his servants to care about one another, too.

But, there are many shepherds of the sheep today who are supposed to be leading Jesus’ sheep in the way of holiness and righteousness, and who are supposed to be instructing them in The Way, which is for their protection. But, they are abandoning the sheep spiritually. And, that is because they don’t really care about the Lord’s sheep. They care only for themselves.

And, so they lead the sheep astray, and they teach them that they can have salvation from sin and eternal life with God, but that it doesn’t have to alter their lifestyles. They tell them they don’t have to repent or obey God. And, so they leave them still trapped in slavery to sin while promising them heaven, which is a lie. And, yet people are flocking to these liars and thieves by the thousands or millions, because they say what makes them feel good.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15 ESV

But, Jesus knows who are his and who are not. He knows those who have truly made him Lord of their lives, and who haven’t, but who give lip service only. He knows who is just looking for a free ride to heaven but who will never bow the knee to him, and those who have truly chosen to surrender their lives to him. He knows the difference. And, one day we are all going to stand before him, and many who give lip service only are going to hear, “I never knew you. Depart from me.” And, that is a sad reality.

The bottom line is that to know God, to know Jesus, is to love God, and to love God is to obey his commandments, in practice, empowered by the Spirit of God. To know God is to walk in accord with his Spirit, and to no longer be living to please our sinful flesh. For, God’s grace to us is not liberty to keep making sin our practice, but his grace instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for his return (Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).

To know God is to surrender our lives to him, which are to be lived wholly for him and for his purposes and for his praise and glory. And, there is no greater love, no greater joy, and no greater satisfaction or peace than there is in knowing that you are in the center of God’s will doing exactly what He has called you to do, too. For, to this purpose he created us.

Your Grace Divine

An Original Work / November 6, 2011

All I have is Yours, Lord.
You gave all to me,
When You died at Calv’ry
On that cruel tree.
Crucified for my sins;
You paid what I owe,
So I’d be forgiven;
My God come to know.
All I have is Yours, Lord.
You gave all to me,
When You died at Calv’ry
On that cruel tree.

Lord, I am so thankful
For Your grace divine.
I invited You, Lord,
In this heart of mine.
I have been forgiven
For all of my sins,
So I’d live with Jesus;
His grace flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful
For Your grace divine.
I invited You, Lord,
In this heart of mine.

Growing in Your grace, Lord;
Live for You each day;
How I love to worship
You throughout my day.
Sitting at Your feet, Lord,
List’ning to You speak,
Leads me to love You, Lord,
More throughout the week.
Growing in Your grace, Lord;
Live for You each day;
How I love to worship
You throughout my day.

5 thoughts on “For This Purpose

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