John 10:1-4 NIV
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
By Another Way
There are many people today who are climbing in by “another way” other than through Jesus Christ and by way of the cross in death with Christ to sin, being buried with him in death to sin, and in being raised with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; Eph 4:17-24).
They are not going through the gate, which is Jesus Christ, which is narrow (restricted), and which few enter, but they are entering into the gatherings of the sheep by the broad road, which many follow, and which leads to destruction (decay, death). So, they are thieves and robbers because they aren’t true sheep, but they are just disguising themselves as true sheep.
They call themselves the church, but they are a false (apostate) church, for they are defectors and traitors to the true faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as they are making up their own gospel, which is a gospel of men, which appeals to and which pacifies human flesh instead of putting it to death.
Their gospel only resembles the true gospel in the part where it describes what Jesus did by dying on a cross for our sins, but they even leave out the part that says he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness and that he died to deliver us out of our slavery (addiction) to sin so we would now be slaves of his righteousness.
They dilute the gospel to make it more appealing to human flesh and to give those who believe it the false hope of salvation from sin and of eternal life with God based on a lie, not on the truth. For their gospel delivers no one from slavery to sin, thus no one dies with Christ to sin, so they aren’t raised with Christ to newness of life in him, either.
The Shepherd of the Sheep
Jesus Christ is both the door (the gate, the way) into eternal life with God and he is the Good Shepherd who lay his life down for the sheep. God the Father is the gatekeeper who opened the gate (the way) for him by sending him to the earth to take on human form and to have him be our sacrificial Lamb to die on a cross to take away the sins of the world.
God the Father had to open that door for us to be saved or we can’t be saved from our sins. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws us to (persuades us to believe in) Jesus Christ (Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-9). He persuades us as to our sinfulness and of our need to repent of our sins and to turn to the Lord to follow him with our lives.
And that is why when the Father opens that door for us, and thus our faith comes from him, we listen to the Shepherd (Jesus) and we follow (obey) him, because the Father has put that within our hearts to desire Jesus and to want to leave our lives of sin behind us to follow him in obedience. We know his voice because the Father has given us the ability to know him.
Thus, when we believe in Jesus with this God-given and God-inspired faith, we die with Christ to sin, we are reborn of the Spirit of God, and now our desire is for the Lord to want to obey him and to follow him wherever he leads us. Our lives have been transformed of the Spirit of God, so we don’t want to live in sin any longer, but we want to live our lives for the Lord.
John 10:5, 7-10 NIV
“But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” “Therefore Jesus said again, ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’”
As Jesus’ true sheep, we will not only want to listen to him and to follow him in obedience, but we will resist any teachers or teaching which is contrary to what Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught us. And we will want to expose the lies and to proclaim the truth so that others will not fall for the lies but so their eyes will be opened and they will be saved.
And we will do this even though it costs us friends, family members, and relationships with other “Christians,” etc. We will do this even though people might think us odd, hyper-religious, crazy, judgmental, legalistic and/or self-righteous because we follow our Lord in obedience to his will for our lives. For, the closer we walk with the Lord the more we will be rejected.
If what we are teaching is the whole counsel of God, we are not going to be popular among even those who call themselves Christians. And many will be offended by our words because the message of the cross is an offense to those who are dying in their sins. They won’t want to hear that they must forsake their sins and walk in obedience to the Lord.
But we teach the true gospel message because only through faith in Christ, in the truth, will people be delivered from their slavery to sin, live holy lives, pleasing to God, and have the assurance of salvation from sin and eternal life with God. For lies only lead people to death, not to life (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; Tit 2:11-14; Gal 5:16-21).
Lord, Move Me
An Original Work / October 16, 2011
Be my desire, my heart set on fire,
Lord, move me to worship You only, I pray.
Fill with Your Spirit, my heart overflow.
Lord, may I long for You; Your word to know.
Teach me to walk with You, Lord, in Your power,
And may I serve You, Lord, right now in this hour.
Lord, how I want to obey You forever.
Help me to hear You, Lord, so I will not stray.
Teach me to love You; adore You always.
Envelope me, Lord, with Your grace today.
Meet me in my need, and show me Your mercy.
Forgive me for all things, as I humbly pray.
Counsel me, lead me, direct me, and guide me,
So I follow You, Lord, where’er You lead now.
I love to hear You speak Your words to me.
I am so grateful that You set me free.
Wash me, and cleanse me, and make me like You, Lord,
And I will live with You for eternity.