John 10:1-4 ESV
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
The True Sheep
The sheepfold would be the gathering of the sheep, and the sheep are followers of Jesus Christ. But not everyone who gathers with the sheep are true sheep. Not everyone who professes to be a true sheep is one. Many proclaim faith in Jesus Christ who are not the Lord’s true sheep.
There is only one way to be a true sheep of our shepherd Jesus Christ and that is by genuine God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ which submits to Christ as Lord, which leaves our sinful lifestyles behind us, and which then lives to Christ and to his righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit.
By faith in Jesus Christ, we die with Christ to sin and we are raised with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For, Jesus died for us that we might be delivered from our slavery (addition) to sin so that we might be slaves of his righteousness.
Entering by way of the door (Jesus Christ) is entering the sheepfold by way of the cross of Christ in dying with Christ to sin and in being resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, putting away our former lives of living to sin and the flesh and now choosing to walk according to God’s Spirit.
For, the Lord’s true sheep listen to (heed) him and his words, and we follow (obey) him in doing what he says, and in going where he sends us, and by saying what he commands us to say, too. We aren’t perfect, but we are no longer enslaved (addicted) to sin, for Jesus Christ set us free. Amen!
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 6:44; Jn 14:23-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15, 21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8]
The Thieves and Robbers
Jesus Christ is both the true shepherd of the sheep and he is the door (the way, the truth, and the life, through whom we must enter into God’s eternal kingdom). But to enter God’s kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ is not via the flesh of man, but only through the Spirit of God.
Yet, there are those who think they can enter into God’s eternal kingdom via man-made religion and a man-made gospel which is not the true way to God and to eternal life with God. But it is a half-truth (lie) gospel created in the minds of fleshly humans who are circumventing the true way of the cross.
Those who are promoting this half-truth gospel which circumvents the way of the cross of Christ are the thieves and robbers who have entered into the gatherings of the sheep by another way other than through Jesus Christ. And that “other way” is through deception.
Those who are gathering with the sheep under the guise of being true followers of Christ, who are leading the people to follow this false gospel, are those who are serving Satan and the flesh. They are self-indulgent liars and manipulators who know how to convince the people to follow them, too.
But they are against Christ and his gospel, and they are against God, not for him, for what they are teaching is contrary to the teachings of Christ and of his New Testament apostles. And they are contrary to God’s divine character and his intrinsic nature.
For many of them are teaching that we are NOT to submit to Christ, we are NOT to follow him in obedience, and we are NOT to leave our lives of sin behind us (to repent). For, they call that “lordship salvation” or “works-based” salvation.
So, basically they are encouraging those who claim to believe in Jesus Christ that they can continue living in sin without guilt and without punishment. So, they are promoting sinful lifestyles of adultery, murder, thievery, cheating, lying, slander, idolatry, and the like.
But it isn’t just that. They are attacking the truth of the gospel and its messengers and they are accusing us of being hateful, of lying, of teaching what is false, of being hyper-religious, and of being self-righteous, too. So, they are saying that the true gospel is a lie and that the lie is the truth.
And this is where we are right now in the vast majority of today’s church, at least here in America, which has united with the government in an unholy union, and which has turned God’s house into a marketplace, and which is adulterating the gospel to make it more appealing to human flesh.
John 10:5-6 ESV
“’A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.’ This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.”
So, the encouragement here is that if we are the Lord’s true sheep we should not follow these false shepherds of the people. We should not buy into their lies. For we have the Holy Spirit living within us showing us what is truth and what is a lie, so we should discern what is false and reject it.
But there are many people professing faith in Jesus Christ who do not get this. They don’t understand that what they are listening to and what they are buying into are lies, and they are not the truth. So, if we want to be true followers of Jesus Christ we need to know the truth, and we know it by studying the Scriptures in context and by heeding what they teach us.
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.