The Shepherd of The Sheep

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.”

Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Jesus Christ is the door to the sheepfold, to the kingdom of heaven where all who believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith dwell. Jesus Christ is also the shepherd of the sheep. And God the Father is the gatekeeper, for he controls, and he limits who has access into the kingdom of heaven. For, we can’t even come to faith in Jesus unless God the Father draws us to him.

Since Jesus is the door, and since he is the only way into God’s eternal kingdom, those who climb in by another way are truly not part of the sheepfold. They are thieves and robbers. They are those who disguise themselves as true sheep but who truly are not. They give the outward appearance of being part of God’s kingdom, but it is all a lie.

Jesus Christ is our shepherd. He is the one who leads us and guides us in the way that we should go. He leads us to what is truth, and to what is righteous and holy. And he leads us away from all that is evil and sinful. He shows us the way of righteousness and he warns us against walking in the path of wickedness. But we must listen to him and follow (obey) him.

He said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die with Christ to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For, he said if we save our own lives (if we hold on to living for sin and for self) we will lose our lives for eternity. But if we lose our lives for his sake (if we die with him to sin and to self) we will have life in him (Lu 9:23-26).

And that, in a nutshell, is the gospel of our salvation. For Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And he died that we might be delivered from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so we might now be slaves of God and of his righteousness (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; Rom 6:1-23; 1 Co 6:19-20).

Jesus Christ did not die on that cross just to forgive us our sins, just to deliver us from the punishment of sin, and just to promise us eternal life with God. He died to free us from our slavery to sin so we would no longer walk in sin, so sin would no longer have power and control over our lives. He freed us so we would now walk in his holiness and righteousness according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).

And if that is not the gospel message that you received, then you have not believed in the true gospel of salvation, but you have accepted a lie, instead. And if you are convinced that how you live your life on this earth doesn’t matter for your eternity, then you are also believing a lie. For we are all going to be judged by our deeds. If we are living to please God, we have eternal life, but if we are living to please self, we will die in our sins.

[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]

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.”

If we truly know Jesus Christ we are not going to be following after those who only portend to be his followers but who are not. The Holy Spirit within us will sensitize us to who is of God and to who is not, if we are listening, and if we are willing to heed his voice. We will know that something isn’t right and we will be lead to search the Scriptures for the truth.

For there are many of these wolves in sheep’s clothing within the gatherings of the church today, at least here in America. There are many liars and deceivers preaching to the gatherings of what is called church each week. And so many of them are teaching humanistic philosophy and a half-truth altered gospel message which appeases human flesh instead of teaching putting sin to death with Jesus on that cross.

They are preaching “feel-good” messages intended to tickle itching ears and to appeal to human flesh. And they are telling people that they can believe in Jesus, have their sins forgiven, and have heaven guaranteed them when they die, but most are not teaching that they must repent of their sins, and submit to Christ as Lord, and walk in obedience to his commands to have life eternal with God and salvation from sin.

And so they are leaving their adherents still in slavery to sin, still living for the flesh, still floundering, and wandering aimlessly, still following the ways of this sinful world, and still committing sin deliberately and habitually and even premeditatedly, and then making excuses for why they are still addicted to sin and then lying to cover up their sins. Their adherents go through the motions of religious practice, but they don’t really know God.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13]

John 10:7-10 ESV

“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.’”

Don’t listen to the liars. Test everything you hear against the Scriptures. Study the Scriptures in their context. Read Matthew through Revelation word for word and then read it again and again. Each time take notes on what it says. Compare Scripture with Scripture. Utilize bible study tools but with discernment. Don’t let them replace the Holy Spirit. And let the Holy Spirit reveal truth to your heart.

Follow the way of salvation as defined by the Scriptures in their context. Don’t pull Scriptures out of their context to make them say what you want them to say. Let the Lord show you the whole big picture. For his way of salvation is via us dying with him to sin and us living to him and to his righteousness, by God’s grace, and in his power and strength.

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?

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