THE GOOD SHEPHERD (Part 2)

Pastor James J. Barker

Text: JOHN 10:27-33




INTRODUCTION:


  1. As you read your Bible, you notice that our Lord frequently spoke in parables because it is an effective method of teaching.
  2. I read that the explorer and naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews was giving a lecture on his explorations in Mongolia and referred on several occasions to the Gobi desert. An expert in the field was at the lecture and criticized him afterwards by pointing out that Gobi means "desert" and that "Gobi desert" is a redundant expression.
  3. Dr. Andrews said, "Well, you and I know that but few in my audience are fluent in Mongolian. Therefore I speak to them in a language they will understand."
  4. This is what our Lord is doing here in John 10. The Good Shepherd discourse is so simple that a small child can understand it and yet so profound that the greatest intellects can never fully grasp it.
  5. Last week I preached a message from this text and felt like I was barely scratching the service. Therefore, I will continue today preaching on the Good Shepherd Discourse.

 

I. THE GOOD SHEPHERD GAVE HIS LIFE FOR THE SHEEP (10:11,15).

    1. The heart of the Gospel is the substitutionary death of Christ. It is the death of Christ that links together all Christian doctrines.
    2. Both of the church ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, show forth the death of Christ.
    3. Study the book of Acts – the central message that is sounded out over and over is the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 2:23; 3:14,15; 4:10-12; etc.).
    4. Read carefully the epistles of Paul, James, Peter, and John – it is the Lord’s death and resurrection that they emphasize – nothing is said of His life. When Paul speaks of being "saved by His life," he is referring to His resurrection life (Rom.5:10).
    5. Our Lord not only laid down His life for us, but He also took it back again (John 10:15,17,18).
    6. Spurgeon said: "The doctrine of the atonement is to my mind one of the surest proofs of the inspiration of Holy Scripture. Who would or could have thought of the just Ruler dying for the unjust rebel?"

 

II. THE GOOD SHEPHERD IS ONE WITH THE FATHER (10:22-30).

    1. We are told that it was "the feast of the dedication" (10:22), called Hanukah in Hebrew (this is the only reference to it in the Bible).
    2. This feast was instituted by Judas Macabees when the temple was rededicated after being defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes in 165 BC.
    3. It was celebrated on the 25th of Kislev, which corresponds to our December. It does not always fall on that day, however, because the Jews used a lunar calendar and we follow a solar calendar.
    4. Notice the Bible says "it was winter" (10:22). There is much evidence that Hanukah was on Dec.25 , but there is absolutely no evidence that Christ was born around that time of the year.
    5. The Jews doubted our Lord because of their unbelief (10:24). He was very straightforward with them (1:51; 2:18-21; 3:13,16-18; 4:13,14,25,26; 5:24; 6:35,40; 7:37,38; 8:24,58; 9:35-38; etc.).
    6. Any honest, open-minded person who reads the Gospel of John will have to say with Thomas, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).
    7. Jesus said: "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). He was not saying that He and the Father are the same person. The word one here is neuter, not masculine – they are one in unity of purpose and one in nature (cf. Col.2:9). They are one in essence – they share the same attributes.
    8. Some one sitting here today might be thinking, "I cannot understand this." Perhaps you cannot completely understand it but you can believe it because it is the Word of God!
    9. Don’t be like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who reject the deity of Christ because their finite minds cannot grasp it. I heard of a JW who was trying to impress a man at his front door, not realizing that the man was a university professor, fluent in the Greek language. The JW went on and on explaining the Greek to this Christian professor when finally the professor handed the JW a Greek New Testament. The JW looked at and turned it upside down and scratched his head and finally asked, "What is this?" The professor said, "That is the Greek New Testament about which you have been talking."
    10. Certainly there can be no question that the Jews knew what our Lord meant (10:31-33). One preacher said, "These stones cry out against the Unitarians!"

 

III. THE GOOD SHEPHERD HAS NEVER LOST A SHEEP (10:26-29).

    1. Before we move ahead, I think it would be a good idea to stop here and ask: "Who is responsible for a person’s salvation?"
    2. If it is God who saves, then we are eternally safe and secure. But if man can contribute something to his own salvation, then man can lose his salvation.
    3. But thank God, man can contribute nothing to his own salvation – it is God who saves us and it is God who keeps us.
    4. "Just as I am, without one plea,
      But that Thy blood was shed for me."
    5. Some would object to this and insist that some people lose their salvation. They use Judas as an example, but he was never a sheep (John 17:12).
    6. Jesus said, "they follow me" (10:27). Are you following Him? As I pointed out last week, there is a difference between pigs and sheep (II Peter 2:22).
    7. Jesus said, "And I give unto them eternal life" (10:28). How long is eternal life? Do you have eternal life?
    8. Jesus said, "No man is able to pluck them out" (10:28,29). The key word here is "able."
    9. The apostle Paul said, "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able…" (II Tim.1:12).
    10. Jude wrote, "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling…" (Jude 24). Beloved, if I had to trust in my own feeble efforts to stay saved, I know I would fall flat on my face – but thank God I don’t have to and neither do you (John 10:28,29).

CONCLUSION:

  1. When Harry Ironside used to teach the book of Genesis, he would point out that God instructed Noah to put just one door in the ark and that door represented Christ (John 10:9a).
  2. And when the ark was finished, God said to Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark" (Gen.7:1).
  3. Ironside pointed out that God did not instruct Noah to put a peg in the side of the ark and tell him to "hang on." And yet that is what some Christians are trying to do!
  4. Brother, you can stop hanging on and get into the ark! You are safe and secure in Christ.
  5. But as I said last week I believe in the eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever! It is the eternal security of the believer and the eternal damnation of the make-believer. If you are not saved, then you have no security – you need to get saved.


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