The Gospel of John
(James J. Barker)

Lesson 27


(John 10:25-30)


1.     I am going to speak this evening on a subject that is considered controversial in some circles, though I personally do not consider it particularly controversial.  It is something that I grasped as soon as I got saved.  To me it is very clearly taught in the Bible.

2.     I am going to speak on the doctrine of eternal security or what some people refer to as “once saved, always saved.”

3.     First of all, let me start out by stating that I believe in the eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever or the “make-believer.”

4.     We have many “make-believers” in our churches.  They learn to play the part of a Christian the same way an actor learns to play a part on the stage.  Certainly, these phony church members are not genuinely saved.

5.     Secondly, I want to point out that I am not advocating five-point (or any points) Calvinism.  My position is based solely on the Bible, and not on the opinions of men.

6.     The Bible teaches that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30).



1.     There are preachers who despise the doctrine of eternal security.  But rather than refute it with Scripture (which I do not think can be done), they usually tell a bunch of wild stories about backslidden church members.

2.     Most of us know backslidden church members but we have to consider that many backsliders were never saved in the first place. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). 

3.     If these people are not following Jesus then we should recognize that they might not be born again (cf. I John 2:19).

4.     Our Lord said that those who are not His sheep are those that “believe not” (10:26). 

5.     Let us say that a shepherd called his sheep and started up a hill.  Some of the sheep start to follow him but some stay behind.  The ones who follow the shepherd are his sheep; the ones who don’t follow him are not his sheep (John 10:27, 28).

6.     It is true that sometimes genuine Christians backslide, but if they are really saved God will chasten them (cf. Heb. 12:5-11).

7.     Let us go back to our text and please allow me to ask you some important questions, do you hear the voice of Jesus? (John 10:27).  And, are you following Him? (10:27).

8.     There is a big difference between sheep and goats.  And there is a big difference between sheep and wolves!  I believe it was Spurgeon who said, “God called me to feed the sheep, not to entertain the goats.”

9.     Years ago a certain trouble-maker accused me of “scattering the sheep.”  That’s not true; I’m trying to protect the sheep from the wolves!

10. A lot of church people are not sheep. They may “baah” like sheep, but after awhile you can see they’re not real. It is apparent that many people who profess to be born-again Christians have never been genuinely saved (cf. Matt. 7:21-23).

11. Our Lord will never say to anyone in that awful day of judgment, “I used to know you, but I do not know you anymore.”  Jesus says, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23).

12. And of those that are truly saved, our Lord says: “I know them” (John 10:27).

13.  “They are made sheep by His own Spirit.  They have received a nature which is not that of the doggish world, nor that of the swinish multitude, nor that of the wolfish persecutor” – Spurgeon.



1.     Salvation is by grace, i.e. a free gift (cf. Eph. 2:8, 9; Rom. 6:23).

2.     Those who teach salvation by works do not understand grace. Grace is one of the greatest words in the Bible.  Grace speaks not of what man does for God, but what God does for man (II Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5).

3.     Grace is the kindness and love of God toward man.  The Bible teaches us that “God is love,” and grace is that love in action.

4.     Some churches preach salvation by grace, but they teach we are kept by our works.   This is unscriptural because you cannot scramble together grace and works (cf. Rom. 11:6). 

5.     I am not saying works are unimportant; all I am saying is salvation is by grace through faith and not of works. The Bible teaches us that works are the evidence of salvation (James 2:17-20).

6.     I often tell unsaved people to read the Gospel of John.  The great evangelist R. A. Torrey used to tell people that and he saw many people saved that way.

7.     The key word in John is “believe” (99 times).  See John 1:12; 3:16,  18, 36; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25, 26, etc.

8.     We must understand, proclaim, and emphasize that salvation is through faith and faith alone (cf. Eph. 2:8, 9).

9.     Let us imagine a couple with a very sick child.  He is so sick they bring him to the doctor.  By doing this they are confessing their own inability to deal with the illness and they are expressing their confidence in the doctor.

10. In like manner, when a repentant sinner comes to Christ for salvation, he is confessing his own inability to save his sin-sick soul and he is expressing his confidence in the Great Physician.



1.     It seems pretty simple to me.  “Eternal life” means for ever and ever. If you truly have it then you will have it forever, and if you do not have it forever then you never really had it in the first place.

2.     Our Lord said His sheep “shall never perish” (10:28). The word “perish” means to spend eternity in hell (cf. John 3:16).  Therefore, if any sheep of His ever perished, our Lord would have been guilty of failing to keep a promise, and that would be impossible.

3.     I have heard people say, “If I believed this doctrine I would live for worldly pleasure.”  Personally, I do not see how a true child of God can even think like that!   True Christians love God and do not want to displease Him.  True Christians want to follow after holiness and godliness.

4.     When a sinner is genuinely converted to Christ he no longer desires the sinful pleasures of this wicked world.  A true Christian will want to follow the Lord (10:27, 28).



1.     Some people think you have to wait till you die to find out whether or not you are saved.  I’d hate to have to wait that long. 

2.     If you wait till you die and then you find out that you’re not saved, it is too late and you will be in hell.

3.     This passage in John 10 shows us we can have that assurance of eternal life the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.

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