Eternal Life for Faithful Sheep
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I. Faithful Sheep Hear Christ and Follow Him in the context of an Exclusive Relationship (know)
10:1 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 "But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 "Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. 7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.
II. Faithful Sheep (plural) Experience not only Life, but Abundant Life
A. Those who chose to Enter life thorough Jesus’ provision, Enjoy life though His protection
10:9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 "But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 "The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
Jn 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name
B. The Abundant Life consists of living within God’s boundaries in unity with others under Christ’s Lordship
10:14 "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 "As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 24…If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.
C. Eternal life (Dominion of The Age) is given to those who hear, intimately know, and follow Christ
10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 "I and My Father are one."
III. Unfaithful Sheep Fail to Hear and Follow, thus miss the benefits of a Relationship with the Good Shepherd
A. Unfaithful Sheep demonstrate that Independence is the Essence of Sin, as they wander away from the Good Shepherd
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all
Ps 119:176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; Seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.
B. Those correctly related to God experience the satisfying Abundant Life which Jesus came to give
Ps 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. How does the Good Shepherd guide/lead His sheep? How does one “know” His voice? Why are some responsive and some not?
2. Do most Christians experience the abundant, triumphant life that Jesus promises? What differentiates those who do from these who don’t?
3. What causes some to wander or go astray, seeking other pastures that are dangerous and don’t satisfy?
4. If someone has lots of “wants” and “fears” would it be appropriate to conclude that the Lord is not their shepherd?
5. How will you stick close to the Good Shepherd this week? How can you deepen your knowing and relating to Him?