Characteristics

Characteristics

The Holy Spirit never condemns true Christians. Note the following verse:

Romans 8:1 (KJV)
(1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

As your Father, God sometimes allows you to experience the consequences of your sin as an encouragement to change. He will also produce in your heart a desire to do His will. Note http://ref.ly/He12.4-11. See Philippians 2:13.


The Enemy Discovered

Meet two kinds of guilt: One is a friend who speaks truth, gently leading you to repentance and forgiveness.

The other is a secret conspirator who taunts and condemns, bringing dishonor and inner shame.

False guilt arises when you blame yourself even though you have committed no wrong or when you continue to blame yourself after you have confessed and turned from your sin. Note I Peter 5:8

True Guilt

John 16:13 (KJV)
(13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”

-Based on Fact–“I was wrong to take paper and other office supplies home for my personal use. This is actually stealing.”

-Results in a Godly Sorrow over Sin–“My failure to be honest makes me aware of how much I don’t reflect the character of Christ. Dear God, I want to
change. I am heartsick over bringing shame to my Savior.”

-Brings Conviction from the Holy Spirit–“I now see that my attitude was wrong in assuming that the company owed me what I took.”

-Accepts Forgiveness–“I am thankful that I have a heavenly Father who will always forgive me, no matter what I have done.”

False Guilt

Revelation 12:10 (KJV)
(10) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

-Based on Feelings–“I feel horrible…because I am horrible for wanting something that isn’t mine, much less thinking about taking it. How could I sink so low as to even consider using work supplies at home?”

-Results in a Worldly Fear of Consequences–“I should have worked all weekend to make up for slacking off all week. Now my employer may decide to fire me. If only I had accomplished more, I would not be in this predicament. What am I going to tell my wife if I lose my job? How am I going to pay my bills?”

-Brings Condemnation from Satan–“I am a terrible person for feeling anger at my employer.”

-Abides in Self-pity-“I’m always trying to do my best, but I just don’t have all the advantages that others have. If I had a better paying job, I wouldn’t have to resort to taking things.”

John 8:32 (KJV)
(32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

This is an abbreviated list of these conditions.

 

Are You Following?

In verse 28 and 29, Jesus states that He will give His sheep eternal life. He uses the word “perish.” Those who have chosen to be followers of Jesus Christ will not experience separation death. They will have a hope that goes beyond the grave. They shall not be separated from Jesus. The Father is greater than anyone. He uses the word “pluck” twice. There will be nobody will be able to rob them from Him. He is stronger than anybody on earth. Some will attempt an open act of violence against Jesus’ followers, but they will not succeed. These individuals were given and are being given to Jesus. The Father is more powerful than anything or anybody. In verse 30, Jesus once again proclaims the unity of Father and Son. They are one. Nothing can come between them whether present or future.

The Jews, who are not part of His flock, take up stones to kill Him. They are once again unsuccessful. The reason for this action is because they claim Jesus is blaspheming because Jesus is putting Himself on equal footing with God the Father.

The previous section does not include all of Jesus’ answer to the unbelieving crowd. He had said all that could be said. He had done all that needed to be done. If they did not believe by this time, there was really nothing more that could have been done. He spoke plainly. It is a dangerous thing to ask God to speak plainly when He already done so. I will be discussing this in the next chapter. Jesus gives the most highly condensed statements of the doctrine of grace in the entire Gospel. The men and women were unable to believe. Those who did believe were receivers of God’s acts in grace by which He elected them into the company of His people. These are the central doctrines of the reformed faith as it has been expressed by Jesus, Paul, Augustine, Calvin and a host of others. This is pure biblical teaching.

It is important to realize that we must add that the doctrines of grace cannot be used as an excuse to escape responsibility. God chooses us, and we choose to follow His leading. He does a miracle in our hearts by which we understand these things and respond to Him. We are responsible for the things we do choose and for the way in which we handle His revelation. What about Christ’s words, and what about His works? These cannot be escaped. If they are true–and what possible reason do you have to doubt them save that someone has told you at one time or another that the Bible is not true. Then wisdom and simple honesty demand that you drop lesser loyalties and follow Jesus. This is what He wants. Jesus says “my sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (verse 27). So, listen! Really listen! And don’t stop with just listening, follow Him!

 

True Words Spoken Plainly

John 10:22-29

As you remember, Jesus has been talking about Him being a good shepherd. He speaks of His flock, which does not include the Gentiles. They are a part of the “other” sheep. Before Jesus leaves to go to the temple, there is a division concerning what He has just done and taught. Some once again claim He has a devil while others speak up and say, “Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” (v. 21)

The time is winter, and it is during the Feast of Dedication. Jesus walks in the temple in Solomon’s porch. When the Jews see Jesus coming, they gather around Him. They ask Jesus to tell them the truth. Is He the promised Messiah? Jesus responds by saying He did tell them, but they did not receive His words. He speaks the truth, which comes from the Father. These words witness of Him. They do not receive Jesus’ words. They are not His sheep.   Jesus spoke plainly, and they did not receive His words.

At this point Jesus is approaching the end of His ministry. He has been in Galilee and Judea for an approximate period of nearly three years. He has been teaching publicly for that time. He did not say explicitly that He was the Messiah. The people were looking for a political messiah and not a spiritual messiah. This fact was dealt with earlier. If He had conformed to this statement, He would have given false hope. He had been open to other claims such as a right to have a person’s loyalties. He was able to satisfy all legitimate wants and needs. He healed the sick, and He has given sight to the blind. He has done many things in the course of three years. These works were a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. If they had known these prophecies, these verses would serve to answer their questions about whether He was the promised Messiah or not. If they followed Jesus and heard His teachings, they would not have been in the dark. They claimed that Jesus has not taught them plainly.

The words of Jesus spoke plainly to the question they asked. Take, for instance, the nobleman whose son was healed from his sickness. He took Jesus at His word. John 4:50. Notice what Peter said. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” John 6:68. These had believed based on the words alone. Yet, there were also Jesus’ many works that substantiated them.

John’s Gospel calls the works “signs.” This is seen in John 5. A sign is a symbol. It points to something signified. The miracles are signs in that they point to the unusual ability or character of the one performing them. The signs point to Jesus. There are seven “signs” in this gospel. The last one is found in the next chapter.

 

If You are Thirsty

Isaiah 55:1-3 (KJV)
(1) Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (2) Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (3) Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Fall

I fell on the floor Tuesday of this week. I grabbed my walker, and a woman in her hover round hit me from the front. She slammed her chair into my basket in the front of my walker. I went down on my back. I was sent to the hospital where the took x-rays. Nothing was broken, but I am in pain. I cannot even walk for exercise yet. Hopefully, I will be able to pick up my writing by the weekend or Monday. I hope the pain and aching will be gone by that time.

Please remember me in your prayers.

One Flock One Shepherd

John 10:16, 19-21

In our studies, we have passed over a verse that deals with the church, which is mentioned for the first time. This verse sets the stage for the teaching about the church in following chapters. This deals with the members of the church. It tells how people become members of the living organism. It teaches about the Shepherd who is the sole head. The imagery that is involved is the sheep, the flock and the shepherd.

John 10:16 (KJV)
(16)”And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

What does “other sheep” mean? In the context of the parable, this means Gentiles. The opening verses speak of one pen, and one fold. That fold was Judaism. Jesus came to call His own first out of Judaism. One specific example is the man born blind. The others were the disciples. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were another example. Christ introduces the fact that there are other folds: Greeks, Romans and the barbarian fold along with many others. In each of these folds, Christ has those who are his own. The Father has given them to Him. He would soon die for these ones. They would form that one great flock, the church. Of this great flock, Jesus would be the one true Shepherd.

Jesus makes a wonderful statement. He says, “I have other sheep.” This is not a hope. It is a statement of fact. This statement was not in the mind of the disciples. The reason being they were hoping that Jesus would become the Messiah of Judaism. They also hoped that all the Jews would accept Jesus for who He is. Jesus would have believers in Samaria, Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, Macedonia, Rome, Gaul, Spain, and other places in the world. Jesus mentions this in Acts 1:8.

Note what Spurgeon said about this: “Our Shepherd-King has greater thoughts than the most large-hearted of his servants. He delights to enlarge the area of our love.” [Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "Other Sheep and One Flock," Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 29 (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1971), 187].

This statement reminds the student of what was said by Jesus’ words to the apostle Paul. It is recorded in the eighteenth chapter of Acts. Paul was in Corinth. He did not have a successful preaching mission in Athens. There had been too much opposition from the Jewish population in Corinth. Paul was somewhat discouraged at this point. The Lord spoke to Paul in a night vision. He told Paul to be not afraid. He told him to keep on speaking, and not be silent. “For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” Acts 18:9-10. What a comfort that must have been to Paul! This gave Paul the boldness he needed to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. This encourages us today to be witnesses to a dying world. Notice the phrase in verse 16 where Jesus says “them also I must bring.” This should propel us forward in our effort to be a witness to the world.

This is not the only place where Jesus uses the word “must.” First, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man “must” be lifted up. John 3:14. This spoke of the necessity of Christ’s death. Second, “Know ye not that I “must” be about my Father’s business?” Luke 2:49. Third, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately, I must stay at your house today” Luke 19:5. Hear the divine necessity is applied to the calling of the individual. When it comes to the other flock, the principle is applied to the calling of God’s people throughout the world.

 

The Good Shepherd vs. The Hireling

http://ref.ly/Jn10.6-14

This parable of the Good Shepherd helps the believer see what they are in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and who He is in our lives. Three times in the New Testament, Jesus Christ is represented as the Shepherd. In each case, the word “shepherd” is preceded by a different adjective. In John 10 Jesus is called the “good” shepherd. Here the emphasis is upon the voluntary and vicarious death of the Shepherd. In Hebrews 13:20-21 Jesus is called the “great” shepherd–“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will. May he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” The emphasis here is on Christ’s resurrection, and his ability to work through and accomplish his purposes in his sheep. The third passage speaks of Jesus as the Chief Shepherd. It stresses his second coming to reward those who have served him as undershepherds. Note I Peter 5:4–“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”

These passages highlight the focal points of Christ’s ministry. As the Good Shepherd, Christ dies for the sheep. As the Great Shepherd, Christ rises from the dead so he might serve the sheep. As Chief Shepherd, Christ returns to reward those who have been faithful in the responsibilities to which they have been assigned as undershepherds.

In verse 6, we find that Jesus has been speaking a parable or story. Yet the hearers did not understand what the parable was about. Jesus then says “Verily, verily” or Truly, truly, I am the door of the sheep.” He is the entrance for the sheep to come into shelter. Jesus goes on to say that, if there were any previous “shepherds,” they were false. They did not truly care for the sheep. Jesus calls them “thieves and robbers.” The sheep did not respond to their call because they did not know their voice. Verse 9 repeats what Jesus said about Himself being the door. The reason why it is repeated is that Jesus wants them to get it concerning Him being the only door. Anybody who comes through shall be saved. That individual will find nourishment in Him. Verse 10 is a verse that is repeated often by believers. The thief comes for three reasons: (1)steal; (2) kill; (3) destroy. Jesus has come to give life, and that the believer will have such life in abundance. Jesus proves Himself to be the good shepherd.

Since Jesus has described Himself as being the Good Shepherd, He goes on to explain the characteristics of a hireling. This is an individual who will follow the instructions of an individual for pay. This individual is careless, and the protection of the sheep is the farthest thing from their mind. When this person sees the wolf coming, he takes off in order to protect himself. The wolf then has the opportunity to scatter the sheep in order to capture one sheep that is alone. Jesus reiterates that He is the Good Shepherd, and the sheep will never be in danger. In verse 14, Jesus once again says He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep.