Friday, June 08, 2018

The Vision (6.8.18): Three Marks of Christ's Sheep

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 10:22-30.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).

Christ here says three things about his sheep:

First, they hear his voice. The first disciples could hear the audible voice of Christ. Believers now recognize the voice of Christ in the Scriptures as they are read and taught. They recognize that Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16). In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul commends the believers for receiving the preaching of the gospel “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

Second, he knows them. The shepherd has an intimate knowledge of his sheep. False professors hear Christ say to them in the end, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:23). Christ has known his sheep from eternity past: “those whom he did foreknow he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

Third, they follow him. Compare 10:4: “and the sheep follow him.” Following is the language of discipleship (cf. Luke 9:23). This is basic Christian language. It is not enough simply to say that one is a Christian. This will be shown in how one follows the Shepherd.

Calvin says, “the reason the name of sheep is applied to believers is, that they surrender themselves to God, to be governed by the hand of the Chief Shepherd, and, laying aside the fierceness of their nature, become mild and teachable.”

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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