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Jesus: The True Shepherd of The Sheep (John 10:1-30)

Note of information for the reader: This is what I call an oral manuscript.  It is what I have written, and take into the pulpit, to keep me moving in the direction God has given me for this service so as to not “chase rabbits.”  Because this manuscript is not intended for publication, there are a number of devices I use to aid in delivery (Personal contractions, bold, italics, etc).  What is written here is not read nor does it include everything I say.  Therefore I request the reader’s understanding.  This message was preached in view of a call to be the Senior Pastor at Huffman Baptist Church.

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin… lived a perfect sinless life… died on a cross crushed by God’s wrath as if He committed every sin of every person who would ever believe.  He was buried in a tomb & three days later He arose from the dead.  Forty days later He ascended to heaven & one day He will return the same way he left.

Jesus Christ is the Messiah… the Christ… the only way to God… the only mediator btwn God & man.  All who have trusted Christ are saved from God’s wrath.  They will one day be resurrected from the dead… given new bodies… & reign with Christ forever.

That my friends is the Good News… The Gospel… about Jesus Christ.  We’re to look at a portion of John 10 to u’stand the personal nature of The Gospel.  As we go thru the text, I ask you to read it as spoken to & about YOU by Jesus Christ Himself.  We won’t read all of 10:1-30… I will skip thru the text to note a few highlights.  Follow along in your copy of John if you will…

V 3-5 (Read).  “He calls His own sheep by name.”  What a wonderful thought!  Our salvation was initiated by Jesus!  Not as one of many… but personally.  He interacted with youone on one!

I liken it to Jesus at Lazarus’ tomb (Jn 11).  Lazarus was four days dead.  Then Jesus called HIM, BY NAME.  Ever thought of that?  If Jesus had just said, “Come forth!”  Every dead person would have come out of their tombs.  Instead Jesus said, LAZARUS, come forth!”  And he did.

The reason you turned to Jesus for salvation… according to Jn 10:3…  is because He called you BY NAME… PERSONALLY!  He set his love on you personally.  He died for you personally.  He bore God’s wrath for your sin & made you clean!  That’s why your name is in the Book of Life.

I like that!  Each believer is special to God!  YOU are… I am… EVERY believer is!

V 9-11.  Now the exclusive nature of Christian salvation.  Twice Jesus says he is “THE door.”  There is not another one.  There aren’t many ways to the same God.  All other belief systems… all other religions… all other truth claims are false.  The ONLY way a person can be saved is thru Jesus.

As Jesus said in Jn 14:6, I am the way, the truth, & the life.  No one comes to the Father (Is saved) but by Me.”  This is a hard pill to swallow for many.  Yet on this truth Christianity stands.  All who deny the Jesus of John 10… the Bible… is excluded from salvation by choice.

Thus in v 9 Jesus said, “If anyone enters by Me he will be saved.”  Being good, moral, kind, preaching, teaching, tithing, or anything else matters.  It is only a relationship with God thru Jesus that saves.

Then comes v 10. “That they might have life & have it abundantly.”  Life!  Of course it means eternal life.  And if that was the only meaning, that would be enough.  For that would be freedom from the brokenness of this world.  It would mean being in God’s presence (That’s heaven!).  It would mean being comforted & joy that can’t be experienced on this earth.  But that isn’t the only meaning…

“Abundant life” also refers to now!  Not like the health & wealth preachers say.  Being in Christ means an inner peace, contentment, & joy apart from the circumstances of life.  Because of Christ, we are “sorrowful yet always rejoicing.”  We are “content in all circumstances.”  We can “rejoice in the Lord always!”  We have a living hope that overcomes this world & all the pain we experience.

V 16-18.  This refers to people of all nations… all times… some not yet born… who would be saved.  People of Abraham & Moses’ day… David’s day… during the time of the prophets… Jesus’ day… & every century since then… are all part of Jesus’ flock.  That includes all who will believe until the day He returns!  Let me show this to you from Jn 17:20 (Please turn there)…

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe IN ME thru their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, & I in You, that they also may be in Us…

Jesus’ prayer before His crucifixion was for the Apostles (6-19), THEN you, me, & ALL who would believe through the message of The Gospel!  The sheep are those who believe!”  Who??

In 17-18 we see the love of God & Christ actively shown.  Remember, Love Is Action.  Neither God the Father nor Jesus just said they loved us… they showed it!  What Jesus did on the cross showed their love because it cost both the Father AND the Son.  Think about it…

The Father sent His only Son to die for people who didn’t deserve it.  He poured out His wrath for sin upon His innocent child.  It wounded God’s heart to inflict hell upon Jesus[i], but that was the only way we could be saved.  Our sin had to be punished for us to receive Christ’s righteousness.  Could you?

It cost Jesus for us to be saved.  He endured God’s wrath… hell… in our place.  He cried out to His Father in abject agony, “Why have You forsaken me?”  And there was no reply from His Dad.  Jesus was completely alone.  Everyone abandoned him.  Including His Father He’d never disobeyed.  That hurt!

They both suffered more than we can comprehend.  However… listen to Phil 2:8-11

And being found in human form, (Jesus) humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted Him & bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven & on earth & under the earth, 11 & every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The result of the cross is God’s glory!  Jesus laid down His life for the sheep because He loved God & that was the way it was determined for God to be glorified.  God sent Jesus to die because He loved His Son & us.  Both proved their love!  If you want to know if God loves you… LOOK AT THE CROSS!

V 27-30.  Now… look at the text.  I’ll ask some Qs & you answer them.  Q: From Jn 17:20, who are the sheep?  Those who will believe.  V 27 Q: What two things do the sheep do?  Hear Jesus’ voice & follow Him {Certainty!  Assurance!}.  V28-Q1: What do the sheep receive?  Eternal life. {How long is “eternal” life?!  Couldn’t say this IF a person could lose their salvation!!}.  V28-Q2: Will the sheep ever perish?  No!  V28-Q3: Who keeps the sheep in His hand?  God!

In v 28 we find the absolute assurance of salvation.  If a person could lose their salvation (And they can’t) then the cross would mean nothing!  Once genuinely saved you stay saved by God’s power!

V 29-30 Q: Is anyone… ANYONE… able to invalidate a person’s salvation?  Can ANYONE, include ourselves, cause a person who is in Christ to no longer be in Christ?  The answer is NO!

Now notice the reason… in the text.  It is because God the Father & Jesus are ONE.  They are one is essence… power… character… & determination.  Brothers & sisters, THIS is the greatest blessing there is!  Nothing… & I mean NOTHING… is better than being saved & knowing your salvation can’t be lost!

If you call me to be your pastor, I will do all I can to encourage you to build your life on the foundation of Jesus Christ… the Good Shepherd.  After all… we all walk thru good & difficult times.  Think of what we may experience…

Some of you will lose loved ones.  I’ll weep with you, & do all I can to show you that hope is not lost.  Some will lose their job.  It’ll be hard, but God, not the world, will provide.  As your pastor I’ll be there for you… & take you to the cross. 

You may lose friends.  The sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed.  Reputation destroyed?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  Face death?  Wherever we find ourselves it’ll be my goal to remind you that To live is Christ, to die is gain!

Those are for EVERY believer!  All the affirmations & blessings are for EVERY person who trusts Christ!  You don’t have to be a theological giant… or rich… or powerful… or pretty… or handsome.  All you have to do is admit you’re a sinner and trust Christ for salvation.

Today… in this crowd… there are those who don’t know Christ.  They may be religious, but religion doesn’t save you.  Walking an aisle… praying a prayer… nor getting wet in a baptistry saves you.  “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you WILL be saved! (Ac 16:31).

Invitation…


[i] Isaiah 53:11