Saturday, January 07, 2012

John 10 1 to 6

1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

Key Observation:
The sheep hear His voice; in the deep mystery of election and choice I am told I will hear His voice, and I will follow Him.


Back in the first chapter of John, Jesus bade the disciples to follow Him, and to a man, they dropped whatever they were doing, being it fishing or following John the Baptist, and they followed Him. I can think of no other explanation than what is being said in this passage: “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls them by name and leads them out.”
Spurgeon has some wise words on what I have called the balance of scripture; he himself is a Calvinist, but he makes a distinction between himself and what he terms hyper-Calvinism:
“The system of truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two; and no man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, "The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Yet I am taught, in another part of the same inspired Word, that "it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy." I see, in one place, God in providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free-will.”
In Scripture I am always presented with the contradictory truths—they are not always contradictory, but they seem frequently so. God gives us to Jesus, and all that the Father gives Jesus will come to Him and He will never drive me away. But the same Scripture that declares this sovereign elect, also commands us to believe, and not to resist the voice of God, neither the conviction of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 7:51, Hebrews 4:7)

On the sheepfold, McGee says:
“I believe that you can fool some of God’s people some of the time, but I don’t think you can fool God’s people all the time. For a time, God’s sheep may think they hear Him but eventually discover that it is not His voice. Then they will turn to the teaching of the Word of God because they know their Shepherd. It is amazing. I have been teaching the Word of God for about forty years and have learned again and again that when His sheep hear His voice, they will follow Him.”
As I study history, I see many “almost” believers, and they are usually very easy to identify. They seem to have a knack for looking at Scripture, and finding something that you or I would never see. I think it is because they do not hear the voice of God. They have always been present in American history, and their presence even lingers into today. How do I know those who are his sheep? Nothing can be easier; just walk shoulder to shoulder with the person, and watch them to see what fruit they are producing. Are they engaged in the bountiful harvest of our Lord? Are they teaching in accord with Scripture? Is their Scripture subject to only their own special interpretation? If they do not hear the voice of their Shepherd, they cannot teach others aright, and will only lead them astray.

Balance of the Word of God is important; before I accept the latest book on religion I need to compare it diligently to the Word of God. If it strays from the Word, it does not pass the test. In our country today there is a fundamental ignorance of the Word of God. Most Americans have never read the Bible through cover-to-cover, much less know the doctrines in it. I do not see how they can possibly test false teaching. Perhaps that is the reason I see such a resurgence in the growth of cults. How do I tell a cult? A cult will inevitably try to distort the Biblical picture of who Jesus is. After all, if I become so confused that I call my next door neighbor Jesus, and then say, Believe on Jesus and you shall be saved, how then will I be saved? Have I not distorted severely the picture of who Jesus is? Jesus, the Bible tells me, is the son of God, the Word made Flesh, the “I am”, coequal with the Father. Any cult will try to tell me differently, and if I am one of His sheep, I should know the voice of my Shepherd.

McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 101864-101867). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Spurgeon, Charles H. (2010-05-14). A Defense of Calvinism (Kindle Locations 191-194). Unknown. Kindle Edition.

Redeemed How I Love to Proclaim It

1. Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed thro' His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.

2. Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.

3. I think of my blessed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long:
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
His child and forever I am.

Lyrics: Frances Jane (Fanny J.) Crosby

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