Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds the relationship of the Nation Israel to Christ Jesus.
[Message] Now this morning we have just the 16th verse for the exposition, but in order to prepare for it I would like to read a few verses from the Old Testament and then also a few other verses from the New Testament which bare on its topic. So, I’m asking you first to turn with me to Genesis chapter 12, and I want to read verses 1 through 3 and make a comment, and then we’ll read a section from the New Testament also. In Genesis chapter 12 we have the first account of the promises that God gave to Abraham, and Moses writes in verse 1,
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: (and I’d like for you to notice particularly this last clause) and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
The important thing to note here is that in the original Abrahamic promises blessings for the Gentiles were given. “In Thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” then later on in the Old Testament in the Book of Isaiah in the 42nd chapter as the prophet Isaiah speaks of the ministry of the Suffering Servant of Jehovah, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ we know from the New Testament record, he announces here that this Suffering Servant of Jehovah shall have a ministry to the Gentiles, Isaiah 42 and verse 6. “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” And then in chapter 49 verse 6, in the second of these songs of the Suffering Servant of Jehovah, the Messiah, we read, “And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” So you can again see that the Messiah has a ministry to the Gentiles.
Now let’s turn over to the New Testament and you know the story of the Book of Acts. It is Luke the historian’s account of the opening months and years of the history of the church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. It is the story really of the historical rejection of the Lord Jesus by the nation Israel and of the apostles turning to the Gentiles in their ministry. And finally in the last chapter in the Book of Acts, Acts chapter 28, the Apostle Paul is speaking and in verse 25 of Acts chapter 28 we read,
“And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Now notice the 28th verse particularly) Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.”
Notice particularly, “And that they will hear it. And then one last passage in Romans chapter 15, the very next book of the New Testament and verse 8, the apostle is discussing doubtful things in the Christian church and brings forward the Lord Jesus as an illustration, “Wherefore,” he says in verse 7 of Romans 15, “Receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” In other words, the Lord Jesus came as his first responsibility to confirm the promises made unto the Fathers, to accomplish all that it was said that the Messiah of Israel would do, but further verse 9,
“And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. And again he saith, (see these are various texts from the Old Testament.) Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Now, that brings us to our text in John 10 verse 16, the only text that we’ll be expounding from John in a few moments. The Lord Jesus in this allegory of the shepherd and the sheep which we’ve been studying for the last few weeks says, “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 flock, and one shepherd.” That word fold in the Authorized Version is a mistranslation of the Greek word. It really means flock. So, in that text the Lord Jesus says there are other people that he has. They shall hear his voice. There shall be one flock, one shepherd. May the Lord bless this reading of his word.
[prayer removed from audio]
[Message] The subject for this morning in the exposition of the Gospel of John is “Christ’s Other Sheep,” or “One Flock, One Shepherd.” The 16th verse which is the subject of the exposition this morning is one of the magnificent texts of the Gospel of John. I’m sure that as anyone reads it the impressiveness of the verse comes home to you even when in the beginning perhaps you as I do not fully understand all that the Lord may imply by it. But just listen to it. “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 flock, one shepherd.” It’s a magnificent text. It’s guarded also by two notable statement, one before it and one after it.
Notice the conclusion of verse 15, “And I lay down my life for the sheep.” That statement is a magnificent statement as well. “I lay down my life for the sheep.” If there is anything that proves the love of Jesus Christ for his sheep, it is the fact that he laid down his life for them. And furthermore it is if anything the guarantee of the success of the divine purpose. Jesus Christ cannot die in vain. I think that should be evident to us from the study of the Scriptures and from the consideration of his person. The fact that he the second person of the eternal Trinity should lay down his life for the sheep is the guarantee not only of his love but of the successful completion of his purpose.
The Bible makes it plain that God’s purposes cannot be frustrated. Listen to some of the things that the Scriptures say about the purpose of God. The prophet Isaiah in the 14th chapter and the 27th verse of his book says, “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” It is impossible for the purpose of God to be frustrated. The very fact that God is God secures the accomplishment of all his intentions and designs. In the 53rd chapter of the Book of Isaiah when the prophet is speaking about the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, he writes, “He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied.” So the things that Jesus Christ intends to do he accomplishes and if he has laid down his life for the sheep, you can be sure that the sheep, all of them, shall come into the flock of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact I think we can put it as Mr. Spurgeon put it. He said, “If Jesus Christ has laid down his life for the sheep, then all is well. We are not only within the flock, sure to be there, his sheep, but also all of the blessings of life that flow to the sheep of the Lord Jesus Christ are ours.” Well that’s a magnificent text. It’s just before the statement of verse 16.
There is a notable statement in the following texts as well. Verse 17 says, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” So where just before this text he says that he lays down his life for the sheep. In the texts that follow twice he says that he lays down his life that he might take it again. In fact in the 18th verse he says, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” So, the one who states that he has laid down his life for the sheep is the one who will say in just a moment, “I take my life again.” “I lay it down that I might take it again.” So, he lives personally to see that those who are redeemed by the price of the blood of Calvary’s cross are also kept and redeemed by the power of a risen Savior. So he not only dies for the sheep, but he lives to secure all of his purposes that he intended to accomplish by the fact that he died for us. So a dying and living shepherd is the safety and the glory of the flock of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s hard for us to grasp how much a blessing it is to have a shepherd who has laid down his life for us in redemption and who now lives as the only resurrected person to fulfill all of his purposes by the power of his indissoluble or endless life. What magnificent blessings belong to the children of God, to the sheep of the flock of the great shepherd.
Now verse 16 is an important text not only because it is guarded by two notable statements both before and after, but of itself it’s important for an understanding of the divine program of the ages. “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 flock and one shepherd.” It touches a couple of questions that occasionally come to us as we study the Scriptures. Is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ seen in old covenant times? Was it the subject of Old Testament prophesy?
Now it is sometimes said, as one Bible teacher has written, that the church was completely unrevealed in the Old Testament. Now if we are looking for a statement in the Old Testament that says, “The church,” well then of course we will not find it, but we must remember the Lord Jesus was speaking in old covenant times when he said this statement, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.” The cross has not yet taken place. The veil of the temple has not been rent in twain. The children of God are still living under the Law of Moses when Jesus made this statement, yet here he announces that there is a people who make up one flock and one shepherd and yet they come evidently from two different backgrounds. “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.” So it’s probably not quite true to say that the church is completely unrevealed in the Old Testament if we mean in Old Testament times.
Another question that arises as a result of this text is this. Are there two peoples of God? Are there two groups of people who may be called the people of God, separate from one another who have two sets of promises, two destinies, two different destinies. Some Bible teachers have made the statement that there are two distinct purposes of God, one related to the earth, the other related to heaven. The one related to the earth dealing with an earthly people, the nation Israel, the other the heavenly purpose related to the heavenly people, the church of Jesus Christ.
Another Bible teacher has said the church has promises and a destiny that are different from Israel’s. Well I’d like to dispute that. I do not think that that is true. Jesus Christ said, “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 flock and one shepherd.” Now the Bible makes it plain that Israel is to be distinguished from the Gentiles, always. So far as I can tell the usage of the term Israel is always of Israel, never of Gentiles. And so consequently it is fair to say Israel must be distinguished from the Gentiles, but to suggest because Israel is to be distinguished from the Gentiles that we have two peoples with two sets of promises, two inheritances, two destinies, one earthly, one heavenly is to go beyond the teaching of the Bible. The Bible teaches that there is one people of God, one people of God. While Israel is to be distinguished from the Gentiles, they both share in the promises made to Abraham. So, Israel is said to share in the promises made to Abraham. The church of Jesus Christ is also said by the apostles in the New Testament to share in the promises made to Abraham. That is the teachings of Ephesians. It is the teaching of Romans. It is the teaching of other sections of the New Testament. It is of course the teaching of the Old Testament right from the beginning, and God made his promises to Abraham and said, “In Thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” There is one people of God, one destiny of the people of God, one set of promises, and the Abrahamic promises as they are expanded through the progress of divine revelation that pertains to that one people.
Now our Lord’s statement has relationship to these questions, though of course it is not the full revelation of all of the truth connected with it. It’s probably true however to say that church truth was not first spoken by the Apostle Paul, at least was spoken by the Lord Jesus in old covenant times. Now let’s look at our text. “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.” That statement expresses the fact that the shepherd has a diverse flock. Now remember we must distinguish between the words fold and flock. The fold is a reference to the physical enclosure in which the sheep were kept. Sometimes it was just a very narrow place, and might even be a cave. Sometimes it would be an enclosure of a wooden kind, eight or ten feet high, which the sheep were brought for protection from the wild beasts. But at least it’s the place where the sheep were kept. Sometimes there would be several flocks in one fold. The flock is a reference to the animals. They belong to particular shepherd as a general rule. We gave illustrations of shepherds who came to the same fold and called their sheep out that belonged to them. So when we read here in verse 16, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.” He’s not talking about a flock. He’s talking about a place where the sheep are.
Now when he says, “Fold” it’s likely in the context that the fold which incidentally separated the sheep from the other animals is a reference to the nation Israel. And so this statement in which the Lord says, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold,” is probably to be understood to mean, “Other sheep I have which do not belong to Judaism,” or not Jewish sheep.
Now of course it’s true to say this fold is a fold in which there were some believing and some unbelieving, but the sheep that were believing were his own. But he says, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.” He undoubtedly is referring to the Gentiles, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold,” others not in the fold of Judaism.
Now notice he says, “Other sheep I have,” that’s a rather interesting statement. You might have expected him to say, “Other sheep I will get,” “Other sheep I shall have,” but no he says, “Other sheep I have,” not shall have. Well who are these sheep that he already has? Well the Gospel of John makes very plain that one of the important truths is that the Father has already given certain individuals to the Son. Listen, John chapter 6 and verse 37 we read, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Notice the Father has made a donation to the Son of some individuals. Verse 65, “Therefore said I unto you that no man can come to me except it were given unto him of my Father.” John chapter 17 and verse 1-3, listen to our Lord’s high priestly prayer. We read,
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Notice that 2nd verse, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” So when we read “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold,” then he refers to those who are not in the fold of Judaism. He says he has them not because they are already believers in him, but because they have been given him by the Father. It is an eternal donation of the Father to the Son, and that seals the title of the Lord Jesus to the sheep. The fact that they are given to him by the Father is the important thing. They will come to him in history as they hear the gospel and at a particular point respond by believing. Then they shall enter into his flock by they’re already his sheep, even though they may be without pasture at the present time, even though they may be without a shepherd, without a fold. They may be wandering out on a hill and apparently subject to devastation by the wolves and wild animals. They are, nevertheless, his sheep. I find that a magnificent truth because it expresses the providential care of God for his sheep, all the time that they are outside of the flock of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the hand of God upon his sheep from the ages past. And those who are sheep can look back upon their lives and probably trace evidences of the providential care of God before you knew Jesus Christ as you own personal Savior. “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.”
The Bible says that we unbelievers were enemies of God before we came to the knowledge of Christ. Yes, even when we were enemies of God we were the sheep of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s a magnificent thing. The apostles believed this doctrine, and they preached this doctrine.
This past week Martha and I were reading in Acts chapter 18 after breakfast and in verse 9 and verse 10 in the ministry that the apostle had at Corinth, Luke says, “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” Now they had not yet come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the apostle was under great persecution, but God said to him, “It’s alright Paul. Don’t worry. I have much people in this city.” Notice he doesn’t say, “I shall have them,” or “I shall get them,” but I have them. And so you are absolutely secure and safe until my purposes are accomplished. Of course as saints of God we are safe forever, but we are safe in him.
Augustine made the comment once that, “Just as there are wolves among the sheep, so there are sheep among those wolves out there.” Well he was right. In the church of Jesus Christ wolves do infiltrate the flock. Paul said, “After I leave you grievous wolves shall enter in not sparing the flock.” They’ll want to destroy the flock with false doctrine, with other types of ways in which they may seek to upset the sheep, but it’s also true that out there among the wolves, the Lord Jesus has his sheep. And they shall hear his voice.
Now sometimes people say, “Well my goodness if it is true that really the Lord has his sheep and it is they who are going to come to faith in him and it’s absolutely certain that they are going to come to faith in him, well then why should we preach? Why not just sit back and let them come?”
Well of course if you did sit back, they would come. That’s true. They just wouldn’t come by you, and it may so happen that you would lose the benefits of the reward that God may see fit to give you because of your own disobedience and unresponsiveness to the appeals of the word of God to preach the gospel and to be a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. You can be sure that they will come. That is true, but a person who argues like that is a person who doesn’t understand divine truth at all. He doesn’t understand what a tremendous sense of authority that a person who believes this truth had. “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring.” That is my authority for preaching. I believe that there are sheep out there who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ who have not yet come to him, and it is my responsibility to preach his word and that’s my authority for doing it. It is his word that there are sheep there who have not yet come. That’s why we are still here. If we were in heaven, well then of course there is no need to be concerned about preaching in heaven, but we are still here on earth. The purpose of God has not been completed, and that is why we preach, and my authority for preaching rests upon this great promise, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.” And so we preach with the authority of the word of the Lord Jesus Christ and we preach also with the motivation that there are sheep there who will be responsive.
If I were to look out into most audiences and ask myself, “Is that a challenge to you when you see this group of people?” I’d be very discouraged because I know the human heart and I know the human heart is unresponsive to the word of God. The mind of the flesh is enmity against God. It is not subject to the law of God neither indeed can be. So they that are in the flesh cannot please God. What success could I ever expect to have with you and with me? I could not expect any success because we are all sinners and we are all rebellious against the word of God and the last thing we want to do is to respond to the gospel of Christ. But Jesus, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring.” That’s my authority. That’s my motivation, and furthermore when I preach, and there is just a little, tiny little sheep that comes and says, “I’ve received Christ as my Savior and I’d like to be baptized.” And the great mass have turned away, well that’s my comfort too. “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring.” And when at times there is not a great deal of response. The response is the work of God the Holy Spirit. It is not my responsibility. I preach free grace.
Suppose you were going out fishing. Some of you are fisherman. One of the chief fishermen of Believers Chapel is skiing in Colorado today. So, he is going to miss this illustration, but suppose you were a fisherman. And suppose you went out to fish and the way you fished was this. You get in your little boat and you get your net ready and you hold you’re net above the water and wait for the fish to leap out of the water into your net. How many fish would you get? Well you would, as the fishermen say, “You’d probably every day have a water haul.” There are no fish that are going to jump out of the water into your net. Fish don’t like to do that. They look around and say, “Well there is that crazy guy again. He’s got his net up there.” And they call all the other fishes around and say, “Look at him. He expects us to jump out of the water into his net. He’s crazy.” Well that’s way people are who preach free will. They expect the fish of his own free will to jump out of the water into the net, when the will of man is absolutely set towards rebellion against God. But we don’t preach free will. We preach free grace. We preach that fish don’t want to be in that net. But we preach that God the Holy Spirit so works that those fish are hooked and brought ultimately into the net. That’s free grace. That’s the grace of God. That’s the thing that is necessary for the salvation of souls.
The Lord Jesus told a parable about a shepherd who had some lost sheep. How did he find the lost sheep? Did he wait for the sheep to come home and jump into the fold? No, he went out and when he found them, he found the sheep and he threw the sheep up on his shoulders and went home rejoicing. That was our Lord’s picture of his work. That’s what he does. He finds the sheep and he throws them on his shoulder and he goes home rejoicing. He has found his lost sheep. They are his sheep, but they have been brought…well you know Peter says, “We were as lost sheep. We were as sheep wandering from the shepherd, but we have returned unto the shepherd and bishop of our souls.” “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring.” Well that’s a magnificently diverse flock. Jews and Gentiles are in the flock of God.
Now in the 2nd part of this verse he talks about the pastoral task of the shepherd. He says, “Them also I must bring.” Those who belong to him secretly must be led to follow him openly. Other sheep, well that’s the universality of the flock. There are Jews and Gentiles. We’ve been trying to point that out as we’ve been going through the Gospel of John. When John speaks about the world, the Savior of the world, he means the Savior not only of Jews, but the Savior of Gentiles as well. It’s all so plain if we will simply read and study this gospel. “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring.” So the sheep are from the Jewish fold. He has other sheep, Gentiles.
Now he also makes a statement that is important and it suggests the primacy of the Jews for he says, “Them also I must bring.” In other words, he has come to bring the sheep of the Jews into his flock. But he has other sheep also. That suggests the primacy of the Jews. Now we do not mean primacy in the sense that God appreciates a Jewish sheep more than a Gentile sheep. He does not play favorites like that. What we mean is a primacy of order. “The Lord Jesus came to, as a ministry of the circumcision, to confirm the promises made unto the Fathers and that the Gentiles might glorify him for mercy.” The gospel is to the Jew first and also to the Greek. When that Lord Jesus was here, he said, “I was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” So he came to ministry to Israel in order that those from Israel who were in his flock might come to him. But his ministry extends beyond them. He has other sheep also. Gentiles as well, but Jews have primacy of order. He is confirming the promises of the Old Testament to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and David and others. “He came unto his own and his own received him not, but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God.”
Now notice the necessity of this text. “Them also I must bring.” The inevitability of that which has been fore ordained by God, “Them also I must bring.” I suggest to you that that also speaks of the certainty of the success of our Lord’s mission. Someone has said that there is a proverb that the term must never is the be spoken by a king. Must is something that pertains to his subjects. The king does not know any musts because he is the king. But here is a king who uses the term must of his own mission. “Them also I must bring.”
Now who can resist the omnipotent must of the Lord Jesus Christ? Would you like to say, “Suppose they don’t come?” Well, listen this is the king speaking. “Them also I must bring.” This is the logical divine necessity that those who are sheep given him by the eternal donation of the Father shall come. So, clear out devils there is not hope for you. Flee darkness. Die death because the shepherd is going to give life to his sheep and nothing can resist the resistless power of the second person of the divine Trinity, the eternal Son of God. And he says, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring.” And he will bring them. You can be sure of that. You may cavil against what he says. You may not like what he says. You may be critical of the unconditional election spoke of here and of the absolute certainty of the fulfillment of the divine purposes, but they shall be fulfilled. How much more important it is that we put aside our own natural reasoning and yield to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a shepherd.
Now finally he says speaking of his success, “And they shall hear my voice.” Now I would gather that since he says, “They shall hear my voice,” that that speaks not only of the certainty of their response. In this chapter he makes that statement more than once. Later on in the 18th chapter speaking with reverence to Pilot, he says in the 37th verse, “Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.” “They shall hear my voice.” I think that also speaks of the necessity of preaching. What’s the good of preaching if he must have his people, someone says. They think that’s a discouragement for preachers. If he must have his people, why preach? I’d like to say to you that that’s the reason why I preach. I preach because he does have his people, and I could never have any hope of success were it not for the fact that he had his people. For if he didn’t have his people, no one would respond. We are that sinful, that unresponsive, that rebellious. But the fact that he does have his people is the reason we preach. And never forget this, not only has God determined the ends, the goals, but he has also determined the means to the end. He has determined that his sheep come to the Lord Jesus in faith. But he has determined that they come through preaching. That is ordained of God too. He has determined that they come through prayer, through witnessing so that he has determined the means as well as the end. And so we preach because we are called upon to preach. And we preach with authority, and we preach with hope and motivation because he has given us the assurance that he will bring his flock to himself.
Do you feel any deep feeling down within? I must come to this shepherd. If you feel that and you have responded it is because the great shepherd has responded through the work of the Holy Spirit and you have heard his voice, the voice of forgiveness, the voice of mercy, the voice of the cross at Calvary where he gives himself for our sins. “They shall hear his voice.” And the consequences are, “There shall be one flock and one shepherd,” one people of God, all of those people of God, inheritors of the Abrahamic promises as they are expanded through the word of God. I wish it were possible to speak of all of the details of those Abrahamic promises, but they include all of the blessings that belong to the children of God. We become when we come into the family of God, co-heirs with the fathers. We possess all of the relationships that are set out in the great covenants of the Bible, the forgiveness of sins. We also share in those blessings that have to do with the future when ethnic Israel shall come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And when the Lord Jesus shall come again to the earth, we share in all of those blessings. We share also in the great kingdom age that shall follow that and in all of the blessings down through the ages of eternity.
What a magnificent text. “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold,” “Other sheep.” Well that includes me, “Other sheep.” I’m one of those other sheep. In time I came. I was a sheep, but in 1941 I came into the flock. “Other sheep I have.” You can put your name there if you have come one of his sheep. “Other sheep,” he was speaking of you. “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also I must bring.” Thank you, Lord for bringing me into the flock of God. “They shall hear my voice.” I have heard your voice, the voice of redemption, the voice of the chief shepherd, the voice of the great shepherd, the voice of the shepherd who gave his life for the sheep, and the voice of the shepherd who took it again and now lives to see that his promises are accomplished. And there is one flock and one shepherd. What a magnificent thing it is to be a member of the family of God and what a great future we have throughout the ages of eternity, fellowshipping with the Triune God, the prophets, the apostles, the saints of God and accomplishing the purposes of God for all eternity. How do we come to belong to the flock of God? Well, it’s simple; isn’t it? Hear his voice. “My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.” My voice, well listen, “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to ministry and to give his life a ransom for many.” That’s the voice of the Lord. Come, acknowledge your sin, and acknowledge your lost condition. Come to the good shepherd who gave his life for the sheep. May God the Holy Spirit speak in your heart. May you come for redemption, for forgiveness, for membership in the one flock, under the one shepherd.
[Prayer] Father we are so grateful to Thee for the encouragement that we receive from these magnificent promises from the Lord Jesus Christ. What encouragement for preaching. What encouragement for sheep. What encouragement for sheep that are wandering astray that they may return to the shepherd and bishop of their souls. O God if there are some in this audience, sheep of the Lord Jesus who have been wandering, even enemies, may they come. So work Lord…
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