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Friday, September 16, 2011

"The Good Shepherd": Perseverance (and Preservation) In the Atoning Work of Christ

"Believing doesn't make you a part of His flock; being a part of His flock allows you to believe." - John Piper
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
(John 10:7-18 ESV)

The definite redemption of the saints is in view here; it is not only definite, but also universal. Jesus came not to save some particular type of people, but a particular people made of every tribe, tongue, and nation (Revelation 5:9-10). Also to be noted, if you are in Christ, you cannot fall away, because as his sheep we only hear His voice and no other. By his atoning work on the cross, he seals them, thereby they are unable to fall away from their faith in an ultimate sense...
If these words of Christ don't bring confidence to the life of Christian faith and the assurance of salvation, I don't think that anything would (John 17:12; Jude 24).

Soli Deo Gloria,
Shon
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