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March 3, 2021 3:00 am
This is the claim of Christianity all the fullness of deity dwells in him in bodily form is God and that is why when he speaks, he speaks with such authority will in our world.
I want to hear anybody speak with authority, especially the Lord Jesus Christ with the standards of a grand memory for forgetting and he certainly right. It's easy to forget. That's why reminders are so important especially when it comes to truths about the person of Christ. So stay here as John continues his series on the Bible's central character, John has titled our study rediscovering the Christ of Scripture and out before the lesson John as of last month Grace to you has been around for 52 years and you are as energized about studying and preaching God's word is ever maybe more so. So let me simply ask, what is it that keeps you so engaged in the work of Bible teaching ministry I think first of all, it's the inexhaustible ability of Scripture that yes I've studied the Bible intensely for almost 75 years while three quarters of a century, and it never ever grows old and it is in literally mind that you just keep digging down and digging down and it just yields up more and more and more riches you know if it's defined character creates this inexhaustible reality of truth and no matter how much I study even the same passage. There's a freshness every time as new truth becomes apparent and obvious to me. The second thing that energizes me is that the world continues to need to hear the message that were looking at a world today that I would say in my lifetime is in the most desperate condition. There are more atheists in America than there've ever been there more unbelievers and Americans never ever been. There's more anti-Christianity in America than there's ever been that that means there are more people who are alienated from the gospel than there have ever been in our culture it's it's out of the public mind so and yet what were seeing at that as a result of that is the just the total complete collapse of society in a moral of freefall. So both the character of Scripture compels me in the power of Scripture is the only it's the only answer what we say to this generation, but you always hear people asking nowadays you know how do we fix this country. How do we get what we do to fix this nation was only one answer to that question.
That is, you don't fix the nation you advance the gospel one soul at a time and God transforms individuals politics is going to fix the nation. Only Christ is going to do that in the word of God gives us the view of everything from God's perspective. So our time is needed and the inexhaustible glory of Scripture compels me if this ministry has meant something to you by opening the word of God the way we have for all these years we would love to hear from you and we want to think about and pray about supporting us as we spread the word of the gospel across the world.
This ministry would not exist without your generosity. We've heard countless testimonies of lives being changed by John's verse by verse Bible teaching we been able to reach those people because friends like you stand with us if you'd like to partner with us in this Bible teaching ministry go to GT Y.org but wait until after the lesson now. Stay tuned as John MacArthur continues his study rediscovering the Christ of Scripture turned to the 10th chapter of the Gospel of John. John chapter 10 I want you to go back to verse 26. Let's pick that up for a few moments, but you do not believe that's what we ended but you do not believe then verse 26 is this because you are not of my sheep. What a statement. That's the divine side you don't believe in your fully culpable for that unbelief and you will be held responsible eternally for that unbelief and you will receive a just punishment for that unbelief the divine side is you don't believe because you are not of my sheep really a stunning statement. You don't belong to me.
Back up into chapter 10 verse four. Member the Pearly Mia the analogy the metaphor, simile, word picture of the shepherd.
Verse four when he puts forth all his own his own sheep, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. Well that's true shepherds. We saw that when shepherd goes into a fold in the morning sheep have been held there village sheep there many shepherds report all their sheep together collectively in one fold overnight and in the morning, come and get their own sheep and each sheep knows the voice of his own master that was something they were familiar with, but to what does that refer go down to verse 14. I am the good shepherd and I know my own and my own no me from. I know my own and my own no me and you're not of my sheep how we know they're not issue because back in chapter 8 verse 43 Jesus says why do you not understand what I'm saying it's because you cannot hear my word, you can't hear me you don't know my voice. Why, because your of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature frees a liar and the father of lies but because I speak the truth, you do not believe me.
Verse 47 he who is God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear them because you are not of God. The way to say you're not my sheep is stunning statement.
You know my sheep. We started to see this sovereign purpose of God in salvation very early in the gospel of John back in chapter 3.
Jesus is talking to Nicodemus and Nicodemus has this question know about eternal life and and how that's going to happen. Jesus explains to him that it's a supernatural heavenly miracle. Kevin has to come down and and make that happen. It is like a birth. It's a creation and nobody can create himself and and so the question arises well well well will how how does that happen in the Jesus says this, the Holy Spirit comes and goes as he wills not at your discretion.
It's at his discretion. These are profound realities and luck. I believe fully in the sinner's responsibility to repent and believe.
But I believe as well fully in the sovereign purpose of God, who has chosen his sheep knows his sheep, calls his sheep. They hear him they come. Christ receives them and keeps them and raises them. I confess that I have never been able to comfortably harmonize those two realities. But I will not destroy, either by coming up with some bizarre humanly devised middleground. The people who crucified Jesus were fully responsible for doing that they were judged for doing that condemned for doing that. And yet Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost said you that whole act was done by the predetermined counsel and foreknowledge of God, and again I don't know how all that works together there. It seems to me to have elements of contradiction, but God is not is not contradictory to himself. That's an impossibility.
So I chalk it up to my feeble mind.
Verse 27 he says my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the father's hand but that is so airtight and absolute that there's just no escaping the reality of that chain of sovereign purpose and divine intention. My sheep hear my voice, you don't hear me because you're not my sheep. This is for the comfort of the Redeemer Macy. This is the end of the line for him. He's done virtually three years of ministry. This is where it ends. You do what you do, by the power of hell not heaven. He says you don't believe you don't believe you don't believe you'll die in your sins because you don't believe many backs into his own place of comfort by saying but you're not my sheep because my sheep hear my voice and I know them and as we saw earlier in chapter 10. They will not follow a stranger, they follow me and I give them eternal life, and it is eternal. They will never perish, and no one will ever take them out of my hand or my father's hand that this is this is essentially the grand overview of divine sovereign salvation God chooses draws holds raises and nobody's lost in the process. My sheep hear my voice true sheep are eager to hear the Masters voice go back for a moment to verse three to the shepherd, the doorkeeper opens the port or the Geiger counter watch the flock at night and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Verse four as we read. They follow him. Verse five a stranger. They simply will not follow but will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers sheep who belong to God will never follow a stranger they'll never follow a false teacher. They'll follow the voice of their master. This is where our Lord found his encouragement. If one is chosen to be a sheep if one is designed to be a love gift from the father to the sun to love and serve him forever in eternal glory. He is secure in that lesson choice is secured in that choice, which is then worked out in redemptive history. Eternal life is eternal.
Does that seem like a stretch to say can you lose your salvation will come to life. Visit temporary life temporal life. It's eternal life. And just in case that's confusing. Jesus says, and they will never perish. So you have a positive the I give them eternal life in the negative, and they will never perish, never perishes to be separated from eternal life into eternal death. No one will be separated from eternal life, who possesses no all the father gives me will come to me all who come to me. I receive I don't turn any away. I raise them all to glory your eternal salvation rest in God's eternal decree, you will live forever because God chose you to live forever. You will never perish because God designed salvation. That way, to give to you a salvation that is eternal that is literally borne along by a faith that cannot die. So many will say well okay it's eternal life. Okay there will never perish, but somebody might come along. Summary might come align grab them all really no one will snatch them out of my hand.
No, my father, who has given them to me. I don't have time to go back over all that you understand that every saved person is a love gift from the father the son every single one and that the reason you're a believer is because God chose you before the foundation of the world wrote your name down a book to be a love gift to his son a part of the composite bride that the father sought in this world to redeem and give to his son to bring them to glory for a wedding and a wedding feast and a bridal city to live forever to honor and glorify the bridegroom. The whole of redemptive history is God gathering a bride for his son.
My father was given to me, is greater than all who's going to snatch them.
Who's going to be. There's no one greater than God. No one so no one is able to snatch them out of the father's hand, my hand in verse 28 my hand becomes my father's hand in verse 29. If you question my ability to hold my sheep. Then you question my father's ability to hold his sheep sacrilegious violence may nail my hands to across the sword will smite the shepherd, but none can outwit surprise or conquer my father and so none can affect the security of the sheep in John 17 Jesus prays that while he goes through the horrors of separation from God that the father would keep the sheep keep them.
He says there is no stronger passage in in the word of God, guaranteeing the absolute security of every true child of God that we just kinda spread it out a little bit. We are secure because we are chosen by God for his flock.
We are God's sheep.
Christ is our shepherd and his duty is to receive us to care for us to protect us to feed us and to suggest that he can't fulfill that is to blaspheme the good Shepherd and to blaspheme the ultimate shepherd was God himself because they do this together.
We are secure because we follow Christ.
No exceptions will follow strangers when you see somebody who is around for a while. Then they disappear. At first John 219 and went out from us because they were not of us. If they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out from us, that might be made manifest. They never were of us.
We are secure because we've been given eternal life.
To say it has an end is a contradiction in terms, and makes nonsense out of the promise we are secure because eternal life is given. It's given I give eternal life. We didn't merit it. We can't forfeit it.
We didn't do anything to receive it. We can't do anything to forfeit it. The Lord himself declares they will never perish. No one who is a sheep of his will ever go to hell.
And if they do, Christ is a liar and of Christ is a liar, then we are all on our way to hell for secure because were doubly held by the father's hand in sons hand and no one approaches their power meant that's the whole point of Romans eight is in and who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ, nothing, no one, Christ and God hold us together. If one soul who belongs to Christ should be missing in heaven.
If there is one vacant room in the father's house.
If there is one on used crown. Then God is not God.
Is this very statement that he and the father are in perfect harmony and agreement in power and purpose in securing his sheep that gives Jesus and other opportunities to declare who he is and in verse 30. The claim comes with strength I and the father are one. He transitions from just showing how they are one in the securing of the redeemed, the elect and now he makes this statement in an unmistakable fashion. We have an equal sovereignty, equal love, equal divine power to secure the sheep because we are equal because we are one in essence in the 17th chapter verse 10 Jesus speaking to the father and that prayer said all things that are mine or yours and yours or mine.
All the sheep belong to the father belong to the son, we shared all verse 20 I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those who believe in me through their word that they may all be one, even as you father are in me and I in you, that they may be in us so that the world may believe that you sent me the glory which you have given me I have given to them that they may be one, just as we are one. What what it's saying is that the unity that Christ has with the father is a unity of essence that is divine, supernatural, eternal and holy, and we will as glorified humans not becoming God but glorified humans share in that reality. That's what Scripture means when it says will be like Christ. For will see him as he is will be conformed to his image.
So when our Lord says I and the father are one is talking about the essential nature you have to understand that they're looking in the face of a Galilean carpenter pretty staggering claim. Have a ton of verification and they just had three years of it. The apostle Paul in Colossians says see to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ, don't be wrong about Christ. Don't let any professor or any writer or any pundit or any philosopher confuse you all the fullness of deity dwells in him in bodily form all the fullness of deity dwells in him in bodily form is God.
This is the claim of Christianity and that is why when he speaks, he speaks with such authority people in our world.
I want to hear anybody speak with authority, especially in the Lord Jesus Christ with the standards that he has. That was all they could take verse 31 the Jews picked up stones again the stone and again there they are that lowest level of conflict. This is the lowest level solo.
You can't make an argument you can't make a case you can't even think about it.
Just want to kill your opponent.
Chapter 5 verse 17 Jesus says my father is working until now, and I myself am working I do with the father does when the father does it. I don't pay any more attention to your Sabbath laws, then God does for this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him because he was, not only breaking the Sabbath, but he was calling God his own father, making himself equal with God.
That's all the way back months earlier.
Months and months earlier they knew exactly what he was saying he was claiming to be God.
Chapter 7 verse one after these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, he was unwilling to walk in Judea because of the Jews were seeking to kill him. Chapter 8 verse 59. He had just declared it before Abraham was, I am therefore they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. Now we have the fourth attempt to kill him. In verse 31, and there will be a subsequent effort down in verse 39. By the way the temple was always under construction and so there were lots of rocks lying around and I it is true that according to John 1831. The Romans took away from the Jews. Capital punishment that the Romans maintained the right to take a life, but this is not some form of jurisprudence.
This was not some legal procedure.
This was vengeance and anger by a religious mob and if they could've they would've killed him on the spot. Why such hostility. I think Jesus gave us the clue go back to John seven.
His brothers not of not any of them were believing in him.
So Jesus said it in my time is not yet here but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you why not believers that they're not believers. This would've been true of the disciples owes as well. Who did believe but but didn't yet really confront in preaching, but you're part of it. He says to his unbelieving brothers, but it hates me why because I offer heaven because I offer eternal life because I offer eternal joy, no because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil, that is the direct path of persecution. I don't think anybody has ever been persecuted in the name of Christianity for offering people heaven don't think so.
I don't think people get persecuted for telling people that Jesus loves them and wants to forgive their sins, which is what people say. I don't think anybody's ever been persecuted for saying God has a purpose for your life than what you find out what the purpose is any sentimental approach to preaching Jesus will avoid persecution. But when you tell sinners that their deeds are evil and damning. You will receive persecution.
So the confrontation is a hypocritical inquiry want to tell us who you really are. The claim is an unmistakable clear claim to deity. They react like a mob wanting to crush out his life but he stops them because this time is not yet because he will not die that way any conference.
The real blasphemers.
Lord, we thank you that you have chosen us to be your sheep. You have called us by name. You have enabled us by the Holy Spirit to hear your voice and follow you never follow a stranger, we thank you that you lead us to green pastures and still waters you provide for us. You protect us, you secure us you bring us to the flourishing joys of the everlasting kingdom. We thank you that all of this is possible because the shepherd gave his life for the sheep. The good Shepherd gave his life for the sheep. You're listening to Grace to you with the verse by verse Bible teaching of John MacArthur. Today's lesson is part of John series rediscovering the Christ of Scripture now going back to what John talked about before the lesson Grace to you is committed to strengthening believers and reaching the lost through the faithful preaching of God's word. If you'd like to be a part of that vital ministry. Consider making a donation when you contact us today. You can mail your tax deductible donation to Grace to you.
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