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Monday, January 22, 2018

MY SHEEP – Part 2

Eternal life – John 10:28
          Jesus said, “I give them (My sheep) eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” Our eternal security is promised by the Father and purchased by Christ’s shed, sinless blood. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Christ has us in the grip of His nail-pierced Hand. The Father has our other hand and the power of the Holy Spirit is within us and without us to empower, lead, guide, teach and protect us. David, a man after God’s own heart, understood the security of loving God. He said in Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be moved.” The right hand is the place of power, authority and strength. Jesus sits at the right hand of the throne of God in the heavenly throne room. No one can be snatched out of the Hands that created the heavens and the earth and all within! Our life is now “hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3 We are His precious possession. Notice that Jesus said he “gives” eternal life. It is a gift not something that can be earned through works.
            The ability to “know” Christ is also the gift of the Godhead. We cannot manufacture it on our own. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit “keep” us and protect us, and because we love the Godhead, we listen and obey. Following Jesus is a response to believing in Him.
            Jesus said in John 6:39-40 that He would not “lose any of those the Father gave to Him.” The devil and his demonic army will try to snatch us away, but will not succeed because the Godhead is greater and more powerful than any devil. It is important to point out here that our free will can open the door to Satan by going against God’s Word. False teaching can also lead us astray. For this reason, we must “test the spirits” and try to obey God’s Word. God will never tell you to do something contrary to His Word. To be obedient requires the work of the whole Godhead. The Father wills a thing, the Son obeys the Father perfectly and the Holy Spirit teaches us the Truth and empowers us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. This, of course, is a gradual process. Each time the Godhead brings us to understanding and obedience, the new, eternal spiritual life of Jesus comes alive in us. Jesus said in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”  Following His voice (Word) shows our faith and love for Jesus. Jesus wants us to choose to obey Him out of our love for Him. Commanded or demanded obedience is not love at all because true love can only be given from the heart by choice. Jesus obeyed the Father because of His love for Him and for all humanity.

“I and the Father are One.” John 10:30
          Jesus is the complete revelation of God. To behold Jesus is to behold the Father. He is the fullness of the Godhead and all the attributes of God in completeness. To see Jesus is to truly see the Father. Jesus’ knowledge of the Father is absolute. They are One in Word, purpose and power. Jesus knows the Father thoroughly because He brought the knowledge of the Father from His existence with the Father before anything was created. Jesus had no beginning or end. He was in the beginning with the Father and the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the Godhead are eternal. Jesus had a “beginning” and “end” in the flesh, but not in the spiritual realm. The position of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will never change. Sin has never touched them as it has humanity. The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.  He became Man but did not cease to be God. He remained sinless even though He was confronted with the weakness of flesh. Humanity had sinned and lost the image of God, so God sent His only begotten Son to save humanity and reveal God in all His glory, truth and love. Jesus wanted humans to know the Father as He knew Him. Jesus used His love, His character, His words, His deeds and His life to show us the Father. This is pure love, my friends. Jesus now wants His believers to show others Him in the same way – by our love, character, words, deeds and life.

Unbelieving Jews want to Stone Jesus
Jesus said, “I and the Father are One.” John 10:30 The unbelievers understood what Jesus meant by these words. They were ready to stone Him for the crime of blasphemy. In Jesus’ time, death by stoning was the penalty for professing to be God. (see Mark 14:64) Jesus was claiming the right and authority that belongs to God alone.
Jesus came to earth with a very different revelation of the kingdom of God than these Jewish religious leaders had. Because the Jews had been oppressed, suppressed and in bondage over the years, they wanted God to send the Messiah to set up an earthly, political kingdom for the Jews. They were waiting for their Messiah to come to do this because they were in bondage to the Romans at the time Jesus came.  They wanted their Messiah to come and rescue them from earthly bondage and set up His kingdom of power so they could overtake their earthly enemies. Jesus did come to do this but His was a spiritual kingdom of believers whom He wanted to work through to defeat the spiritual enemy of all people – Satan.

Jesus said to the Jews who wanted to stone Him, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone Me?” John 10:32 In other words, prove that I have sinned! They responded, “We are not stoning you for any of these, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” The miracles of God that Jesus was doing were the very ones prophesied of in the Older Testament scriptures that these religious leaders knew well. 

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