10 July 2010

Safe in My Father's Arms

John 10:27-30

Can I ask you a question this morning?.................... Can we be sure of anything in this life? What do I mean!...................... Do we have some form of evidence or assurance that:
  • we won't get cancer or some other terrible disease in our lifetime
  • we will always have great crops each and every year
  • we will have lasting relationships with family.......friends......marriages
  • our children will come to Christ as Lord....... before they die
  • we will even get to see another day!
James said “whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14. There is ONE thing in this life that I'm completely sure of and that is God loves this wretched man so much, that He willing laid down His life for my sin! He loves me so much! He assures it with this promise..... “For He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU." So we may boldly say: "THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?" Heb 13:5-6. That verse becomes very comforting especially after the verse I just read from Jesus' half brother James......”my life is but a mist here today gone tomorrow”

1.Are you Saved?
2.Is the Lord Jesus your greatest comfort......your greatest treasure?
3.Do you have that assurance in your salvation today?

Can you say with confidence that if you put your head down on your pillow this afternoon and you didn’t wake up! That you would be in His glorious presence with all the Saints of old......Can you say YES! The reason I ask these question is that their are many good intentional people today, who say “Eternal security is a false teaching, or a false hope........we can't really know for certain that we are eternally secure." My answer to those sceptics is hogwash! Biblical assurance means the work of God which guarantee's that the gift of salvation, once received is possessed FOREVER and cannot be lost.. Its a Firm persuasion; full confidence or trust; freedom from doubt; certain expectation; the utmost certainty. “... Let us draw near with full assurance...” (Heb 10). Why is that so hard to take or understand this doctrine of truth? I worked with a man back East who believed in the sovereignty of God with one hand, and with the other he would say "their is no such thing as eternal security for the believer." Where does a person go from such a high view of God to such a low view of God? My only guess is a lack of Bible knowledge and understanding. I am hear today to tell you! that my friend and all those who doubt eternal security that they have been deceived by their own understanding. As Solomon said “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; (Prov 3:5). We are going to go to the Scriptures this morning and see for ourselves that the Bible speak very clearly on the doctrine of Eternal Security! Turn in your Bibles to John chapter 10.......(Quick background as you turn to this wonderful passage) Jesus just healed a blind man from birth......This blind man worships the true Living God......The Pharisee's are greatly disturbed by Jesu once again. So once again! Jesus confronts their blindness and their disbelief. Jesus tells a story about the Shepherd and His sheep, He explains to them that eternal security ONLY belongs to those who repent and follow by faith! But it must come from a genuine transformation that ONLY God can do by His sovereign grace. Why? because the sheep KNOW His Voice. Jesus displays many truths of Eternal Security for the genuine believer. Here are 4 things to remember about your salvation

1. The Sheep find Rest in the Shepherd who has the Power to Keep You (v29)

He is sovereign over your life. Why? because He has the power to save you and keep you. "Now to Him who is able to keep (on guard, preserves, watches) you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy," Jude 24. Our assurance lies in His sovereign plan for our lives

a. He is able to save you “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

b. He is able to deliver you “who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself”. (Phil 3:21)

c. He is able to present you faultless as we have just seen in the book of Jude. He will present you blameless because of Jesus Christ and His finishing work on the cross..

2. The Sheep find Rest in the Shepherd's Voice (v27)

Does your salvation bring comfort to your heart, knowing that Jesus has conquered the grave? "My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (Psalms 73:26). What do you mean? Are His promises enough to give a Christian assurance? Jesus seems to think so. Look what he says (v27) Does the Word of God bring joy to your heart? Does it give you a sense of peace and rest?Jesus said My sheep hear my voice? How do we hear His voice? Answer: Through the Word of God “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path”. (Ps 119:105). Job said he treasured His Words more than food “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.” (Job 23:12). We hear His voice because its Authoritative! I can remember as young boy, my father would call out to me with authority and I would always come right away. Why? Because He is my father and he rules over me. The Good Shepherd is the same, He rules over His children, because His voice is authoritative "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matt 28:18). Apostle Peter said “who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.” (1 Peter 3:22) His voice speaks of peace and rest and with authority and the sheep hear and follow Him...

3. The Sheep find Rest in the Shepherds Protection (v28)

Pluck them - In the original (means) to rob; to seize and bear away as a robber does his prey. Jesus holds them so secure and so certainly that no one can surprise Him as a robber does, or overcome Him by force. Not one person or thing can remove anything from the Hands of the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe. Jesus even goes to say “....My hand” - The hand is that by which we hold or secure an object. It means that Jesus has them safely in His own care and keeping. So what is Jesus saying. I think Paul says it the best "For I am persuaded (confidence, assurance) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom 8:38-39. Why do we have this confidence that Paul speaks of. How can we be as sure as Paul did when he wrote his letters. Its called the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has everything to do with the One that keeps him and us The HOLY SPIRIT......"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise," (Eph 1:13)You are sealed by God not man......God sealed us; we did not seal ourselves......You are permanently sealed by His everlasting promise of grace.

4. The Sheep find Rest in the True Shepherd (v30)

Both the Father and the Son are committed to protecting and preserving the sheep. Why? Because they are one in the same essence. A holy God came to this earth to display His love for sinners such as us and His name is Jesus Christ the way the truth and the life, the Great Shepherd. The one who David was speaking about in Psalm 23

a) The Believer KNOWS He is Sovereign (v1-6)
b) The Believer KNOWS His voice and they follow (v2)
c) The Believer KNOWS He goes before His sheep (v3)
d) The Believer KNOWS to walk with confidence (v4)
e) The Believer KNOWS the Father loves them (v5)
f) The Believer KNOWS where to find rest for eternity (v6)

Safe in the arms of the Father! Don't ever let anyone tell you that you cannot have assurance, because the Bible gives rest for those who genuinely put their faith and trust in the Great I AM; the Great Shepherd. Remember! "When God calls a man, He does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favourites, and afterwards throw them into prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alteration. God's call is founded upon His decree, and His decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed. God blots out His people's sins, but not their names." —Thomas Watson. That's why He is the Great Shepherd. The Sunday Question is: ...........................Are you one of His sheep? Because the sheep says in his or her's heart “I'm with Him the Shepherd the lover and keeper of my soul” The Great Shepherd where I find my salvation and rest....... forever! (for all eternity). The great reform preacher Richard Baxter once said “In our first paradise in Eden there was a way to go out but no way to go in again. But as for the heavenly paradise, there is a way to go in, but not a way to go out.” That is so true of our Great Shepherd! "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' Isa 41:10. Isaiah believed that in his day.....so why not you and me today!! So my question for you personally is...............Do you believe that this morning?