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Archive for March 3rd, 2011

Jesus’ sheep

I have other sheep. Those who in process of time should believe in Christ, and be brought into obedience to him from among the Gentiles, are here called sheep, and he is said to have them, though as yet they were uncalled, and many of them unborn, because they were chosen of God, and given to Christ in the counsels of divine love from eternity. Christ has a right, by virtue of the Father’s donation and his own purchase, to many a soul of which he has not yet the possession; thus he had much people in Corinth, when as yet it lay in wickedness, Acts 18:10. “Those other sheep I have,” saith Christ, “I have them on my heart, have them in my eye, am as sure to have them as if I had them already.”

He condemns them for their obstinate unbelief, notwithstanding all the most plain and powerful arguments used to convince them: "You believed not; and again, You believed not. You still are what you always were, obstinate in your unbelief." But the reason he gives is very surprising: "You believed not, because you are not of my sheep: you believe not in me, because you belong not to me." … "You are not designed to be my followers; you are not of those that were given me by my Father, to be brought to grace and glory. You are not of the number of the elect; and your unbelief, if you persist in it, will be a certain evidence that you are not." … The not being included among the elect is not the proper cause of infidelity, but merely the accidental cause. But faith is the gift of God, and the effect of predestination.

Source: Matthew Henry, John 10

Who is the Proprietor of the sheep? They are all Christ’s. “My sheep hear My voice.” How came the saints to be Christ’s? They are His, first of all, because He chose them. Before the worlds were made, out of all the rest of mankind He selected them. He knew the race would fall and become unworthy of the faculties with which He endowed them and the inheritance He had assigned them. To Him belonged the sovereign prerogative that He might have mercy on whom He would have mercy. And He, out of His own absolute will, and according to the counsel of His own good pleasure, made choice severally and individually of certain persons—and He said, “These are Mine.” Their names were written in His book—they became His portion and His heritage. Having chosen them of old so many ages ago, rest assured He will not lose them now.

Source: Charles Spurgeon, The Sheep and Their Shepherd Sermon (#995)

Who are these? Well, these “other sheep” were, first, His chosen, for He has a people whom He has chosen out of the world and ordained unto eternal life. “You have not chosen Me,” He said, “but I have chosen you”—there is a people upon whom His sovereignty has fixed its loving choice from before the foundation of the world! And of these elect ones, He says, “I have them.” His election of them is the basis of His property in them. These are, also, those whom His Father gave Him, of whom He says in another place, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me.” And again, “Of those whom You have given Me I have lost none.” His Father’s eternal donation of them seals His title to them! These are the people for whom He peculiarly and especially laid down His life that they might be the redeemed of the Lord.

Source: Charles Spurgeon, Other Sheep and One Flock Sermon 25 March, 1883 (#1713)

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To particular sons. Christ came into the world, [1.] Intentionally and designedly to give sight to those that were spiritually blind; by his word to reveal the object, and by his Spirit to heal the organ, that many precious souls might be turned from darkness to light.

source: Matthew Henry, John 9:39-41

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