Summary: It’s my hope today as we go thru our passage of Scripture that we’ll see some assurances we’re given to demonstrate we belong to Christ; that we’re truly believers.
Intro: The next time you go to the airport I want you to observe the people that are around you. See if you can tell the difference between the people who have confirmed tickets and those who are on standby.
-You may notice that the ones w/confirmed tickets are relaxed, reading newspapers, talking and laughing on their cell phones or they’re asleep. What are the people who are on standby doing? They’re hanging around the ticket counter. They’re pacing around w/an anxious look on their face. A lot of times their sucking down as many cigarettes as possible!
-Now what’s the difference between these 2 types of passengers? You know what it is? It’s the confidence factor. The guys w/the confirmed tickets are able to relax b/c they know they’re getting on that plane. But the people who are on standby aren’t real sure, so they’re nervous the entire time!
-I think this gives a pretty good example of what it’s like for people who have confidence that they’re in a relationship w/Christ and people who aren’t for sure. If you don’t know which category you fall into, think @ it like this. If you knew that in 15 minutes you were going to stand in judgment before Almighty God and learn your eternal destination, what would your reaction be?
-Would you smoke and pace? Would you say to yourself, “I don’t know what God’s going to say? I don’t know if He’s going to say, “Welcome home, child,” or if He’ll say, “Depart from me; I never knew you.” Did you know God desires for us to know whether or not we have a relationship w/Him?
-That’s why John wrote in 1 John 5: 13-“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” God doesn’t desire for us to live in doubt but He desires for us to live w/confidence.
-That’s why we’re continuing our series “Cliff Notes for Xians.” There are some real basic things @ the Xian faith that we need to know. B/c if we know these things then it will enable us to live w/confidence concerning our faith.
Sermon Idea: Living in doubt isn’t a whole lot of fun. So it’s my hope today as we go thru our passage of Scripture that we’ll see some assurances we’re given to demonstrate we belong to Christ; that we’re truly believers. As you’ll see from our verses today, these words of assurance won’t be coming from me but instead they’ll be coming from Jesus.
TEXT: JOHN 10: 27-29
Bckgrd: Chapter 10 is pretty much a landmark chapter in the Bible b/c it’s here that Jesus declares rather clearly who He is. He’s our shepherd, He’s our Savior. Jesus making the comparison of Himself to a shepherd doesn’t speak to us so clearly but it did to Jesus’ audience. Israel had many people whose occupation was being a shepherd. And the people knew what role a shepherd played in the life of a sheep.
-He was the sheep’s guardian and protector. And that’s who Jesus is for those of us who are His followers. And it’s in this analogy that we’re given 3 assurances that demonstrate we belong to Christ.
-So if you’re wondering if you’re a believer or not; if you’re wondering if you’re going to go to heaven when you die, this Scripture should help you be able to answer that very important question.
-The 1st assurance that demonstrates we will always belong to Christ is:
DIV. 1: CHRIST KNOWS US (v. 27)
Exp: Does Christ know you? The word “know” in our text isn’t speaking of just an intellectual awareness. It’s in reference to an intimate relationship. So I’m asking if God knows you intimately. You might wonder, “How in the world is God supposed to get to know me intimately?” The only way He’s going to get to know you intimately is if you become one of His sheep.
A. Before we get in to how we become one of His sheep, we need to understand the analogy of Jesus being the shepherd and His followers being His sheep. This analogy would’ve made a lot of sense to the people Jesus was talking to b/c this society was a rural society.
1. In Jesus’ day shepherds had very close contact w/their sheep every day. As a matter of fact it was almost like a 24 hour a day job. The shepherds made sure sheep had something to eat and drink every day. They took care of them when they were wounded. They bandaged their wounds.
a. They kept them clean. They even gave their sheep names to be able to keep up w/them. And if one of the sheep strayed, the shepherd would go looking for that sheep to bring him back into the fold.