Summary: Easter 4(A) - We were like sheep going astray BUT our Good Shepherd bore our sins so that we may follow in his steps.
WE WERE LIKE SHEEP GOING ASTRAY (Outline)
April 29, 2007 - EASTER 4 - 1 Peter 2:19-25
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INTRO: There are all kinds of voices that we hear calling to us in our lives. There is the voice of human wisdom. Human wisdom likes to say, “My knowledge is supreme.” There is the voice of human reason. Our rational minds try to reason out everything in this life. Now, human reason is not always in harmony with the truth of Scripture. Sadly, some churches have placed the value and importance of human reason over the truth and power of the word of God. We may also have listened to other voices in our lives.
Today we hear and listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd. Our Good Shepherd calls and we hear and we listen and we follow. Please take time today to read chapter 10 of John (the Good Shepherd chapter). Here is one verse from John 10. "The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out"(JOHN 10:3). The end of our text today reminds us:
WE WERE LIKE SHEEP GOING ASTRAY.
I. Our Good Shepherd bore our sins, so
II. That we follow in his steps.
I. OUR GOOD SHEPHERD BORE OUR SINS
A. This letter of God through Peter was a letter of hope and encouragement for persecuted believers.
1. Chapter 2 begins by reminding these believers to live as God’s people in an ungodly world.
2. In verse 18 Peter mentions the obedience of slaves to / for their masters.
3. This obedience was to be carried out because this action also meant obedience to God.
B. Verse 19. Obedience might also include bearing up under unjust suffering.
1. These believers would and could endure because they were conscious of God.
2. Verse 22 reminds these believers of the injustice Jesus endured – willingly, for them.
C. The innocent Good Shepherd bore the sins of the guilty sheep, verse 24.
1. The sheep could not save themselves. It took the sacrificial love of Jesus to carry their sins.
2. Verse 25 describes the concern of the Good Shepherd for the souls of wandering sheep.
D. On this Good Shepherd Sunday we are reminded of our own wandering ways. What voices do we pay attention to? There is the voice of the world that tries to strike fear in our hearts. There are the voices of our own human wisdom, reason, and selfishness. All these can easily lead us astray, in the wrong direction. But thanks be to God who does not abandon us to our sinful, selfish ways. Thanks be to God who provides the Good Shepherd who bore our sins! "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all"(ISAIAH 53:6).
E. There is a certain comfort in the sure knowledge of our eternal salvation. Those that listen to false prophets and shepherds often are unsure of what the future has in store. This is not the case for the wandering sheep that hear, listen and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd. Uncertainty of what is yet to come is not the case for you. "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life"(ROMANS 6:22). Our Good Shepherd bore our sins to take away the punishment of sin. We are set free from sin. We were like sheep going astray but now we are God’s sheep going to heaven.
F. Our Good Shepherd bore our sins to provide eternal life for each and every one of us. Eternity is the Good Shepherd’s gift to us, his wandering sheep. This gift of the Good Shepherd on the cross is ours by grace through faith. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God"(2 CORINTHIANS 5:21). Our Good Shepherd who was innocent, blameless and righteous bore our sins. We who are guilty and unrighteous are forgiven by God’s grace, love, and mercy. Our heavenly Father no longer sees our sins but sees the perfect sacrifice of his Son, our Good Shepherd.
WE WERE LIKE SHEEP GOING ASTRAY. Praise God that our Good Shepherd bore our sins. So --
II. THAT WE FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS
A. These believers were under constant threat and attacks by the government and even the church.
1. This was not to be totally unexpected. Verse 19 spoke of unjust suffering.
2. Their knowledge (and faith in) of God was would cause these believers to endure.