If ever the God of all grace causes you to be isolated from him, alone, helpless, and hopeless, he will bring you into a life of sweet communion with him (Hosea 2:6-14).
Blest Surety, Keep Me all My Days — Don Fortner (Tune: #497 — When I Can Read My Title Clear —CM)
1. A debtor to Jehovah's law, Trembling with guilt I stood, As Justice drew its dreadful sword, Demanding my life’s blood.
2. “Sinner, stand forth,” it sternly cried, “And pay me what you owe!” “’Tis done,” said Jesus, “I have died; Loose him, and let him go!”
3. “I am his Sur’ty, I, the Lord. “Behold my wounded side!” He spoke, and Justice dropped its sword, And said, “I’m satisfied!”
4. When first I heard my Sur’ty’s voice, (My cause His own He makes!) It made my fainting heart rejoice, And made my songs awake.
5. To Christ, my Sur’ty, all the praise I give for love so vast! Blest Sur’ty, keep me all my days, And clear my soul at last.
“The Good Shepherd giveth His Life for the Sheep.” John 10:11
The Son of God laid down his life and died for those people who are specifically designated his sheep (John 10:15, 11, 26). The objects of redemption, those for whom Christ laid down his life as a ransom price, are described as "sheep". They are the sheep of Christ, his special property as the Good Shepherd. As such, they were given to him by his Father from eternity. These sheep are represented as being everlastingly distinct from others who are not his sheep. The whole human race is divided into two groups: sheep and goats. Sheep never become goats; and goats never become sheep. All of us are one or the other, either sheep or goats. Some of the sheep are saved. Some are lost. But all are safe. They are “his sheep.” Some are folded. Some are straying. But all are redeemed. They are “his sheep.” The Word of God tells us certain, specific things about these sheep, things which distinguish the sheep from the goats.
Known by Christ
The sheep are known by Christ. He says, "I know my sheep," but not merely by his omniscience. In that sense he knows all men. The Lord Jesus knows his sheep distinctly as his own in a way that he does not know those who are not his sheep (Matthew 7:23). The Lord knows them that are his from others. That is just another way of saying, Christ loves his sheep. He has knowledge of them, joined with special love and affection for them; as he has not for others, to whom he will say, “Depart from me: I never knew you.”
The sheep know the Shepherd, too. (John 10:4). Christ is "known" by those sheep of his for whom he laid down his life. They all know him in his person, offices, and grace. Whereas there are many who neither know the Father nor the Son. The sheep know the voice of Christ; that is, the gospel of Christ, the joyful sound. Whereas the gospel is hid to them that are lost:
Called and Follow
Those sheep for whom the Good Shepherd laid down his life, once they are called, hearing his voice, “follow” the Shepherd who died for them (John 10:27). They follow his Word, his steps, his example, and his Spirit. They imitate him in the exercise of grace, love, patience, and humility and in the performance of every duty (Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, etc.). It is written, regarding all the redeemed from among men, that they "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” (Revelation 14:4).
The sheep, being ransomed by the blood of Christ, “shall never perish” (John 10:28). The goats, set on Christ's left hand, he shall command to go, as cursed ones, into everlasting fire (Matthew 25:33-34). The sheep shall be blessed forever. They are forgiven of all sin forever. They are perfectly justified from all things, from which they could never be justified by the law. They are perfectly holy, righteous before God, having the righteousness of Christ imputed to them in free justification and imparted to them in the new creation. The sheep of Christ have that blessed “holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.” They are sanctified unto the Lord, by the purpose of God, the blood of Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are sealed, kept, and preserved in grace and life in Christ forever!
The Children of God — The Only Objects of Redemption John 11:52
The Son of God died to redeem and save those chosen sinners who were adopted from eternity as the children of God. He did not die in vain for those he never chose to save. Our great, sin-atoning Substitute laid down his life and died for the children of God. He died to "gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad" throughout the world. Redemption and Adoption
Redemption and adoption belong to the same people. Those who are predestinated to adoption by Christ are said to have redemption in him through his blood (Ephesians 1:5, 7). This blessing of adoption, in the full enjoyment of it, in the resurrection, is called “the redemption of the body.” The resurrection is called the redemption of our bodies because redemption, in so far as the application of it is concerned, will not be complete until our very bodies are redeemed from all the consequences of Adam’s fall (Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:14; 4:30).
All Who Believe
Our all-glorious Redeemer died for every sinner in the world who believes on him as Savior and Lord. The fruit of redemption is the evidence of redemption; and faith in Christ is both the fruit and the evidence of redemption. The children of God are a particular number of men, who were given by God to his Son to redeem. They are the seed promised to him in the covenant of grace that he should see and enjoy, and with whom he shall be satisfied forever. These are the people to whom he stands in the relation of the everlasting Father. They are the people for whom and on whose account he became incarnate, took part of the same flesh and blood. They are the many sons he shall bring to glory (Hebrews 2:10, 13, 14). They, and only they, are the children of God who are openly and manifestly the children of God by faith, who believe in Christ. This faith in Christ is owing to and the result of special grace and distinguishing love. It is a work, operation, and blessing of grace conferred upon none but they who are the objects of God’s election and Christ’s redemption, and is a favor that is conferred only on the elect (Romans 9:8; Galatians 3:26; John 1:12; 1John 3:1). If you trust the Son of God, he died for you. Your faith in him is the fruit and evidence of the fact that he redeemed you with his precious blood.
Our great and glorious Savior died, made atonement for, and redeemed with his precious blood his church which is his bride and spouse. It is the church which he loved and for which he gave himself as a sacrifice and ransom price to redeem. It is the church he has purchased with his blood. That church is all the elect of God, whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life (Ephesians 5:25; Acts 20:28). Of that church of which Christ is the head and husband, he is the Redeemer (Isaiah 54:5). That cannot be said of any denomination, or of all bodies of men professing to be the church of Christ. The great whore of Babylon is not the spouse of Christ. Those who are drunk with the intoxicating wine of Babylon (Arminian, free-will, works religion) do not belong to and have no part with this church which is the bride of Christ. That church coming from Babel our Redeemer calls a whore. The church which is his bride, he calls a chaste virgin! Though there may be “threescore queens, and fourscore concubines” of Babylon’s sort, Christ says, "my dove, my undefiled, is but one” (Song of Solomon6:9). This is his Bride. This is his spouse
THE GRACE BULLETIN
January 29, 2012
GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH of DANVILLE 2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438 Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail [email protected]
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
Sunday 10:00 A.M. Bible Classes 10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service 6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service