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 By Curtis Pugh

Poteau, OK

            Jesus Christ is the greatest success of eternity! He came for a specific purpose and He accomplished that purpose. He was named Jesus for one reason: “thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins,” (Matthew 1:21). The Lord Jesus was ethnically a Jew. The Jews were in a sense “His  people.” But He did not come to save the Jews. He was given another people. They are referred to by Him as His “sheep.” The statements of the Lord Jesus regarding His sheep teach us about the successful work of  the Good Shepherd. Consider the following verses: John 10:11: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:14: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” John 10:15: “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:16: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” John 10:26: “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

            All the different shades of free-will religion would have us think it is the sheep who are successful. But these verses all speak of the success of the Shepherd! It is not the sheep that seek the Shepherd, but rather the Shepherd seeks the sheep. And so in light of this Paul wrote: “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one,” (Romans 3:11-12). If you initiated your own salvation whether by your own home-grown “faith” or by the supposed obedience of baptism for salvation or by some other work, you were not seeking God. You may have sought an escape from God's just punishment. You may have sought peace of mind. You may have sought a better life for you and your family. You may have sought perhaps a dozen other things – but you did not seek God.

            Only the new birth – literally the birth from above – or as theologians say, “regeneration” - this sovereign work of the Holy Spirit of God makes a spiritually dead sinner alive. Nothing you do or any other human being does has anything to do with God making His elect alive. As John wrote, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” (John 1:13). Jesus said: “...Ye must be born again,” (John 3:7).

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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