Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christian Life and Liberty (John 10:9-11)

John 10:9-11
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

When Jesus described Himself as the door He was using more than just a metaphor, which was familiar to those in the culture into which He spoke it. He was declaring that He Himself is the way to life, both life eternal and life abundant here and now. Life eternal that is regenerated and renewed by the Spirit of God by which we come into a personal relationship with God the Father through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord (Titus 3:4-7). That is the promise and the grace of God towards all who put their faith in Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead (Rom. 10:9-10, 13).
Life abundant. As we put away the old things and attitudes which were hostile to God and our fellow person and embrace the new things that are according to Christ. "For if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new." 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore having been justified (that is declared righteous) by faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1) we are being sanctified by the Spirit of God and thus we are to live out this new nature within us as God's redeemed children (Gal. 5:16-23).
Again Jesus' came so that we have life and have it more abundantly. Life, which begins by being in relationship with God the Father through Himself (John 14:26). That is where life is found. Knowing God personally. For life true, full and meaningful is found only in the Person of Jesus Christ whose Spirit imparts not only His life in us but also the fruits of His life. Which are the fruits of the Spirit of God (Gal. 5:22-23). For it is the Holy Spirit who not only brings to life everyone who believes in Jesus Christ the Lord, but also unites us to Christ and each other, and imparts each believer with these. Now these fruits are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control. These then are to govern a believers new life in Christ rather then sin or the Law (Gal. 5:16-23). And so as one draws nearer to the heart of God these fruits will become more apparent in ones own heart and life as well. Therefore we can hope for ongoing change and growth as we yield our lives and will to God to be Spirit led, rather then mislead by our own sinful desires, for we will grow up into Christian maturity as we keep Christ's commandments through these (Rom. 13:9-10). Therefore we find freedom to worship God and enjoy life in all the creative genius He gives us that respects these. For we are as Jesus said free to go in and go out and find pasture. Free to live and free to love. For the Spirit of God goes with us and that is how the fragrance of Christ is to be manifested through us to others by our love for each other (John 13:34-35). Thus the life of Christ is seen in us as we live according to these. Therefore do not let the thief steal your liberty, to live life fully and love all people abundantly, which Jesus Christ purchased for us all at Calvary. Instead go in and experience worship of God and fellowship with other believers, then go out and experience life together; believer and unbeliever alike in all its fullness. For that is what Jesus desires for us all. To receive life from Him and then go live it out. For in doing so we become complete and mature human beings who positively impact the lives and societies which we live in.

Now in contrast to Christ who comes bringing life in all it's fullness; the thief only brings death, which is contrary to Christ's Person as Savior and Restorer of life. For God is above all else a God who loves. Whose love motivates Him to seek out those who are straying (Luke 15:3-7). And thus offers mercy and restoration to life to all who repent and believe in the gospel (Matt. 9:9-13; Mark 1:15). Therefore Jesus invites all to come and drink of His living waters, which He pours into every soul who believes in Him (John 4:14). For where God is there is life (John 3:16) and there is love (1 John 4:7-11). That is one sure mark of His Presence.

Again unlike the Son of God who brings healing in His wings (Mal. 4:2). The thief only comes to destroy. That is the measure of him (John 8:44). Finally Jesus says that He is the good the Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. Therefore Jesus Christ's character unlike the thieves always manifests itself in self sacrificing love. That is what the Good Shepherd does He lays down His life so that through Him we might live.

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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