PHBC January 25, 1998

Series: First Peter, Ser. #39

SHEEP ASTRAY AND RETURNED


TEXT: 1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

INTRO: In the previous messages of the last two Sunday mornings we saw how Christ is our great Substitute bearing our sins in his own body on the tree. The verse just prior to the one I am using as a text this morning closes with the words, "by whose stripes ye were healed."

Our text begins with the word "For" which indicates its connection with that which has gone immediately before. This statement of our text is designed, I believe, to show proof of the fact that Christ did indeed bear our sins in his body on the tree and that we were healed by his stripes. The proof is in our conversion. Though we had gone astray, we were his sheep, and as the Shepherd of our souls, he returned us to himself.

In this message I wish to first reaffirm and establish that whether astray or returned to the shepherd, his people are always sheep. Second, I want to show that though sheep, we were astray from our shepherd until he returned us to himself. Third, I will emphasize that our return to the shepherd was accomplished by his power, not our own. Finally, I will briefly point out how truly blessed we are to have Jesus as the shepherd and bishop of our souls.

  1. WHETHER ASTRAY OR RETURNED TO THE SHEPHERD, HIS PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS SHEEP
    1. This is evident from the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son.
      1. The lost sheep was a sheep and it belonged to the shepherd when it was lost as well as after it was found. Luke 15:4-6 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
      2. The lost coin belonged to the woman, it was her coin while it was lost as well as after it was found. Luke 15:8-9 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
      3. The son was always a son when he was lost as well as after he was found. Luke 15:11-13 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. Luke 15:22-24 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
    2. This is evident from the fact that the elect were Godís sheep when he gave them to Christ. John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
    3. It is evident from an unambiguous statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ to a Gentile woman. Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
      1. Because of there elect status as a nation, all the nation of Israel were sometimes classified as sheep. Jeremiah 50:6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.
      2. But, in respect to the covenant of grace, not all Israelites are sheep. John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
      3. Within the Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
    4. That we were sheep before and after salvation is evident from some other things found in John 10.
      1. We were his sheep when he laid down his life for us. John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
      2. We were of his sheep before we were brought into the fold. 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.
      3. We were his sheep before we were called by and heard his voice. 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.
    5. Another evidence that we were sheep when we were yet astray is evidenced by a statement of the high priest found in Jn. 11. John 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
    6. This is also in perfect harmony with the fact that before we were ever called we were predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ. Romans 8:28-30 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

     

  2. THOUGH SHEEP, WE WERE ASTRAY FROM OUR SHEPHERD UNTIL HE RETURNED US TO HIMSELF
    1. This is true that every one of Christís sheep was astray in sin and in bondage. Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    2. We were everyone dead in trespasses and sins. Eph. 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
    3. We were everyone walking according to the course of this world and according to the will of Satan. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
    4. We were every one children of wrath just as the reprobate. 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
    5. We were no different in our nature than were others. Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
    6. Except for the power and grace of God we would still be astray in the darkness and bondage of sin.
  3. OUR RETURN TO THE SHEPHERD WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY HIS POWER, NOT OUR OWN

    1. In our text it is evident that our return was accomplished by the shepherd and bishop of our souls. 1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
      1. Note the passive in the KJV. are now returned
      2. In the Greek it is second aorist passive.
      3. We did not activate our return but were brought to that return by Jesus Christ.
    2. We were turned when God turned us. Jeremiah 31:18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.
    3. Jeremiah sets forth this same truth again in the book of Lamentations. Lamentations 5:21 Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.
    4. Consider these statements from the pen of the Psalmist. Psalm 80:3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. Psalm 80:7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. Psalm 80:19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. Psalm 85:4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
    5. If our heart has turned to Christ it is because he has turned it. 1 Kings 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
    6. The only way we could ever come to Christ is through Godís power causing us to do so. Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:63-65 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
    7. We can and will never know Christ unless God teaches us to know him. John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
    8. We were passive and God was active in our regeneration. John 3:3-5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
    9. We were passive and God active in our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
    10. In our justification we were passive. Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
    11. That we are passive in the execution of salvation is evident from Paulís answer to the Philippian jailer. Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
  4. HOW TRULY BLESSED WE ARE TO HAVE JESUS AS THE SHEPHERD AND BISHOP OF OUR SOULS

    1. He is the good shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
    2. He is the good shepherd who knows ever one of his sheep. John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
    3. He is the great shepherd of the sheep who sheds the blood of the everlasting covenant. Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
    4. He is the bishop, or overseer, of our souls. 1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
    5. He is the apostle and high priest of our profession. Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.
    6. He is the shepherd whom God has set up over us. Ezekiel 34:23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
    7. He is the gentle shepherd. Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
    8. He is the all sufficient shepherd. Psalm 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
    9. He is the chief shepherd in relation to his under shepherds who pastor his flocks. 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
    10. He is the shepherd who has born all the iniquities of his sheep. Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    11. How very blessed we are to have been returned to the shepherd and bishop of our souls.

CONC: As I thought of concluding this message I thought of the words of Jonah when he cried out, Jonah 2:9 Salvation is of the LORD. Salvation is of the Lord in its origination, execution, application, demonstration, and consummation. We came to Christ because he drew us. We believed on him because faith was given to us. We know him because God taught us. We are accepted in him because God made us accepted in him. Without him we can do nothing. Without him we would perish in our sins and suffer the torments of hell forever.

Click to return to Central Baptist Church HomePage

Click to go to Table of Contents of This Site

email(active).gif (14954 bytes) Send E-mail to rwcamp@gpp-5grace.com

Click here to see a complete listing of all messages on this site

This page last updated Friday, March 04, 2011