Friday, June 9, 2017

An Understanding of Sheep in the New Testament

     I was talking to a man at church last Sunday and he made a statement that surprised me because I've never heard it before. He said, "We are not under the Law, we are in the age of grace. And in the age of grace, God never calls the church His sheep." 
     I'm not sure where this man was coming from or what his point was. I probably should have asked him, but I didn't. From other statements he made, it sounded like he believed in Calvinism and Lordship Salvation. Anyway, after we got done talking, I kept thinking about his comment, and if it was true that God never calls the church His sheep? 
     The portion of Scripture that the Lord brought to my remembrance was from Hebrews 13:20 when it says that God "brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep". Another Bible verse that I thought of is when Jesus says in John 10:16, "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold." I have always understood that statement as Jesus looking ahead in time and making reference to the church in distinction to the nation of Israel (compare Matthew 16:18). Can you think of any other Bible verses where the church in this age of grace is referred to as God's sheep? 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Charles Ryrie on How Not to Interpret the Gospel

     Several years ago I came across an interesting video online called "Dr. Charles Ryrie on the Gospel". In the video Ryrie says, “I don’t know how to label this [gospel]. I think I’ll label it a ‘cut up’ gospel. A gospel according to scissors. Where people are taking a portion of the Scripture, and getting their soteriology out of that portion only."[1]
     Ryrie goes on to describe this gospel as “a gospel that is dissected – cut up, because of the raw material you used to draw your theological conclusions”.[2]
     Although Ryrie is specifically referring to those who isolate the Synoptic Gospels to teach a works approach to salvation, his insights on the hermeneutics of the gospel are true in general: you can’t isolate one portion of Scripture to the exclusion of the others and you can’t cut and paste the gospel.


[1] Ryrie, “Dr. Charles Ryrie on the Gospel,” Also see the video: "FGA Banquet 2008, Dr. Charles C. Ryrie," [15:50 minutes -18:25 minutes]. 

[2] Ibid.