Friday, June 9, 2017

An Understanding of Sheep in the New Testament

"Christ...the great Shepherd of the sheep. After all, both Israel and the church are called His sheep." - J. Vernon McGee

     I was talking to a man at a church I was visiting 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. Perhaps I should have asked, but I didn't. I just kept listening. 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"? 
     Almost immediately I remembered the portion of Scripture that says that God "brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep" (Hebrews 13:20). 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? 

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