Welcome to this 4th Sunday in Easter Season.
You may download our Readings Here: https://apostlesri.org/wp-conte…/uploads/…/04/4-Easter-1.pdf

They are: Acts 6:1-9 & 51-60; Psalm 23; 1 Peter2:19-25; and Gospel of John 10:1-10


well good morning out there family of
God it is good to worship together and
so before we dive into the Word of God
this morning let’s take a moment and ask
for God’s blessing on our time together
Heavenly Father we thank you for Jesus
that he was raised from the dead that he
was raised incorruptible we thank you
for this Easter season and how we can
celebrate that resurrection we thank you
that he was raised for our justification
and we want to also thank you for his
ministry his teaching ministry because
he is the Good Shepherd who leads us in
to the pastures of truth father give us
ears to hear this morning
help us to hear your word and do it with
obedient hearts so we pray these things
and the matchless matchless name of your
son Jesus Christ our Lord
well this is one of those famous
passages the passage where Jesus says I
came to give them life that they might
have life and that they might have it
abundantly and it’s a very powerful
statement because a lot of us have life
but don’t really feel like we live in
abundance and even as Christians
sometimes we feel that way until we have
to ask ourselves what does it mean to
have life abundantly what is abundant
life it sure sounds good
and Jesus contrast this with the
deceivers goal which is to steal kill
and destroy the deceivers role is to
take life it’s to take the good things
from us to steal from us and to destroy
what’s good to destroy beauty harmony
relationships pleasure bliss the the
goal of the enemy according to Jesus who
is cast in the picture of a wolf preying
on the flock here is to take everything
that’s good from us
and so it’s good for us to start with
this question here what is it that we
all want at the deepest level of our
person what is it what is it we all
really desire and I think the answer to
that question is what we all want is to
be right at the level of our nature let
me say that again what we all want is to
be right or we want things right at the
very core of our nature we want things
put right in the world when we go
through life we constantly run up
against troubles difficulties just when
you think you’re getting out of the debt
you get a bill from the IRS or whatever
it may be and there’s always some it’s
like there’s never a smooth path in life
there’s always a stony path where we’re
tripping and stumbling and it’s uneven
along the way and sometimes it feels
more rocky for others than for some but
even some of the most successful people
just find a life a constant onslaught of
problems just to hold on to their
success or wealth or reputation and so
what I mean by right is a good and
correct and whole and right relationship
to the world around us and to the people
around us what we’d all like is for
everything to be good and just not have
any problems sometimes right we just
just just cut it could things just stay
right for a while but that’s not the way
life is if you if you don’t tend your
garden it just over grows the weeds come
right back
and that’s the way life in this world is
and so when I’m talking about being
right at the level of our nature what
we’re talking about is a completeness a
complete rightness a holistic sense of
rightness that the world is right
because deep down and every one of us we
know that the world is not right
you see everybody looks out there and
wants a better world and they have a
moral view of it a very moral view and
when you you think about that even if
you take people who are on opposite ends
of the spectrum you know you you you
take our current political debate with
the left and the right at the end of the
day both want a better world they have
different ideas about how to get there
but they’re all arguing from a moral
point of view I listen to one speaker
this week talking about that and he says
whether you’re on on the left or the
right everybody is taking this moral
point of view that the world’s not right
and it needs to be put right and one of
the great idols that we have is to look
to a political process and political
leaders and that’s not just an American
thing that’s a world over thing the the
German people and the 30s were swept
away by the promises of Hitler would it
what did he offer them he offered them a
better Germany he offered them a better
fatherland he offered them a better
and so we’re easily lured in why because
it’s it’s already there in our human
heart and with that is this sense of
wanting to always be right our selves
too we have this paradox of insecurity
and pride
pride is not the product of confidence
but of insecurity I can speak with
Simmons some experience sometimes what
passes for confidence is gross
compensation for insecurity and secure
insecurity stems from not knowing at the
core of our being that we are not right
with the world
and all of us deep down know that but we
find different ways we find different
workarounds to make us think that we’re
right with the world we find workarounds
like success in our career success in
our business or success in this that or
the other thing or being the perfect
parent in our own minds or being the
perfect spouse or perfect employee
whatever it may be
we find other things and part of the
paradox of the passage here is that the
sheep in the fold are being warned that
there’s always somebody climbing over
the wall making promises to leave them
out and yet the goal of the one who
climbs over the wall and leads them out
is not going to lead them into safe
pastures he’s not going to lead them in
and out what he’s going to lead is to
death and destruction to steal kill and
destroy and yet he never does that by
offering destruction it’s always by
offering a vision of a better world
that’s what the deceiver that’s why he’s
he’s called the Prince of the pallet II
of the air it says he’s an angel of
light and that’s what all false Gospels
are as they promise a better future
that’s what every every human at the
core of our being we want we want a
better future and that is precisely what
the gospel promises us it promises us a
better future it doesn’t offer it’s
always an easy
future in the meantime but it offers us
the gospel offers us not only a better
future it offers the best future but
that best future sometimes comes at some
cost in this world sometimes a great
deal of cost in this world and that cost
can be big to our ego you think about
our relationships and somebody corrects
us and think about how how defensive we
get why because we want to be right with
the world we want the world put right we
want our problems con but we also always
want to think that we’re right and so
why do we get defensive why do we self
justify we do this to make ourselves
right with the world
but there’s a there’s a slippery slope
in that there’s a big thing because what
we’re doing when we self justify and get
defensive is more than half the time is
we’re deceiving ourselves which makes us
feel like we’re right with the world but
leaves us in the place of being wrong
deep down we know that we’re not right
with other people in the world and
things are not right at the core of our
being but we self justify anyways
excusing and self-justifying doesn’t
make us right with the world and it does
not make us right with ourselves but it
leaves us in the wasteland of thinking
that we’re right and so here’s the
question well if we’re not right with
the world and we cannot fix this
ourselves what can we do what is the
solution what is the solution well
there’s a lot of solutions that we could
try and muster and granted every one of
them well prophet promised us some kind
of future but they don’t solve the
problem only one does which is the
gospel of Jesus Christ because if we’re
not right with the world
and we can’t fix this problem ourselves
then we need somebody to help us and you
see that’s kind of the problem going on
here in this passage here in John
because when we look at this passage in
John it’s not unimportant that we look
at the passage right ahead of it because
of the John 9 is dealing with the man
who’s born blind and the whole issue of
that passage is about spiritual sight
are you able to see are we able to see
things for what they really are
spiritually in the world and at one
point the blind man marvels that Jesus
has restored his sight and he says to
the Pharisees you know he restored my
sight and yet I find it amazing that you
don’t know where he came from
you see that’s that that paradox I was
just talking about that paradox of
insecurity and pride the Pharisees are
so dedicated to their pride and their
own vision of being right with the world
that they’re willing to deny what
they’ve just seen a miracle that this
may that Jesus has restored a man’s
sight and instead of being willing to
reassess and correct their paradigm and
say maybe the way we see the world is
completely incorrect and we have to
change our mind and the Bible has a word
for that that’s called repent but
instead what they do is they hardened
their hearts and if you see in John nine
39 and 41 Jesus says for judgment I came
into this world that those who do not
see may see and those who see may become
blind some of the Pharisees near him
heard these things and said to him are
we also blind you can hear the offense
in that excuse me are you saying that we
are blind and Jesus in his wise ways
says to them if you were blind you would
have no guilt but now that you say we
see your guilt remains and so you see
the paradox work out there and see they
don’t want to admit that they might be
wrong and so in refusing to admit
they’re wrong or refusing to even
consider that they might be wrong they
beat their chest to say we see we we we
know things better we’re the religious s
chillon here and that’s what they said
to the blind man in that passage you are
utterly born as sin you’re not teaching
us and so for that reason Jesus says
their guilt remains but if they had beat
their chest like the tax collector and
the gospel and said Oh God forgive me a
sinner I don’t know God reveal yourself
to me then God would offer them
forgiveness and this is a very important
passage because the idea that all of us
the world over nobody wants to hear
about today is God being a God of
judgment and what we try to do is
separate between God the Father of the
Old Testament and the Jesus of the New
Testament and we make Jesus into the
gentle loving Jesus who never gets mad
which is not the Jesus of the New
he’s very zealous for righteousness and
kind of the bad god of the Old Testament
and yet here comes Jesus saying for
judgment I came into the world that
those who do not see may see and those
who see may become blind well why does
he say this well what’s important is is
that Jesus he’s coming to save the world
but the judgment that he’s talking about
separates between the just and the
unjust and as has been said before
there’ll be nobody in hell who didn’t
choose it
you see Jesus came to have compassion
Jesus doesn’t want to judge us but
sometimes we give him no other choice
and here in this passage the Pharisees
give him no other choice and so that
leads us to a very big question what is
preventing the Pharisees from coming to
Jesus why when they’ve seen a miracle of
a man being born blind and Jesus is
presenting himself as The Good Shepherd
and offering life abundantly what is
preventing the Pharisees from coming to
Jesus and it’s one simple word ego their
ego ego is the pride that blinds us to
the truth it is the pride where we
choose to blind ourselves to the truth
because we’re so dedicated to thinking
we’re right we’re not willing to come to
God and let him make us right now see
that’s the difference between the gospel
and all the false Gospels of the world
all other idols that we follow in the
world is that the false Gospels in the
world help us to make ourselves feel
right they make us feel like good people
they make us feel like successful people
they make us feel accepted
but only Jesus offers true success true
acceptance true forgiveness true
rightness with the world and that’s the
whole message of his his his book of
Romans he spends the first five four to
five chapters showing that men mankind
men and women are in sin and need God
and what is keeping the Pharisees here
from coming to Jesus as their pride and
isn’t this true of all things you see
someone doing something incorrectly and
you try to help but ego gets in the way
ego blocks learning ego stops
ego and pride block growth and it blocks
maturity and that’s true for us as
Christians too just because we may have
submitted to the gospel doesn’t mean
we’ve submitted every part of our heart
to the gospel we get our hands on these
little things these little idols that we
want to hold on to we’re like God you’re
not touching this you’re not touching
this one this this is for me you get
this ten or twenty percent of my life
over here this stuff is my stuff you
don’t you don’t get that and you see
what ego will do is make us close off
our mind to the truth so that we remain
wrong ego will make us close off our
so we remain not right with the world
while we convince ourselves through self
justification that we are and that is
the saddest state of affairs and that is
how we either block our growth or if we
completely reject God in this gospel
it’s how we die in our sins
for the non-christian ego shuts us off
completely from the gospel for the
Christian it shuts us off from the
fullness of gospel healing so you may
not have shot yourself off to the gospel
but what about this Idol over here in
this corner and some of you who are with
us right now
you’re something just came to mind and
you meet a sound I don’t want to think
about that
don’t touch that God but that’s exactly
where you need to do your heart work
whatever that thing is that just popped
up in your mind or pops up in your mind
in the next couple days it could be a
relationship that’s not resolved it
could be someone you have to ask
forgiveness of it could be an idolatrous
love of yours that comes in between you
and your relationship with God or your
you and your relationship with another
people and yet Jesus shows us a better
you see Jesus exhibits perfect
leadership of God’s people number one
Jesus exhibits perfect humble leadership
of the church
you see Jesus is meek and mild Jesus has
no ego number one he’s never wrong so he
can’t really be corrected number two
he’s perfectly humble doesn’t need the
limelight he doesn’t need to be the
superstar number two Christians are to
follow in the same pattern of humble
leadership and so Jesus says truly truly
I say to you he who does not enter by
the sheepfold by the door but climbs in
another way that man is a thief and a
robber but he who enters by the door is
the Shepherd of the sheep you see jesus
is identifying he’s giving them the
criteria to find who is the true
Shepherd who is the true example and who
will lead me in and out
and help me to find pasture pasture easy
the problem with us as human beings is
that we’re lost
we’re not right with the world and we’re
weak and were susceptible we’re
susceptible just like I said the German
people were we’re no different from the
German people everyone who was there at
that time fell for the lie of the Nazi
machine and if we think we wouldn’t have
fallen for it or most of us many would
have so John uses this analogy of a wolf
it’s implicit in the passage that the
wolf is a predator it preys upon the
church the wolf is contrasted with Jesus
and godly leadership the mark of the
wolf is a way other than the Shepherd
and so the way of the shepherd is the
way we follow and anyone who’s telling
us to go a different way than that of
the Shepherd is a wolf and represents
the ultimate wolf who is the deceiver
who comes to steal kill and destroy the
path to life is following Jesus and his
gospel and this whole thing is a parable
of the church in its relationship to
Jesus and that’s the question for us
today is what is your what is my what is
our relationship to Jesus 10-3 says to
him the gatekeeper opens the sheep hear
his voice and he calls his own sheep by
name and leads them out look at the
intimacy in that the sheep hear the
Shepherd’s voice and he calls them by
name and it’s a powerful analogy because
it means God knows your name he knows my
we’re not nobodies we may be nobodies
too many people most people in the world
don’t know who I am
I’m a relative nobody in the world but
I’m not a nobody to Jesus you and I are
not nobodies to Jesus and we need to
learn to recognize the Shepherd’s voice
and the Shepherd’s voice recognising
hearing the Shepherd’s voices hearken us
back to that confession of the Old
Testament hear o Israel the Lord our God
the Lord is one and you shall love the
Lord your God and so on that hearing
means and obedience and so this picture
of the shepherd continues when he has
brought out all his own he goes before
them and the Sheep follow him for they
know his voice Jesus goes before us
Jesus leads us into right pastures he
leads us beside still waters as we read
in the psalm this morning Jesus leads us
in the way of truth and he leads us to
the vision of the kingdom you see coming
back to where we begun we we want the
world to be right and it’s not going to
be right in this life but we can be
right with God and each other in
preparation for the kingdom of God when
everything will be set right in the end
of the book of Revelation which paints
the picture of when the holy hallelujah
goes up forever
it says that God will wipe away every
tear it means that all will be set right
that’s what we all want even in all the
political debate all the argument all
the the mudslinging we want a world
that’s put right so Jesus says to them
again in verse seven truly truly I say
to you I am the door of the Sheep all
who came before me were thieves and
robbers but the Sheep did not listen to
him he calls himself the door of the
what this means is he is the entry point
to every need desire hope and dream for
us as human beings
Jesus is the entry point Jesus is the
way in to truth to hope and to being set
right with the world and that rightness
begins in the work of his cross because
it says he was crucified the scriptures
say for our transgressions and raised
for our justification and at the
beginning I talked about our tendency to
always want to be right we want to think
the world is right that we’re right with
it and we don’t like to admit we’re
wrong and yet justification is when God
sets us right and so right now we get to
accept an imputed righteousness that God
has reckoned righteousness to us that
when God looks down at you you don’t
have to defend yourself all you have to
do is raise up your hands and receive
the grace of God because the grace of
God is a gift for by grace you’ve been
saved through faith and not of
yourselves it is the gift of God not of
must any man should boast so when Jesus
says I am the door he is the opening he
is the entry point he is the source by
which all right Ness and correctness and
this Shalom this wholeness and
completeness with God in the world comes
you see one thing that’s true about
sheep which is us is that we live by our
desires God’s sheep are the same we live
by our desires and sin unhinged our
desires from what is truly good
what is perfect and what is true and so
we seek false Gospels false idols all
the time we seek everything but God’s
goodness because we have a small vision
of what is good and as asius Luis and
other great theological Minds have
pointed out as our problem is not that
we desire too much but that we desire
too little that we’re far too easily
satisfied as he pointed out in his
sermon the weight of glory and this is
why we follow false shepherds all who
came before me are thieves and robbers
but the Sheep did not listen to them and
so Jesus says I am the door if anyone
enters by me he will be saved and go in
and out and find pasture the thief comes
to steal kill and destroy and I came
that they might have life and that they
might have it abundantly
his he offers us salvation he offers a
picture of perfect plenty and abundance
a world where there is no problems where
there is no difficulty where there is no
IRS where there is no debt where there
is no tears where there is no sickness
where there is no kovat 19 where there
is no old age but it’s perfect pasture
it’s perfect abundance and it’s perfect
rest and so my question for you this
is this as we close what is keeping you
from receiving the fullness of God’s
abundance what point of pride is keeping
you from receiving what God wants to
give to you in the gospel
now let’s not deceive ourselves as
Christians we can close ourselves off to
the blessings of God even though we are
a Christian and we know the Savior we
can still close ourselves off to other
areas where God wants to heal to bring
forgiveness that if we let down our
pride and we accept the grace of the
Savior his healing balm can wash over us
and so what thing in your life
heart or mind needs to die this morning
what do you need to crucify so you can
know Jesus and know life more abundantly

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