I have a few marks on my body due to various accidents over the years, especially as a boy. I loved climbing trees on the farm and falling out was almost normal. Walking without shoes in the veldt often resulting in glass cuts. The one thing I missed was a tattoo as a teenager … almost but not. Many of us have various body marks, some self-inflicted and others by accident. A Christian also has marks … not on the body … they are spiritual marks. If you have the time please read John chapter 10 … all 42 verses. There are two things to watch out for. In the NIV the chapter is divided into two parts … verses 1-21 and verses 22-42. Notice firstly in verse 1 Jesus addresses the Pharisees. Although He is speaking against them, calling them thieves and robbers, they were too spiritually blind to understand. In verses 24, 31 and 39 He addressed the Jews who were His enemies who wanted to murder Him. The second matter and this is what I want to focus on is who Jesus is and how this affects His sheep.
1) The first mark of the believer is to listen to Jesus.
Joh 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice.”
Everyone in the world who is able to hear, hears sounds, words and other noises. People with and without education have the ability to communicate and part of communication is hearing. Many hear language but don’t understand that which is communicated. Spiritually this was the problem with both the Pharisees and the Jews. They heard Jesus’ words but could not understand because they were not listening for spiritual truth. They wanted certain answers from Him and when He gave them His answers they could not hear because they could not listen to spiritual truth. Yet those whom God has called are His sheep and they not only hear the gospel call, they listen to the gospel call and understand it in their soul. They hear human words in the ear … but the Spirit gives grace to hear God’s Word in the inner ear. They are enabled to listen to gospel truth. It gels in their soul. May I be bold and ask whether you have listened to the gospel message and its call? Many hear the gospel and don’t respond because they can’t hear it in their inner being. Have you?
2) The second mark of a believer is to enter into Jesus’ salvation.
Joh 10:9 “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”
In verses 7-8 we see the exclusiveness of Jesus as the Gate:
Jn 10:7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.”
Many has offered themselves as gates of salvation but they were devilish gates. Jesus alone in the true Gate of salvation. All who are called will come to Him and enter through Him into the glorious salvation God has for those in Christ Jesus.
Eph 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will
3) The third mark of a believer is to follow the Lord Jesus.
Joh 10:4 “and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
Joh 10:27 “I know them, and they follow me.”
How amazing … amongst all the voices that “offer some sort of salvation” … those God called to enter through Jesus as the Gate … follow Him. Today there are many voices and noises … from the Prosperity Gospel to the Easy Believism Gospel. But there are only a few voices declaring the True Gospel and when the called hear that Real Gospel they follow the Lord of that Gospel, Jesus! Following Jesus is not like children playing “follow my leader” until they get tired of the game. Following Jesus is intentional, through the Valleys of the Shadow of Death and the Spiritually High Mountains. Sin may visit but a true believer will not desert because they know Jesus is not so much about this life as it is about the next life! Christians follow Jesus!
4) The fourth mark of a believer is not to be distracted by the world.
Joh 10:9 “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”
The true believer finds safety and security in the Kingdom … but because we live in this world we are part of the world and we need to function as God’s people in the world. Yet because we are no longer part of this world we are not distracted and lured back into the world. Because we are people indwelt by the Spirit, we can be God’s people in the world and then leave the world and return to the comfort of His Care. We don’t permit the old world to tempt us to return because we know and experience the security we have in the new world of Jesus.
5) The fifth mark of a believer is to enjoy eternal life.
Joh 10:28 “I give them eternal life”.
Many people and even quite a few Christians don’t understand what Eternal Life means. This is a life that is firstly a quality of life. It starts once you confess sin, repent and believe in Jesus, surrendering your soul to Him as Lord. The quality of life changes from being world focused to being other world focused. The change is from a passion for sin to a passion for God. Slowly but surely your morality adopts the morality of Jesus. Then this life is a life under a reign. Jesus’ Lordship means His rule over this new life. Literally He is now Master of your soul. This life also has a spiritual dynamic. Because the soul is now alive to God, intimacy with God is the most important relationship to enjoy. It’s the relationship Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden before the fall. Then lastly, this life is forever! It never ends … it starts here on earth and continues in heaven after the body dies.
6) The last mark of a believer is enjoying eternal security. Many believer are concerned about losing their salvation. Often this is because of incorrect or perhaps weak teaching … but the Scriptures teach the eternal security of the saved soul.
Joh 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
This ought to cause each and every believer great joy, comfort and strength to face each day with confidence because nothing can ever separate us from Jesus and His Love, Lordship and Presence.
O Lord my God, How wonderful to know that from You calling me to me being in Your eternal presence, Your Holy Spirit protects my soul, keeping my attention on the Lord Jesus. Help me to enjoy every moment. Amen.