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Monday, April 28, 2008 

The Security of the Shepherd and the Sheep

Reading: Murray, John Redemption Accomplished and Applied
Enjoying: poptarts with the wife (nutritious!)
Listening: The Killers

For an upcoming sermon on the I Am saying from John 10, Calvin draws an interesting application that illuminates some of the struggles the Reformer may have keenly felt. From his commentary on John 10:4, 9: "When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice... I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture:"
This passage should make us deeply ashamed. First, because we are so unused to the voice of our Shepherd that hardly anyone listens to it without indifference. And then because we are so slow and lazy to follow him. I am speaking of the good, or at least of the passable, for most of those who claim to be Christ’s disciples openly rebel against him. Lastly as soon as we hear the voice of any stranger, we are carried unstably here and there, and this unsteadiness and levity shows just how little we have advanced in the faith so far. But although the number of believers is less than we would want, and many of this small number continually fall away, faithful teachers have the consolation of knowing that they are heard by God’s elect, who are Christ’s “sheep.” It is our job to work hard and to strive in every way to bring, if possible, the whole world to agreement in the unity of the faith. Meanwhile, we must be content with our number.
The pressures of reforming the Church and the seeming apathy and disobedience of Europe must have been taxing on the consciences of the Reformers. However, it is especially comforting to know that, despite the shortcomings and weaknesses of this preacher, "God's true sheep will hear God's pure word" (emphasis mine).

[Calvin] | [exegesis]

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Thanks for that.

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esp. his latest on 9 marks of preaching. I'm sure Calvin would've agreed ("t is our job to work hard and to strive in every way to bring, if possible, the whole world to agreement in the unity of the faith"). It's great that we can not only have confidence that the elect will hear, but we can have confidence that the invitation is real.

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But despite the truth that the amount of believers is much less than we would want, and quite a few of the little amount continually fall away
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Transplanted from the artic blight of Minnesota to the sunny paradise of SoCal, I am attending school and learning to say "dude." I like to think of myself as equal parts surf rash, Batman, heavy metal, Levinas, poetic license, and reformational. Other than creating blund blogs, I enjoy reading, sporting, and socializing with serious and funny people.
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