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Posts Tagged ‘John 10’

Intro:  These quotes are for busy pastors, looking for good quotes for tomorrow’s sermon and for laity who may be fed a thin gruel of me centered legalisms  instead of Christ centered Gospel.

The Holy Spirit creates and works all this through the divine Word, which He allows to be echoed in the Christian Church. It [the Christian Church] is His work place, where He, through the preaching-office (office of the ministry)—which is called the office of the Spirit in 2 Cor. 3:8—desires to be effectual and bring to completion this gracious work in the hearts of mankind.

Accordingly, since we heard about the Person and Office of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost, so now follows the doctrine of the Christian Church in appropriate order. In the parable of today’s Gospel, the Lord Christ compares it [the Christian Church] to a sheep-fold. He compares the Holy Spirit to the Gate-guard, and Himself to the Door into this sheep pen, [as well as] to the Shepherd of the sheep. It is precisely for these reasons that these two items are placed side by side in the Third Article of our Christian faith, where we say: I believe in the Holy Spirit, one holy Christian Church, the communion of saints. 

...We should not be overcome with wonder that Christ is likened simultaneously to the Door of the sheepfold and to the Shepherd, for that occurs because of the differing benefits and works of grace which Christ accomplishes in those who are His. In the same way that He on the timber-trunk of the cross (as He was offering Himself up to His heavenly Father) was at the same time the High-Priest, the Sacrifice, and the Altar, so also is He Himself the Door to the sheepfold and the Shepherd simultaneously.

This faithful Shepherd calls His sheep by name. He knows each one and leads all of them out to salutary meadows, as David extols in Ps. 23:1-3—The Lord is My Shepherd; I lack for nothing. He grazes me upon rich, green pasture and leads me to fresh water. He renews my soul; He leads me onto the right paths.

This Shepherd also goes before His sheep both with His holy teaching and with His holy life. He directs them on the right way through His Word and by His example. That’s why He also states in Matt. 16:24—Whoever would be My disciple (and My little sheep), let such one follow behind Me.

This same shepherd fidelity of the Lord Christ is prefigured for us by the fact that the holy Patriarchs often times were shepherds, as we, in particular, read about Jacob in Gen. 31:40 char he languished in Frost at night and in heat during the day, and no sleep came into his eyes.

To this point, everything has been about the Chief Shepherd. He, in turn, has under-shepherds, which consist of all faithful teachers and preachers. In keeping with Christ’s example, they are to faithfully graze the flock, direct them to the right Door, and guide the little lambs to Christ. Those who do otherwise, says Christ, are thieves and murderers, for they take away Christ’s glory; and they kill the souls of men through false doctrine, just as death devours little lambs in a poisoned pasture.

And since the Pharisees and Sadducees in particular falsified the doctrines, Christ consequently says of them: All who came before Me—that is, who came without Me and My deeds, who had not directed men to Me—were thieves and murderers. Here a shepherd must apply good caution and faithful zeal and not follow them, lest he poison the pasture for the perishing of souls. Instead, he should go to school with the Holy Spirit, the heavenly Doorkeeper, and take his word from the mouth of the Chief Shepherd, Christ. As Sr. Peter says in his first epistle, 4:11—If anyone speaks, that he speak the words of God.

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