Grace Bible Church
Basic Training in Doctrine
Pastor Joseph P. Sugrue
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Christ is the easiest person to love in the universe, but that requires knowledge of Him.

God desires to share His happiness with man and God found a way to do that through the person of Christ and His substitution for all mankind on the cross.

the good shepherd = the beautiful provider, preserver, protector.

The sheep has nothing to fear.

Christ is the good shepherd in this verse, and there will be an emphasis on salvation.

In Hebrews 13:20 Christ is called the great shepherd and this is His provision for the believer in time.

Then in 1 Peter 5:4 Jesus Christ is called the chief shepherd and this is His provision for eternity.

Ps 23:6
Surely goodness [prosperity, good things, benefits] and loving kindness [grace and mercy] will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

“lays down” – tithemi, which

means to lay aside, to put down, or to lay down. It was used in the ancient world to put down a bet, to put something down on a table. Jesus Christ put something on the table – His own soul.

“for” – huper = the preposition of substitution; “on behalf of the sheep.”

A hireling is a hired hand who would never have as much desire for the sheep as the owner.

The point here is that religion doesn’t care about people, but rather only desires to use them, and when they can’t use them anymore they flee from them.

Out of the 2 million that were living in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. it is estimated that around 97,000 survived and were forced into slavery, which would spread them all over the world.

When religion becomes the state or when religion influences the state so that the policies of religion become administrative policies the state destroys itself.

“and I know (my own)” – ginosko – ‘to know,’ but it means to know from the experience of observation, study, and also to know from the experience of falling in love with someone.

Ginosko here is a love knowing all the facts. He loves us with an infinite love, knowing every mistake that we would ever make, knowing every failure. His love depends on who and what He is, not who and what we are.

Christ loves the believer while fully knowing everything about the believer and that love never grows or diminishes. The believer loves Christ more and more as he learns more doctrine.

This means that not every believer loves Christ even though Christ loves every believer. Reciprocal love to Christ depends on accumulation of doctrine in the soul.

In other words, if you don’t know Bible doctrine you don’t love God.

“good” – kalos, which means beautiful, symmetrical, perfect character, and maximum attractiveness – all of which apply to the humanity of Christ.

The next phrase is “his life” – ten psuchen autou, “the soul of him.” So it is literally, “put down [on the table/cross] his soul.”

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