The Sheep and The Shepherd

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”—1 John 5:11 (NKJV)

God consistently refers to His people as sheep in His Word (Psalm 23; Isaiah 53:6; John 10). However, this isn’t exactly a compliment. Sheep are among the most helpless specimens in the animal kingdom. They aren’t apex predators nor are they cunning survivalists. They are simply . . . simple! 

It’s no accident that God compares us to an example of such simplicity. When it comes to the things of God, we are simple beings, requiring things to be kept simple, especially when it comes to things that are most important. 

We can all probably agree that there’s nothing more important than eternal life, and knowing our need for simplicity, God revealed the requirements for receiving eternal life in the simplest of terms: “This life is in His Son.” Simply put, eternal life is given to those who are “in Christ.” Just in case we didn’t get it the first time, God repeats it for us: “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12 NKJV).

In case we are still confused, the same simple truth is stated both in the positive as well as in the negative. Those who have put their trust in Jesus have eternal life, and those who haven’t put their trust in Jesus, don’t have eternal life. It cannot be any plainer than that!

Again, God spells this out for us so simply because we need it that way. He knows we’re like sheep. We need something as important as eternity communicated in an uncomplicated way by equating eternal life with His Son. And because He has kept things so simple for us, it paves the way for strong assurance of our salvation and eternal destiny. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13 NKJV).

God doesn’t just want us to know the grounds for eternal life, He also wants us to be fully assured of it. He doesn’t want us to wonder about our salvation. God wants us to know that we possess eternal life. And we can know this by remembering that our salvation is simply predicated on a belief-based relationship with Jesus. 

DIG: What are the implications of God comparing us to sheep?

DISCOVER: How does this impact something as important as salvation?

DO: Spend some time reflecting on how you are assured in your salvation and how this plays out in your life.

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.