PHBC January 25, 1998
Series: First Peter, Ser. #39
SHEEP ASTRAY AND RETURNED
TEXT: 1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going
astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
INTRO: In the previous messages of the last two
Sunday mornings we saw how Christ is our great Substitute bearing our sins in
his own body on the tree. The verse just prior to the one I am using as a text
this morning closes with the words, "by whose stripes ye were healed."
Our text begins with the word "For" which
indicates its connection with that which has gone immediately before. This
statement of our text is designed, I believe, to show proof of the fact that
Christ did indeed bear our sins in his body on the tree and that we were healed
by his stripes. The proof is in our conversion. Though we had gone astray, we
were his sheep, and as the Shepherd of our souls, he returned us to himself.
In this message I wish to first reaffirm and
establish that whether astray or returned to the shepherd, his people are
always sheep. Second, I want to show that though sheep, we were astray
from our shepherd until he returned us to himself. Third, I will emphasize
that our return to the shepherd was accomplished by his power, not our own.
Finally, I will briefly point out how truly blessed we are to have Jesus
as the shepherd and bishop of our souls.
- WHETHER ASTRAY OR RETURNED TO THE SHEPHERD, HIS PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS SHEEP
- This is evident from the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin,
and the lost son.
- The lost sheep was a sheep and it belonged to the shepherd when
it was lost as well as after it was found. Luke 15:4-6 What man
of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not
leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which
is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it
on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth
together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with
me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
- The lost coin belonged to the woman, it was her coin while it
was lost as well as after it was found. Luke 15:8-9 Either what
woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not
light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she
find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and
her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found
the piece which I had lost.
- The son was always a son when he was lost as well as after he
was found. Luke 15:11-13 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the
portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his
living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all
together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted
his substance with riotous living. Luke 15:22-24 But the father said
to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and
put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither
the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For
this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
And they began to be merry.
- This is evident from the fact that the elect were Godís sheep when
he gave them to Christ. John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I
know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and
they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my
hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man
is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
- It is evident from an unambiguous statement made by the Lord Jesus
Christ to a Gentile woman. Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I
am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
- Because of there elect status as a nation, all the nation of
Israel were sometimes classified as sheep. Jeremiah 50:6 My
people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go
astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone
from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.
- But, in respect to the covenant of grace, not all Israelites are
sheep. John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my
sheep, as I said unto you.
- Within the Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not
sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
- That we were sheep before and after salvation is evident from some
other things found in John 10.
- We were his sheep when he laid down his life for us. John
10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay
down my life for the sheep.
- We were of his sheep before we were brought into the fold.
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them
also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be
one fold, and one shepherd.
- We were his sheep before we were called by and heard his voice.
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there
shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
- Another evidence that we were sheep when we were yet astray is
evidenced by a statement of the high priest found in Jn. 11. John
11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather
together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
- This is also in perfect harmony with the fact that before we were
ever called we were predestinated to be conformed to the image of
Christ. Romans 8:28-30 And we know that all things work together for
good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his
purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be
conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among
many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also
called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he
justified, them he also glorified.
THOUGH SHEEP, WE WERE ASTRAY FROM OUR SHEPHERD UNTIL HE RETURNED US TO
- This is true that every one of Christís sheep was astray in sin and
in bondage. Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the
iniquity of us all.
- We were everyone dead in trespasses and sins. Eph. 2:1 And you
hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
- We were everyone walking according to the course of this world and
according to the will of Satan. Wherein in time past ye walked
according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the
power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of
- We were every one children of wrath just as the reprobate. 3
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts
of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and
were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
- We were no different in our nature than were others. Titus 3:3
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived,
serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful,
and hating one another.
- Except for the power and grace of God we would still be astray in
the darkness and bondage of sin.
OUR RETURN TO THE SHEPHERD WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY
HIS POWER, NOT OUR OWN
We were turned when God turned us. Jeremiah 31:18 I have surely
heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was
chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I
shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.
Jeremiah sets forth this same truth again in the book of
Lamentations. Lamentations 5:21 Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and
we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.
Consider these statements from the pen of the Psalmist. Psalm
80:3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be
saved. Psalm 80:7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to
shine; and we shall be saved. Psalm 80:19 Turn us again, O LORD God of
hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. Psalm 85:4 Turn
us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
If our heart has turned to Christ it is because he has turned it.
1 Kings 18:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that
thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
The only way we could ever come to Christ is through Godís power
causing us to do so. Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the
day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the
morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. John 6:44 No man can come to
me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him
up at the last day. John 6:63-65 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the
flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are
spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe
not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not,
and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you,
that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my
We can and will never know Christ unless God teaches us to know him.
John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught
of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the
Father, cometh unto me.
We were passive and God was active in our regeneration. John
3:3-5 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he
enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus
answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water
and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
We were passive and God active in our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we
are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In our justification we were passive. Romans 3:24 Being justified
freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is
God that justifieth.
That we are passive in the execution of salvation is evident from
Paulís answer to the Philippian jailer. Acts 16:30-31 And brought
them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said,
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy
- In our text it is evident that our return was accomplished by the
shepherd and bishop of our souls. 1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep
going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your
- Note the passive in the KJV. are now returned
- In the Greek it is second aorist passive.
- We did not activate our return but were brought to that return
by Jesus Christ.
HOW TRULY BLESSED WE ARE TO HAVE JESUS AS THE
SHEPHERD AND BISHOP OF OUR SOULS
- He is the good shepherd who gives his life for his sheep. John
10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the
- He is the good shepherd who knows ever one of his sheep. John
10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
- He is the great shepherd of the sheep who sheds the blood of the
everlasting covenant. Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that
brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the
sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
- He is the bishop, or overseer, of our souls. 1 Peter 2:25 For ye
were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and
Bishop of your souls.
- He is the apostle and high priest of our profession. Hebrews 3:1
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider
the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.
- He is the shepherd whom God has set up over us. Ezekiel 34:23 And
I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my
servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
- He is the gentle shepherd. Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock
like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them
in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
- He is the all sufficient shepherd. Psalm 23:1-6 The LORD is my
shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green
pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea,
though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou
anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the
house of the LORD for ever.
- He is the chief shepherd in relation to his under shepherds who
pastor his flocks. 1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall
appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
- He is the shepherd who has born all the iniquities of his sheep.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one
to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
- How very blessed we are to have been returned to the shepherd and
bishop of our souls.
CONC: As I thought of concluding this message I
thought of the words of Jonah when he cried out, Jonah 2:9 Salvation is of
the LORD. Salvation is of the Lord in its origination, execution,
application, demonstration, and consummation. We came to Christ because he drew
us. We believed on him because faith was given to us. We know him because God
taught us. We are accepted in him because God made us accepted in him. Without
him we can do nothing. Without him we would perish in our sins and suffer the
torments of hell forever.