In John 10:1-29 we see several statements that prove that following Jesus is more than a walk; it is a way of life!
Notice verses 4-5 where the sheep, the truly Saved people will not follow a stranger.
In verse 27, Jesus states, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
When Jesus uses the term “sheep”, He uses it in the sense of “saved.” I looked up the word, Greek “probation” and it means “Something that walks forward.” In light of verse 4 which states “When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them and the sheep follow Him.”
There are many more reasons that God’s people are called “sheep”, but this is special because of the picture it gives of the relationship between a Shepherd and his sheep.
We are always going forward when we are following Christ and backward when we do not follow His leadership. In 1 Cor. 11:1, Paul states, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Eph. 5:1 states, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” Then in
1 Pet. 2:21, Christ left us an “example, that ye should follow His steps.”
Following Christ is not just a walk, It is a completely new way of life for those who have become true Believers. John 8:12 proves that this is true of all Born Again believers. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
I will give just 5 ways following Christ becomes a way of life.
1. Following Christ in dedication. Jesus said, “I must be about My Father’s business.” He also said, “I must work the works of Him that sent Me.” Finally, in John 17:4 “I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” Luke 4:16 “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”
Notice the words “as His custom was.” That meant that Jesus went to the house of God faithfully.
2. Following Christ in sanctification. There are places Jesus would not go, and if we follow Him, there are places we will not go. 1 Thess. 4:1-5 read and notice, sanctification= purification, a state of being pure, holiness.
3. Following Christ in mediation. 1 Tim. 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” If we follow Christ, we will be Ambassadors for Christ! 2 Cor. 5:19-20 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.” It is hard to believe that a person can be truly Saved and not have a burden for other people to be Saved as well.
4. Following Christ in Meditation and Prayer. Mark 1:35 “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”
Friends. If we are going to be “Followers of Christ”, we will be more than mere “professors.”
5. Following Christ will bring persecution. 2 Tim. 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” If we live Godly in Christ, we will suffer persecution. If we are not willing to suffer with Christ, we are not willing to follow Him! He put it this way in Matt. 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Mark 8:34 “And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 “And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.