First Steps is a resource to help you understand and grow in what it means to be a follower of Christ. These sessions will help us to discover together and apply a few of the basic principles of what it means to follow Christ and share him with others.
- What are you thankful for this week?
- What are you struggling with and how can we help?
- What needs have you noticed in our community/campus/school?
It would be good to pray for each other around these needs.
- How did you apply the lesson from last week?
- Who did you share the story with, and what was their response?
Key Question: How can a person who has received Jesus know with certainty that we will spend eternity with God?
Statement: You can know that you have a secure personal relationship with God?
7 Therefore Jesus said again, ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 ‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.’
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, ‘He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?’
21 But others said, ‘These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?’
Further conflict over Jesus’ claims
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered round him, saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’
25 Jesus answered, ‘I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.’
- Is there anything in this passage that is meaningful to you?
- Was anything difficult to understand?
- What does today's passage tell us about God? About people? About God's relationship with us?
- How do you think this passage relates to the question we discussed earlier: "How can a person who has received Jesus know with certainty that he will spend eternity with God?"
- Do you have any other questions or comments about this passage?
- How would you summarise what we have learned today?
- Can we see any similarities about what was going on at the time this passage was written to what we see in our community, families or friendships today?
1 John 5:11-13
11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
On the cross, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, laid down his life as a sacrifice for our sins. When we put our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we became one of his sheep and began to follow him. He wants us to know that we have eternal life and nothing will take that from us. Do you know you have received Jesus into your life? Do you know for certain that you have eternal life?
The most important thing will be how we apply what we learn, and so we want to help each other find ways to do that. Some questions to help us do that:
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