Church of God, New World Ministries

Sheep Instinct

Does conversion mean the end of all active, creative and original thought? Were Christians meant to have everything spoon-fed, spelled out and also be relieved of making major personal decisions?

Now there is no question about the fact that the Bible often refers to God’s people as sheep, the flock, or the “little flock.” But what is this meant to signify?

In the 10th chapter of John, Christ refers to the flock this way: “A stranger they will not follow. But they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of stranger.”

And down in verse 14: “I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father.”

Now, couldn’t any self-respecting sheep do this? The difference between the real shepherd and would-be impostors should be more than obvious.

Here is the problem, the distinction between the two shepherds are often very subtile. How can this be?

Paul tells us “That Satan can pawn himself of as an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (II Cor. 11:14).

This little bit of preceptive ability turns out to be no little feat. What it sounds like is that Christ is describing a very discerning group of sheep.

Notice another statement Jesus Christ made about His sheep: “I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).

Christ is saying here, that He doesn’t want a flock of dumb sheep representing Him Christ wants some pretty sharp individuals.

Now, some people will say: “That is a command for the ministry.” But that doesn’t change anything because the people or flock are supposed to find the best in their ministers.

“Remember them which have the rule (or lead) over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end (or outcome) of their conversation (or conduct)” (Heb. 13:7).

God didn’t intend that people outside the Church be the only ones who actively use their heads.

Paul tells us “to prove all things” (I Thess. 5:21) John tells us to “try or test the spirits” (I John 4:1).

This can’t be done by gullibly swallowing every religious morsel that is thrown our way. The art of making sound decisions was and still is every Christians responsibility.

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians Church: “When one of you has a grievance against a brother, does he dare go to law, before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life? (I Cor. 6:1-3).

Education and learning should be an ongoing active facet of every Christian’s life. Peter tells us that we “must grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18)

Paul had this to say to the Colossian Church: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you man be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord fully pleasing to him bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9-10).

Paul goes on to say: “But strong meat belongs to them that are full of age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:12-14).

A Christian cannot hope to achieve this level of spiritual maturity unless he or she is willing to think about, evaluate and assess the information that they are constantly receiving.

We must become mature Christians, both spiritual and physical, if we don’t we can easily be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.

We must not become a victim of sheep instinct, but prove our own faith now, that we may be able to stand with Jesus Christ when He returns to this earth.

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