By johninnc (with thanks to our friend Curtis for suggesting this topic, and our friend Preston who provided input through previous commentary)
John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
The above verse is often used as a proof text by those who think that works are necessary for eternal life.
Following is an example from a recent comment:
Don’t you all have verse 27 of John 10 in your Bibles? Why are you quoting verse 28 ALONE without 27? John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, [they know My voice] AND THEY FOLLOW ME. And I give them eternal life …”
Following are excerpts from the sound Biblical response that our friend Preston provided, along with a link to the entire comment:
So do we have “to follow” to be saved. the answer is YES (but not by works). Let me explain…
although faith is NOT a work, Jesus called it a “work” in CONTEXT when He was asked, what must we do to work the workS of God” and Jesus replied, this is the work of God, that ye believe on the one whom He hath sent” John 6:28-29…
SUMMARY/POINT – what did Jesus say to do to have eternal life? He said to “believe in Him” or “TRUST in Him” to have eternal life. So if one “believes in Him”, that HE died for our sins and rose again they HAVE FOLLOWED and done the “ONE THING” that Jesus said to do for everlasting life.
Despite the confusion caused by conflating following Christ in discipleship with believing in Christ as Savior, or perhaps because of it, it has become fashionable in the world of professing Christendom to use the term “Christ follower” as a synonym for “Christian.”
The term “Christ follower” can mean a lot of things. One of the more benign uses of the term is to connote a Christian, who is a also a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, the term “Christ follower” can communicate much more sinister messages. Among them are:
- That use of the term “Christian” should be avoided, because it carries a stigma in broader society
- That there are clearly-defined strata of Christians – that one is either a “Christ follower” altogether, or not at all
- That the message of salvation is about what we are doing for Jesus, instead of what He has done for us
- That believing in Jesus as Savior is not sufficient for eternal life
In his sermon entitled “Living in Light of Our Redemption”, delivered March 10, 2013, Tom Cucuzza discussed the use of the term “follower of Christ”, and how it communicates the wrong message. Following is a pertinent excerpt:
Minutes 41:10- 42:30
We don’t talk about believers anymore. Well, we do, ‘cause that’s what the Bible calls us. But, you know what? Because of the huge impact that those who are preaching Lordship salvation, which is works for salvation, because of the huge impact they’re having on Christendom today, the new buzzword is “followers of Christ.”
You hear that a lot – followers of Christ? A follower of Christ. Where’s the emphasis there? It’s on how you’re living, right? Not what you believe, but how you’re living. There are people who have followed the moral teachings of scripture their whole lives, who when they die, they won’t go to Heaven. They have followed the Sermon on the Mount as best they can. I’ve had people tell me “I’m going to Heaven.” Why? “Because I follow the Sermon on the Mount.” And I’m thinking, “no you don’t. No, you don’t. You can’t. It’s an ideal. It’s great. There are great principles there. I believe them. But, you know what? If you’re going to follow that, your gonna have to be perfect, and none of us are. You’re not gonna make it there by that.”
So, when somebody says, “oh, they’re a follower of Jesus”, my question is “what do you mean by that?” Well, usually they’ll say “well, they follow the teachings of Jesus.” Well, that has to do with how you live. Are you gonna get to Heaven by how you live? No. You get to Heaven by faith in Christ.
If you would like to know how to have eternal life, whether you are a Christ follower, or not, please click here: The Gospel