The Lost Sheep Restored
Our first view of this peculiar people shall be in the place where God finds them. “My people,” He says, “have been lost sheep.” They do not become sheep by being found, nor do they cease to be sheep by being lost. They were sheep eternally in the mind of God; and their becoming lost did not alter nor destroy their character of being sheep any more than the wandering of a sheep literally and naturally from the fold turns it into a goat. It may be lame, sick, or diseased; it may stray away miles from the fold; its fleece may be torn with briars or soiled with mud, and its whole appearance so altered that the shepherd can scarcely recognize it; but it is a sheep still, and ever will be a sheep while it continues to exist. And thus the elect being sheep eternally in the mind of God, and as such possessing an eternal union with the Son of God, could not cease to be sheep by falling in Adam, nor do their personal, individual falls, slips, and transgressions destroy their original, unalterable character .
By J. C. Philpot