I am the Door (John 10:7-10)
Imagine if your home had no doors whatsoever. It would be quite difficult to enter. Imagine having to carry groceries or a new sofa through a window. Quite impossible. It would be quite difficult to leave your house. If we were awakened in the night by a house fire, there’s not a one of us who wouldn’t check to see if we could leave through a door.
Likewise, imagine if the church had no door. You had heard about all the wonderful blessings of salvation available in the church, but it was impossible for you to get inside to receive those blessings. Imagine also that there are heretics in the church teaching all sorts of things they ought not, and there’s no way for them to get out. They’re stuck, and they carry many astray with them.
Jesus tells us in the church that he is the door. Tonight, we want to explore Jesus’ statement that we might grasp its significance.
Christ is the Door, v 7
“So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.”‘
The figure of the door of the sheep would have resonated with those who heard Jesus. When the sheep returned at night from a day of grazing, the shepherd stood at the gate of the pen. As he stood there and watched his sheep pass by, the shepherd inspected each one in his flock. If a sheep were scratched or wounded from thorns, the shepherd anointed it with oil; if a sheep were thirsty, the shepherd would give it water. The shepherd would lie down at the gate of the pen for their protection.
Jesus is the door of the sheep; he is the way we enter into his blessings.
Jesus is the door to forgiveness.
It is through Jesus we exit condemnation. “Those who believe in him are not condemned” (Jn. 3:18).
God is going to condemn this world. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth” (Rom. 1:18). This world is going to be burned up, and everyone who does not abided in Christ will endure God’s condemnation and judgment. Yet, John says that everyone who believes in Jesus is not condemned.
It is through Jesus that we enter justification.
“Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). We who have gone through Jesus have entered into justification, the state of being declared right before God.
Jesus is the door to life.
It is through Jesus that we exit spiritual death. “You were dead through the trespasses and sin in which you once lived” (Eph. 2:1-2).
It is through Jesus that we enter a new life. “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (1 Cor. 5:17).
Africaner was a horrible man in a South African tribe; he was so evil that he and his cohorts were the terror of South Africa. A missionary was working in Cape Town and decided that he would go and preach to Africaner’s tribe; the people of Cape Town begged the missionary not to go, and they told him that Africaner would use his skull for a drinking cup. Trusting in God, the missionary went to the tribe, and his first convert just happened to be Africaner. When the missionary returned to Cape Town, he took Africaner with him. The colonial ruler saw that the outlaw had become a noble, Christian man, and he said, “What a miracle! This is the eighth wonder of the world!” That is the change that is available to each one of us as we come to Christ.
Jesus is the door to heaven.
It is through Jesus that we exit the road to hell—”Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (Jn. 3:36). It is through Jesus that we receive eternal life: “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life” (Jn. 5:24).
Have you been through the door of Jesus?
Christ is the Only Door, v 8
“All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them” (Jn. 10:8).
Just who are the thieves and the bandits who came before Jesus? These thieves and bandits were obviously not the prophets who faithfully foretold that the Messiah was coming. These thieves and bandits certainly seem to be the false Messiahs who attempted to gain converts for years before Jesus came. Gamaliel, in Acts 5, refers to a couple of these Messianic revolutionaries (Acts 5:36-37). These thieves and bandits could refer to the Zealots who were causing many problems in Jesus’ day. At the very time Jesus was speaking these words, Josephus tells us that there were ten thousand disorders in Judaea, tumults caused by men of war. These Zealots did not mind killing themselves and even their own loved ones, if they could gain victory over the Romans.
Jesus says, “Sure, all these false people have arisen, but I’m the true Christ. I’m the true door of the sheep, and they’re not.”
There is no other door to the sheepfold except Jesus. Since Jesus is the door of the sheep, it’s up to him to tell me how to go through him to have eternal life. You can find a dozen preachers all telling you to have salvation in different ways. But, if Jesus is the door to the sheep, doesn’t it make more sense that we would listen to him rather than to others about how to enter the sheepfold?
There is another point we need to make in our pluralistic society. Jesus is the ONLY door to heaven—no other religious leader (e. g., Muhammad, Buddha, Shirley McLaine) can get us there. It’s very unpopular today to speak of only one truth or one right way. We’ve heard since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 how good Islam is; I know what the politicians mean, but no religion that denies Jesus his rightful place is a good religion. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, “God is too big for one religion.”
The truth is that Jesus is the only way to the Father: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (Jn. 14:6).
Christ is the Door for All Who Believe, v 9
“I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved.”
Anyone who comes to Jesus will be saved. It doesn’t matter if they are black or white or Hispanic or Asian; it doesn’t matter what they might or might not have done; it doesn’t matter how rich or poor they are; it doesn’t matter how educated or uneducated they are. Whosoever will may come. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16). “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34-35).
Since the gospel is for everyone, there is a moral obligation that we have: we need to share the gospel with everyone. You know that Scripture teaches that we should be a people who are sharing our faith; we ought always be looking for an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus. Since the gospel is for everyone, we can’t make a distinction in whom we tell and in whom we don’t tell. Will we tell everyone the good news of salvation in Jesus?
Christ is the Door for All Who Desire Security, v 9
“l am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”
The phrase “will come in and go out” is a Hebraic expression for security, protection. “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint someone over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the LORD may be not be like sheep without a shepherd” (Num. 27:16-17). “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out” (Deut. 28:6). “The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore” (Ps. 121:8).
Thus, being able to come in and go out demonstrates that in Jesus we have security. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand” (Jn. 10:28-29). This passage does not say, as some have construed it to say, that it is impossible for us to fall away.
What the passage says is that no one can take us out of Jesus’ hand. Satan simply is not powerful enough to come and take us out of Jesus’ hand. We will remain in Jesus’ hand until the time that we ourselves decide to leave it. We live in a time of uncertainty in the world, and isn’t it nice to know that if we live in Christ we are secure in his hand? Satan may buffet, he may tempt, but without our permission, he cannot take us away from Christ.
Are you secure in Christ’s hand?