Faithlife Sermons

I AM the Door

I AM  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  19:31
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Jesus declares himself to be the door to salvation. We must decide to listen or not.

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In the Flinthills we are quite familiar with stone walls, 4-wire or 5-wire fences, Ranch Gates, cattle gates and cattle guards. We know what it means when we see a tall gate in the middle of miles of 5-wire fence. We know that it is expected that the Cowboy in the passenger seat is the one to get out and open/shut the gate. I just learned within the last year what a water-gap is and how it is used to keep animals where they belong.
But when it comes to first century sheep practices we may need a little refresher.
Jesus’ claim in 10:7 starts with the setting back in 10:1 about the sheepfold. We need to understand the fold if we are to have any idea what he means by door.
John 10:1–9 ESV:2016
1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. 7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
Let’s consider first the physical aspects of the sheepfold, and then we will better understand the spiritual lessons Jesus wants to convey to us. During the day flocks roamed the pasture, but at night they were corralled into a cave or sheepfold. The sheepfold was an enclosure surrounded by a wall of rocks that was too high for the sheep to jump over. The shepherds sometimes put thorny branches on the tops of the walls to deter thieves from trying to climb over.
An opening in the wall allowed the sheep to enter and exit; and at night, the shepherd lay across that opening and became the door of the sheepfold. No animal could get out and no enemy could get in without the shepherd knowing it. On the outskirts of many villages there might be a community sheepfold where all the shepherds brought their flocks each evening. In the morning, the shepherds would call their sheep, and each flock would follow its shepherd out of the sheepfold. The sheep knew the voice of their own shepherd and would follow nobody else.[i]
Transition: Today we will consider 3 dimensions of Jesus as the Door. The first aspect to think about is…

The Door of Division (vv.7-9a)

John 10:7–9a ESV:2016
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

A form of Quarantine

1. A door creates a division: Some people are outside and some are inside.
As we are told to “stay home”, the intent is not to deprive us of freedom, but to separate us from that which could harm us or others.
This virus is insidious because one can’t tell from appearances if another person has it or not. Many carry the virus without manifesting symptoms, but that does not mean that they are safe.
2. While we can’t separate the healthy from the unhealthy by appearance, nevertheless there is a real difference between those who are positive from those who are negative.
3. Likewise, opinions about Jesus separates people into 2 groups.
a. “Thus the people were divided because of Jesus” (John 7:43).
b. “So they were divided” (9:16).
c. “The Jews who heard these words were again divided” (10:19).
d. Those who follow Christ don’t belong to this world, nor do they live like the world, and this causes the people of the world to hate them (John 16:18–25).
Transition: Verse 9 of today’s text uses a powerful word to describe the difference between the 2 sides of the door.

The Door of Salvation (v.9b)

John 10:9b ESV:2016
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
There are many people that if you asked, “are you saved?” would respond “saved from what?”

Saved from Death

1. We are surrounded by dozens or hundreds of viruses, bacteria and diseases. We generally live as if we are exempt from any terminal condition. We are blissfully dismissive of the dangers we encounter daily.
2. Today we are living through a pandemic and several are anxious about exposure to the Corona virus. But hardly any of us have had a single thought in the past week of cancer, car accident, fire, stroke, terrorism, violence or any of the other ways we could be ushered into eternity. I don’t mean to be morbid, but the thought that is attributed to Benjamin Franklin reminds us that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We are being naïve to believe that if I can just avoid Covid-19, I will live until a ripe, old age.
3. Eventually we all succumb to physical death, but Jesus offers salvation from spiritual (or second) death.

Saved to Life

1. Here is our Lord’s promise: “Whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9).
2. To be saved means to have your sins forgiven, to become a child of God, and to have the assurance of heaven. It means to have eternal life (John 3:16–18).
3. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (3:36).
4. Any sinner who enters into the one flock through Jesus Christ is saved and always will be saved. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand” (10:27–28).
Transition: The salvation that Jesus offers is not just an after-death remedy, it is a right-now rescue!

Saved to Abundant Life (v.9c)

John 10:9c (ESV) —he will… go in and out and find pasture.
1. Jesus leads us out of the old fold and into the new flock, and then He permits us to go in and out of the walled community because of the freedom we have in Him.
2. 2 chapter earlier in John, Jesus said that “everyone who sins is a slave to sin.… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34, 36).
3. Note the balance here: “in and out.” We need the food, water, and exercise of the pasture as well as the rest and security of the fold. Prayer, worship and reflection are important, but so are witness and service! Out in the pasture, the sheep have no walls and are free to move about, while in the fold they are confined; and both are needed in the Christian life.
4. There are some areas of life that require walls and fences, and if we ignore them, we get into trouble. There are other areas of Christian life that are open and free and about which the saints may even disagree. Full conviction is the mark of maturity, decisions based on the Word of God and witnessed by the Spirit of God. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Gal. 5:13).
Transition: We’ve considered the Door of division and the door of salvation, but there is a 3rd way in which Jesus is the Door.

The Door of Decision

Truth demands Choice (v.9)

1. Notice the 3 words in the middle of v.9 “If anyone enters”
2. We live in a world that promotes tolerance at the cost of truth. “What’s true for you may not be true for me,” people argue.
3. I like the way Warren Weirsbe puts it, “When it comes to money, medicine, and measurements, there are absolutes that must not be denied.
a. If a friend owed you a hundred dollars and tried to pay you with ten one-dollar bills, would you accept that payment? If he argued that, in his opinion, a one-dollar bill was the same as a ten-dollar bill, would you agree?
b. Or, suppose your pharmacist used arsenic instead of aspirin in your prescription, would you swallow the medicine?
c. If a carpenter built you a bookcase ten inches wide and eight inches tall, instead of ten feet wide and eight feet tall, and argued that an inch is as good as a foot, would you pay him for his work?
d. If we want absolutes in matters that concern measurement, money, and medicine, why not in matters of morality and faith?
4. False teachers may use what appears to be a Christian vocabulary, but they do not use a Christian dictionary! Same words, different meanings.
This week I heard a false preacher claim that when Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “go and sin no more” that what he meant was “don’t feel like you need to stop that behavior, just stop thinking of it as sin”.
5. When we come to Jesus the Door, we must hear His Word, decide to accept it as truth, and act upon it.
In my childhood we used to sing this chorus in Sunday school:
One door and only one, and yet its sides are two.
Inside and outside—on which side are you?
One door and only one, and yet its sides are two.
I’m on the inside—on which side are you?
6. To stand before Jesus Christ, the Door, and make no decision at all is to stay on the outside of salvation! At the door you are in a place of decision, and to make no decision is to make a decision—the wrong one.

Conclusion:

We are living in days of uncertainty. The stock market and unemployment figures seem to bounce like a rubber ball. The spread of the Corona Virus is on a meteoric trajectory. Health and government leaders seem to say one thing one day, and something quite different the next.
Amidst all this uncertainty, we need something solid in which to rest.
The security of the flock is the shepherd’s number one responsibility, and Jesus assures us that His sheep shall never perish (John 10:27–30). “Therefore he is able to save completely [forever] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Heb. 7:25). Those on the sheepfold side of the door are saved and secure no matter what may come. Those on the outside of Christ are doomed in darkness.
This is too important to delay! Choose today to place your trust in Christ alone for your salvation.
[i] Warren W. Wiersbe, Jesus in the Present Tense: The I Am Statements of Christ (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2011).
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