I did a series of posts a couple of years ago on Gates and I am re-posting them with a couple of tweaks over the course of this week. The posts were inspired by a teaching I heard a Pastor give many years ago at church from the story of Nehemiah. I have also over the years used the material in small group teaching. The book of Nehemiah is rich material for a bible study and discussion group as there are valuable lessons for us that we can apply.
To set the scene, the Lord leads Nehemiah by His Spirit to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the ruined gates and walls of the city.
Here are some questions for us to consider. How and what are we building in our lives?
I am encouraged by the example of how to build from Nehemiah Chapter 3. The order in which Nehemiah describes how the gates and walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt is an example of how the Holy Spirit leads and inspires us to build in our lives.
The Sheep Gate was the first gate to be rebuilt. This is the most important gate in our lives. We have to come to God through the Sheep gate. The bible teaches us that it is only those who enter in by Jesus Christ (the Shepherd and the Sheep gate) who can come into relationship with God. Jesus said that no-one could come to the Father but by Him.
Have we come to God by repentance through the Cross of Jesus and understood the power of the Cross in our lives. That the power of sin and death is broken because of what Jesus has accomplished for us by His death and resurrection. That we are now children of the living God, adopted into God’s family. If we try and build on anything apart from the true foundation of the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Cross we will build wrongly. Jesus Christ has to be the cornerstone of our faith.
We all need to enter in through the Sheep gate to be a true sheep, no exceptions.
Jesus Christ warns us about those who don’t come in by the Sheep gate.
They are not sheep but wolves in Sheep’s clothing and there are false shepherds.
In John chapter 10 v 1-11 Jesus says “Most assuredly I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” “But he who enters by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep – To him the doorkeeper opens and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Jesus went on to explain: “Most assuredly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, If anyone enters by Me he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”
Please be on your guard of any teaching or doctrine about Jesus which is contrary to what the Bible reveals to us about Jesus.
We need to come to God through a true revelation of who Jesus is, why his death on the Cross was necessary and the power of His resurrection. The bible teaches that Jesus was God’s son, the Word made flesh. Jesus came as God in the flesh. Jesus died for our sins but was raised again victorious and ascended back to Father God in heaven. God has given Him all authority and power and a name above all Names. Jesus sits at God’s right hand and makes intercession for us. One day Jesus will return for His church as He promised.
An interesting detail is that the Sheep gate was the only gate that didn’t have locks and bars. To me this symbolises that the way to God is open through Jesus and it is open to everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. Nothing can disqualify you from receiving grace and forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ and the redemptive power of the Cross.
If you have never come through the Sheep Gate then I encourage you to confess your sins and take that step by faith in Jesus today. Receive forgiveness and start a new life in Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.