Christ, The Door!
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Christ, The Door!
John 10: 9: "I am the Door."
The text has only four words and only in letters in all.The first word has only one letter.
The second word has just two letters.
The third word has three letters.
The fourth word has four letters.
Yet wrapped up in those four words and ten letters is enough
to make any person satisfied in this world and safe for the next.
Here is one of those grand, wide sweeping statements that the Lord often made of Himself.
Here is another claim of His deity.
Jesus delighted to choose commonplace things of life as illustrations of His person
and symbols of His power!
Jesus said, "I am the bread."
He also said, "I am the water, "and also, "I am the light."
How remarkable that Christ should compare Himself with things so simple, and yet so essential.
In our text we have one of those illustrations.
A door is a commonplace thing, and a door of a sheepfold is certainly a matter of fact,
and yet necessary for shepherds and their fold.
Some years ago some travelers noticed the usual sheepfold, which was a low wall,
made of mud and stones.
But they were puzzled to know why there was no door across the entrance of the sheepfold.
They asked the shepherd why there was no door.
The shepherd replied, "I am the door."
At night the shepherd would lie down in the entrance so no sheep could get out
unless he became aware of it.
Jesus said, "I am the door."
Christ is the only door!
Jesus did not say, "I am a door."
He said, "I am the door."
There is a vast difference between a door and the door.
There is only one door into God's fold, and that door is Christ.
He is the only door.
"There is none of the name given under heaven among men, whereby we must be saved. "
Jesus said, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me."
Jesus is the only Saviour for sinning men.
There is no other Saviour.
Near the deathbed of a man who had professed infidelity all his life, and who belonged
to the infidel club of his city, was found this testimony:
"I've tried in vain a thousand ways,
My fears to quell, my hopes to raise;
But what I need, the Bible says,
Is ever, only Jesus."
There are many trying, as he did, the thousand ways, but we must come to the place, as he did,
where we recognize and gladly confess that Christ is the only way.
So many are trying religion, and others respectability, and some reformation, but all these will not avail.
Christ is the only door!
Oh, that we could get people's minds off of ritual and of their own deeds and vain hopes,
and look to Christ who died for their sins and rose again for their justification.
Only Jesus can help helpless sinners.
"My only hope must be in Jesus,
To lose the burden of my sin;
There is no other power to help me,
Anew in Christ I must begin.
There is no other Saviour given,
No other hope beyond the grave;
No other Name in earth or heaven,
Thy guilty, dying soul to save."
Christ is the only door!
Christ is also the open door!
Christ is the entrance.
He is the open door.
He is the open door that no man can shut.
After all these years, the Door is still open today.
Only God knows how soon the door will shut, and then no more sheep will enter the fold.
The thought of the open door gives us the picture of Christ standing with open arms
and pierced hands, tenderly saying, "Come!"
D. L. Moody told the story of a Scotch girl who wandered away from God and her father's
and mother's counsel and went deeply into sin.
One night in a wild frenzy in the city of Edinburgh, she concluded that she would commit suicide,
but that before doing so, she would go and look upon her home once more.
She wanted to see her home where she was born and had sped her youth.
When she arrived at her neighborhood, it was in the middle of the night.
She came up to the gate of her home.
It was dark, and so she lifted the latch and quietly entered the yard.
As she walked up the path, she caught the fragrant scent of the flowers, and she moved on
up the path until she came to the door of the cottage.
She was surprised to find the door wide open.
Afraid that some harm might have come to her elderly mother, she called to her mother,
and her mother answered.
The girls said, "Mother, I found the door open."
The old, Scotch mother got up from her bed and came downstairs.
She said, "Maggie, it's many a long day since you went away, but always the prayer has been
in my heart, 'Lord, send her home.' "
The mother said her prayer continued, "Whether she come by night or day,
I want her to see an open door and know she is welcome."
And that night the girl was held in her mother's arms of love and forgiveness, and it all suggested
the love of God and of God's great forgiveness.
By the open door of her mother's cottage, she found her way to forgiveness and love.
The door is open.
The door is inviting and is welcoming.
Christ is the open door!
Now, let us consider some of the privileges one enjoy who enters the door.
He finds Protection ("He shall be saved.")
Here we are brought face to face with the primary and fundamental need of people everywhere.
The gospel is the good news of salvation.
The person that enters the door by faith will find:
Protection from the Pangs Of the past.
God knows, and so do we, that we need just that.
The past is like a nightmare.
It follows like a black shadow.
It rises like a black, big hand in the night to terrorize and torment.
Memory haunts and threatens.
In every home there seems to be a skeleton in the closet -- a relic of the past.
How great it is for someone to cleanse the stains and heal the hurts of yesterday.
But he, who by faith enters the door, finds the past left behind.
The old is gone, and everything is new.
The blood of Christ blots out the darkest record in one stroke.
How often a person when thinking of his past has said:
"I wish there were some wonderful place,
Called the land of beginning again;
Where all our mistakes, and all our heartaches,
And all of our poor selfish grief
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door,
And never put on any more."
Hallelujah! There is such a place!
Isaiah 43:25: "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake,
and will not remember thy sins."
"There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains."
The Perils of the Present
Thank God, He blocks out past, but He also stays with us in the present.
He saves me now.
All of us need a Saviour just for today.
How blessed it is to be able to sing:
"Moment by moment I'm kept in His love,
Moment by moment I've life from above."
These are difficult days.
These are days of perplexity and days of deep depression.
Christ is just the Saviour for a day like this.
Storms of suffering and tempests of temptation may rage,
but the door of the fold stands between these things and the sheep of the flock,
and that door is Christ Himself.
Jesus is the open door of salvation, but a shot door against the cold and the storm
and the robber in the night.
He is a daily Saviour.
He saves from the perils of the present.
"In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow's lone hour;
In times when temptation cast o'er me its power;
In the tempests of life, only its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I'm hiding in Thee."
The Fear of the Future
Christ saves from the past and for the present and from the future.
In the more serious moments of life, every person wonders what's ahead.
That is why so many hurry about.
They are buried in business, and plunged into pleasure so that they may hide their eyes from the future.
But it is there.
The future is still there.
But you need not fear it.
You need not tremble at the thought of eternity if you have Christ dwelling in the heart by faith.
Christ removes the menace of the judgment.
There is no Black Friday ahead for the Christian.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life..." (Romans 8: 35-39)
But there is more than protection suggested by the text.
There Is Also Privilege.
He shall go in and out.
There is privilege and liberty.
Only those who have been found by Christ and have come into the fold are really free.
The sheep, lost, out on the mountain, near the yawning gorge or the howling wolves, are not free.
It is the sheep of the flock that are free.
In Christ there is not only life; there is abundant life.
Liberty is found in Christ; life is slavery without Jesus.
No one is really free unless Christ has shorn him of his shackles.
"He is a freeman whom the Truth makes free, and all our slaves beside."
So, the text reminds us that we not only come in for salvation, but we go out for service.
We go out into the world, the workplace, and the office for Christ.
There is liberty in the Lord.
The text also tells us that there is not only protection and privilege, but:
There Is Provision in Christ -- "And find pasture."
Christ looks after the sheep of His flock.
They are starving sheep on the mountain wild, but the sheep of His flock are the sheep of His pasture.
They are satisfied sheep.
He succors His saints.
He feeds the flock.
Have you ever seen cattle trying to find grass on a yellow pasture field
where there is nothing but a brown stalk here and there or a weed that turns to dust in their mouths?
That is a life without Christ.
But all who know Christ will be able to testify that He knows those who are His
and will lead them into the green pastures and beside the still waters.
Christ gives provisions.
Hugh Prince Hughes, in his last will and testament, wrote:
"Put on my tombstone
Thou, 0 Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find."
So, we see that if by faith we enter this only and open Door, there are protection, privilege,
and provision for us.
There are also forgiveness, freedom, and food.
Have you entered in?
That is the question. Have you?
It is not enough to know a great deal about the Door.
It is not enough to only admire the Door.
It is not enough to get close to the door and peep in to see some of the delights within.
You must enter the Door!
Some have been looking and longing, but have never entered.
The text says, "He that enters in [not, looks] shall be saved."
If any man enter. I like that, don't you?
That is all-inclusive!
What a welcome!
No matter how learned or otherwise, whether rich or poor, moral or immoral,
Christ can be all of this to you if you will trust Him.
Don't be lost when the fold is so near.
Don't starve when there is bread enough and to spare.
Enter the fold with the cry of faith today.
Trust Jesus who has proved His love for you by carrying your sins on Calvary
and rising again that you and I might be justified.
Will you say now, "Lord Jesus, I will trust Thee?"
"Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, "Thus saith the Lord."
Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me,
'Neath the healing, cleansing flood.
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er,
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus,
Oh, for grace to trust Him more."
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@AOL.com