The Door

Jesus is the door, the only way to enter into life with God

George Wright
May 3, 2020    34m
In this sermon Pastor George Wright shares scripture that reminds us that Jesus is the door, the only way to enter into life with God. Like a good shepherd who cares for his sheep, Jesus leads all who believe to a place of safety, guards the door, and keeps us from wandering astray. Video recorded at Columbia, South Carolina.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

George Wright: 00:00 Well, again, I want to thank you for joining us today for this service, and I would encourage you to go ahead and grab your Bible. We're going to be back in John's gospel as we continue in a series that we've now been in for a few weeks, jst asking the question, who is Jesus? And as we ask this question, we have the privilege of being able to turn to the very words of Jesus himself as he describes who he is, and describes why he came, in these seven I am statements that are recorded in the gospel of John. As you walk through John's gospel, you see seven different times that Jesus makes a statement about himself, and about who he is.

George Wright: 00:40 And today we will be specifically in John chapter 10, before we read this together, before I turn your attention specifically to these verses in John 10, I do want to ask you to be praying for us and praying for the leadership at Shandon in the days ahead. We are working on our plans and preparation for how, and when, we can gather again in person, and we've got a lot of decisions to be made. And so I just so greatly appreciate your prayers, and would ask you to continue to do so as we seek to walk in wisdom in this and look forward to the day that we can gather in person yet again.

George Wright: 01:21 But let's now turn our attention to John chapter 10, and I'm going to begin reading in verse 7. And I would like to ask you, even though it is again somewhat unusual, to stand at home or to stand in your bedroom or your den or wherever you're watching, would you stand with me as I read from the word of God. And if you're new to Shandon, or new to this online service today, the reason we do this is so that we all can be reminded, the word of God is the foundation of his people. It is what we stand up on. It's what we're built upon. And the word of God reveals to us what God says is right and good and true. So this is the word of the Lord, John chapter 10 beginning in verse 7, "So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture." This is the word of the Lord.

George Wright: 02:33 Would you pray with me as we consider God's word together today? Father, as we now turn our attention to your word, and as we reflect on all this going on around us, we are reminded, we need to hear from you. In the midst of this season, in the midst of the circumstances that we are navigating, in the midst of just whatever situation we are walking through right now individually, Lord, we need to hear from you. And so as we turn our attention to the scripture, I pray that these words would leap off the page and into our lives, that you would speak through the power of your spirit. Invite us, and allow us, to hear exactly what we need to hear during this time. And I pray, Lord God, as we turn our attention to your word, that we would not be the same as a result of what you say. This is your time. This is sacred time. We are grateful for it, and we pray that you would use it for your glory. It's in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

George Wright: 03:47 So as we step into these verses today, we are going to be in John 10 not only today, but also next week as Jesus talks about himself in the terms of shepherding and sheep. So let's talk for a moment about sheep. I've got a picture here of a sheep, isn't that a great picture of the tongue sticking out like air Jordan. Sheep are interesting animals. I don't know if you've spent any time around sheep, I haven't spent much time around sheep at all. I have seen sheep on several occasions, be it at a petting zoo, or the state fair, or when we've taken trips to Israel, we've seen a lot of sheep in the countryside. But sheep are something that many of us are probably not very familiar with, or spend a lot of time around, but they're very fascinating animal. We see from studies about sheep that they really are a defenseless animal. They cannot defend themselves from predators. They're not aggressive, they can't fight back if they're attacked, they don't have any natural camouflage that they can hide from a threat or a predator that's attacking them. It's also been said of sheep, if they get flipped over on their back, they can't flip back over on their legs. They're totally defenseless, they need someone to help them and care for them. But we also see about sheep, they're prone to wander. They're prone to just kind of go astray, and kind of go their own way. And this is why it's so important for the sheep to be on a farm, or with a shepherd, because sheep are just known to kind of wander off. There'll be grazing in a field totally unaware of their surroundings. There are even stories of sheep grazing near cliffs, where they're just literally eating grass and they just walk off a cliff because they're totally unaware of what's going on around them. They're prone to go astray, and prone to wander.

George Wright: 05:44 But we also see about sheep, they have really poor eyesight. They need so one to show them the way, to lead them to pasture, to lead them back to safety. They have really poor eyesight, and need someone with clear vision who can help guide them where they need to go. We also see about sheep that even though they're defenseless, and they're prone to wander, and they have poor eyesight, they're incredibly stubborn. They're set in their ways. They don't want to listen. They don't want to go where they're supposed to go or where they're being led. They're incredibly stubborn. And I know what some of y'all might be thinking right now as you watch this service, perhaps with your spouse, you're going, Hey, I'm married to a sheep. Or maybe as you're watching this service with your family and your kids, some of you are thinking, I'm raising sheep right now. And the reality is sheep are a very interesting animal for Jesus to point to as he's making an illustration, and as he's talking about people, he begins to talk about sheep. There are some similarities, we may not want to admit it, but the similarities can be very clear and are very important for us to understand.

George Wright: 07:08 But before we jump back into this statement about Jesus being the door, I am the door for the sheep. I do want us to see the context in which Jesus is speaking these words. Because again, the context is so incredibly important as we seek to understand the truth of God's word. John chapter 9 and chapter 10 are actually connected as one scene. And in John chapter 9 we see Jesus perform an incredible miracle. In fact, I want to turn your attention to the first verse of John chapter 9, look at what the scripture says. John 9:1, as Jesus, "As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth." Now the details that John is giving specifically in this verse are so important, because Jesus sees a man, not only is he blind, but he's a man that is blind from birth. He's never seen. Why is that important? Well, the Jews believed that one of the signs of the Messiah, when the Messiah finally came, was that the Messiah would be able to heal someone who was blind from birth, someone who had never seen in their entire life. And so here is Jesus passing by, seeing a man blind from birth, and as you read through John 9 you can see Jesus miraculously heals this man. He spits on the ground, he makes some mud, he picks up the mud with his hands and his spit, and he wipes it on the man's eyes. This was not social distancing, right? But it was okay for Jesus to do this, mud on the man's eyes. He tells the man, go and wash in a pool, the pool of Siloam, and come back and tell me what you see. Miraculously, the man gained sight for the first time in his life. Can you imagine what this scene must have been like as the crowd of people watches Jesus heal a man blind from birth, gives sight to a man who's never seen. Imagine the reaction of the man, for the first time in his life, colors, light, clouds, sunshine, faces, people that he's known, but never seen. For the first time in his life he is able to see, what a moment, and what a celebration.

George Wright: 09:55 You would think everyone who saw this take place would be excited about what Jesus has done, but as you walk through John 9, what you see is there actually a group of people that are incredibly upset. What you see in John chapter 9, is the religious leaders, called the Pharisees, are incredibly frustrated at what Jesus has done, because Jesus has healed this man on the Sabbath. They believe that no work could be done on the Sabbath. That was incredibly important to understand and to observe. This Sabbath is to be a day of rest. But the religious Jews took the Sabbath and they added laws and rules to it that made it incredibly difficult to uphold. No work at all, they believed that healing must have been in the category of work. Because when Jesus performs this miracle, they begin to accuse him of violating the laws of the Sabbath. They begin to accuse him of doing something that is not from God at all, and they miss the points all together. You see, it's legalism at its finest. They are accusing Jesus of breaking religious rules, but the problem is these are rules of man and not rules of God. The underlying principle of the Sabbath is a gift from God. But then the religious leaders had piled these rules and rules and rules upon rules, and made it very difficult for people to experience the gift that God intended. And so the religious leaders say, Jesus, you can't be from God, this miracle is not from God, because you're breaking the rules. But again, these are rules of man, we see that legalism elevates the opinions of man over the words of God. And so they begin to attack Jesus for these legalistic rules violations, and they accuse him of being a sinner. And they clearly don't care about the miracle that's been performed, and they clearly don't care about the man who was born blind, they are attacking in Jesus and totally missing the power of God on display.

George Wright: 12:38 But there's a sharp contrast to what the Pharisees have done, because what Jesus has done is a display of grace, he has done something for this man that this man could never do for himself, he has given something to this man that is a free gift that he never could have earned or achieved on his own. Those who are legalistic don't know what to do with grace, because grace is undeserved, and grace cannot be earned, and grace is free. And these religious leaders are all up in arms, they don't like what they see, it makes them uncomfortable. They're furious, as grace and legalism are so clearly at odds. It's a opportunity for us to consider, how do we typically navigate quote unquote the rules? Do we see God's word as a gift to us that invites us to live free, a gift in the grace of God, providing for us what we don't deserve, or can possibly earn or achieve. Or do we see the word of God as legalistic rules trying to take from us, and trying to make our life more cumbersome and difficult? God in his grace gives us this beautiful story, and as the Pharisees are attacking Jesus and accusing him of being a sinner.

George Wright: 14:14 They then begin to turn their attention back to the man who was blind that now can see, and look at what this man says in Luke chapter 9 verse 25 as the Pharisees come to him and say, certainly you agree with us, Jesus is a sinner, right? The man's response is amazing, "He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” I absolutely love this verse in the scripture, I absolutely love this part of the story, because basically the blind man is responding to the religious leaders right now and he say, look, I realize I don't know all the rules, I haven't been able to see anything. I realize there's a lot that I still need clarity about, I've been a blind beggar my entire life just trying to survive. I don't know all the right things that you must do to be called religious. I don't understand everything that you're talking about here, I'm just trying to make it for one day to the next. There's a lot of things I don't know, but what I do know is this morning I was blind, just like every other day of my life, and now I met a man named Jesus and I can see and everything has changed for me. The beauty of grace, the beauty of God at work on display. The Pharisees, they still don't get it, they are so wrapped up in the works of man, that they are missing out on the work of God, and so they continue to attack Jesus and accuse Jesus of being outside of the will of God as they call him a sinner.

George Wright: 16:22 And so in John 10 as the scene continues to play out, Jesus begins to teach the people, by teaching to the Pharisees and the crowd alike why he came. John chapter 10 verse 1, let's go back to our story for today, "“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. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." Here as Jesus begins to talk about sheep and shepherding, he is speaking in a way that the crowd can understand, this would have been a very familiar topic for them to relate to. Shepherding was a very common way of life among the people. Sheep were a very common animal at the time. This is something they would have seen and understood and immediately been able to relate to. As Jesus is confronting the legalism of the religious leaders here, he's talking shepherding, and he's saying, you understand this, to the crowd. Many times shepherds would bring their sheep to a sheep fold, to a corral, to a safe place so that the sheep could spend the night and the shepherd could get some rest. And a gatekeeper would be assigned to sit at the door, the only way in and out of that sheep fold or corral, to ensure that no sheep were able to get out and no predators were able to get in. And Jesus is saying, there are some that might try to go over the wall to get to the sheep, and if someone goes over the wall to get to the sheep and doesn't go through the door, we know that individual is a robber or thief. They're not the shepherd, for the shepherd comes through the door, the shepherd knows the way in and out, and the shepherd knows what is best for the sheep.

George Wright: 18:52 Then Jesus begins to say, the sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd. Think of how powerful this is to consider. Look at verses 4 and 5 of John chapter 10 it says, 'When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This is another fascinating thing to consider about sheep. It's been said for generations now by those who raise sheep, and those who shepherd sheep, and those who farm sheep, that they can recognize and distinguish the voice of their master, the voice of their shepherd or caretaker. They can differentiate between the one who leads them, and the voice of a stranger, and sheep become accustomed to a specific voice, and they only follow the voice of the one that they know. Think about what this means to us as Jesus is using this example, those who truly know Jesus, learn to recognize his voice. They learn to hear the voice of God. They learn to listen to what God says, over and above every other voice, and all the noise that is around us. They recognize the voice of their leader, their shepherd, their master. Do you recognize the voice of God? Can you hear the voice of God? How do we know what the voice of God is saying?

George Wright: 20:57 Very quickly, I want to ask you to turn over to another letter that John wrote in the scripture, First John, one of the letters of John near the end of the New Testament. Turn to first John chapter 4, look at what the scripture says, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. Do you want to know how to hear the voice of God? John says, you must test the spirits, test the voice, to see if it's from God. "For many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, (John writes.) which you heard his coming and now is in the world already. But little children (And John is speaking to the church, speaking to quote unquote the flock of those who are following God. Little children you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

George Wright: 22:16 Now, there's a lot here, these are some powerful verses, they have deep theological meaning. But what we must understand as it relates to hearing the voice of God, is that John is revealing something incredibly important to us here. Don't miss this, this is incredibly important to recognize, those who are followers of Jesus Christ have been given the Holy Spirit of God who takes up residence in the life of a follower of Christ, and the Holy Spirit of God helps us discern what is from God and what is not. And one of the ways that the spirit of God helps us discern what is from God, and what is not, is to see when people are speaking on behalf of God, or people are speaking as one who is a religious leader, or people are speaking as one who is spiritual, if they're pointing to Jesus in all that they say, and if they're exalting Jesus above all else, and if they're confessing with their mouth that Jesus is Lord, and seeking to edify the body of Christ through exalting Christ in all that they point to, they are speaking as a voice of God. But if there's an ulterior motive, or if they're seeking to use Jesus for selfish gain, or if they're trying to take attention away from Jesus, or rob God of his glory by making their message, or their ministry, or their teaching about anything other than exalting Christ, they're not speaking from God. How do we determine then, in addition to the Spirit's prompting in our life, we must know the Word of God. You must know what the Word of God says, because God will never speak contrary to his word, and the spirit of God will never lead us to believe something that runs contrary to the Word of God. The spirit of God will never lead us away from Jesus, the spirit of God is always seeking to exalt Jesus, and the spirit of God is showing us the power of God at work through the word that is ingrained in us as we understand what God has said in his scripture, and as we listen to those who teach, lifting high the name of Jesus. Are you hearing the voice of God? God is speaking, he's speaking through his word, he's speaking through those who exalt Jesus. He's speaking through the spirit, prompting us to listen to the truth. Are we listening?

George Wright: 25:26 Then we go back to the verses we began with today, John chapter 10 beginning in verse 7, "So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them for I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture." And we have a picture of a ancient sheepfold that we want to share with you as well. And this just gives us just a little bit greater understanding of what Jesus might be pointing to here. The Shepard, the door right here, the gatekeeper protecting the sheep, ensuring that there's only one way in and out of the corral, ensuring that the sheep get what they need, and ensuring that the sheep know the way. Jesus is saying, look, I am the very door, I am the only way to God. I am the only way for you to truly find pasture, meaning to truly find what your soul longs for the most. To truly find nourishment, not only here, but for all of eternity. I am the door, I am the way to God, I am the provision for my people, I am exactly what the sheep need. And remember, Jesus is sharing this as the religious leaders, frustrated, are looking on. And Jesus is saying to the crowd, and to the religious leaders, you must understand this, please don't miss this, you cannot find another way. You cannot create another way to God. You cannot earn your way to God. You cannot behave your way to God. You cannot follow all the rules enough to get to God. There is only one way, there is only one door, there is only one entrance and I, Jesus, am that door. And if you will trust and follow me, you will go exactly where God desires for you to go, and that is into the safety and the provision and the sanctuary of life with God through Jesus Christ.

George Wright: 28:25 I want to close by looking at one other verse, a verse right near the very end of the story altogether in the Book of Revelation. Revelation chapter 3 verse 20, we see another door talked about, these are the words of Jesus as he says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice (Remember the sheep can hear the voice of the shepherd.) If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." Jesus, the door, the way. Jesus is saying, I'm standing at the door of your life, standing at the door of your heart, standing at the door of your soul, standing at the door of your spiritual longings, and I'm knocking. And I'm ready, I'm ready to lead you, I'm ready to forgive you, I'm ready to save you, will you trust me? Will you open the door that invites you in to a relationship with God? Will you trust and follow Jesus? Jesus the way, Jesus the door, Jesus is standing at your life, and he's knocking. And he's saying, I want you to know my love, and I'll want you to know my grace, and I want you to know the price that I have paid so that your sin could be forgiven through the cross, and I want you to know the victory that I provide through the power of the resurrection as I offer you new life. Will you trust in Jesus? For Jesus is the way to God.

George Wright: 30:40 Let me pray for us as we close our time here together today. Heavenly Father, I am so very grateful for your love and grace toward us. A love and grace that is so clear in your word, as you make available to us the good news of who you are and what you have done. How grateful I am for the statements of Jesus that give us clarity as to who he is and why he came. And we recognize this beautiful, good news, that Jesus is saying, I am the way to God, and I'm inviting you to be made right with God, and I'm inviting you to be cared for and forgiven, and I'm inviting you to to find new life in this beautiful gift called the gospel. And though we recognize there are some who are joining us today who have never experienced this gift in a real and personal way, we recognize that there are some who have been searching, who have perhaps been wandering like a lost sheep, perhaps been stubborn in their ways, and yet they realize they need to be right with you. So Lord, I pray, even now in this moment, that you would give them the faith to trust the gift of Jesus, to enter the door of life, and life eternal through the gift of Jesus Christ. There are some today that need to simply pray a prayer, a prayer of invitation. Jesus, I invite you to be my savior, I believe that you are the way to God, and I need you. So Jesus, I am trusting my life to you, I am trusting in what you have done for me to forgive my sin. I believe in your mercy, and I believe in this gift of salvation. Jesus, I trust my life to you. Thank you, thank you Jesus for what you have done. Now I pray, Lord God, that you would use your church for your glory to continue to point others to the good news of what Christ has done. And in the days ahead, as we continue to navigate uncharted territory, as we continue to seek to advance this beautiful mission of sharing the gospel with the world around us. Lord, I pray that you'd give us wisdom and you'd show us the way. And I pray, Lord, that you would give us the faith to follow you like sheep that follow the shepherd. Thank you for being the way, thank you for opening the door for us to receive the gift of salvation. It's in Christ' name I pray. Amen. Amen.

George Wright: 34:00 Thank you again for joining with us today. Please know, that we continue to pray for you, for your families, for all who are joining in with us. We are lifting you up. We love you. We are grateful for the opportunity to share this time together, and we look forward to seeing you in person real soon. God bless you. We'll see you soon.

Recorded in Columbia, South Carolina.
Read More
Shandon Baptist Church
5250 Forest Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29206