JESUS THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP, #615
This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (JOH 10:6-7).
"Verily, verily, I say unto you." That "verily, verily" means I say it, and I say it again. It is of such utter importance that we understand this principle. I have told you and I am telling you again. "Verily, verily I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep."
The preceding parable where Jesus spoke of Himself as the true Shepherd of the flock who followed Him in the way of holiness was not understood by those Pharisees unto whom He spoke. Those Pharisees, who were the leaders of the church, those Pharisees, who were the religious leaders of the day, did not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. They did not understand what Jesus meant when He said, "I am the door of the sheep."
He said unto them in Verse 3, "To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and he leadeth them out." He led them out through that door. Led them out of what? Out of Judaism. He led them out of the false religious leadership under which they were living. They heard his voice as the true Shepherd, and He led them out.
I want you to see how the preceding parable reveals the spirit of discernment given unto Christs own sheep. He called His own sheep by their name and led them out. The call of the gospel can go to the entire universe, but it is only heard effectually by those whom the porter opens the door. The porter openeth, and who is the porter here in this instance but the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit opens the understanding. The Holy Spirit gives new desires. The Holy Spirit works the wonder of grace in the heart. In other words, the divine influence of the Spirit upon the heart, which is revealed in our lives, opens the understanding. Then they hear His voice. His voice is the Word of God.
So many people have religions. I was reading in the Tribune yesterday, and they reported on a religion now where they have decided they dont want to sing any hymns. They dont even have benches in the church. They dont read any Scriptures. They just put on a skit, and they have fun. Oh its emotional. They get a high, but Christ isnt in it all. There is so much religion, but much of it is outside of the power and the work of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus says, "I am the door of the sheep," and the porter openeth. The Holy Spirit opens that door of salvation for His sheep, and He leads them out.
Look at JOH 10:4: "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them." There are so many who profess religion today. There are so many who profess Christianity, but they are not His own sheep. Do you know why? The missing element is that spiritual quickening. That spiritual awakening is the need of Christ. They hear his voice.
In our day the general call of the gospel goes out unto the whole world, as it did unto Jerusalem and into Judaism. The Jews heard the gospel, but many took up stones to throw at Him. They wanted to kill Him. They never received the gospel; they heard it, that gospel of repentance, but it was not heard with spiritual ears. They didnt want to hear this gospel of repentance that went against their world of sin. It meant coming out from this society of religion, where there is no repentance. They didnt want to hear it, and they took up stones to throw, to kill Him. It is only our Saviour's "own" sheep who were given Him by the Father that receive the effectual call.
It is an amazing thing, when the Holy Spirit comes with the call in our heart and leads us through that blessed door and brings us out of our sins. We can look back and we see our own father and mother, who are left behind. We can see our own children. We can see our closest friends, and they dont want to follow. They havent heard the voice, and you and I are not able of ourselves to make that effectual call, to give them to see and to understand. What does it take? The Holy Spirit works in the heart a new desire where those things that were so sweet become bitter. Sin becomes hateful and bitter. Then the voice of Christ can begin to be heard that we must deny self. Everything of self must be cut off. Everything that pleases the flesh must be cut off. It is only those whom the Father calls who will receive that message.
Look at JOH 6:44-45: "No man can come to me [that is an awesome thought], except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me." Those who have received the spiritual ear to hear, and to recognize that voice of Christ, will hear and come.
Now, does this justify a fatalistic spirit in rejecting our responsibility to obey our Father's command to believe on the NAME of His only begotten Son? No. We are commanded to believe on the name, which is a Name of authority. We are commanded to believe on the Name of His only begotten Son. It is a command.
Look at 1JO 3:23: "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name [that word name comes from the Greek word onoma, which means a name of authority. In other words, if I was talking to you about a man by the name of the person who is the President of the United States, and you had never heard that name before, it wouldnt mean a thing to you. However, if I rephrase that to say the persons name, the President of the United States, when I start talking to you about him, now we are speaking about a name with authority. That name of His only begotten Son, that word onoma means a name of authority. We must understand that all authority was given unto the Son. That was His reward for such unconditional obedience as we read in PHI 2:8-9. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name."
"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." (1JO 3:23) In other words, as Christ gave us commandment, we must do.
Now, there is only one thing that makes it impossible to come unto Jesus without the drawing power of the Father's love! It says no man can come unto me. What is it that stands in the way? Weve got to stop and think about that. The Lord Jesus tells us we must repent, and do you know what it means to repent? It means that we come to ourselves, in other words, as with the prodigal son. He came to himself, and what did that mean? He got his head pulled together. He pulled his act together. He started to analyze what a fool he had been. He left his fathers house, where there was bread to spare, and here he was feeding upon the husks that the swine were leaving. He came to himself.
Then what happened? A carefully planned repentance was put into action. LUK 15:18-19 explains, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants." What was the bottom line? A new desire to come back into service of his father was seen as far better than the life he had.
Now, what stands between you and the Lord? If you are outside, only one thing, and that is that desire to come back into His service, and a well-planned repentance whereby you come back into the service of God.
Now, let us look at JOH 14:6 where we find Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. As I spoke of in the previous chapter, Jesus is the way of holiness. Is that what we desire? Do we truly want to walk in the way of holiness and do we want the truth? Do we want to have our sins identified? Do we want to see and understand the call to crucify everything of the flesh? Do we want the truth?
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth [which is the Word of truth, cf. JOH 17:17.], and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." It is the only way we can be reconciled with the Father. It is only through that door, the Lord Jesus Christ, which you and I can return to the Father.
Now, until natural man is effectually called out of darkness, they cannot come unto the discerning Light of Christ, who is the Word. That is the obstacle that stands in the way. When you come to Christ, you have to understand, it says in JOH 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Then in JOH 1:14 we read, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." Christ is the Word. The Word is Christ. When you come to Christ, you are coming to the Light of the Word.
Now, what do we read in HEB 4:12-13? "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Verse 13 says, "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
Now, why is it that we cant come to the Father? It is only through the Lord Jesus Christ that we have access to the Father, and Jesus is the Light. He understands every thought and every intent of our heart. When that becomes naked and open before us, we love evil rather than be revealed by the Light. That is our nature. This is why we cannot come to the Light of Christ, who is the WORD (JOH 1:1-4), until we have received grace to know the gift of God. We are unwilling until we learn to understand the love of the Father in giving His Son and see the blessed love of God in the Father and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. Unless we learn to see the love of God, we have fear because we have offended against His law. We cannot come to Him. The blindness of our hearts forbids us.
In JOH 4:10 we read, "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." If you knew that, if you had some knowledge of the love of God and the blessed atonement that Christ made for sinners, then you would ask. Then you would come to that fountain that is open for all sin and uncleanness, then you would thirst after living waters.
The blindness of Judaism to see the gift of the Father left them deaf to the voice of the true Shepherd of the sheep. That is why our text says, "This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them."
So, now our text says in Verse 7, "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." We have previously pointed out the distinction between the three doors, i.e., the door of the shepherd in Verse 1, "the door of the sheep," in Verse 7, and the door of salvation in Verse 9. In each instance it is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ; He is a door in a threefold sense.
A door is used for exit as well as entrance. Our text speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ as a door of exit. You and I by nature are walking in the service of self, Satan and sin. It is only by that blessed revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ that we will ever come out of the service of sin and the world. Until we have learned to see the precious love of God and have learned to see who Christ is for a lost sinner, you and I will never be delivered from that power of sin. He is the door that gives us the exit from the service of sin. That is what He is speaking about in our text. He says, "I am the door of the sheep," and in Verse 3 He says "that the porter openeth and the sheep hear his voice and he calleth his own sheep by name and leadeth them out."
You will never enter the door of salvation until you have come out through the door, out of the service of sin. This is what is missing in todays gospel. They want you to believe you can be saved in your sins instead of saving you from your sins. Christ came to redeem His people from all iniquity. Modern religion wants you to be redeemed from hell in your iniquity. He is the door by which we come out of our sins before we can come to Him.
In 2TI 2:24-26 we see how a true under-shepherd, a pastor sent by the Lord, walks in the Spirit of Christ and the effect of his work is that he brings them out. "And the servant of the Lord must not strive [they must be in the Spirit of Christ.]; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth."
If a true under-shepherd has learned to understand his own sin and the power of sin, he must also learn to understand that door of Christ is the way to lead him out of the power of sin and Satan. Then he will understand that he must be gentle and loving with those who are still not drawn out.
2TI 2:25 says, "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth," Look at the last part of that verse carefully and see that repentance is a gift of God. We should beseech the Lord, that the Lord will grant repentance, to lead other sinners out of the fold of mere religion. Now, watch this in the next verse. "And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." That is where you and I are all by nature. We are captives of Satan. We sold ourselves as captive slaves of Satan in paradise, and that is why we need Christ as that door to lead us out of that captivity. We need Christ to lead us out of that service of sin, to deliver and redeem us from all iniquity that we might come back into serving God.
I want to describe the power of Satan just a little. He has a power of fascination. I watched a serpent, a garter snake. A serpent has a power of fascination. As long as they look into the eyes of their victim and the eye of the victim is looking into the eyes of the serpent, the victim is rendered powerless. A serpent can move right up on that victim and swallow them alive. I watched a garter snake move up and swallow a toad alive. That toad was shaking and trembling and terrified; it was totally helpless to move. That power of fascination renders the victim unable to move one muscle to deliver itself. Until the eye is taken off from the eye of that serpent, that power of fascination is unmovable.
That is where you and I are with Satan and sin. As long as we have our eyes fixed upon something that is sin, it has a power that you and I cannot break. Our eyes must be first taken off from Satan. Then our eyes are taken off the love of sin and fixed upon Christ as He hangs upon that cross. When that happens, the Lord Jesus says in JOH 12:32, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
There is a drawing power here that breaks the power of fascination of Satan and sin. We have to understand that Satan takes you and me by nature captive at his will; we are powerless to deliver ourselves from this fascination. This is where we need to look to Christ. He is the door. He is that door of salvation and deliverance from being under that power of fascination of Satan and sin. He is the only door whereby we exit the service of sin. We not only get from under the power of Satan and the power of sin, but we come out from the service of it.
Now look at JOH 8:34. "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." When you and I live in sin, we are the servants of sin, and we cannot serve two masters. We must be brought out of this service of sin. It is only through Christ that you and I can find the deliverance from that power of sin.
Our blessed Saviour beckons. You know, this is something that is so precious, when our eye is fixed on Christ. Now we see Him beckoning unto us. He says in MAT 11:28-30, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you [come in My service, come under My yoke,], and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Now we see that precious love of Christ, and how that He is beckoning. Do you understand what the Christ is telling you and me? We must learn that Spirit of Christ. He says He is meek and lowly. We are to take His yoke upon us and learn of Him; His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.
What makes the service of Christ so easy? It becomes the highest delight of our hearts when we have received that Porter opening the door of our heart and the blessed door of exit is opened. We can escape from the servitude of Satan and sin. Now it becomes our chief joy to serve Christ.
It is only through this door, i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ, that we can come out of the service of sin, and by God's grace re-enter the service of our God. You cannot serve God until you have been delivered out of the service of sin. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot say that you are going out to serve Christ with a heart that is filled with bitterness against your brother. Do you know why? Jesus came to save you from sin, and if you dont love your brother and say that you love God you are a liar. We have to be delivered from these things. We have to be delivered from the things of serving self and sin before we will ever be able to come into the service of God.
In HEB 12:28 we read, "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." You cannot serve God acceptably with a heart filled with bitterness. You can only serve God with a heart with reverence for Gods holy law of love. God is love. Look at His love in giving His Son. You have to be restored into the image of God, and that requires a heart of love before you can serve Him acceptably with godly fear. In other words, what is godliness? To love God with your heart, your soul and your mind, and we have to have reverence for His law of love. The commandment of the Father is that we believe in the name of His Son and obey His commandments. What was that?
Jesus said, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." JOH 15:12.
Our Saviour did not come to restore an apostatized Judaism; they have turned away from and forsaken that which they formerly believed. When we talk about revival, I want you to understand that the Lord does not restore an apostatized church. He never has and never will. Do you know what He does? He leads His people out. Judaism had become apostatized. He will call His sheep by their name and bring them out. The reason for that is that we are to follow the footsteps of Christ.
We see this same thing true in the days of the Reformation. The Lord did not restore an apostatized church; He called His true sheep out.
This same principle was taught in EXO 33. I want you to take notice how that this principle is taught in the Old Testament. Judaism had turned to rebellion against God and the Lord was withdrawing His presence from Judaism. He was angry with them because of their sin. Verse 7 says, "Moses [God had ordained him as His shepherd of Israel] took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass [now watch this], that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp." The Lord had removed Himself from the camp. They had apostatized; they were removed. The Lord removed Himself from the camp, and everyone that sought the LORD went out.
Those whose hearts were drawn out to seek the Lord had to leave that "camp" where rebellion reigned and go forth unto God's anointed shepherd without the camp if they wanted the Lords presence. Moses had to come out of the camp to set up the tabernacle. Look at EXO 33:9: "And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses."
Now, this is such a beautiful illustration of our exit from the house of rebellion through the Lord Jesus Christ, the door that is opened for us to come out of the camp of rebellion.
In HEB 13:12-14 we see a principle that is very important. "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate." He came out of Jerusalem. He had to come out of the camp, and that is where He suffered. Verses 13 and 14 continue, "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come." We will never find a place of rest until we come out, before we can go in.
Now, as I pointed out this same DOOR, i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ, is for our exit from the service of sin, as well as for our entrance back into the acceptable service of our God.
HEB 13:15-16 continues, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." That is coming back into His service. We come out before we go in. Now we communicate to do good.
Now, our Lord and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the "door" through which we can enter into a state of reconciliation with the Father. You and I can become reconciled with the Father again through the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, that way is the way of holiness, and it begins by first finding the power of His blood as the exit from the camp of rebellion.
Look at HEB 13:20-21. "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." He is the door of exit. He is the door of entrance. By that blood, through the Lord Jesus Christ, we are delivered from the service of sin and brought back into the service of God. Through the blood of the everlasting covenant we may do His will in His service.
History repeats itself. God is no longer in the organized Christian masses. He has withdrawn. We see the big Christian masses that are wandering so far from the teachings of Scripture that it makes a person shudder to sit in their presence. Do you know why? The Word of God is not their authority. The Lord has removed Himself from these Christian masses. The true sheep of Christ's flock will hear their Master's voice and follow Him in His reproach outside the camp of a social religion. When we remove ourselves from these Christian masses, we are going to suffer the reproach that Christ suffered.
In 2CO 6:14-18 we read about being unequally yoked. A lot of people have interpreted these verses to mean that we are not to be married to a person who is not a believer. I dont dispute that these verses could be applied to that situation. However, when we keep this in its full context, it is talking about the church. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? [You cannot have a mixture of believers and unbelievers. It doesnt work.] and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing [You cannot dwell among unbelievers. You will have your wedding garment, the garments of sanctity that Christ gives you, become soiled and marred.]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
So we must remember the context in which our text is found. We need to understand this context to fully appreciate its meaning. The Pharisees had just excommunicated the beggar who had been born blind. In His providence this was how Jesus called him out of their camp.
You know, it happens quite often that the Lord will take you out of those assemblies by the fact that He will have them drive you out. Do you know why? You start seeing light that they dont want shed in their crowd. When you start shining the Light, you dont have to worry about whether you are going to leave or not. Ive been there. They will put you out, and not only will they put you out, but also they will heap judgments and condemnation on you as you go. They will push you out. The Lord uses this in His providence to bring you out from among them.
The Pharisees had just excommunicated this beggar who had been born blind, and that was in Gods providence as we find in JOH 9. First, Jesus was the door of exit, and I want you to see what He did. He anointed this man's eyes, enlightening his eyes to see the blindness of his religious leaders. When the Lord anointed this blind mans eyes to see the blindness of the religious leaders, he started telling them logic of what happened according to the Word of God. He started teaching them. He started showing them that those leaders were wrong. What happened? He was excommunicated.
Look at JOH 9:34. "They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out." Stay in the churches wherever you go. Tell anybody, stay right there, but be faithful and start shining the light. You dont have to come out. They will put you out, just like they did this blind man. What happens after being put out? The Lord has accomplished that as the door. He anointed the mans eyes to see, and now the Lord Jesus becomes the door of their exit, and immediately followed up to be the door of his entrance into His fold.
Only after Jesus had been the door of exit from the camp of rebellion did He become the door of salvation. Now in JOH 9:35-38 we read, "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."
Do you see how precious that door is? It is not only the door of entrance, but it is the door of exit, and it was the Lord Jesus Christ who anointed His eyes. It infuriated the scribes and Pharisees when this uneducated man explained what had happened and who Jesus was. "Thou wast altogether born in sin, and dost thou teach us?" Good way to get kicked out is when you start shining the Light of the gospel into their dark hearts. Do you know what the Light does? The light condemns them.
The Apostle Paul is another beautiful, striking example of this principle. I want you to see that what I am saying is scriptural principle. The Apostle Paul described his standing in the camp before he learned to see Jesus as the door of exit.
When we look at PHI 3:5-6, we see the Apostle Paul, a Pharisee of Pharisees. He was one of the great religious leaders of the Jews. He learned to see Jesus as the door exiting from this sense of false security and hypocritical religion. PHI 3:5-6 tells what his condition was in the camp of Judaism. "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless." He had impeccable credentials. He was a righteous man in his own esteem, but he was a self-righteous man.
I'm sure we all know the history of how Jesus was Paul's door of exit from this school of hypocrisy! What happened? In ACT 9:3-6 he was on his way to Damascus to imprison the true flock of Christ and to bring them back to Jerusalem. What happened? "And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"
It was Jesus. He was the door, whereby this great Apostle Paul was led out of that camp of Judaism. What happened? He fell on his face. He saw that all of this that he had obtained in the way of self-righteousness availed him nothing.
Verses 5-6 continue, "And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do." Christ was the door. He saw the Lord Jesus Christ in the way. The light shined into his heart, and he could no longer walk in his way of rebellion. All of a sudden he became a new man. Now he said, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"
Saul became the Apostle Paul; he is no longer serving self. He is no longer serving Satan and sin. He has now entered into the service of God. However, the Apostle Paul could not have entered the service of God while he was still persecuting the church. He had to be brought out of this Judaism, and then he was a candidate to serve the Lord. Do you see why it is so important that the Lord Jesus Christ becomes our door of exit?
We will never be able to see Christ's righteousness as the door of salvation until our blessed Saviour becomes our door of exit from our own hypocritical self- righteousness. As long as we can feel secure in our own self-righteous state like the Apostle Paul was in, we will never see any beauty in that blessed righteousness of Christ. When we see that we are unrighteous, the beauty of Christ stands out.
Now, look at PHI 3:7-9 to see what the Apostle Paul said after his exit from the camp, i.e., after his exit from his own self-righteousness by the revelation and call of Jesus. He just told us in PHI 3:5-6 what he was while he was in the camp. Now, I want you to see the about face when the door flipped open and he exited the camp into the Light. "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung [thats quite a description of what he first thought was his basis of salvation], that I may win Christ.
Paul had lost all of his foundation of salvation. He had lost everything that he had stood upon as salvation in Judaism; this entire circumcision covenant and all these things that he held dear as the foundation of his salvation were gone. He had to give it all up. Now salvation was to be found only in the righteousness of Christ. All his righteousness, all that he had done, everything that he thought had merit, had to be put away. He said, "for whom I have suffered the lost of all things."
Those things that he thought were the basis of his salvation, those things that he felt so secure in, now became his condemnation. Now he begins to see his self-righteousness as the obstacle between himself and salvation. That is the point of this wonderful lesson. When we can start to learn to see that our self-righteousness now becomes the very obstacle that stands between Christ and us, now we come as sinners, as needy sinners. Now we start to see things in the right light. We have to come out of that sense of false security before we will ever find that Christ is the foundation of our salvation.
Verse 9 continues, "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
Now he saw that Christ by faith endured the cross, despised the shame and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Christ becomes the Author and the Finisher of his faith as he said, "That which is through the faith of Jesus Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Now, where is our righteousness? It is not in what we have done; it is not in ceremonies. It is not in anything that we can lay claim to. We count that all but dung. Our best righteousness becomes as filthy rags in His sight. We see now that the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ is our only expectation.
By nature of the fall all mankind are under the bondage of the law. We are all under the bondage of the law, whether it be living in the world of open sin or whether as a self-righteous Pharisee within the camp of Judaism. Really, dead is dead. What does it matter which dunghill we are laying on if we are spiritually dead. Until we have the Holy Spirit breathing life into our nostrils and quickening us with a new desire, a desire to come out of serving sin, we remain spiritually dead. Amen.
ROM 6:4 says, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
What is the road to life through death? It is death to self, death to sin, and death to the flesh. Crucifying the old man of sin is the road to life, that "even so we also should walk in newness of life."
It was through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection that He opened the door for our escape from the service of sin. You need to understand that power of fascination with sin is only broken when we have our eyes fixed upon that lifting up of Christ. When Christ is lifted up, and what does He mean, and I, if I be lifted up? He spoke this to signify what manner of death he would die. Do you know what death He died? Have you ever pondered that?
Look at ROM 6:10-11. "For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God [and how? Where is the door? Where is that entrance? Whereby do we escape the servitude of sin and enter the service of God? Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God] through Jesus Christ our Lord." There is the door. Christ is our door of exit from the service of sin, and in that He died, He died once unto sin. ROM 6:4 says, "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." It was through Christs death and burial and resurrection that He opened this door of escape.
Our text says in JOH 10:6-7 of those blind leaders of the blind who were the religious leaders in Jesus day, "This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." The part that is not understood by Judaism, or we will say by modern Christianity, is that Jesus Christ is the door of exit. There is an exit from sin. There is an exit from self-righteousness and from everything that is outside of Christ. Then there is an entrance. We must first exit before we enter.
This is such a blessed consolation, my friends. That same proclamation goes forth to you and me today. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." We must exit by fixing our eyes upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
You can make all the resolutions you want. Well say for instance that you have been taken under the power of a given sin. Perhaps you have become an alcoholic or a smoker or you have some sin that you, by yourself, have no power against it. You want to quit. You want to get away from it, but that sin has such a power that you are not able to break it. There is only one way that it can be truly broken and that is through Christ. When our eyes are fixed upon the power of the blood, He can deliver us. Do you know what happens next? That sin becomes hateful. It is how the power of that sin is broken because it becomes hateful and you get to the point you cant stand the thought of being caught in that sin. When we start to learn to understand the sweetness there is in the will of God, the sweetness that there is in serving God, then the service of sin becomes the most hateful thing in our life.
That is how the Lord breaks its power by giving us to see the beauty of Gods love, and grace to live without falling into that sin. We see the preciousness of the sacrifice of Christ, and that give us hate for sin. It was through Christ's death, burial, and resurrection that He became our door of exit from the servitude of sin. We see this in JOH 8:36, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Amen.
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