I Am The Door
By Grant Phillips
I was chastised once (so what else is knew) for calling Christians “dumb sheep.” The following verses came to mind:
“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:16, 27)
Now I’m not a shepherd, never have been, and don’t know any more about them than what I have read in the Bible and other sources, but let me tell you; sheep are dumb. God couldn’t have made a better animal to describe His own.
One of the best books I have ever read about sheep is called “a shepherd looks at PSALM 23,” and was written by Phillip Keller. I have referenced this book before, probably in the article I was brought to task for. If you would like to order it, the ISBN number is 0-310-26797-8.
Sheep are very helpless and very dumb. Now “dumb” isn’t meant to be derogatory. It simply means they’re not too bright. Sounds like a lot of Christians, me included. We are very helpless and dumb in our state as a sheep. Without the Good Shepherd, we would really be in a mess of gargantuan proportions. When I witness millions of sheep being suckered by slick tongued religious leaders, I simply say, “I rest my case.” But that’s another story.
Jesus said that He is the Door. What was He referring to? I have used these verses many times, and have clearly stated that Jesus is saying that He is the only way to the Father. Notice the two verses in chapter ten and the one shown from chapter fourteen. It is clear. The only way to the Father (to be saved) is by the Door, of which Jesus is the Door.
“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” – John 10:27
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” – John 10:9
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6
When reading the first eighteen verses of John chapter ten, we immediately see that there is much more Jesus is telling us, and it’s all about a subject many don’t like. Why, is beyond me, but so it is. That subject is “once saved always saved,” or OSAS.
For those who may not have a Bible handy, John 10:1-18 is shown below in the NIV translation.
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me- 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:1-18 (NIV)
If you could possibly read a book such as John Keller’s about sheep, it would be a tremendous aide in understanding where Jesus is coming from in His discussion with the Pharisees. When He was speaking to them, they all understood exactly what He was saying as far as the characteristics of sheep. They just didn’t get the rest of the story.
Sheep had to be guarded constantly. When the shepherd would come into town with his sheep there were sheepfolds to keep his sheep in. When he was out in the fields with them, he would make a sheepfold to keep them together and safe.
The sheep knew well their shepherd’s voice, and would listen to no other. When the gatekeeper opened the gate to the sheepfold, the sheep would follow the voice of their own shepherd into the sheepfold. Often the flocks would be mixed, but each sheep would listen only to their shepherd. They would not listen to a stranger.
At night the shepherd would actually position himself at the entrance of the gate. He would lie down right there. The only way the sheep could get out would be to go over him.
Jesus made it very clear that thieves and robbers may try to steal them, but the shepherd would never allow it. He would keep them safely in the sheepfold.
I’m leaving out a great deal of material, but my one point in this article is to emphasize that our safe keeping, as Christians, is in the hands of the Great Shepherd and He (1) will not allow His sheep to leave the sheepfold unless they are following Him, and (2) He will not allow anything or anyone else to steal His sheep. Our safekeeping is the responsibility of the Good Shepherd, who of course, is Jesus Christ.
If we are truly a Christian, we are God’s sheep and we are in His sheepfold. It is God’s responsibility to keep us and God cannot fail at anything. We are His and He will not give up what belongs to Him.
Many so-called Christians think they can lose their salvation. I’ve met hundreds of them. No! No! No!
We cannot be in His sheepfold unless He is our Good Shepherd. We cannot leave the sheepfold without going over the Good Shepherd, and He is not going to allow that. We cannot be stolen from the sheepfold because we are under His protection, and again, He will not allow it.
No one, no thing, no circumstance can take from God what belongs to Him. If that were possible, then God is not God.
“31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39 (NIV)