John 10:7-9

Sermon preached on October 09, 2016 by Laurence W. Veinott. © Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Other sermons can be found at

Unless otherwise noted, quotations are from The Holy Bible: New International Version (NIV). Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.

The Monty Hall problem is a brain teaser, a probability puzzle based on the American television game show
Let's Make a Deal and named after its original host, Monty Hall. The puzzle is simple. You're a contestant on a game show and you're given a choice of three closed doors. Behind one door is a great prize, like a car, and behind the other two doors are garbage prizes, like a goat. You're told to pick one door. Say you pick door number 1. Then the game show host, who knows what's behind each door, opens one of the other doors, say door 2, one that contains a garbage prize. He then asks you—do you want to stay with your pick of door 1 or do you want to change your pick to door 3? Is it to your advantage to switch your pick? I'm not going to explain the logic of it, but you should change your pick. If you do, you'll have a 66 per cent chance of winning the good prize. If you don't change, you'll have 33 per cent chance of winning the prize. It's to your advantage to change your pick.

In our text Jesus claims to be the door. It's like the Monty Hall game in that there's only one correct door. But it's different in that you don't have to be in doubt about which door is the one to choose—

Jesus is the door to salvation.

This statement by Jesus is very important. It's one of the seven great "I am" statements of Jesus. Not only that, but it, along with, "I am the Good Shepherd" and "I am the bread of life" are the only three of the seven statements that are repeated. Jesus said each of them twice. But this one, "I am the door, is the only one of the seven sayings that has, "verily, verily" before it. So there are several things that point to the importance of this statement.

But what does it mean that Jesus is the door?

First, it means that Jesus is the only way to life.

He is the only way to salvation. Verse 9 makes this clear.

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me
will be saved."

Jesus is the only way to God. He is the only way to eternal life.

How does one get to heaven? How does one get to dwell with God? The people of the world will give you many different answers to that. Many people believe what R.C. Sproul calls,

"Justification by death."

They believe that all you have to do be made right with God is to die. Someone dies and what do they say?

"Rest in peace."

It doesn't matter what they believed or how they lived, they are expected to have peace in the afterlife.

I've also heard some people say that sincerity is the one thing that is needed. They will tell you that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere in what you believe. It's certainly true that sincerity is a good quality. But more is required than that. You need Jesus. You need to believe in Him. If you reject Him you don't have life no matter how sincere you are about what you do believe. As the apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:10–12,

"Anyone who believes in the Son of God
has this testimony in his heart.
Anyone who does not believe God
has made him out to be a liar,
because he has not believed the testimony
God has given about his Son.
And this is the testimony:
God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son.
He who has the Son has life;
he who does not have the Son of God
does not have life."

So you can be as sincere as possible about your beliefs but sincerity won't save you. For example, say someone doesn't believe that Jesus has come in the flesh. They sincerely believe that. Here's what 1 John 4:2-4 says this about them.

"This is how you can recognize
the Spirit of God:
Every spirit that acknowledges
that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh
is from God,
but every spirit that does not
acknowledge Jesus is not from God.
This is the spirit of the antichrist,
which you have heard is coming
and even now is already in the world."

So even if someone is sincere in their belief that Jesus has not come in the flesh doesn't change the fact that they have the spirit of the antichrist. They are opposed to Jesus. They do not have life. Without Jesus they will not find life.

Others think that you can get into heaven by being good, by trying hard, by being better than most other people, by doing more good things than bad things. But again, the Bible says that is simply not true. In Romans 3:20 the apostle Paul said,

"Therefore no one
will be declared righteous
in his sight by observing the law;
rather, through the law
we become conscious of sin."

Then in Galatians 3:10 he wrote,

"All who rely on observing the law
are under a curse, for it is written:
'Cursed is everyone
who does not continue to do everything
written in the Book of the Law.' "

The door to salvation is not through good works, not though personal worth, not through giving money to the church. It is through Jesus.

The second thing about the door that leads to salvation is that

Jesus is the correct door.

In the Monty Hall game, if you knew how to play, you had a 66% chance of guessing the correct door. With Christianity, there is no doubt. It shows you the correct door—it's Jesus.

Doors are often a way of identifying something. For example, when we lived in Edinburgh, we lived in what is called terraced housing. Sometimes terraced housing is called 'row houses', but that name wouldn't have applied to where we lived because there were no houses. We lived in an apartment building that went all around the block and there was an outdoor courtyard in the middle. The building had what were called 'stairs'. Every few yards on the front of the building there would be a door that opened onto a stair, and in each stair there will be a flight of stairs and on that stairway there would be 7 or 8 apartments, one on the first floor, and 2 on the second floor and so on. I think there were four or five floors in our building. Most of the stairs had numbers by them. But our stair didn't have a number. But it had a very distinctive door. It was purple and had green graffiti on it. That's how people could identify our door. If someone was coming to visit us, we'd tell him that there was no number but they would know to pick the purple door with green graffiti.

Here we are told that Jesus is the door. In verse 9 Jesus said,

"I am the gate;
whoever enters through me will be saved."

Salvation is only through Him. Our text is similar to John 14:6 where Jesus said,

"I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."

Iain D. Campbell puts it this way, (I Am: Exploring the 'I AM' sayings of John's Gospel, Kindle Locations 411-412.)

"If you are looking for a salvation, but it doesn't have Jesus as the first point of contact, you are at the wrong door."

Christianity is the only religion that has the solution to the curse of sin. It's the only religion that deals adequately with that curse. The curse of sin is death—death in all its fullness, both physical and eternal. In Revelation 20:14 the second death is defined as the lake of fire. That's the ultimate curse of death.

How can such a curse be dealt with? How can such a curse be satisfied? The only thing that satisfies it is death. Death is required. Can good works satisfy the requirement—no. They fall far short. Can sincerity satisfy the requirement—no, it comes up far, far short. Death is required.

The wonderful news of the gospel is that Jesus paid the price for the sins of all who come to Him. He who had no sin died for sinners. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says,

"God made him who had no sin
to be sin for us,
so that in him we might become
the righteousness of God."

If you're in Jesus your sins have been paid for by death—by the death of Jesus. They have been washed away by His death.

Thirdly, we must note that it was not just an ordinary person who died in our stead.

The great "I am" is the door.

Jesus is and was a true human being. But He is also the great "I Am", the covenant God of the Old Testament. (John 8:58) He is the One who created all things for His glory. As Colossians 1:16 says,

"For by him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things were created by him and for him."

The great "I am" came to his earth to save us. In Acts 20:28 Paul put it in the boldest terms. He said to the Ephesians elders,

"Be shepherds of the church of God,
which he bought with his own blood."

Paul attributes the blood that saved us to God, because Jesus is God.

Another passage that shows the greatness of the Person who died in our stead is Acts 3:15. Peter say to the crowd,

"You killed the author of life,
but God raised him from the dead."

Your sins have been paid for by the Author of life, who endured death for you. That's the glory of the gospel— that Jesus paid the price for your sins. Only His death can save you. In the Garden of Gethsemane He asked the Father if it was possible for the cup to pass from Him. It was not possible. There is no salvation any other way.

Jesus is the way of life. He is the Alpha and Omega. Salvation is only in Him.

How does one get rid of the curse of the law that is against him— Galatians 3:13 says,

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law
by becoming a curse for us…"

How does one know that he is in a right standing with God? It's through Jesus. In Galatians 2:16 the apostle Paul wrote,

"So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that
we may be justified by faith
in Christ and not by observing the law,
because by observing the law
no one will be justified."

How do we know that our sins have been washed away? It's because Jesus paid for them. In Revelation 7 John saw a great multitude in white robes that no man could number, standing before the throne of God in front of the Lamb. The angel said that those in in white robes are the ones who, (Revelation 7:14)

"they have washed their robes and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb."

How does one get the power to overcome the power of sin in his life—it's through Jesus. In 1 Peter 2:24–25 the apostle said of Jesus,

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
by his wounds you have been healed."

How does one get to heaven? It's through Jesus. Everything is through Jesus. Jesus died in our place, for our sins. Jesus is the only way of salvation. We are saved by Him, by His work—by His life, His death and His resurrection.

Your sins have to be paid for by death—either your eternal death or by Jesus and His death.

Which will it be? You need to go to Jesus. If you don't have Jesus, the curse of sin remains over you. You'll be lost forever unless you go to Jesus. You should go to Jesus now.

The wonderful thing about Jesus as that door is that

He is a door that is easy to enter.

In Matthew 11:28–30 Jesus said,

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Jesus invites you to Himself. He invites you to enter into life through Him. In John 6:37 He said,

"All that the Father gives me will come to me,
and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."

In other words, He will welcome people with open arms. He will admit them into the sheepfold. The shepherd will accept all who come.

James Montgomery Boice writes, (Those Who Received Him [John 9–12], Boice Expositional Commentary 17; p. 744-745)

"If Jesus had compared himself to a wall we should have to climb over, it might be hard work. If he had compared himself to a long, dark passageway, we should have to feel along it; some might be afraid to try. But he is not a wall or a passageway. He is a gate, and a gate can be entered easily and instantly."

In Jesus' day there were two kinds of sheep pens. One was in or near the towns or villages. It was large and shared by several shepherds. The other was out in the countryside, and was an enclosure consisting of an a wall of stones, an area where the sheep were protected. There was one opening and that was the door. The sheep would enter though the opening. But there was no actual gate. At night the shepherd would sleep in the opening. He was not there to keep the sheep out, but to protect them from predators. If a shepherd didn't realize that a sheep lagged behind and a little later that sheep came up to the sheep pen, the shepherd would not refuse to let it in. Of course not. The gate is open to the sheep.

Thus when Jesus said that He was the door and gave invitations to all to enter, it is clear people should come to Him. Literally, he became the gate.

Some people have difficulty with the fact that Jesus said those that the Father has given Him will come. They know that the Bible says that God has chosen His people before the foundation of the world, that only those who are the elect can go to him. We see this in Jesus' words in John 6:44. He said,

"No one can come to me
unless the Father who sent me draws him,
and I will raise him up at the last day."

These people wonder if they're of the elect. That's a barrier to belief for them. But it shouldn't be. The command from God is for them to believe. In his sermon on this text James Montgomery Boice urged people to believe, while they listened to him preaching. He said they could believe instantly. He said, (Those Who Received Him [John 9–12], Boice Expositional Commentary 17; p. 744-745)

"Let me demonstrate how instantly by this story. A number of years ago a woman sat in a pew in the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, which I now serve as pastor. At the time, the pastor was Donald Grey Barnhouse. He was talking about the cross and of the need to believe on the Christ who died upon it. The woman I am talking about was not a Christian. She had been raised in a religious home and had heard about Jesus. She had heard about the cross. But she did not understand these things and therefore obviously had never actually trusted in Jesus for her salvation. In order to make clear that for salvation only belief in Jesus Christ is necessary Barnhouse said, 'Imagine that the cross has a door in it. All you are asked to do is to go through. On one side, the side facing you, there is written an invitation: 'Whosoever will, may come.' You stand there with your sin upon you and wonder if you should enter or not. Finally you do, and as you do the burden of your sin drops away. You are safe and free. Joyfully you then turn around and see written on the backside of the cross, through which you have now entered, the words 'Chosen in him before the foundation of the world.' ' Barnhouse then invited those who were listening to enter."

Boice continued,

"The woman later said that this was the first time in her life that she had really understood what it meant to be a Christian and that in understanding it, she had believed. She believed right there—in that church at that moment. She entered the door. Moreover, the rest of her life bore witness to the fact that a great change had occurred and that she was God's child. I am certain of the facts of this story because that woman was my mother."

Now for those of you who are Christians,

you need to make sure that you're trusting in Jesus and not your works.

It's easy for us to deceive ourselves in this regard. We know the correct doctrine, but we actually have to apply it to our life. Have you really put your trust in Christ?

Matthew Meade (1629– 1699), was a Puritan and contemporary of John Owen, Bunyan, and Richard Baxter, who lived in a time when Protestantism had spread quickly and hypocrisy was rampant. In order to get professing Christians to examine themselves, he asked,

"Now therefore, hath the spirit of the Lord been at work in your souls? Have you ever been convinced of the evil of sin, of the misery of a natural state, of the insufficiency of all things under heaven to help, of the fullness and righteousness of Jesus Christ, of the necessity of resting upon him for pardon and peace, for sanctification and salvation? Have you ever been really convinced of these things? O then, as you love your own souls, as ever you hope to be saved at last, and enjoy God for ever, improve these convictions, and be sure you rest not in them till they rise up to a thorough close with the Lord Jesus Christ, and so end in a sound and perfect conversion. Thus shall you be not only almost, but altogether a Christian."

The last thing that Jesus being the door means is that

once you enter you are safe.

You are safe forever. It's interesting that in verse 9 Jesus said,

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.
He will come in and go out, and find pasture."

The sheep are safe once they go through the door, they are safe inside the sheep pen, they are safe outside. Safety is measured by the strength of the door, to keep you safe inside. With Jesus, you are always safe, no matter where you are. In John 10:27–29 Jesus said,

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one can snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all;
no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand."

And Ephesians 1:13–14 says,

"Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal,
the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory."

If you go to Jesus, you are safe forever. Go to Him today.