Friday, May 30, 2008

REPAIRING THE SHEEP GATE

Nehemiah chapter 3 gives us the account of the work that was done in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. It is significant that the Sheep Gate is prominent in the account: it is the first and last gate mentioned, it was repaired by the priests, it was consecrated once it was repaired. It was prominent because it had to do with sacrifice, and sacrifice for sin is a prominent theme in the Scriptures.

The third chapter of the Scriptures tell us how an animal was sacrificed to provide garments of skin for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). The last chapter of the Bible speaks of heaven and tells us that "the Lamb shall be in it." (Revelation 22:3). It is noteworthy that the Lord Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God some 27 times in the book of Revelation. His work on the cross in redeeming lost sinners is the matter of highest priority and is to the praise of the glory of His grace (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14).

The message concerning Jesus’ sacrifice is the gospel--the glorious gospel (1 Timothy 1:11). It is fair to say, that with respect to the modern church, the Sheep Gate is broken down. The gospel has been downplayed, dressed up, distorted, and distrusted to the extent that it is hardly recognizable in some churches anymore. If the church is to fulfill its God-given mission the Sheep Gate must be rebuilt and consecrated. The gospel message must be faithfully proclaimed and defended as the first priority of the church. The preaching of the gospel was Paul’s first priority: "For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). He delivered it to the Corinthians as the matter "of first importance" (1 Corinthians 15:3). He believed in it "as the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). In our concern for the welfare and effectiveness of our churches lets make sure the Sheep Gate is repaired and consecrated as a matter of first priority. If it isn’t our first priority, we might as well forget the rest of the wall.

Pastor Jerry

1 comment:

Amy said...

Amen! Great post! I love Nehamiah. Mom and I co-taught it for Ladies Biblestudy a few years ago, it is sad that it is often overlooked.
How awesome to have 4 Pastors in one family faithfully preaching the truth of the Gospel!
Love to the fam!