Nehemiah’s Gates and the Christian Journey
by Pastor Gene
Dear student of God’s Word,
Thank you for joining us in this study of John’s Gospel at Harvest Community Church. Our desire is to provide an opportunity for all believers, regardless of where they may be in their Christian journey, to dive deeper into the waters of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit, our Master Teacher longs to lead us into “all the truth.” Jesus promised as much in John 16:13: “When the Spirit of truth comes,” He said, “He will guide you into all the truth.” I believe that if we’ll take the time to sit before the precious words of the Fourth Gospel, He will do just that!
Arthur Pink put it this way: “It is our earnest desire that many of our readers will make these verses the subject of prayerful study and meditation. The Bible teacher who becomes a substitute for diligent study on the part of those who hear him is a hindrance and not a help. The business of the teacher is to turn people to the searching of the Scriptures for themselves, stimulating their interest in the Sacred Word, and instructing them how to go about it.” To these words I add a hearty, “Amen!”
To that end, each Lord’s Day I’ll be presenting the congregation with a series of questions to consider about the portion of John’s Gospel we’ll be looking at the following Sunday. This will give us the opportunity to ponder them, to wrestle with them, to study them, to meditate upon them, and to let the Holy Spirit speak first, as it were. So, jump in – the water’s fine!
In the Victorious One,
In the ten gates mentioned in Nehemiah 3 we see a snapshot of the journey of each believer’s life.
Sheep Gate: Where we first meet Jesus, God’s Lamb and our Shepherd.
Fish Gate: Where we begin to zealously share our faith as ‘fishers of men.’
Old Gate: Where we become grounded in God’s ancient truths.
Valley Gate: Where our faith is tested and we learn humility through trials.
Dung Gate: Where we remove anything from our lives that’s keeping us from experiencing the fullness of fellowship with Jesus.
Fountain Gate: Where the Spirit responds to this purity with an explosion of joy, like “rivers of living water” flowing out from our heart! (John 7:37).
Water Gate: Where the Word truly governs our lives as mature believers.
Horse Gate: Where our devotion to the Spirit’s leading and the Word’s instruction is challenged by the enemy in spiritual warfare.
East Gate: The gate of the Lord’s return. Maranatha! Maranatha!
Inspection/Judgement Gate: Where the works of all true believers will be evaluated. We will either receive reward, or suffer the loss of reward.
Consider your own experiences as a Christian in the first eight of these gates. What has God taught you at each gate? How did He challenge you? Change you? What victories did you experience there? What setbacks?
Consider the promise of Jesus’ return typified in the East Gate. Would you consider yourself one who “loves His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8)? Why?
Finally, consider the coming ‘believer’s inspection’ at the Bema Seat. While more a reward ceremony than a ‘final judgment,’ if our works have not pleased the Lord we will “suffer loss.” How do you think you’ll fare? Why? What might you change about your life to help you live in light of the coming Rapture? (1 Cor. 3:11-15, 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:10-12).
November 26, 2023
November 12, 2023