Summary: A study of the gates of Jerusalem provides us a beautiful picture of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“The Gospel of the Gates”
Dr. Steven G. Cook
A. In our study of Nehemiah, we learned that Nehemiah was a man who desired to make a difference for the glory of God.
B. In Ch. 1 we learned that Nehemiah was a man who knew “How to Pray”; In Ch. 2 we learned that he knew “How to Tackle a Tough Job” and “How to Get Out of God’s Way”.
C. Today, I would like to preach a message from Ch. 3 that I have entitled “The Gospel of the Gates”.
D. Let us divide this chapter into 3 Parts:
1. The Pattern
2. The People
3. The Places
II. The Pattern (Neh. 3:1-5)
A. One thing that seems to quickly arrest our attention is the use of the word “next” – it is used 14 times in Ch. 3.
B. We find that the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem was an “organized work” with the “leadership taking the lead”, and the people cooperating with that leadership (vs. 1).
C. There are 42 groups of people listed in this work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
D. Each man had an area of responsibility, and God noted each worker and put his name in Word of God.
E. While “no man can do everything”, let us remember that “all men can do something!”
F. The task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem is a wonderful object lesson for the work of the church today.
G. We too must have organization, leadership, and people willing to cooperate and get involved in the task of evangelizing the lost and edifying the saints.
H. Every child of God has been gifted by the Holy Spirit to do something – and God is much more interested in our “availability” than our “capability”.
I. Notice vs. 5b – Even in Nehemiah’s day, there were some who “refused to get involved in the work” – How sad! God makes mention of these too!
III. The People
A. Throughout Ch. 3 we find that there were a variety of workers.
B. There were priests (vs. 1), rulers (vss. 12-19), craftsmen (vss. 8; 32), and even Jews from other cities (vss. 2; 5; 7).
C. We should also note that some were willing to do extra (vss. 11; 19; 21; 24; 27; 30).
D. Some worked at home (vss. 10; 23; 28-30) – Of course, this is where our work as Christians ought to begin!
E. Some workers were the only ones from their families (vs. 30).
F. Some workers were more zealous than others (vs. 20).
G. Some were even former “backsliders” (vs. 11- compare with Ezra 10:31)
IV. The Places
A. There are definite spiritual lessons for us as we examine the rebuilding of the gates in the walls of Jerusalem.
B. It is gracious of God to record for us in His Holy Word a marvelous picture of the Christian life in these gates.
C. There are 10 gates listed by name, and each one of them is significant.
D. There are 2 other gates listed in Nehemiah making a total of 12 gates – the same number of gates which will be in the walls of New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:12-13).
E. Let us examine, by name, the significance of these gates – The Gospel of the Gates.
V. #1 - The Sheep Gate (Neh. 3:1-2)
A. The very first gate mentioned speaks of the “Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross” – for without the sacrifice, there can be no salvation!
B. John 1:29 – “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
C. John 10:1-18 – READ
D. You may notice that there were no locks or bars on the Sheep Gate – The door of salvation is ever open to ALL who will be saved!
E. Also notice that this is the only gate that was sanctified, setting it apart from all of the others as a special gate.
VI. #2 – The Fish Gate (Neh. 3:3-5)
A. The next gate which was repaired was The Fish Gate, and it speaks of the work of the believer as a “soul-winner”.
B. Mark 1:16-18 – READ
C. God has commissioned all Christians to be “fishers of men”; to communicate the Gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world.
D. There is no greater privilege in all of the world than to be an “Ambassador of Christ”.
E. Paul taught the Corinthians concerning the “ministry of reconciliation” which is bestowed upon all believers in 2 Cor. 4-5.
VII. #3 – The Old Gate (Neh. 3:6-12)
A. The 3rd gate that was repaired was The Old Gate – it speaks of the importance of “old paths & old truths of the Word of God”. (Jer. 6:16)