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SIN3: Rallying to Rebuild

Pastor Chris Kam, 21/07/2012

Pastor Chris committed to sing a hymn every time he preaches. Today, he brought to us Saviour like a Shepherd Lead Us.

Neh 3:1-5 Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. (2) The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zaccur son of Imri built next to them. (3) The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place. (4) Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs. (5) The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.

There are 2 ways to approach this passage, either by looking at the people or the 10 gates. Living in a city with the walls and gates broken is not safe. If the gates are strong, we are safe.

People try to get into history books. Some even tried absurd things to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Stefan Sigmond tried in vain. We as Christians are glad when we have our names on the Book of Life.

1. The Sheep Gate

Dealing with salvation. (v 1, 2)

In Nehemiah, we see the importance of leadership. Sheep, ox, doves are used for sacrifice. They represent us. We all deserved to be killed for our sins. The only way to be saved / forgiven by the shedding of blood. God in a foreshadowing of what is to come, allowed the people to sacrifice animals for their sins.

Joh 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Joh 10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

Joh 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The first gate is the most important because is saves our lives. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. This is the only gate that is not bolted. It is always open.

2. The Fish Gate

Dealing with purpose – Fishers of Men (v 3-5)

There are as many as 42 groups of people involved in the rebuilding the walls. Everyone was involved except 1 group. Every acts of service done by us – no matter it’s seen or otherwise – God sees it.

Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– (9) not by works, so that no one can boast. (10) For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The biggest purpose in our life is to be the fishers of men. The Fish Gate comes after the Sheep Gate. We get saved to serve. We cannot serve to get saved.

When people see our lives, do they want what they see?

There is this group of nobles who didn’t want to work. Their names were not even mentioned in the Bible. Pastor Chris felt this is a sad thing.

3. The Old Gate

Dealing with truth. (v6)

Old is not necessarily bad. There is a tendency with us to get something convenient and easy.

Jer 6:16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Are we convicted servants or convenient servants?

4. The Valley Gate

Dealing with pride. (v13)

The Valley Gate was the first place Nehemiah inspected. God deals with our pride all the time. Pride is simply when we do things our own ways. In our Christian life, we learn more when we are in the valley of life rather than the mountain life.

When we are going through the valleys in our life, don’t pray for it to go away to quickly.

Jesus Christ is the best example of this. He is God and yet he was obedient up to the point of death.

Are we proud? To know this, we need to talk to people who love us enough to tell us the truth. This is normally our spouses.

5. The Dung Gate

Dealing with sin and cleansing. (v4)

The people carried all the dung and rubbish out. The Dung Gate leads to the Valley of Himnon, where the fire burned without ceasing. That was a former site where people sacrificed their children to Molech.

We need to take the garbage our constantly. We sin everyday, we need to ask  God for forgiveness. If we accumulate garbage in our life, it affects our relationship with God and with each other. And that can be a nightmare.

2Co 7:1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

6. The Fountain Gate

Dealing with the Holy Spirit. (v15)

Joh 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. (38) Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (39) By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Eph 5:18-19 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (19) Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.

If the Holy Spirit is flowing through us, we are a joyful person, we are not a complaining person. The Bible tells us to speak to on another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

Notice the order Humility (the Valley Gate), repentance (the Dung Gate) then only the Holy Spirit (the Fountain Gate).

7. The Water Gate

Dealing with the Word of God. (v25, 26)

Eph 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (26) to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word

Joh 15:3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

Psa 119:89 Lamedh Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.

This is the only gate that required no repair. We don’t change the Word of God.

Are we reading the Word of God everyday?

8. The Horse Gate

Dealing with Spiritual Warfare. (v28)

Solomon was told not to trust in horses and chariots. Priests rebuilt this gate.

We are constantly in warfare. The enemy doesn’t sleep. We need to put on the armour of God. We need to be vigilant.

Eph 6:10-12 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. (11) Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

1Pe 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Sometimes we don’t think it’s a problem when we don’t pray. Every time a soldier is wounded in a battle, another healthy soldier has to take care of him, thus reducing the people at the Fish Gate (the purpose.) The Horse Gate reminds us that we are on a warpath in sharing the Gospel to the unbelievers.

9. The East Gate

Dealing with the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  (v29)

1Jn 2:28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

The East Gate leads to the temple. It could be the Golden Gate. When the Ottoman Empire took over Jesusalem, they sealed the gate to prevent the coming of the Messiah. It remained sealed today. Every time we have the Holy Communion, we declare the coming of Jesus.

Are we living as thought Jesus is coming back very soon? Are we abiding in Him so we are prepared for his return?

10. The Inspection Gate

Dealing with the Future Rewards. (v31)

Rom 14:10-12 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. (11) It is written: ” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” (12) So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

2Co 5:9-10 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. (10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

The work we have done will be revealed. Work doesn’t save us. However, when we go to the Fish Gate to serve Him, God sees.

God looks for our faithfulness.

Nehemiah began with the Sheep Gate and ended with the Sheep Gate (v 32). Jesus is the beginning and the end, He is the alpha and omega.

Neh 3 is like the whole like of a Christian condensed in a chapter.

Conclusion

2Pe 3:17 Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position.

Application Questions

  1. Which gate speaks to you the most about the condition of your life? What do you think God is saying to you about this?
  2. Can you identify to you “fates” that need to be repaired in your CG? (This means you need to identify the areas your CG is weak in.) What can you do together to repair that?
  3. If Nehemiah 3 is about DUMC as a local church where everyone is called to build the broken gates and walls where they are at, is your name on that list? Describe what your role is currently. How is that helping in the repair? If you have no particular role, where you would like to be? This is a question of where you are serving, or where you would like to see yourself?
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