Copyright © Rosemary Bardsley 2003


[To truly know God in Christ is to have eternal life - John 5:24; 17:3; 20:31; 1 John 5:12,20]

Task #1: The door/gate in Matthew 7: In Matthew 7 Jesus tells us not to judge, then proceeds for the rest of the chapter to urge us to exercise critical discernment about what we ourselves believe and what others believe and teach. Discuss this chapter and identify which verses teach us to exercise discernment as listed below. Note any significance for your life.
Which verse teaches that this discernment is needed?
            What is its significance for my life?

Make sure you are not blinded by false perceptions yourself.


Recognize that some people are so committed to their own perceptions that their only response when they hear the truth will be to destroy it.


We should be whole-hearted in our quest to find God.


There are other ways that claim to be the door to God, and these ways are crowded. They actually lead to destruction.


False teaching/false perceptions are extremely subtle and deceptive


Fine sounding words and 'Christian' activities do not necessarily point to genuine faith in Christ.


Christ does not 'know' people who are not genuine in their commitment to him.


Genuine commitment to Christ is evidenced by doing the 'will' of his Father - this is the 'fruit' Christ speaks of.


The life that stands is built on the foundation of the teaching of Christ - a life demonstrating in practice the reality of all he taught us.

Task #2: The door/gate in Matthew 25:1-13: Briefly discuss the key criteria which excluded the blockheaded virgins from the wedding feast. How does this relate to people today? [Be careful - it wasn't their lack of oil! Rather their lack of oil was an expression of the key thing that excluded them.]
Task #3: The door/gate in Luke 13:23-30: Discuss the similarities between this passage and Matthew 7:13,14,21-23. Discuss the similarities between this and the Matthew 25:1-13 passage.

What lessons is God teaching us about our mindset in all of these passages?

Task #4: The door/gate in John 10:1-11: Discuss how the symbols in this passage contrast the Lord Jesus Christ with all false teaching and all false perceptions. Write down significance of each of them for your life.

The man climbing over the wall (v1)


The shepherd (v2)


His own sheep (v3)


The voice of the shepherd (v4)


The stranger (v5)


The gate (v7)


The thieves and robbers (v8)


Finding pasture (v9)


Killing and destroying (v10)


Life to the full (v10)


The good shepherd (v11)


The shepherd laying down his life (v11)

Task #5: Implications of Jesus the Door/Gate: Below is a list of the implications of Jesus' image of himself as the Door or Gate:
  1. The exclusion of all other supposed points of entry.
  2. The urgent necessity of making sure we have entered through this door.
  3. The urgent necessity of recognizing the difference between the narrow gate and the wide one.
  4. The absolute and permanent security and confidence of all who have really entered through this door.
  5. The recognition that our mindset will demonstrate whether or not we have entered through the one and only door.
  6. The acknowledgement that our lifestyle will validate or invalidate our claim to have enter through the one and only door.
Discuss what these implications have to say to the following common attitudes:
  1. There's only one God and all roads lead to him.
  2. It doesn't matter what you believe so long as you're sincere.
  3. We ought to leave people alone in their traditional beliefs; they're happy as they are.
  4. I'll wait until I'm old before I get serious about religion.
  5. Now I'm saved it doesn't really matter if I sin, God will forgive me.
  6. I have to do all that I can to make God accept me.
  7. If I'm good I'll go to heaven.
  8. No one can be sure that they're going to heaven.