The Porter

The Porter A. porter: One who has charge of a door or gate, esp. at the entrance of a fortified town or of a castle or other large building, a public institution, etc.; a gate-keeper, door-keeper, janitor. 1. This was a lowly but important station in the O.T. tabernacle or temple. PSA 84:10 c/w 1CH 9:21; 2KI 12:9. 2. During a transitional period there were “...doorkeepers for the ark” (1CH 15:23-24). 3. The porter did not cleanse men but determined who was clean or unclean and so allowed or barred entrance. 2CH 23:19. B. God the Father is the great Porter of heaven. JOH 10:1-5. 1. Jesus is the door and shepherd through Whom the sheep enter eternal life. JOH 10:6-11, 27-28. 2. The Father only and always permits those He gave to Christ to enter. JOH 10:29; 17:2. 3. Christ cleansed the elect with His blood (REV 1:5) and the Father Porter thus lets them all in at the last day even as they are presently received in the Person of Christ. 1TH 4:16-17 c/w EPH 2:6. 4. Christ’s cleansing blood also fits believers to now enter glory in service and prayer. HEB 4:16 c/w EPH 3:11-12; HEB 12:22-24. 5. No man in any way comes to the Father but by Him. JOH 14:6. C. Jesus Christ also is a Porter who opens and shuts doors. REV 3:7-8. 1. This is fitting since the Father has committed judgment to Him. JOH 5:22. 2. He has authority to determine who only should be baptized. MAT 28:18-20. 3. He has authority to shut doors against rebels with finality. LUK 13:23-25; 14:24. 4. His Spirit opens or shuts doors of evangelism. ACT 16:6-10. D. Jesus Christ has appointed porters for His house, the church. MAR 13:34. 1. As a porter, the minister of Christ is a watcher for souls (HEB 13:17), for potential trouble (2TI 4:14-15), for heresy’s inroads (1TI 1:3), etc., and shuts doors where necessary while continually watching for his Lord. MAR 13:35-37. a. The Lord may stand and knock, expecting the door to be opened. LUK 12:36. b. The porter should not judge prematurely but certainly open the door when His Lord comes with light. 1CO 4:5 c/w 1TI 5:19-25. c. The porter should be willing to open the door for his Lord whenever conviction from his Lord’s word demands change. PRO 4:18 c/w REV 3:20. 2. The minister of Christ determines who should be baptized according to the law of Christ. ACT 2:38-41; 8:12, 36-38. 3. By the law of Christ, the minister of Christ may determine who should be severed from church membership and instruct the church accordingly. 1CO 5:3-5. 4. The minister of Christ thus determines who has a voice in church decisions and who may eat of the Lord’s Supper: baptized, current members in good standing of a local church. 5. It is also incumbent upon the minister/porter to determine when a severed member is fit to begin a restoration to membership upon observed genuine repentance. 2CO 2:6-8. E. It is the duty of all believers to recognize the ways of God and strive to be like Him. DEU 18:13; 1PE 1:16; 1TI 4:8. 1. Ministers are especially to respect scripture for this. 2TI 3:16-17. 2. All should strive for righteous judgment and better judgment. JOH 7:24; PHIL 1:9-10. 3. God sometimes in judgment shuts doors for great periods of time, even permanently. a. A door of faith and repentance unto life was withheld from the Gentiles for millennia. ACT 17:30; 11:18; 14:27. The Porter 9-9-23 Page 1 of 2 b. Canaan’s door was slammed shut permanently against the faith-deficient Israelites in spite of a scrambled repentance. NUM 14:32-45. c. Moses even went too far. NUM 20:12 c/w DEU 3:26. d. We are warned against the likes of Esau’s rejection. HEB 12:15-17. e. Sometimes remedy expires. 2CH 36:16; PRO 6:12-15. f. God may even scold rebels to get help from their own vain sources. JDG 10:13-14. g. There are some lines crossed from which there is no return. Consider someone who locks himself in a state of adultery or a minister who has been censured/blamed and made a castaway. 1CO 9:27. 4. Christ’s minister/porter may need to make tough judgment calls of baptized individuals who have manifested their folly or delinquency. ACT 8:18-23; 15:37-38. a. Fools lay open their folly especially by their rejection of truth for something else that substitutes for the truth. PRO 1:7, 28-32; 13:16; ECC 10:3. b. When someone persistently goes back to the same slop in spite of judgments and reproofs, he is a fool. PRO 27:22; 26:11. c. “Forsake the foolish, and live...” (PRO 9:6). d. 2CO 11:19 is a sarcastic reproof, not a commendation. e. “Easy return” may be a viable retailer’s policy but wisdom says differently when it comes to fellowship with fools. 2SAM 14:33-15:6 c/w EPH 5:15. 5. There is a difference between rebelliousness and feeblemindedness (1TH 5:14) and a good portion of the work of Christ’s porter is to distinguish between the weak, the wacky, and the wicked. The Porter 9-9-23 Page 2 of 2

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The Cincinnati Church is an historic baptist church located in Cincinnati, OH.