From very early days man has never been permitted to approach Almighty God any old casual way he wished. That can come as a surprise to people. At the east side of the Tabernacle of Moses there was a door some thirty feet wide, through which anyone could enter, but that man had to come in by the door. There was no jumping over the wall.
You could not even peep over the wall to see what it was like. The door was wide enough for all who wanted to come in to come in. There need be no struggle. Leaders need to teach this and teach it clearly and specifically so that people are no misled or confused.
Similarly, the Church cannot be seen from the outside. You can only appreciate its true value and significance from the inside, and Jesus Christ is the door by which a man may and must enter. Jerusalem cannot be seen from the outside. It is surrounded by mountains. To enter Jerusalem you have to ascend her slopes, travelling over the rim of the saucer, in your approach to the city.
What did a man see as he entered the Tabernacle? The first thing to meet him was an altar where animals were slain and slaughtered, and then a basin for washing, indicating the vital importance of sacrifice, washing and cleansing. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, and following forgiveness, there comes the act of baptism.
When God instructed Moses to build the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and when Jesus Christ birthed and launched the Church, there was no room for the thoughts, notions and ideas of men.
God is never content simply to deliver people out of sin, and then let them fend for themselves.
He leads us out, so that He may lead us on to maturity.
Good spiritual leadership will make this simple and clear.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled “Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M. A. and B. D.degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.