student work p77
As we have already learned, the wicket–gate in Bunyan’s story, although it represents Christ, had its imaginative origin in a little wooden gate that stood close to the bell tower of the Abbey Church in Elstow. When he was a child, Bunyan had to go through that little wicket–gate to get into the churchyard. The bell tower had originally been part of another church in the eleventh century. That church was torn down in the 1500s, leaving only the tower. The new church was erected soon afterward, but it was never connected to the tower.
Living as a young boy close to the Abbey Church and beside the wicket–gate, Bunyan used to imagine that the devil stood in the top of the bell tower, shooting arrows at the people who tried to enter the church through the gate. He later added those details to his famous allegory. The wicket–gate became the realization that Christ was the answer to sin (“I am the door,” John 10:7), and the bell tower corresponded to Beelzebub’s castle from which he shot his arrows at anyone who sought salvation through Christ.
A Closer Look
Evangelist, having rescued the pilgrim from the bad advice of Worldly Wiseman, set him on the right course toward the wicket–gate. The pilgrim finally reached this gate, which represents Christ, and our story continues.
The Details of the Story
What was written over the gate? _“Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
This is a quotation from Mathew 7:7. In that same chapter (v. 13), we find that two gates are open to man. What are they called? _the strait gate and the wide gate
Through which gate must one enter to be saved? the strait gate
Does this gate lead to an easy way or a hard way? a hard way
Who opened the gate for the pilgrim? Goodwill, who, like the gate itself, also represents Christ.
In answer to the gatekeeper’s question, who does the pilgrim say is knocking? a poor, burdened sinner
Why does Goodwill pull the pilgrim inside? He does this because Beelzebub and those with him are shooting arrows at anyone who tries to enter through the wicket-gate.
Goodwill then asks the pilgrim a number of questions. After gathering this information from the pilgrim, he points him on his way. According to Goodwill, how is the pilgrim to distinguish the right way from the wrong way? The right way always straight and narrow
• The pilgrim leaves, still bearing his burden, and comes to which place? interpreter's house
What does this man represents both the Holy Spirit and the minister of the gospel (from Lesson 1). Here the pilgrim will learn seven important lessons that will help him get to the Cross. Describe what the pilgrim experiences in each of the two rooms studied in this lesson.
1. The private room— there was the picture of a man with eyes toward heaven, best of books in hand, law of truth on lips, the world behind him, crown hanging over his head. His work is to unfold dark things to sinners. This man is the only man the Lord has authorized to guide the pilgrim.
2. What does the large parlor represent? —The parlor is man’s unsanctified heart; dust is man’s sin; man sweeping is the Law, which cannot save; and water is the gospel, which can save.
• Second, he is concerned about not only the pilgrim but also his family and friends. According to 2 Peter 3:9, Christ wants his family to come to repentance.
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The Teaching Concerning the Wicket–Gate
What does the wicket–gate represent?
Christ, but it does not represent salvation! Note that the pilgrim does not get saved until he gets to the Cross. At least four things show us that the Cross, not the wicket–gate, is the point of his salvation.
1. His burden does not fall off until he reaches the Cross.
2. His name is not changed from Graceless to Christian until the Cross (although in the story he is called Christian from the beginning).
3. He is not declared to be forgiven until the angel at the Cross declares him to be forgiven.
4. His rags are not changed to robes of righteousness until he gets to the Cross.
In a sinner’s experience the gate represents the time when he has, like the pilgrim, realized that there is no other way of salvation except by Christ. He still, however, has not come to the point of trust and assurance, which comes only at the Cross. He is now “in the way” and needs only a little more guidance from Interpreter to be forever rid of his burden of sin.
• Goodwill also represents Christ and has several parallels to the Lord. First, he is willing to open the door to the pilgrim. What does 2 Peter 3:9 say about this? The Lord is not slack concerning his promise but is willing that all should come to repentance and none should perish
• Second, he is concerned about not only the pilgrim but also his family and friends. According to 2 Peter 3:9, Christ wants ___all_ to come to repentance.
The Teaching Concerning Interpreter’s House
The seven rooms in Interpreter’s house represent seven truths that will finally bring the pilgrim to the Cross and help him in his life after he trusts Christ. This lesson covers the first two of these truths.
The Private Room
The picture that Interpreter shows to the pilgrim represents the kind of man to follow on this pilgrimage through life. The pilgrim, as Christian, will meet many such people as he has already met in Mr. Worldly Wiseman, Obstinate, and Pliable. Some of them will lead him rightly, but some of them will lead him astray. How will he be able to detect the kind of man to follow? How can he spot a deceiver?
Note the following characteristics of the kind of person one can follow without fear.
• He can beget children, that is, he is an effective witness.
• He labors in birth with children, that is, he not only witnesses but also prays for, agonizes over, and works with the sinner until he is born again. (That’s what Evangelist did. He not only witnessed once to the pilgrim but also kept after him and helped him along the way.)
• He nurses them. What does this fact indicate? ___He teaches them, feeding them the Word of God after they have been born again; he disciplines them.
• His words are based on the Book, and his advice is backed up by Scripture.
• His eyes look to heaven; he is a man of prayer and dependence upon the Lord.
• His back is to the world. What does this fact indicate? It indicates that he is separated from the world, he doesn’t care for the things of the world, and his main concern is to serve his Master and to help others to know Him
The Large Parlor
• Of what does the large parlor speak? man’s unsanctified heart
• The dust represents man’s sin.
• The first sweeper represents the law.
• The second sweeper, who uses water, represents the gospel.
The illustration is beautiful. The sin in man’s heart cannot be removed by the Law; the broom only rearranges the dirt. Only the water of the Word and the grace of God can settle the dirt so that it can be swept from the heart cleanly.
Thus, the two rooms teach (1) the kind of man to follow and (2) the only way to remove our sin.
Notes from the Teacher’s Lesson
(TCA 6A) (TCA 6B)