The Road to Life!…
“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.”
Matthew 7:13-14 (CSB)
Note from Kip…
Jesus continues in the book of Matthew…
“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.”
Matthew 7:15-18 (HCSB)
Much of what Jesus was saying here in these six verses has much to do with perspective. If the devil were only allowed to have the argument between life and death defined by Life and Death, the ‘few’ who find the road to life would be a more frequently traveled path.
Considering the fact that what leads to eternal life is relatively simple. It involves surrender of ones life to Jesus Christ, believing that He came, suffered and dies to absolve you of your sinful condition, and follow Him in love.
In reality, that is it! Just as with anything else, making this commitment means that there are many things that follow to support this decision. But that is true of any commitment we make. If we want to be a great musician, the commitment to do that is just the beginning. If we wish to become a doctor, entering medical school isn’t the final effort before you are serving your future patients. In almost every endeavor the decision, marks the beginning but there is a lot more as you travel that path.
The choice between Life and Death is no different. The thing that id different about this decision, is the fact that we actually make a choice of ‘death’ by not choosing life. This is because we are born into a sinful condition. Therefore, do nothing and you’re there. Life requires a choice. Life requires a change of the human condition, that makes a person acceptable to God.
Did you think God looked favorably on your natural condition? Sorry not the way it plays.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23 (HCSB)
Not the ones that choose to enter into corrupt behavior, murder, theft, and lustful intent. No, all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Even the seemingly good person. This is because those who the world considers ‘good’ are good only by the standard they are contrast against.
If that standard is Genghis Khan, then yes that’s a bar that isn’t real difficult to measure up to. Being Good by our standards is not good; it is only better than the alternative.
So how do we get to ‘goodness’?
They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:24 (HCSB)
We become ‘justified’ by grace. Because of that grace we are redeemed through Jesus Christ. This bring us back to that decision to surrender, believing, accept that grace, following Jesus in love.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commands.”
John 14:15 (HCSB)
Jesus calls us to obey Him because of our love for him. This is where this narrowing of the road come into play. You see, as the path to death encompasses everything outside the will of Christ, comparatively so, doing that which He calls us to is a much narrower path.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24 (NLT)
The world says, ‘do whatever you want’; that leads to death. Jesus says, ‘follow me’; and this is the path to life. Not what Matthew 16:24 says, “you must give up your own way“.
Which gets us back to the the narrow path issue we’ve been talking about. You must give up your own way, so that you can follow ‘The Way’. You much choose life, otherwise you choose death.
Now, obviously we’ve been focused on salvation and redemption for those who haven’t ‘committed’ to Christ. But this applies to the believer too.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word,, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32 (HCSB)
Everyday, we should be asking ourselves ‘Have I given up my own way?’; ‘Am I following Christ Jesus?’. Are you demonstrating your love for Him by obeying His commands?
If you are and we do, then we will be more and more like Jesus every day. We’ll progress on that path to Life as we are intended to do so.
No weapon formed against you will succeed, and you will refute any accusation raised against you in court. This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants, and their righteousness is from Me. This is the Lord’s declaration.
Isaiah 54:17 (HCSB)
Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (HCSB)
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory. Give no offense to the Jews or the Greeks or the church of God, just as I also try to please all people in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, so that they may be saved. Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:31 – 11:1 (HCSB)
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.“
John 14:6 (HCSB)