Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 29 of 29

Thread: The narrow gate

  1. #21
    Senior Member Smitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Everett, Washington
    Posts
    467
    Thanked: 380
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel View Post
    It's quite possible to think that one is going through the narrow gate by relying on own godliness and sacrifice and in reality one is going through the wide gate because one is merely relying on one's own righteousness. No amount of apparent godliness and sacrifice will bring anyone to salvation through that gate.
    The easiest way to have a false assurance of salvation is to have a false doctrine of salvation. Because the person's doctrine is faulty, his or her assurance has no firm basis.
    Also, a legalistic and self-righteous belief system will falsely assure people of salvation by believing they will get to heaven by trying to live a good life accompanied by good works.
    So, back to the question, "Can a person be sure he/she possesses saving faith with full assurance? The answere is yes!
    We must examine our own hearts to see if we have true faith in Christ. Do we have a genuine love for the Lord Jesus Christ? Such love for Him would be impossible without regeneration.
    Also, we must examine the fruit of our faith. We do not need perfect fruit to have assurance, but there must be some evidence of the fruit of obedience for our profession of faith to be credible. If no fruit is present, then no faith is present. Where saving faith is found, fruit of that faith is also found. In conclusion, we seek our assurance from the Word of God through which the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are His children.
    Let me finish this post by referring to Rom 12:1 "...present your bodies a living sacrifice." OT sacrifices are no longer of any effect. For those in Christ, the only acceptable worship is to offer themselves completely to the Lord. Under God's control, the believer's yet-unredeemed body can and must be yielded to Him as an instrument of righteousness.
    Lastly, (almost done) Paul does mention the doctrine of "conforming to godliness" (1 Tim 6:3) and that godliness is profitable for all things, in time and eternity (1 Tim 4:8).
    Far from a self-righteous attitude (there is a difference) Paul also mentions over in 2 Peter 3:11, "...what manner of persons ought you to be." This is a exclamation rather than a question. It means, "How astounding excellent you ought to be!" This is a straight forward challenge for Christians to conform their lives to God's standards in light of the reality of coming judgment and eternity. Holy conduct refers to the way a Christian should live---separate from sin. Godliness refers to the spirit of reverence which should permeate a Christian's attitude---that which rules the heart.
    If you put God First, you have Him at Last.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    11,589
    Thanked: 4304
    The path going from the narrow gate and into the city is said to be one of being pressed from all sides. Pressure to veer away from the path.

    Recall that the path up to the wide gate is also one where the throng presses from all sides but this time to keep going towards the wide gate, which leads to destruction because noone is found worthy to enter.

    One has to press away from the throng to get to the narrow gate. One has to shed large luggage to get through it. Then one has to press on along the path into the city without being brought off course.

    The spirit of this world will try to keep one inside that throng. Self righteousness and pride will try to make one keep the luggage and render one unable to enter through the narrow gate. Temptation to sin and avoid persecution will try to bring one off the difficult/pressed/tribulated path. But it's not a path of salvation by works or own righteousness. Once one relies on those things then one is back outside the wide gate again. As Romans 5 talks about, by faith we have access into this grace in which we stand.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    11,589
    Thanked: 4304
    How can it be that the law abiding Pharisees were going through the same wide gate and were on the same broad path as the sinners ? Isn't that a contradiction ? It's not and the reason why is that both groups had in common that they didn't humble themselves before God to seek mercy from Him. The sinners weren't trying as hard as the Pharisees to qualify as righteous but they were still on the same basic path of qualifying according to own merit. The end of the path would be destruction for both groups. It's the way of this world and the Pharisees were merely being religious about it.

    The narrow gate and the difficult/pressed/tribulated path is something different, it's a walk by faith in a household of grace.

    The Galatians were in the process of departing from that path, not because they had become more sinful but because they were going back to trying to qualify according to own merit again, like the Pharisees. According to the law of Moses but it's possible to do the same without relating it to the law and manage to start clinging to our own righteousness instead of to Jesus' righteousness and thereby depart from grace and find ourselves on the path to destruction.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Smitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Everett, Washington
    Posts
    467
    Thanked: 380
    Blog Entries
    1
    At the initial point of regeneration (the new birth) the righteousness of Christ is added to us. God transfers to us the righteousness of Christ. Our justification is by imputation.
    Thank God He alone does this because His law requires perfection. Therefore, to back track and believe that we are justified by doing our own religious efforts will produce legalism.
    Embracing legalism (adding to the finished work of Christ) which you said correctly will produce a departure from grace and set our coarse on the path of destruction.
    That's why saving faith in Christ means trusting in Him as Savior and submitting to Him as Lord. Anything less than that will produce confusion and give the enemy an opportunity.
    If you put God First, you have Him at Last.

  5. #25
    Administrator fuego's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    7,930
    Thanked: 5968
    Blog Entries
    1
    You're assuming that it means that it's easier for others to get into heaven.
    Iím not assuming anything. I was just pointing out context. :)

  6. #26
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    11,589
    Thanked: 4304
    Quote Originally Posted by fuego View Post
    I’m not assuming anything. I was just pointing out context. :)
    Then you said :
    It wasn't a general teaching on getting into heaven
    It became that when he answered the disciples' next question.

    A lot of what he does in his sermon on the mount, and elsewhere, is to maximize the demands of the law until it should become clear to his audience, including rich Pharisees, that the avenue of righteousness by own works is in fact impossible. Only God can impart righteousness and the new birth is what it takes. Even the Old Testament saints like Abraham had to wait for his resurrection before they attained that.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    11,589
    Thanked: 4304
    Mat 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

    So the Pharisees were going for the wide gate and they were among those pressing towards that gate and making it difficult for others to head for the narrow gate found to the side. So there were people trying to go in through the narrow gate, even though the new birth wasn't available yet. They are the real children of Abraham who followed him in his faith. They would naturally transfer their faith specifically towards Jesus upon seeing and hearing him :

    John 10:24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
    25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.
    26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.
    27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

    He would later give them eternal life :

    28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Smitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Everett, Washington
    Posts
    467
    Thanked: 380
    Blog Entries
    1
    I agree that it could be assumed that His way was presented as that which is narrow and the way of the Pharisees as that which is broad.
    The contrast here is one between grace and the way of works. But there are also many people who think that both the narrow gate and the wide gate provide the entrance into God's kingdom. We've all heard the phrase "All religions lead to the path to heaven." But with any common sense, one can recognize that the narrow gate means that one must come in the narrow way in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. It is not hard to see that the wide gate could represent all religions of works and self-righteousness, with no single way. Those who enter through the wide gate will find themselves in hell and not heaven when they expire.
    Pressing on through the narrow gate is constricted and precise and is not an easy task.
    Jesus continually emphasized the difficulty of following Him. It is no walk in the park and will cost you something to remain a faithful disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout your life.
    "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Mt16:24).
    "...because you are not of the world, but I chose you out the world, therefore the world hates you" (Jn 15:19).
    "...Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).
    "...you accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one" (Heb 10:34).
    I've heard many believers say it, and I've said it too, "Praise God, I'm saved by Grace" forgetting what it cost Jesus to provide that "saving grace."
    Yes, salvation is by grace, but it is not easy.
    Entering through the narrow gate and remaining on that path will call for knowledge of the truth, repentance, submission to Christ as Lord, and a willingness to obey His will and Word.
    There are many on the broad road of life who are seeking to arrive in heaven by means of their own works, but only a few have received the grace of God which one day will lead them through the "Gates of Heaven." Reminds me of Jesus' words in Matt 22:14, "Many are called, but few are chosen."
    If you put God First, you have Him at Last.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Colonel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    11,589
    Thanked: 4304
    It was no problem for one person to simply walk through the narrow city gate. But it was too narrow for a merchant with a large cart or large pack animals to get through. And and night time the city was easier to defend with the wide city gate shut. The only thing that's said to be pressing is the path that leads from the gate.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Be prepared for breakdowns with a comprehensive service contract for your Subaru. Many vehicle repairs can cost thousands of dollars in unexpected expense, now may be the time to consider an extended service plan for your vehicle.