The Narrow Way

1 John 2:3-6 ESV

“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

Knowing Jesus isn’t just about a decision to believe in him for salvation from sin. For faith in Jesus Christ isn’t just a confession of Christ as Lord or an assent to who he is and to what he did for us on the cross. It is a belief down deep in the depths of our heart that is proved genuine by what we do.

If we believe that salvation from sin requires no obedience to Jesus Christ, then we are believing a false gospel. For, the Scriptures make it quite clear that to love God/Jesus, is to obey him, and that if we don’t obey him, then we don’t really know him.

Jesus set the example for us in how we are to live to please God. But a lot of people are teaching a false Jesus these days, too. They are lowering Jesus to our level, and they are making him out to be like us, instead of teaching us to be like Him.

Notice with me here that the Scriptures teach over again that our salvation, and our faith in Jesus, which are both gifts from God, have to do with our walks, with how we live, with what we do in heart response to our Lord’s commands. They are not one-time events in our lives.

And, that walk of faith involves daily dying to sin and to self, and daily putting on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us, and daily walking in obedience to our Lord (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Eph 6:10-20; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).

And, to follow Jesus’ example, not only do we walk in holiness, but we share the gospel of our salvation with others, and we teach others to walk in holiness. We expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, and we proclaim the whole counsel of God, not a half-truth cheap grace gospel.

We love others like Jesus loved, too. He cared about people’s needs, and he spoke words of healing to their hearts. But he never placated anyone in their sin. He called for repentance, and obedience, and submission always.

1 John 2:9-11 ESV

“Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Hate, to me, is the opposite of love. To love is to do for others and to say to others what is beneficial for them spiritually or physically or emotionally, as long as what we do and what we say does not go against the word of God or God’s moral laws. It is not love to agree with sin, in other words.

So, to hate others is to sin against them, to do what is harmful to them knowingly and willingly. It is to lie, to cheat, to steal, to commit adultery, to falsely accuse, to gossip against, to slander, to abuse, to take advantage of, and to willfully mistreat and misuse others.

So, if we treat others with hate, as a matter of practice, i.e. if we are hating them actively, presently, while we are claiming to be in the light and while we are professing to be in fellowship with God, then we are not walking in the light, but we are walking (in conduct, in practice) in the darkness.

But, if we are loving others with a God-like love which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, pure, righteous, moral, honest and upright, and so we are not actively, willfully and/or premeditatedly sinning against them, then we are abiding in the light, provided our faith and trust is in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

1 John 2:15-17 ESV

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

As followers of Jesus, we are not to (agape) love the world or the things in the world, that are of the world. We are not to take pleasure in, to long for, or to esteem what is of the flesh and of this world. And, we are not to prefer, or to embrace, or to choose to obey what is of this world.

But, when it is talking about the world here, it is talking about the desires of the flesh, the desires of what we see with our eyes, and the pride of life. These are of the flesh, not of the Spirit of God. They are of this world, which is passing away. We are not to prefer, esteem, embrace or obey what is of this sinful world. If we do, then the love of the Father is not in us.

Jesus said that we are to come out from the world and to be separate. Now, he was not saying that we should not be in the world or that we should not be with the people of the world, for he certainly was. We are to live in the world, and we are to love the people of the world with God’s love.

But we are not to be partakers of what is of this world or of the flesh of man. We are not to be those who seek after what is of this world, but we are to be those who seek the Lord and his righteousness and holiness. We should not be those who are embracing the thinking, philosophies, attitudes, and behaviors of this sinful world, but we should be embracing our Lord.

For, it is whoever is doing the will of God who abides forever. It is not those who merely make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Remember, if we are not obeying our Lord, then we don’t know God. If we are still walking according to the flesh, we are going to die in our sins. Only those walking according to the Spirit of God have eternal life with God (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8).

Enough for My God

By G. M. Eldridge

In God is the light, the brightest day.
He taught me to walk the narrow way,
Yet still I chose the path that was broad:
O, how could I be enough for my God?

With mercy so sweet, He led me along.
He held my hand, and gave me a song,
Yet still I sinned, a shameful fraud:
O, how could I be enough for my God?

I never had dreamed the day I’d see
the Son of God, who died for me,
Yet here by His side, I stand in awe:
Washed by His blood, enough for my God.

And who could forgive all the sins and the flaws?
O, how could I be enough for my God?
But gently He’ll lead by staff and by rod,
And help me to be enough for my God.

I just want to be Enough for You, God!

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