Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
What is this “narrow gate”?
“Therefore Jesus said again, ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep’” (Jn 10:7).
Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (Jn 10:9).
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (Jn 14:6).
How is it narrow (restricted, limited)?
Then Jesus said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Lu 9:23-26).
What does that mean, exactly?
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” (Rom 8:12-14).
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Rom 6:6-7).
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Rom 6:16).
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:22-23).
“…when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:21-24).
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:16-21; cf. Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10).
But how does that all fit with God’s grace?
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Tit 2:11-14).
“’He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed’” (1 Pet 2:24).
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Co 5:15, 21).
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Rom 6:1-4).
What is the “wide gate”?
It is opposite of the narrow gate. It is unrestricted. You don’t have to die to sin to enter. You can keep on sinning all you want. Your old self doesn’t have to be crucified with Christ at all. Your body ruled by sin can keep on being ruled by sin. You can let sin reign in your mortal body all you want. Sin can continue to be your master, and you can continue to be its slave.
You don’t have to listen to Jesus. You can ignore his commands, for, after all, that is legalism to obey God, right? You don’t have to follow him in his ways. You can continue to go your own way, doing whatever you want to do. You don’t have to deny self. You can live in self-indulgence for self-pleasure and for self-gratification. Everything can be about you and no one else.
You don’t have to walk by the Spirit of God. You can determine your own life course. You can go on in your sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. You don’t have to tell your flesh “No.” So, indulge yourself.
After all, Jesus died to free you from the guilt of your sin, right? Since you are not under the law, but under grace, God can’t even see when you sin. All he sees is Jesus, and so he smiles at you and he delights in you even while you are vegging out on porn. And if you feel guilty, just claim who you are in Christ to console yourself and then you can sin guilt free. Wrong!!
Where do these gates (and paths) take us?
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal 6:7-8).
“God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger” (Rom 2:6-8).
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Co 6:9-10).
So, don’t be fooled by that wide gate and broad road which promises you forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God based on a lie. If you follow it, it will end in death, not life everlasting.
Instead, enter through the narrow gate, and follow the narrow way which leads to life everlasting with the Lord. Following the majority will end in destruction. So, follow the way that few travel, the narrow way, and you will be saved from your sins and have eternal life with God.
An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV
My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.
So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.
Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…
They know my voice, so they follow me.