The narrow gate is the true gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who was God in flesh) with proper application. Did Christ die for me because I'm good? No! "There is none who does good, there is not even one" (Romans 3:12 NASB). And, "While we were yet [i]sinners[/i], Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8 NASB). Christ died for me because He is good and if I don't see His goodness and my badness then I will never come to the place where I am baptized into His death as my very own (because of my badness) and I will not come to the place where I am raised from the dead (born again) so that I might walk in newness of life (see Romans 6:3-7).
The narrow gate isn't entered through treading the narrow way - the narrow gate opens up to the narrow way of life under a new life priniciple which is, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
The wide gate is the fundamentals of the true gospel (death, burial, resurrection and diety of Christ) with improper application. Did Christ die for me because I'm good - that's what wide gate evangelists will tell you! Did Christ die to make me happy - that's what wide gate evangelists will tell you! But the Bible says that Christ didn't die to make men happy - He died to make men holy - "Who gave Himself for us to
[i]redeem us from every lawless deed[/i] and to [b]purify[/b] for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds" (Titus 2:14 NASB).
To misapply the gospel and make it man centered instead of God centered; to make it for the happiness of man instead of the holiness of man - without which no man shall see the Lord; to make it salvation from hell instead of salvation from sin; is to turn the grace of God into licentiousness and open a wide gate that leads to destruction.
Paris Reidhead preached [i]Ten Shekels and a Shirt[/i] in the mid-sixties and spoke as clearly a I have ever heard about this perversion of the gospel with philosphical humanism.
Here is an excerpt from that sermon - http://www.devcobaptist.org/clientimages/31831/excerpt6fromtenshekelsandashirt.wma
| 2006/7/20 10:19||Profile|
Have you seen this [url=http://www.inspirationart.com/images/insart2000_1744_1171862.jpg]poster[/url], I couldn't find it bigger, if someone has it, it could post it. The details could be seen only on a bigger one.
| 2006/7/20 19:43||Profile|
I love that poster Tears of joy.
Could it be possible that what some would call the narrow way; true repentance, dying to self, water baptism, ect..... are actually works that one trusts in to get them through the narrow gate? I will also lump becoming a martyr in this category.
I know I'll get labeled for questioning these things but that's o.k. I can take the heat.
First we must decide if these things are works and then we must decide if their required for salvation.
Please use scripture to press your point, and explain what the verse is saying WORD FOR WORD.
:-D :-D :-D
| 2006/7/20 21:52|
| 2006/7/21 16:14||Profile|
Both legalism (salvation by works) and libertinism (salvation by words; "easy-believism") are deadly. Neither of those are God's way as prescribed in the true gospel. True salvation is a matter of Lordship (salvation by worship) - which can only be effected by the true gospel and the Holy Spirit of God.
Unfortunately there is too much emphasis on what salvation [b]isn't[/b] and not enough on what it [b]is[/b], in the body of Christ. Whether it is by the [b]false prophets[/b] who proclaim "Peace, peace, where there is no peace" or by the [b]would be reformers[/b] (and I mean this as [b]almost[/b] if they got a grasp of the answer, not as a slur) would run around like Chicken Little, crying out "The sky is falling!!!", the true gospel is slighted.
While salvation is not too be understood in terms of [b]legalism[/b] and [b]libertinism[/b], it is too be fathomed as "[b]Mercy[/b] triumphing over [b]Judgement[/b]".
Judgement works [b]condemnation[/b] upon the [b]guilty[/b], and [b]acquittal[/b] for the [b]innocent[/b]. Mercy offered to the innocent is both illogical and injust, as it implies guilt where there is none. (Ray Comfort) When the guilty is acquitted (on the basis of a legal loophole, for example, rather than innocence) then the Guilty has [b]received[/b] mercy, expressed through [b]forgiveness[/b]. When this happens Mercy triumphs over Judgement, because Judgement does not get what Justice offers, namely Condemnation.
This "Mercy over Judgement" principle is how we are to understand the word [b]Justification[/b]. (Ron Bailey)
Note that the one prevailing condition of Mercy (ie, Forgiveness) is that "Someone has to pay." (J Edwin Orr) In this legal illustration, Christ pays the penalty, and the Holy Spirit offers supervision over the [b]Parolee[/b] (really "Aquitted", however not simply [b]let off the hook[/b], but released undr supervision hence my use of "Parolee"). He promises to Rehabilitate the Parolees Attitude and Behaviour, and present him before the [b]Judgement Seat[/b] at the appointed time (this illustration breaks down, at a point due to the rarity of Parolees actually rehabilitating. The Scripture clearly states that the Holy Spirit will complete the work that He begins, stating that no negaitive circumstances, however extreme can separate us from the love of God...so with the Holy Spirit, rehabilitation is assured [Chip Bogden]).
So God pays the price, through His Son, at the Cross, and pays again by investing His Spirit's labour it the process of rehabilitation. Our only requirement is to "work out" what He has "worked in".
I say this to point out that, as Christians we must be diligent to replace the things that we [b]pull down[/b] with things that need [b]building[/b], in their place. Disillusionment is a beneficious thing, but only if it is going somewhere.
Note: The Cross is the [b]Gate[/b], and the Rehabilitation is the [b]Path[/b], in this illustration. It's by no means comprehensive, but my hope is that it opens the door a crack.;-)
| 2006/7/21 21:08||Profile|
Quote: I wish that there were no need for polemics (arguing against strange doctrine), but it is the nature of the battle to which we are called. I would much rather encourage and build up the body of Christ (and I do), but they also have to be guarded. This was Jude's dilemma when he wrote his epistle. "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write to you about our [i]common salvation[/i], [b]I felt the necessity[/b] to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for [b]the faith[/b] which was once for all handed down to the saints. [i]For certain persons have crept in unnoticed...ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness[/i] (Jude 3-4).
Unfortunately there is too much emphasis on what salvation isn't and not enough on what it is, in the body of Christ.
Great illustration given on the legal aspect of God justifying the sinner and yet remaining Himself just!
Quote: Yes! And the Cross is an instrument of death and Rehabilitation is Resurrection (being raised up to walk in newness of life)
Note: The Cross is the Gate, and the Rehabilitation is the Path, in this illustration.
Grace and peace
| 2006/7/21 22:12||Profile|
Edmonton Alberta Cda.
There is an interesting document called the Didache, that can be found with a Google search. This document will clarify some of your questions.
P.S. This document is also refered to as "The teaching of the Twelve Apostles." It clearly lays out the 2 "ways", or the two paths that one can travel.
| 2006/7/21 23:25||Profile|
Edmonton Alberta Cda.
| Re: What is the narrow way?|
Just a small taste of how this document begins.
THE TEACHING OF THE LORD TO THE GENTILES BY THE TWELVE APOSTLES
Translated by J.B.Lightfoot, 1891
Edited ever so slightly by Baruch, 1993
1. There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between the two ways. The way of life is this. First of all, you must love the God who made you; secondly, your neighbour as yourself. All things you wouldn't have befall yourself, neither do to another.
| 2006/7/22 12:38||Profile|
| Re: What is the narrow way?|
I believe God repeats things in the bible, but says them in different ways, helps to understand.
Dear God, please help these talks, please forgive our sins, help us to know You more, thank you for forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ, in Jesus' name I pray, amen.
it seems to me, with the many teachings of Jesus that we are to follow as lead by Holy Spirit, the narrow way is also connected to His cost of being His disciple "...anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:27. We have to learn from God Himself what His personal cross, plan is for us, and do what He wants us personally to do.
I also learned a lot from the persecuted christians' testimonies, like Richard Wurmbrand from www.persecution.com and www.gfa.org (India christians who face beating, threats, and sometimes death for Christ, even today).
I highly recommend people to continue seeking what God's will for them is, and studying His cost for discipleship, He is worth it. It took me a while to even learn what the cross was, I didn't understand, but I persevere even today.
Jesus says "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' Matthew 7:21-23
| 2006/7/22 14:50||Profile|