Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 28
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:7:7-12 Ask , Seek, Knock
Note: Luke also makes mention of there being a "strait gate" kjv@Luke:13:24-25 though his quotation differs to the negative (many that don't find verses few that do).
We are coming a place in this eve's hillside sermon where a lot of smaller things that Jesus has been talking about are starting to come together. I would like to take a stab at pulling it together if I can.
Essentially it boils down to us not wanting to bring ourselves and our works into the light of the gospel to be correctly examined. If by that light to be fully examined, we would quickly see our works utterly insufficient and our selves totally unworthy for salvation. It is a hard pill to take, especially when we think as much of ourselves as we do. It is all part of a fall mankind took that God has solemnly promised to lift us back out of.
So instead of remaining in that light, we put ourselves back into a life that directly avoids both the light and our inevitable need to ask God for what only God HIMSELF can give/to seek the kind of changes that only HE can made within us/to find our position within God to be much different in Christ than that of our own vain imaginations. It becomes what we are able to make for ourselves versus what HE is able to make within us and produce out of us.
So we come the point of this consideration where we must realize that not everybody is going to enter the kingdom, not because God cannot help them, but because they refuse HIS help in the form HE has presented it. We come to the "strait gate".
What is God doing?
kjv@Psalms:14:2-3 @ The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
kjv@Isaiah:35:8 @ And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
kjv@John:14:6 @ Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
kjv@Matthew:16:24-25 @ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
kjv@Matthew:22:14 @ For many are called, but few are chosen.
What is man doing?
There are typically two reactions to a message such as this: one to ignore it altogether or else the other think of it in terms of then needing to do something ethical or moral by code or law; perhaps a mix of the two. These typical reactions to the message comprise the bulk of what could be called the "wide" road. Here is the problem with that path though even as best intended as described of in the Jews:
kjv@Romans:9:32 @ Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
You'll recall Jesus saying earlier that the most zealous of zealous Jews the Pharisees would not be entering the kingdom of heaven unless they could further exceed their own high (impossible) standard of righteousness. You've heard Jesus throughout this sermon pick apart several key parts of their most stringent legal observances that strict as they are still miss the mark of what the spirit of the law truly intends. You've heard it said elsewhere that to keep the law, but to break it in one small point breaks the entire law. Well then it is for certain that the law is not going to be the vehicles that gets us through the strait gate, it will likely be the very thing that keeps us out. If the law can't get us through then otherwise stiff avoidance neither shall.
kjv@Titus:3:5 @ Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
There in God's mercy enters our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
kjv@John:8:12 @ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
And this faith that Jesus is exactly the cure and covering needed is precisely what the rebellious nature of man refuses to accept. What is man doing? Here it is!
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
"Enter ye in at the strait gate"
kjv@Ephesians:2:2-3 @ Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
This is not going to get it done. Included in this disobedience is the willful avoidance/rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord. The lusts of the flesh and mind are not only the promiscuous and vile things we do and think upon each other, they are the promiscuous and the vile things we do and think upon the God given doctrine of salvation by grace alone and that grace being in Jesus Christ alone by faith in this alone for God's glory alone as presented fully in the infallible and final authority of scripture alone. The lust of our flesh and mind is at complete enmity with that and will do whatever it can to skew any and all of these foundational pillars of the faith and therein the very image of God.
We must be extremely careful then as saints not to compromise in the slightest these foundational truths not only to our own lusts/corruptions of flesh and mind, but also to guard them against the venomous attacks of those on the wide path who will not sleep but for devising traps to catch us in, who refuse themselves and others to enter the strait gate even till the final call. What business do they have determining our God ordained business?
Our patient obedience is to the commandment and faith of Jesus Christ. Him only!
kjv@Romans:9:28 @ For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
Next: devotion:Matthew:7:15-23 A Tree and Its Fruit