We’ve likely heard or read at points about this straight and narrow path Christians are to walk. I’ve been thinking about this, and I just want to share some things we might consider.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13-14)
If you’ve followed KindlingTruth, then you might know that I have made it a goal to search out the truth of the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. I’ve made it a goal to learn sound doctrine and defend it because all truths affect the gospel message in some way. I’ve also tried to write about ways in which I have been challenged in the true righteousness we are promised as fruit of our salvation and some of the lessons I have learned a long the way.
I know I am young and I have a long way to go in understanding and living the gospel, and this post is already beginning to sound too much about me and the work I am trying to do. I’m writing off the cuff here, trying to lead up to something.
There really is a straight and narrow path. We are told that Satan, our adversary, is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. This is true. This is applicable to all things that are true. All things that are true including the true gospel message, true doctrine, and true righteous living are all so easily corrupted. If we go a little to the left or a little to the right of that truth, then we are not purely true, and a little untruth can corrupt much.
We might even have some measure of truth, and from my limited experience in “ministry” (I don’t know if that is the right word, because I am not qualified to be a minister, but I do not know what to call this Christian blog. Maybe just that. It’s a Christian blog. Sorry to digress). Anyway, from my limited experience in searching truth in all things, I find that most ideas have some truth to them. I also know that if we seek the Lord to humble us and teach us not to lean on our understanding or even that of other men — as influential, knowledgeable, and righteous as they might seem — then the Lord himself will light that path for us.
All the truth we need to know is in the scriptures. They are a treasure trove of understanding if we are serious about the things of God, and the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Truth will teach us, correct us, and comfort us.
What is my point? I guess there are a few.
For one, I know there is truth out there, and that truth often walks a fine line. This fine line, this narrow path, also very often goes some place in between various Christian denominations and teachings. Certainly not all, but I am realizing that we do not want to be stubborn in our understanding and unwilling to learn. We do not know anything as we should.
There is a even a fine line within the gospel concerning key teachings about salvation by grace through faith, professions of faith, and a balance between repentance and confidence in Christ.
There is a fine line we are to walk as we learn how to live a Christian life. This is most important. The littlest thought of hatefulness, the littlest false accusation, the littlest of vanity and pride, the littlest of covetousness, the littlest of any sinful thought can corrupt us. These could also be called the littlest of lies, which I believe are whispered to us by devils. Maybe not, just a thought I consider possible because Satan is the father of lies.
Our flesh is weak and prone to all things that lie. We are prone to all things that kill. The flesh cannot walk the straight and narrow path of truth. Only Jesus did this, and he felt temptation to go astray. He knows the state of flesh and how we are corrupted so easily from that which is true and good. He gave his life because of this.
Jesus died so that we can be forgiven of our sins that “miss the mark” of that straight and narrow path. He died to heal our wounds that occur as a result. Going off this path will corrupt us, leading to a variety of mental, emotional, and physical sickness. With his stripes, we are healed.
It is also important to know, that Jesus rose from the dead. He sent his Holy Spirit. By the promise of resurrection and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can learn how to walk after that straight and narrow way. This is the Christian journey. Will will go astray, no doubt, and the blood of the lamb will forgive and heal our wounds. However, there is much we are supposed to pursue.
If we are living as if walking that path does not mean anything to us, then where are we going?
I personally would have a hard time thinking I am on the path of salvation if my life leans more towards the paths of destruction. I spent most of my life walking in various ways of destruction, so I sympathize with sins of all spectrum. I am so glad to know that Jesus will pull us away from destruction and darkness towards life and light if we belong to him. Even so, Jesus himself is not found in the lying ways of this world. So, if we believe in him, we should seek to be shown what that narrow path means.
I want to walk the true path in all things. I walk to walk in the path of the laws of the kingdom of God first and foremost, then maybe along the way I will be counted faithful enough to be granted understanding that walks that fine line in all the rest.
We should be thus minded. We should be seeking the righteous ways of God first, seek Jesus sincerely, and ask for understanding pertaining to the gospel. If we want to understand doctrine and how this world works, then we can seek that too, so long as we do not lose sight of what is most important and remain faithful in these things first.
On a related note, but somewhat off topic: When looking for preaching to help us understand truth, before evaluating the teaching of dense topics, look closely to see how faithful the preacher is in that which is least and most fundamental. How do they preach salvation? How do they preach about the gospel? How do they live their lives? If they are corrupted in the basic things, then we should not take any thought for what they have to say about the rest — and there are many false teachers and preachers, and I fear we live in a time in which the true gospel message is being lost.
Actually, it is much related. This is the continuation of the above scripture.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:15-21).
If anything written here is confusing, feel free to comment below because I know I did not go in depth about these things.