It has been said a person is the sum of their past experiences, or who we are is based on what we have done and the decisions we have made. This may be true if we are only considering it in earthly terms. However, in the eyes of God, we are a new creation once we turn our lives over to Christ, and nothing we have ever done in the past matters. Very exciting! As believers in Jesus Christ, having turned our lives over to Him, we have been released from the power of sin. We have been given a power greater than anything in this world and a new awareness of what is right and wrong. In addition to this new awareness, we have been given the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us down the road that leads to life.
In Matthew 7:13-14 Christ tells us to enter through the narrow gate because entering through the wide gate and down the broad road leads to destruction, and warns that many will take the easy path. He also says that the small gate leads to a narrow path, but it leads to life and that only a few will find it. These are important verses and are on the back cover of my book because they summarize what I believe to be a founding principle of our faith. Obviously the blessings that come from the Lord are greater than I could possibly describe, however being a Christian and following the example set by Christ is not that easy.
These verses are an example of a very short parable and often Christ will explain His parables so there can be no misunderstanding. However, in this one He did not explain it and it could be argued this is really not a parable at all, but uses the gates and paths as metaphors. Regardless, here is my interpretation but you read it and see if you agree. It appears to me to be very straightforward.
Now going back to what we receive from the Lord once we make a commitment to Him, not only are our sins forgiven, we become aware of His mercy and love, but also our eyes are opened to His ways and are given power over sin. Even after turning our lives over to Him, we still have the ability to follow His ways and commandments or to turn back to our evil ways of the past. Doing what is right and following His ways are not automatic. As a child of God, we still have the ability to walk through the wide gate and travel the broad road, because that is the easy way, but it leads to destruction.
Going through the small gate down the narrow path may seem hard, but it is only hard because we make it hard. We say we have put our lives in the hands of the Lord, but because we are still living in this world where we are influenced by society, it takes time to understand that God’s ways are truly the best way. Traveling down the narrow path that leads to life will become much easier and natural as your faith matures. The Holy Spirit will be with you and you will experience wonderful blessings along the way, but only you can decide what road you are going to travel. Look for the right path, not just the one of least resistance.
Steve Childers is the author of Catholic or Protestant: What our Churches Should Be Teaching. Visit www.CatholicOrProtestant.com
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