This is an interesting thought that has perplexed me for years. I was always taught the narrow way is/was my behavior. My behavior was the thing that God looked at to allow me into heaven. As I have observed the church, the people only, there is as much sin inside the church as there is outside the church. WOW! Am I ever going to get into trouble with this one with God (Hope not) and people?
First, I will take us to the gospel. The gospel is always good at straightening out messes that do not seem to agree in the word of God. The behavior part of the gospel talks about the behavior of Jesus Christ which is still perfect Never changing. Jesus paid in full the price of all sin forever, so you and I can get into heaven/fellowship with God.
God paid for all the wrongs of sin. (No your sin is not forgotten but accounted and paid for by the risen, living Jesus then tossed away.) Therefore, nothing I can do can assure my way into heaven or out of heaven, only my decision on how to handle Jesus Christ in my life has any bearing on my final destination. My God given free will choice on how to handle Jesus Christ in my life decides my final destination!
So my thought is since Jesus is the rock of offense that people stumble at and refuse to accept Jesus Christ as personal savior. (Free will in pride) While at the same time, Jesus Christ is the hope of all nations and peoples through the gospel truth, that he paid for on the cross, then took up life again, for an absolute sealed guarantee that all who accept Jesus as personal savior will go to heaven. (FREE WILL HUMILITY) (same free will, different choices using free will) (God calls everyone to the Gospel)
If you add anything more to the gospel of Jesus Christ or take anything away from the gospel of Jesus Christ you no longer have a gospel at all. Therefore my behavior being the narrow way is not compatible with this Absolute truth of the Gospel. Therefore, the narrow way must be something else.
I breached the thought, there is just as much sin inside the church of Jesus Christ as there is on the outside of the church. In this case the church would be the people who have accepted and humbled themselves before Jesus Christ and asked for his for forgiveness and restoration. Outside the church would be all people who have not humble themselves before Jesus Christ and are living trusting their own way.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
The only difference I see in the two groups of people, the saved and the unsaved, is one of them is forgiving on the grounds of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the other group is on their own. The unsaved group is living independently and making the best they can of life through their own thought and Unknowingly assuming on the general grace from God.(General grace would not in any way include salvation of the Gospel)
The only thing separating these two groups of people would be the cross of Jesus Christ. Therefore(in my thinking), the narrow way would be Jesus Christ. Only through Jesus Christ and his atoning work on the cross and resurrection can people enter into heaven. Only an unlimited God could afford the near bankrupting price of sin to rescue mankind.
(Thought! Jesus paid for all sin. Only some people answer the call of God, this gives the new owner of sin, God, the right to dump all sin back to the original owner, Lucifer and his crew. Your Choice who you want to be with?)
God and God alone demonstrated this Unilateral covenant with Abraham as a witness. No man was involved with this covenant. This Gospel covenant was unilaterally made by God to man and without strings attached. ( strings? a.k.a.people’s behavior) Abraham did not walk and could not walk through the sacrificed animals as God walked alone making the promise Gospel, God’s responsibility alone. (See Genesis 15)
Yes, sadly many churches do use false strings to manipulate people to give money, for power, and support for different causes some/most having nothing to do with the cause of Jesus Christ. It is scary for people in leadership to admit that they have nothing they can hold over anybody’s head as far as forgiveness of sin, so they add to the gospel of Jesus Christ, Thus, contaminating the Gospel beyond recognition…. The pure Gospel would cause church leaders to live on something called faith building trust in God. Thereby, trusting God to take care of them as they utilize God’s gifts to live and make a living, more like Jesus did.
Be free my friends and the knowledge that God did pay the price for your entry into heaven. Your behavior cannot damage the provision of God in the Gospel and God cannot lie, therefore He will fulfill His part of the bargain, no matter how badly you fail in this life, if you have humbled yourself to Jesus.
One thing I have found as I try to rest in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it continually changes me. It softens me in ways that I never thought I could trust God. It has toughened me to be sensitive to when someone is trying to take my God given freedom in Jesus Christ away, and I will go to war to defend the gospel willingly.
Before you get to shook up about the word war! My weapons are not carnal but spiritual in nature. I war with words of respect and strength for the gospel of Jesus Christ and with love and respect to my fellow man. God will never call someone to kill and maim on an individual basis.
However, God has given people the ability to govern themselves and make decisions on when it is okay to take another person’s life to protect the good of the community.( maybe more later)
Is Jesus the narrow way? The narrow way is certainly not behavior. What do you think?