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Strive To Enter the Narrow Gate!!!

28 Mar
Strive To Enter the Narrow Gate!!!

When Jesus began His public ministry great crowds began to follow Him and hear the words that He spoke. As time went on the large throngs of people that had followed Him started to dwindle. He still had crowds, but committed followers were becoming more scarce. We also notice in the Gospels that Jesus’ messages often seemed to discourage half-hearted followers. Jesus stated that His way was narrow which was a contradiction of the Jewish belief. Judaism taught that all but tax collectors and the very wickedest of sinners would be saved. After the resurrection we notice that only 120 gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem, and only about 500 true believers were in Galilee.

This teaches us of a huge struggle against conflict. Christ was not here suggesting that a person could earn or merit their salvation by striving and working for it. No matter how strenuously they labored, sinners could never save themselves. Salvation is solely by grace, not by works (Eph. 2:8-9). But, entering through the narrow gate is still  difficult because of its cost of human pride, because of the sinner’s natural love for living his own natural life, and because of the world’s and Satan’s opposition to the truth.

Jesus’ teaching about the “narrow gate” is a familiar passage for many Christians. His message is that entering the kingdom of heaven is not easy. Unlike the comfort of “walking on the broad road”, “entering the narrow gate” requires discipline, strength and bravery. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says simply “enter through the narrow gate” (Mt. 7:13). But in the Gospel of Luke there is a lot more urgency: “strive to enter through the narrow door” (Lk. 13:24).

The English word “strive” is not nearly as interesting as the original Greek word which Luke uses: ἀγωνίζομαι (agōnizomai). This is a verb built on the root ἀγών (agōn), which means an athletic competition, such as a running race or a wrestling match.

He chooses this word because he wants to convey the sense of pain and struggle which is required of those who follow Christ. Paul also used this athletic image of running the race and fighting the fight (1 Cor. 9:24-27; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7). Luke and Paul use this athletic term because they want to show us that the suffering endured by Christians today will be followed by great triumph that is reserved for them in the future.

Let’s endure the battle as a good soldier of Jesus Christ! Our Strength to fight is The Lord God Himself!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Christianity, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

8 responses to “Strive To Enter the Narrow Gate!!!

  1. Dear Daughter,

    March 28, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Amen! Philippians 3:13

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  2. mtsweat

    March 28, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I am greatly appreciative of your words here friend. Being an avid reader, I occasionally subject myself to the writes of those with differing thoughts on salvation than my own, and just today I was reading a work where the author uses the “strive” verse to defend his view that we must also contribute something to come to faith in Christ. I think you have countered his thoughts well here, while explaining the necessity of a changed and striving life that comes through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Good words… many blessings.

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 28, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Thank you. I have encounters every day with folks holding the view that we must contribute for salvation. As you can see, I believe salvation is all of grace. But He works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (sanctification). When I finally understood my spiritual life changed in a dramatic way. Now, out of total gratitude and thanksgiving I want to please Him. Thank you for the great comments. Blessings to you!!!

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  3. Blog of an Overcomer

    March 28, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    The Greek word for strive really paints a picture of what kind of life we should be pursuing as believers in Christ Jesus. We are called not to a comfortable life, but one where we will struggle. Reminds me of scripture that reminds us of our need for discipline and to deny the flesh. It requires much attention–and is not something to take lightly. Good word! Thank you for being obedient and sharing the Word!

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      It does indeed. Much discipline is required, but not to maintain salvation, but fellowship. Thank you for the great comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. SLIMJIM

    March 29, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Wow good point in pointing out the Greek word for strive…it’s definitely insightful to know this. May we all continue to strive after God’s Kingdom

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    • Levi Thetford

      March 29, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Thanks Slimjim! Have a great Lord’s Day tomorrow.

      Like

       

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