- Watch Video Here: Session 16 – Strait Gate
We are a part of the body of Christ which is an interdependent family relationship. The world is too evil, and we are too weak to walk alone. We need each other in order to stay faithful until Christ returns. Loving service to each other is characterized by the following commands: TEACH, EXHORT, WARN, REPROVE, REBUKE, RESTORE. However, to obey these commands, the beatitudes must be lived in our own lives. Humility, mourning, meekness, compassion, etc. equip us to help others and without them, we will become judgmental, condescending, and harsh.
Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
Matthew 7:1-5 – The carnal tendency of man is to have 20/20 eyesight to see faults in others but blindness to their own faults. Being judgmental must give us a sense of importance or superiority.
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the LORD [Yahweh] said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
God is the only one qualified to judge men because He’s sees the heart. We do not!
Romans 2:1-3 – Our perspective is very, very limited and quite often our perceptions of people, circumstances, and situations are wrong. Whenever we measure out self-determined harsh judgments of others, we become the sinner and will receive the judgment of God.
Romans 14:1 [Living Bible] – Give a warm welcome to any brother who wants to join you, even though his faith is weak. Don’t criticize him for having different ideas from yours about what is right and wrong.
Romans 14:1 [Phillips Modern English] – Welcome a man whose faith is weak, but not with the idea of arguing over his scruples.
Romans 14:2 and 3 – God has not appointed any of us to scrutinize and pronounce judgment on any of His children.
Romans 14:4 – We are all servants of God. We all stand approved of God for He is over all. We do not have the right to judge God’s servants. God is the one who has called each of us, and He is the one who enables each of us to stand.
Romans 14:10-13 – We must be concerned about conducting our own lives so as not to be a stumbling block to cause the fall of a brother.
Romans 14:14-17 – The Kingdom of God is most important.
Matthew 7:15 – We must judge what the prophets are saying to decide if it is right to believe
(Acts 20:29-31; 1 John 4:1). – Some people believe everything they read and hear. Unfortunately, many things printed and taught are not true. We should be meek but not gullible. Two extremes to avoid are a reckless open-mindedness and a stubborn narrow-mindedness.
We have the responsibility to verify every message we receive, even if the person speaking claims it is of God.
Matthew 7:1 and 2 – With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you. Everything that we do to others will sooner or later be done to us by someone, somewhere.
Luke 6:34-38 – Give and it shall be given.
Dog and Swine Feeding
Matthew 7:6 – Not everyone is willing to receive God’s Word. The humble and meek are qualified.
God honors freewill; therefore, we are to do so also.
Matthew 13:10-13 – Follow the way Jesus Christ conducted his ministry.
Giving the Word when it is not wanted will not get godly results. You may do more harm than good to the person and to yourself. Do not cast your pearls before swine lest they trample them under their feet and turn again and rend you.
If you give the Word to someone who is not hungry, he will not manifest the results. When he is hungry, he may think that he already tried it and that it did not work. So, he may not come back to God.
No matter how important this other person is to you, forcing the Word on him may well cause more harm than good.
James 1:5-8 – Ask God for wisdom.
Ask, Seek, Knock
Matthew 7:7-11 – Mind your own business and trust God.
Luke 11:5-8 – Be persistent in prayer and your focus on God, not people.
Luke 18:1-8 – Asking, seeking, and knocking
Matthew 7:12 – Because we know that we can go to God and rely on Him, we can treat people with the love of God. We do this not because we are going to get something from them, but because He tells us to love other people.
Matthew 7:13 – Jesus Christ is the only door of salvation through which man must walk to enter the Kingdom of God. If he is our Lord, we must obey his commands.
Strait is the Gate
Matthew 7:14 – Jesus’ conclusions seem radical, hard to take, and contrary to the commonly accepted belief. However, his teaching is not radical or contrary to what the prophets and apostles taught. He taught God’s will.
Jesus was, and is, God’s way to provide eternal life for mankind. Jesus communicated in many illustrative ways that he was the source of life. He told Nicodemus, “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:15). He declared to the multitude that he was the bread of life (John 6:35). To the disciples in the temple, he put forth that he is the light of life (John 8:12). As the good shepherd and the door to the sheepfold, he stated his destiny was to lay down his life for the sheep. He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). To reassure grieving Martha, he stated, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
Only through him can a man attain life in the age to come. We must believe on him to receive this gift.
John 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
Matthew 7:15-20 – The fruit that should be visible has been described in the sermon.
Jude 1:1-25; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 Peter 2:1-22
False prophets say things people want to hear and lead people away from God and that which is necessary to enter into the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 7:20 – What fruit will indicate that he is a true prophet? His teaching will agree with the Lord’s, and his life will be the mirror of the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 7:21-23 – Jesus did not say their works or words were wrong. To do these things, they would have to have the spirit, but they were not obeying the commandments of God or the things which Jesus spoke.
The works that Jesus has spoken in the teaching do not include signs, wonders, and miracles because they are to follow those who obey his words. What is spoken in this teaching is humility, mourning, meekness, mercy, purity of heart, peace makers, loving, forgiveness, genuine deeds of compassion, genuine prayer, genuine fasting, not being involved with this world, living completely for God, seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, not judging, asking, seeking, knocking, doing to others the things you want others to do to you.
Make no mistake, these are the things God wants us to do (with a genuine heart of loving obedience to Him) that are required to enter into the Kingdom of God.
“Lord” means one having power and authority over others, a ruler that has preeminence to whom service and obedience are due. If we believe that Jesus is Lord, we must obey.
Faith and Obedience are Always Companions
Romans 10:1-3 – Rather than obeying the knowledge of God, they determined their own beliefs. Strait and narrow is the way to life.
Romans 10: 4-8 – This is quoted from Deuteronomy 30.
Romans 10:9 and 10 – The requirement is very intimidating when we consider our own abilities.
However, these statements should jolt our minds back to the beginning of the sermon. Humility is the acknowledgment and belief that we are not sufficient of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God. We are to have a total dependency and reliance upon God, an acknowledgment of our need for Him and His ways.
Philippians 1:9-11 – “Approve” here means discern.
Matthew 7:24-29 – There will be many floods, winds, etc., both for those who have faith and those who do not. Yet, for those who are doing His Word, they will not fall. Also, we are told at the end of this age there will be storms such have never been seen before. Those who have built their house upon obedience to his Word shall stand, and all others will fall.
Ephesians 2:8-10 – The way into the Kingdom of God is strait and narrow. Few there are that find it. If Jesus is our Lord, we obey his commands. However, entrance into the gate will be only because of the grace of God. No one is good enough to receive eternal life. The heart of Christian living is not a method for man to work his way into the Kingdom.
Matthew 6:9-13 – The teachings of our Lord are not really complicated. They are easy to understand, howbeit challenging to our ungodly ways of living. What he presents is superior living, and, by all means, you are able to live this way! As you walk, God will help you. Sinless perfection is not our aim, but loving obedience so that our God may be glorified by our walks.