When we choose to become followers of Christ, which means to be apart of His suffering for the gospel’s sake, we are choosing a very narrow way and a strait gate.
Matthew 7:12-14 states, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 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.” No one said it would be easy. One meaning of the word strait is hardship. God would never ask us to do something that we could do within ourselves. It takes the power of God within us to walk as His servants in the earth. Another meaning for strait is a stretch of water leading between two larger bodies of water.
The gate and the way that Jesus is talking about stretches between death and live, blessing and cursing. Note Deuteromony 11:26-28, God talking, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day…”
Paul wrote of the strait and narrow way which leads to life in Galatians 5:14-16, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Paul also wrote of the broad gate that leads to destruction in the same passage. Verses 19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulatons, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envings, murders, drunkenness, revelling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”Many people strive to enter in at the strait gate but cannot because the flesh is too heavy.
They try to keep the flesh under subjection by the law and fail to walk in love through the Spirit. Paul said concerning this, The letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life.Those that enter in at the strait gate do as Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” The humble are the only ones that can enter in through the strait gate. The humble are the only ones that can walk in the love of God.
The Apostle Paul said in II Corinthians 10: 1-6, “Now I Paul my self beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who I presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you…” Verse 3, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”We do not war after the flesh. The flesh has been crucified with Christ.
The body of sin is dead and buried. Note Romans 6:3-4, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized in to Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised up for the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” verse 6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Catch this next point! Jesus was not crucified in Spirit. It was his body that was crucified. He bare our sin in his own body (I Peter 2:24). His Spirit went to hell, but His body after being crucified was laid to rest. Our sin had no more dominion over it. Our sin became His sin.
In Psalm 40: 7-8, Then said I, (Jesus) Low, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. This verse is quoted concerning Jesus as a sin offering once and for all in Hebrews 10:7, but notice Psalm 40: 12-13 still taking in the person of Jesus, “For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make hast to help me.”
Jesus called our sin, mine iniquities. Now we can call His righteousness Our righteousness. Glory to God!When we war against the flesh we are fighting a defeated enemy. However, if we feed the flesh it will resurrect.
If we walk in the Spirit, we walk as if the body has already been raised from the grave. Sin has no dominion over it. Also, if we try to live by the law, we will find that the old body is still alive. The law was put in by God to condemn sin in the heart but could not condemn sin in the flesh, but Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin condemned sin in the flesh. Now the righteousness of the law can be fulfilled. (See Romans 8:1-4)
Jesus said in Matthew 16:24, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” If we through the Spirit walk away from the old man leaving him dead and buried with the Son of Man we can walk in newness of life with the Son of God. (Romans 6:4)