Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Sharing insight into Bible passages

Jim Fowler,

Christ in You Ministries says:

“In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus contrasts the life that He came to bring in Himself with what religion offers.

“He contrasts two gates, two trees, two claims and two houses (Matt. 7:13-27).

“Jesus Himself is the ‘narrow gate,’ the singular and exclusive way to life (cf. Jn. 14:6), and few indeed are saved (Lk. 13:22-30) by entering ‘into Christ.’

“The ‘wide gate’ and the ‘broad way’ represent the popular and expedient invitation to religious involvement accepted by the multitudes and the masses.

“Such a religious way ‘seems right to man, but the end thereof is death’ (Prov. 14:12).”

Faye Hall,

Christian Science Church says:

“Living a Christly life is not as difficult as not living a Christly life. This passage is not meant to scare us into morality, integrity, honesty, et cetera but to encourage us to adopt those qualities into our daily lives.

“The Bible is not just a book of restrictions. It inspires us to live up to the high and holy ideals which are the path to freedom from sin, disease and death.

“All God’s children can pass through this straight and narrow path. And all will, either here or hereafter. Why not start now?”

Dennis Ginoza,

Fallbrook United Methodist Church says:

“In Noah’s time, the masses lived in corrupt ways. When God called the one blameless man, Noah, he heeded the voice, built the ark and survived the flood. The masses were destroyed.

“Faith in God makes accessible the narrow gate that leads to life. John the Baptist, like Isaiah, called to make straight the path to God.

“Jesus teaches us to build our lives on mercy, purity, righteousness, forgiveness and love. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.’ (Matt. 5:8).

“He teaches, ‘Strive first for the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 6:33) ‘The road to destruction is wide. There are many in this world caught in greed, selfishness, dishonesty, deception, disbelief, hate, indifference. The worthless will be thrown in the outer darkness.’ (Matt. 25:29)”

Pastor Jason Oakes,

Community Baptist Church says:

“The incredible gift that was offered us on the cross of Calvary as Jesus died and rose again was not only the forgiveness of our sins but an invitation to participate in the divine nature. (2 Pet. 1:4)

“The Christian life and the call of Jesus are impossible to live out unless it is the Spirit of God, dwelling within the believer, that is performing the action, speaking the word or thinking the thought.

“This good and perfect gift is made available by our Loving Father to all who will accept the call to ‘Follow Him.’”

Pastor Art Blodgett,

Community Baptist Church says:

“Jesus provides us this imperative – ‘Enter through the narrow gate’ – not for the purpose of living a Christian life but for the purpose of finding life.

“In John 10:9, Jesus says, ‘I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.’ He goes on to say, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.’ If we have found Jesus, we have found the narrow gate.

“‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).’”

Pastor Rudy Verdin,

Fallbrook Apostolic Assembly says:

“In the Mount Sermon, Jesus gave all who heard the choice to enter his kingdom. With Christ, each person has a choice between two options, which are represented throughout Scripture (Matt. 7:16-27).

“Jesus stresses the importance of choosing to enter the narrow gate (John 10:9, 14:6) as an individual, because no one enters heaven with a group, or because of a religious affiliation.

“The choice between two gates and two ways is a choice for eternity. The broad gate looks very inviting but will lead to hell. The other, Jesus Christ, points to eternal life.”

Lori Freeland says:

“Taken in context of the entire chapter, verses 13-14 reveal to us the hope that God has for us to choose kindness, wisdom, understanding and faith. He does not force us. As always, we are all free to make our own choices.

“It is actually very easy to be rude, lazy, unkind, greedy and self-serving, being the most natural way for man. To choose to be a ‘higher self,’ to be a ‘person in the light,’ takes much more work and conscious effort every day! Thus, fewer choose to live by those standards. It is my opinion that the ‘narrow gate’ refers to those who willfully make the choice to be all that Christ represents.

“The gate might be ‘narrow’ but the Lord welcomes all who wish to enter! The only requirement is that you live ‘in the light.’ But like Mom always said, ‘Anything worth having is worth working for!’”

Next week’s passage:

Forgiveness

(Matthew 18:21-23)

Jesus tells Peter it is necessary to forgive those who trespass against him seven times seventy. Christianity is founded upon forgiveness, but how can we apply this to our lives? Is forgiveness an everyday process that we must ask for and then give? How do we forgive what some may consider to be the unforgivable?

 

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