Not So Random Thoughts 26

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

The narrow gate that we must enter though to be on the narrow road that leads to life is quite instructive. It teaches us that there are many things that are not in accordance with true Christianity. There are many things that glitter, but the reality of them is that they are not true gold. We know that Jesus and Paul fought bad teaching and those who would distort the Gospel. Paul had strong words for those who would distort the Gospel, yet it appears that throughout the New Testament there were people who were constantly adding to or taking away from the Gospel.

It is easy for scholars to add to the Gospel and make it something other than the true Gospel when their mindset is on scholarship rather than a simply and faithful teaching of the Gospel. It is easy for preachers to add to the Gospel when they become concerned with numbers, money, and honor rather than a love for the Gospel out of a love for Christ. It is easy for anyone to teach a false Gospel and yet it is hard and laborious to fight through all the arrows of the evil one who is hard at work to distort the Gospel and hide the glory of Christ in the Gospel. In other words, it is hard to find the narrow gate and hard to be on the narrow road because there are so many teachings that are opposed to the narrow gate and the narrow road as set out by Christ Himself.

The Gospel is 100% pure grace and nothing is to be added to it. This is easy to see when Paul taught (in Romans 11:6) that when we add works to the Gospel it makes grace no longer to be grace. This should cause a shiver to go up and down our spines. If at any point we add a work or works to the Gospel, we are guilty of making grace no longer to be grace. It is a hard teaching, but anything we do or say that adds something to grace is a terrible sin worthy of damnation. We may have good intentions, but if we add anything to grace we have adjusted the Gospel to be a non-Gospel.

In our day we are afraid of people being immoral while professing to be Christians, so we do certain things to try to prevent that. However, the Gospel must never be added to. The Gospel is always of pure grace and nothing but pure grace (true by definition) and we must not bring legalism or add anything at any point. Our intentions may be good, at least in a sense, but we must not add to the Gospel in the slightest. Moralism is a great opponent of the Gospel. God saves sinners to the glory of His name and not just to make people behave as we wish. While we may think of people as immoral, it is also great immorality to add to the Gospel. But again, when we add to the Gospel we are teaching others something other than the narrow gate and the narrow road that leads to life. When we add to the Gospel, we are teaching people that the wide gate and the broad road that lead to destruction in fact a way that leads to life.

The Gospel of grace alone teaches us that God saves sinners by His doing and not by anything they can do. The Gospel of grace alone teaches us that God saves sinners according to Himself and not according to what they can do to change themselves inwardly or outwardly. The Gospel of grace alone teaches us that sinners must be humbled from their pride, but it is God who must humble them and not their own proud hearts. The Gospel of grace alone teaches us that it is the will of God that is the power that saves sinners and not their own wills. In these areas it is so easy to add some little something, but in fact we are adding to grace which makes grace no longer to be grace and the Gospel no longer to be the Gospel.

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