Tuesday, January 26, 2016

narrowness


"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

"My text is not a negative text but a very positive text. It tells us that we must not only not be afraid of being called narrow, but it actually goes on to say that if we really want to be Christians worthy of the name, we must go out of our way to become narrow: we must enter in at the strait gate and walk on the narrow way! Now this, surely, is rather a startling and amazing thing. Is it not wonderful that when our Lord came to choose the designation to express his way of life, he selected the very word by which we are most frightened—that the very word of which we tend to be afraid is the very word in which he exults, the very word that he puts upon his flag? I would say also, for the purpose of encouraging and stimulating any frightened Christian, the next time one of these so-called men of the world tells you that you are narrow, instead of trying to run away, just stand your ground, look him straight in the face, and say, 'Of course I am narrow, and it would be a very much better thing for you, and for your wife and children, if you also became narrow and ceased to boast of a largeness and a breadth that are in reality nothing but a cloak for laxity and looseness.' He would not worry you quite so frequently in the future!

"Oh, that we would all begin to seek and to covet this narrowness instead of boasting of a breadth and a width and a largeness of outlook that leads to moral and political and social and international chaos—the horrors of which we are so aware in our modern world.

"Yes, look at the crowd. The vital question to ask about a path is not so much about its width as its destination. 'Wide is the gate, and broad is the way'—but where does it lead?—'that leadeth to destruction.'"

~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones, "The Narrowness of the Gospel" (1935) from Evangelistic Sermons at Aberavon.



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