“Therefore put to death your members which are on earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 Through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, a person has the ability to gain something that was unattainable before and has been hidden as a mystery for ages: a new heart. The veil has been torn (Mark 15:38, 2 Cor. 3:14-16), so a person is able to put to death the members which are earthly – fleshly. A person can, by faith, leave the old on the cross and put on the new, the new heart and the new clothing of righteousness in the spirit. “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” Colossians 3:9-10
What is the narrow gate and what is the narrow path? The narrow gate is being born again, where everything needs to be left behind. As soon as you enter the narrow gate, the narrow path then begins. The teaching of Jesus Christ is the narrow path. Every teaching out there is a path that someone walked. A path is simply a teaching. What teaching do you follow?
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
Christ brought a teaching and this teaching is simple. Simply give up your life and follow Christ, His Teaching. You can’t have both this world and God. This world is passing and those who want it, desire it, and seek it, will reap eternal death. There will be no favoritism or exception! But those who seek Heaven and give their life to God, will receive the gift of eternal Life. It’s simply a question of what you Truly want. To follow Christ, you need to start completely over and leave everything behind, your understanding, your past, your feelings, etc. You can’t patch your old self!
We should open up our needs towards each other, that is how we will know which gifts we actually need. If you don’t know what the Needs are, you don’t know what to serve with or what is needed. God reveals what our needs are and lays on our hearts what the other person needs. This is Love. Love helps those in need.
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same on to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God: if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever ad ever. Amen.” 1 Peter (4:10-11)
It all starts with Love, which always manifests itself in Serving one another to fill each others needs. Why did God send His Son to this earth? Because people had a Need. People were in death and Needed to be Saved and brought to Life. It is God’s nature to help.
“That we should no longer be children…. but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ” Ephesians 4:14-15
As children of God, how can we grow to no longer be children, but to be affirmed?
If we look at little children, most of the time they learn through acting on their own curiosity. But the key is, they must act, not simply study or read about whatever it is that intrigues them.
Same for us as God’s children. If we want to grow in Christ, we must simply live and ACT on the teaching of Christ and the desires of our hearts – that the Spirit of God produces withing us – so that we can learn and grow through experience. So that our knowledge becomes understanding. Because if we study the scripture and learn the teaching, but do not live it – we will have no benefit and no growth from it.
When Christ came here, He was perfect because He was the Son of God, but yet He completed His mission and did not relent until it was completely Finished. His last words on the Cross were, “It is Finished.” This perfection needed to be completed, to be perfected. The perfection is in the Cross, in the Lamb of God, all other sacrifices are not perfect. This is the basis of our faith. It is perfect and nothing needs to be added to it. The words that we have heard about being crucified and resurrected on the cross – is a perfect message for any one of us to be perfected all the way to the end. Those who are holy should be sanctified. Those who are perfect need to be perfected and grow in this perfection. We all have received a perfect faith, a faith that works, but we must complete it until the end, so that this faith is visible in our actions, in power, and boldness. We have been called to be perfect!
Fear, despair, and anxiety are all related. This is the way our soul reacts to when we have no assurance or faith. When you are walking on shaky ground, how does your body react? The whole body shakes and eventually falls. Is something wrong with that body? No, something is actually wrong with the ground, the foundation. Christ came to free people from the condition of fear and anxiety. God Himself is a steady foundation, not a shaky one. This Word dwells within the person and gives the person assurance that you are in Life and no matter what happens, you are in God’s hands.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” – Philippians 4:6
Everyone has experienced anxiety, everyone has experienced fear. Today, these things are considered normal – even among Christians. But the Bible clearly tells us – the Spirit of God has no fear or anxiety. If we are of God and this same Spirit is in us, then we should also have no anxiety. Because the Spirit of God Himself comforts our souls from within our conscience, and therefore any worry will have no root within us but will be cast out. But it is important to truly be found in Him, and not be deceived by repetition of the correct words that never really give freedom from this state of constant fear and anxiety.
“For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God was was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.” (1 Corinthians 15:9-11)
Paul first describes who he was and says that he is not worthy to be called an apostle because he persecuted the church of God. Paul then says he is who he is now (an apostle) by the grace of God. This can also be applied to us, that we are who we are today because of His grace. In order for us to understand what grace is, we needed to experience the law and guilt. Let our past be the past, so that we can live for the future, as new creatures in Christ, full of grace. Grace is power, it is Truth, it is light, and it is hated, because it does not “tickle” people’s ears!
There are only two spirits that exist. The spirit of this world – that is the fleshly, earthly spirit that is from Satan. And the Spirit of God – holiness, righteousness and joy in the Kingdom of Heaven. Today, each person is occupied by one spirit or the other. A person that is occupied with the worldly attractions, building a life here on earth and looking for joy in it, is fleshly and does not have the Spirit of God within. But a person who seeks the Heavenly and looks for joy in the Word of God, looking ONLY to please God, such a person is spiritual and everything in his life is also spiritual.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Romans 8:5