“FRESH & NEW – TRUTH”
There are many detractors of the Bible and they state their opposition to its message from a variety of perspectives. One area of opposition, and you may have encountered this, is the complaint that the Bible is out of touch with our modern world. As students and witnesses of God’s grace to humanity we need to learn how to describe the principles within the text of God’s word. I think the most profound example of teaching clear principles comes to us through the parables, both Old and New Testament.
Matthew 7:13-14 What’s so important about a gate?
Did you know that these two verses constitute a parable? Many Biblical scholars consider these two verses the “parable of the two gates”. I am bringing them to our consideration here this morning in keeping with the recent studies we have employed:
1. Daniel – surrounded by a foreign, hostile culture.
2. Paul – employed in ministry and constantly dealing with conflict.
3. Moses – doing a good thing but able to turn aside and receive the call of God.
4. Jesus appeal to the multitude – when you hear the call you must make a choice.
So what is the context of this parable? 1st rule of dedicated Bible study = context. This parable introduces the conclusion of the famous Sermon on the Mount.
If you want to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God that Jesus is introducing then you have to understand what is the ethical framework that constitutes membership in this new Kingdom? ______________________________________________________________________________“the letter of the Law”. __________________________________________________________ “spirit of the law”_______________________________________________________________ “The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
When you study the Sermon on the Mount it is important to grasp how different God’s Kingdom is than the culture of those who heard Jesus that day and we who are living in the 21st Century. _____________________________________________________________________
It is this difference in how we live that brings us to this 2 verse parable. You have to choose a gate, a path, a different way of living to be in the Kingdom of God. The various examples that Jesus gave in the preceding chapters were so often represented by actions that required a new way of thought: Love you enemies, turn the other cheek, do not swear, when you act charitably do not sound the trumpet seeking attention. Let you yes mean yes and your no mean no. ___________________________________________________________________
God demands of us a “right ness” of our hearts.
There is a gate that is narrow and there is a gate that is broad (or wide). Both gates exist but we must choose which one we will enter. ________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________
Let’s think about context again in conclusion. We mentioned what came before these verses how about what follows: Warnings against false prophets; Verifying the quality of our fruit; Some will say Lord, Lord, but Jesus will not know them. The entire content gets sewn together with a very familiar parable in conclusion (vs. 24 -27) Where do you build your life?
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