The Strait Gate ...
A Sermon on Matthew 7:13-14
The Narrow and Wide Gates
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. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there …
13¶ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be …
Did Jesus shape the gospel to fit humanity, or did He shape humanity to fit His gospel? In this sermon on Matthew 7:13–14 titled “The Strait Gate…” that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preached to an American audience in 1969, he addressed the great charge often brought against Christians for being narrow. He preaches of the importance of guarding against becoming too “wide.” The church has been so anxious to please modern humanity that the gospel message has been lost. Dr. Lloyd-Jones declares that Christians must boldly stand their ground as being narrow Christians. Christ delighted and exalted in this idea of being narrow. Why did Christ choose to call His way of living “narrow”? The Bible deliberately specializes in one subject—the human soul. The gospel is intensely personal. The world resents narrowness, but it is this very narrowness that would lead to paradise. Salvation is “narrow” through the death of one man. No one can meet God without the cross of Christ. Turn to Him and He will receive His people unto Himself. Straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life.
- The gospel narrows itself down to one subject: the soul of men and its relationship to God.
- The Bible is not an encyclopedia. It is a specialist book focused on the soul and God.
- Jesus always kept to this one theme in his teaching. He used his knowledge to illustrate this theme.
- Jesus was always interested in the individual soul, not just the soul as an abstract concept.
- The story of the Samaritan woman shows how Jesus brought things to the personal level.
- We will be judged based on our individual relationship with God, not our opinions.
- The gospel dictates how we should live through the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount.
- If everyone lived according to the gospel, the world would be paradise. The gospel's "narrowness" leads to righteousness.
- The gospel calls us to aim for the highest circles of achievement and morality. The higher you go, the fewer people you find.
- Salvation is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. This is the narrowest point of the gospel.
- The story of Jesus illustrates the message of the "straight gate" and the "narrow way." His incarnation, ministry, death, and resurrection show this.
- We are all on one of two ways: the broad way that leads to destruction, or the narrow way that leads to life.
- We must examine ourselves and determine which way we are on. We must enter the straight gate through repentance and faith in Christ.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.