Luke 13: 23 ¶ Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Mt 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
So many claim, a greasy grace, a sloppy agape, that Jesus loves us, no strings attached. That we cannot do anything to add to the finished work of Jesus on the cross, so why stress ourselves out with trying to do good works?
Yes, it is true:
Eph 2: 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
In one of his sermons, A.C. Dixon told of an incident that took place in Brooklyn, N.Y. A detective who had been looking for a local citizen finally tracked him down in a drugstore. As the man began to make his purchase, the officer laid his hand on the citizen’s shoulder and said, “You’re under arrest; come with me!”
Stunned, the man demanded, “What did I do?”
The detective calmly replied, “You know what you did. You escaped from the Albany penitentiary several years ago. You went west, got married, and then came back here to live. We’ve been watching for you since you returned.”
Quietly the man admitted, “That’s true, but I was sure you’d never find me. Before you take me in, could we stop by my house so I can talk to my family?”
The officer agreed. When they got to his home, the man looked at his wife and asked, “Haven’t I been a kind husband and a good father? Haven’t I worked hard to make a living?”
His wife answered, “Of course you have, but why are you asking me these questions?” Her husband then proceeded to explain what had happened and that he was now under arrest. He apparently had hoped that his record as an exemplary husband and father would impress the officer. Even so, he was still an escaped criminal. Though he was “right” with his family, he was all wrong with the state of New York.
Truly, it is by faith that we are saved, not by works. It is a finished work that Jesus performed upon the cross, that we cannot earn or deserve. Salvation is a free gift, that can only be believed, received, and accepted, by faith. Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead, and He ever lives to bear witness of that fact: yet, read the next verse:
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
Our faith will produce good works! He Himself, Jesus, the risen God the Son, will prepare these works, for us to walk in them, if we are striving to serve Him.
God has a work for each of us to do, and I am endeavouring to grow in my gift, my calling, and the wonderful works He allows me to do.
The mighty apostle Paul, who wrote this verse, began his life as the chief of apostles, and yet, as the Lord dealt with him, over his life, he realized that although salvation is a free gift, walking it out, takes everything, as God deals with us throughout our life.
2Ti 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
Notice, who does the purging here: the man!
God expects us to receive His grace, and He will judge us, on what we do with what He gives us:
Re 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
There is a work of salvation to be worked out, in each of our lives. I cannot do it for you, you cannot do it for me.
Father God, anywhere I have strayed from the straight and narrow way, please correct me, and bring me back on track, now! I ask you for grace to perform the good works you have for me to walk in today, in your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’