My sermon notes for Sunday morning, April 25th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Sunday at 10:45 on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/ We also provide the services through YouTube on our website by Sunday afternoon at www.fbcap.net
- He is teaching to the multitudes, religious leaders, and His followers.
- As the sermon winds down, we see Jesus laying out a choice.
- Believe or Not. Follow Him or not.
- All of redemptive history points to THIS. The OLD is fulfilled in the NEW. Forsake our way and believe in Christ.
- The religious leaders had added so much to the LAW that it was now THEIR WAY of salvation. JESUS IS SAYING IT IS MY WAY!
- The WORDS OF OUR LORD always demand a response.
- Will we hear, believe, trust in, and follow after?
- No middle ground. We either do or do not.
- The way of life is always on God’s terms. (John MacArthur)
 “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. (ESV)
THE GATE AND WAY
- ENTER is the decision to go through the gate.
- Requires action.
- Not just admiration or acknowledgement, but also action.
- One does not just stumble into it.
A Gate is an entrance to something.
- Think of it as a decision. Deciding how we are going to live our life.
- Who is going to have CONTROL over my life. Who is my master.
- Only 2 gates. Following Christ. NOT FOLLOWING CHRIST.
- GOD SAYS – John 14:6 – I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and the LIFE
- SATAN SAYS – God did not really say that. WHAT GOD MEANT.
- JESUS IS LORD or YOU ARE MAKING YOURSELF LORD. (Satan’s plan)
- Each gate leads to a path. LIFE’S JOURNEY
- The gate indicates the life. The life will leave indicates the destination.
THE WAY OF LIFE
- Those who find it are few
- We spend way too much time worrying about what the world would think if we truly lived for Christ.
- Individual decision to enter. Only one at a time.
- No belongings… empty handed
- Broken and in denial of self. Casting my sin at His feet.
- The narrowness of God’s righteousness.
- We could not, but CHRIST DID
- Enter/Find (not obvious, unique, different)
- We would never choose the narrow gate on our own. THE JOY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGING US TO CONVICTION THROUGH THE GOSPEL!
- The wonder of election and free will.
- Eph 1:3-14 & Eph. 2:8-9 & Baptist Faith and Message
- God is all knowing and wise, all loving, and all powerful.
- I tend to focus more on God’s sovereignty, because most people lend to much toward free will, therefore causing one to have a lower view of God.
- (read statement from JW)
- We do not need to reconcile friends (Spurgeon)
- Our will is as free as God allows it, yet we come to Christ!
- Difficult. NOT EASY. We want the easy, quick fix.
- Getting out of debt, Getting in shape
- Is not easy… Determination, Diligence.
- Getting out of debt, Getting in shape
- Prepare for and expect persecution and suffering.
- Matt. 5:3&6 – Poor in Spirit… Persecuted for righteousness’ sake… for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The Bookend of the beatitudes.
- Fearing God more than we fear man!
THE WAY OF DEATH
- Popular. New and Open minded
- Plenty of room for all the stuff. No restrictions.
- Morally, Intellectually.
- Tolerant of ALL. No Absolutes
- Many will enter
- No denial of self
- I am not the problem… everyone else is
- You be you! Have it your way!
- AC/DC (80’s babies)
The world says, “Love yourself.”
Jesus says, “Deny yourself.”
The world says, “Serve yourself.”
Jesus says, “Serve others.”
The world says, “Forgive yourself.”
Jesus says, “Forgive others.”
The world is diametrically opposed to the agenda of Jesus Christ.
Both point to the same place (A GREAT LIFE), But only one TRULY gets us there.
Our eternal life is being played out now.
Life in Christ
- Eph 1:3; 11-14 – Spiritual blessings. In Christ.
- Now and for all eternity
Death apart from Christ
- Apart from Christ. NOY WALKING THE SAME PATH OF/WITH CHRIST
- Now and for all eternity
ENTER BY THE NARROW GATE
Believe on, Come to, Trust in, Follow After, Live for
TAKE UP CROSS AND FOLLOW ME
Luke 9:23–26 –  And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (ESV)
Ephesians 1:3–14 –  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love  he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,  so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)
Ephesians 2:8–10 –  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)
Baptist Faith and Message 2000 – Section 5 – God’s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.