Daily Reading: October 3

Read Matt 7:13–29
Mat 7:13-14 “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. (14) For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few… 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. (18) A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (20) Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (21) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (22) On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (23) And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.(Jn. 14:16) Jesus is the narrow gate which we enter through by faith in him. Obviously it is not good works which is the narrow way. The world is full of people of doing works which men declare as being good. But they are not good in God’s eyes. Paul reminds us, “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Rom. 14:23 and Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him,…” In order to bear good fruit you must be a good tree. Yet in our natural state we are not good nor do we do good. Rom. 3:9-19 But in Christ we have become new creations; we are made good trees.

When we look at verses 21-23 we note something that seems to elude those who say good actions make good people not right beliefs. What might that be? Look at what those good works people are saying. Lord did we not do this in your name. Lord did we not do that in your name. They did a lot of good works in the name of Jesus. Doing good works and even doing them in the name of Jesus does not get you right with God. Look what Jesus says, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” All there works were lawlessness, sin and rebellion because they did not proceed from faith in Jesus. They were depending on what they DID in Jesus’ name not in Jesus’ name or Jesus.

So you be on the straight and narrow path. That path is faith in Jesus. Only by trust in what Jesus has done for you will allow you to enter into eternal life. This faith is a gift given us by God. (Eph. 2) It is received when we hear the good news that God has forgiven us for Christ’ sake and has given us salvation as a gift. Then good works approved by God will certainly follow.

Lord Jesus Christ, on the day of your return may we be found trusting only in your name and not on our works to enter into the eternal dwellings you have prepared for us. Amen.

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