...NARROW IS THE WAY THAT LEADS TO LIFE, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.....
THESE WORDS ARE FROM THE MOUTH OF JESUS CHRIST...YES IN MATTHEW 7:14.
NOW THAT IS QUITE THE STATEMENT AS OPPOSED TO ALL THAT TEACH SALVATION IS AS EASY AS EATING PIE.
In the context we also see that Jesus said, "...for wide is the gate that leads to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat."
Paul was inspired to say you are saved by grace not works [Eph. 2:8].
Jesus said that only few [at least now] are going to find the straight and narrow way.....only the few.
Hummmm, so how do we put it all together?
Well for starters logic would tells you that just ONE sin, makes you guilty, no matter how many "good" right ways you do and live by. The policeman/woman in handing you a speeding ticket just isn't interested in you tell them you've obey the speeding law a thousand times before. They are not there to hand you a ticket for "a good 1,000 times obeyed" the speeding law.
We do not have to go very far in the Gospel of Matthew for Jesus to amplify what he means, by what he's just said. Verses 21-27. Again kinda shocking for some who hardly ever hear this in church.
"Not EVERYONE that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven, but he that DOES the WILL of my Father which is in heaven" [v.21].
Jesus went on to talk about some who will be on the outside looking in, and will be shocked, and will say they did this and that in Jesus' name, even casting out demons and doing many "wonderful" works! Jesus goes on further to say he that hears and obeys, will be like a man building his house on a rock..... the rain and floods could not tear it down. BUT those that just hear and will not obey.....they are like the man building a house on the sand. And we sure know from the news what happens to a house build on sand - the rain and floods come and the house is washed away.
Even these verses by Jesus make it sound that "works" plays a part in salvation; even sounding like the most important part. The answer is YES and NO!
To understand it all, you have to read the whole New Testament.
You are going to find verses about serving God. Obeying God. Verses about keeping God's commandments, doing his will. And you will find verses that you cannot "earn" salvation; cannot amass more good works than bad work to be in God's Kingdom; you are indeed saved by grace.
THE FULL ANSWER IS FOUND IN MY STUDY CALLED "SAVED BY GRACE" ON THIS WEBSITE.
Putting it in a nut shell here for you, what Jesus is clearly teaching is you cannot turn "grace" - "mercy" into a free passage to sin, to live how you like, when you like.
It's an attitude of mind God is looking for in you. To be given grace or mercy [forgiveness], the Eternal is looking to see your heart - is your mind willing to look at what God teaches and instructs, the way he wants you to conduct your overall life. He's looking for that mind-set that is humble and obedient, that says, "Lord I'm a sinner, I'm flesh and blood, I mess up at times, please forgive me; I really do want to live the way you have given for us Christians to live."
So your mind, your mental attitude, is a willingness to listen to God the Father and Jesus Christ, hear what they say, what they teach. Of course this is done by reading the Bible, ALL of it, to understand the will of God.
Jesus did say his disciples are to live by every word of God. Now you may have many question as HOW to do all that. Hence my two part study was written to help you with some keys, that will in turn help you to live by God's words that come from him.
The study is called "LIVING BY EVERY WORD OF GOD - HOW?"
AND remember the other very important study "SAVED BY GRACE."