Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God that he addresses the seat of our lives, our hearts, and requires from us not outward compliance, but heart love.
Confess the sin of halfhearted Christian living. Seek the Lord, that he would give you, and continue to give you, a wholehearted passion for him.
Please ask the Holy Spirit's help as you come to his Word.
Please read Luke 13:22-30
Who will be saved?
v22. It is a serious personal question.
Jesus is clearly on his way to Jerusalem and the Cross. As he makes his way through villages and towns, he continues to teach at every opportunity, and it is on one of these occasions that he is asked a question arising from his teaching. It regards who will be in the Kingdom of God for eternity. This is probably the reason why Luke inserts it here, that is, after the two parables about the size and power of the Kingdom.
The way the question is framed, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”, would lead you to think that the man was asking a general question about eternity. However, the nature of Jesus' response is specific. He addresses the question as though it were put to him in a personal way, i.e., 'Lord, how can I be sure I will be saved?' In a sense, the number is irrelevant; what matters is where the individual will be.
And that is so important when dealing with matters of religion, for too often they are addressed in the general sense, and not to the individual heart. Preaching can be exegetically correct, it can say what is in the passage, and it can be doctrinally sound, but unless it places its finger on the heart, then it is not preaching the way Jesus preached. Preaching must be the conveyance of biblical truth, but it must be more than that. It must be the conveyance of biblical truth that is applied to the seat of our lives, our hearts. For it is in the heart that we gain understanding, Acts 2:37. The heart is the seat of our reasoning ability, Luke 5:22. It is in the heart that our motives, intentions, desires are framed, Hebrews 4:12, Matthew 5:28. We tend to think that we take decisions in our mind, but God tells us that we make decisions in our heart, 2 Corinthians 9:7. Faith is established where? In the heart, Romans 10:8-10. Our hearts are at the epicenter of our lives. And unless your heart, and my heart, is addressed in the preaching of God's word, that preaching, for all the truth contained in it, will not fulfil its purpose before God and for our lives. Why is this so important? Because when God looks at us, he views not our outward appearance or performance, but what is in our hearts, 1 Samuel 16:7. That is what is significant to God. That is why he searches the heart, 1 Chronicles 28:9, and desires a heart that is broken and contrite before Him, Psalm 51:17-19. Jesus preached and taught to the heart; for the preacher or teacher today to do anything less than that, is to fail. To fail the hearer, but more importantly, to fail God; for that is why he has given His Word, that it would, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be used as a two-edged sword that will cut to the heart.
Jesus addresses this man's heart and the hearts of those listening when he challenges them to “strive” to enter through the narrow door. Strive means to exercise wholehearted action in the pursuit of that which is important. It is a word that is taken from ancient athletic contests, and the word from which we get the term 'agony' and 'to agonize'. This seeking to enter in through the narrow entrance to the Kingdom of God is not something we are to approach with carelessness, as and when it suits or we please. It is a matter of the utmost seriousness. One that takes resolved determination, concentration, and ongoing intentional effort, something we are to experience agony in doing. Note, of course, there is nothing in the suggestion of this that even hints at works righteousness. There is nothing a human being can do to merit their salvation, Romans 3:10-18, Isaiah 65:4; what Jesus is speaking of here is the working out of our salvation with fear and trembling.
Sorry, but I am going to have to leave it here this morning; I have a migraine coming on. It happens every so often and I am into the stage of blurred vision and struggling to read.
Sing with joy in our heart to the Lord.
Psalm 84B - Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed, from faith for faith,"
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 97 - What is required to receive rightly the Lord’s Supper?
Answer - It is required of those who would receive rightly the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves as to their knowledge of the meaning and object of this sacrament, their faith to feed upon Christ, and their repentance, love and new obedience; for coming in an unworthy manner would bring judgement on themselves.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God for the work of the Holy Spirit in regenerating our hears and renewing our minds. Give us a desire to strive after God and the way of all righteousness.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC