Daily email Number 364 – from the Vicar

Good morning, it’s Thursday, and just a couple of verses today, Matthew Chapter 7 verses 13-14.
I learnt a new phrase when I was up at Keswick attending one of the seminar streams, that the Gospel is ‘inclusively exclusive’, by which the speaker meant that anyone can be saved, but there is only one way of salvation, through believing and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ.The example of “anyone can be saved” that the speaker was talking about as he was expounding the story of Elisha in 2 Kings was Naaman, the pagan high-up Syrian soldier who had leprosy.  But there are examples throughout the Bible, for example, the many times married woman whom Jesus met at the well or the thief on the cross in the gospels, or from last Sunday’s Bible reading in Acts, the fortune-telling slave girl and the jailer and his family in Philippi.  And of course throughout the history of the church that has carried on, anyone can be saved, from rich slave-traders to hard men in prison, to ordinary people in countries where Christianity is very much the minority like China or Iran.
BUT, the ONLY way that someone can be saved whether it is Naaman, or the woman at the well, or the Philippian jailer, is through Jesus Christ, and faith in Him.  The speaker at Keswick quoted the famous verse where Jesus says, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me’ and also these verses in the SotM that we have to enter through the narrow gate.
And these verses today remind us therefore that although the invitation of the Gospel/the love of God in Christ is open to everyone, it is hard to accept and to enter into God’s kingdom because the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to life.  This is because we have to accept God’s way of salvation and life and not our own, which is described as the wide gate and the broad way, where people can do what they like and make up their own rules.
And so we shouldn’t be surprised that although the love of God and the gift of salvation is so generous and so costly to the Lord Jesus Christ, many people fail to respond and choose to go their own way.  Jesus has warned us ahead of time that this will sadly be the case.
These are challenging verses, and there are more coming up tomorrow!

In our prayers today, let us remember,Lynn and Paul, and family,Jason & Corette, Pieter and Zarah.

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