“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

5.0 The Strait and Narrow Path

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” – Matthew 7:13

This section is written for new believers in Christ who have been born again in accordance with Scripture. You may be wondering, great, what do I do now? I don’t feel any different! What do I do next? How do I live as a true Christian? Looking back, I didn’t do the basic things that any/all Christians should be doing. I didn’t know any better; perhaps others tried to tell me, and I just didn’t listen or hear them, but regardless, I have learned from my experience and now I hope to help you. I want to help you learn from what I learned and hopefully avoid the mistakes I made.

Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you accept Christ (“get saved”) and then that’s all there is to it, that you can simply continue to live your life just like you always have. Christianity is a way of life until death, not something that is done and over with in an instant. It means to truly dedicate your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to pick up the cross each and every day of your life and follow Him, no matter what. It means seeking the will of God through Christ, to deny oneself for Him, to learn and obey His teachings, to grow and abound in His grace and knowledge each day, and to persevere in faith unto death.

I wrote this section of the book because after I was born again, I traveled way off the narrow road to Christ in the years thereafter, and I never really knew why (I figured that out later). Yes, I was a believer in Christ, but I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t get any warm fuzzy feeling-all-over when I confessed Christ. I didn’t see a vision, or bright lights, or angels, or speak in tongues (which isn’t biblical today anyway), or see heaven, etc. I didn’t really feel anything. It was just a conscious decision to accept Jesus.

In fact, no one ever sat me down and helped me understand the basics of being a Christian, or the next steps going forward, or anything. I was a baby Christian; but I still didn’t know anything or how I should live now. I therefore continued to live life pretty much as I always had before I accepted Christ, and my life therefore continued to be a pretty big mess (see my testimony). In fact, it actually got much worse after I accepted Christ. That’s not His fault, it’s mine. It is a very dangerous world and it is a long and dangerous journey that the Christian travels, with many traps, snares, pits, worldly temptations still present, false teachings, false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing and other fatal lures which can trip you up. We are told:

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16

We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Little children, guard yourselves from idols. – 1 John 5:19-21

Matthew Henry’s comments on and reinforces the inspired apostle’s admonition to keep ourselves spotless and pure, undefiled by the idols of this world, lest you find yourself standing before God once again naked and ashamed/disgraced on the great Day of Judgment: [1]

The apostle’s concluding monition: “Little children” (dear children, as it has been interpreted), “keep yourselves from idols,” 1Jn 5:21. Since you know the true God, and are in him, let your light and love guard you against all that is advanced in opposition to him, or competition with him. Flee from the false gods of the heathen world [i.e., idol worship, false religions, fame, power, wealth, money, lust, etc.]

They are not comparable to the God whose you are and whom you serve. Adore not your God by statues and images, which share in his worship. Your God is an incomprehensible Spirit and is disgraced by such sordid representations. Hold no communion with your heathen neighbors in their idolatrous worship. Your God is jealous, and would have you come out, and be separated from among them; mortify the flesh, and be crucified to the world, that they may not usurp the throne of dominion in the heart, which is due only to God.

The God whom you have known is he who made you, who redeemed you by his Son, who has sent his gospel to you, who has pardoned your sins, begotten you unto himself by his Spirit, and given you eternal life. Cleave to him in faith, and love, and constant obedience, in opposition to all things that would alienate your mind and heart from God. To this living and true God be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The steps I outline herein aren’t necessarily given in chronological order, although I’ve tried to arrange them in the sequence I think works best. Some of the steps are quite simple (changing your radio habits), while others can be unbelievably difficult (e.g., finding a church, changing your worldly habits) – at least they were hard for me. And while the prior sections of this book laid out doctrine as given in Scripture, this section is much more subjective. It contains my opinions on some things, in effect, I’m describing and showing you what has worked best for me as a Christian. But know that what worked best for me may not work best for you. So, take this part of the book as friendly advice rather than doctrine.

Above all, remember to continually ask God for wisdom as you now live in and for Him and walk with Christ. He will guide you; He will never leave or forsake you. Ask and you shall receive.

NEXT STEPS:

  1. 1. Choosing a Bible
  2. 2. Reading & Studying the Bible
  3. 3. Start Memorizing Verses
  4. 4. Finding a Church
  5. 5. Utilizing Technology (Apps, etc.)
  6. 6. Changing Your Worldly Habits
  7. 7. Changing Your Entertainment Habits
  8. 8. Attending a New Believer/Believer 101 Starter Class
  9. 9. Finding Your First Bible Study
  10. 10. Being a Berean
  11. 11. Essential First 30-Days Activities

[1] Henry, Matthew. Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, London. 1706-1710/1721.

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“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” – John 8:32

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