The Bible presents two ways in which salvation is a narrow path. First, there is a narrow gate leading onto the path, and then the path itself is narrow and difficult (Matthew 7:13–14). The narrow gate is Jesus Christ, because He is the only way to salvation; He is the way, the truth and life and no man comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). The narrow path is the life of a Christian, which is a way of difficulty because it is against the grain of our human nature and the wisdom of the world around us.
In what way is the path for salvation narrow? Why did God make salvation a narrow path?
It is sometimes hard for us to understand why God would make the way of salvation narrow. Doesn't He want all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4)? So, why make it so hard? The narrowness of the gate and the road is not a reflection of God's indifference towards His creation. Rather, it is simply a description of things as they are. The gate is narrow because there is only one God. This is just truth; to think that the only Savior could allow us to be saved through other means is absurdity. The road is narrow because we live in a fallen world and we live in fallen bodies. The flesh, Satan, and the world system the Devil has engineered are all set up to make obedience to God very hard for human beings. There is no hope at all without the Holy Spirit's help (Psalm 54:4; John 14:26). And even after we are saved, we still have to strive and fight against our flesh, exercising constant vigilance (Luke 13:24; Romans 7:14–25). We often stumble and fall (James 3:2). We walk by the Spirit to avoid gratifying the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16–25). If any Christian tells you that the Christian life should be easy, and full of prosperity and reward, be suspicious. It's true that we will inherit great reward in heaven (Psalm 16:6, 11; Ephesians 1:11, 14, 18; 1 Peter 1:4) and that we experience a fullness of life now (John 10:10). But the current road we walk is narrow, difficult, and beset with dangers (1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 7:14).
As a Christian is being sanctified, the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit intensifies. We are called to "crucify" our flesh (Galatians 2:20; 5:24; Romans 6:2) and no believer is exempt from this challenge. Just because we are justified in Christ does not mean that all is now smooth sailing, or that sin no longer looks attractive. Sin exists because we are living in a fallen world, and it is hard for us to resist sin because we too are fallen creatures. The fall was the result of Adam and Eve's disobedience (Genesis 3). God didn't make the path narrow—man did.
Thankfully, God has promised to help us, and to get us through to the end no matter what. As we trust in Him, we draw from His strength to help us in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). The apostle Paul said, "I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).
What is the narrow gate? How narrow is the narrow gate?
Is it true that Jesus is the only way to heaven?
What is meant by 'dying to self'? How are Christians supposed to die to self?
What does it mean to take up your cross and follow Jesus?
What is the significance of the command to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
Truth about Salvation