“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:13-15 NIV).
The narrow gate bears rejection by ordinary people. Acceptance gives comfort, with the assumption that one is safe, as long as accepted by the majority. The above Scripture denotes rejection, as opposed to the popularity displayed as a form of acceptance. Truth is not found in commonly accepted standards of this world.
Before exploring deeper understanding, we have to know the significance of building God’s Church. From that angle, one can be guided to the truth, without other people’s opinions. This describes the reasons for building the Church, whose foundation is indestructible.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-20 NIV).
As revealing the issuance of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the above Scripture cannot be taken lightly. It reveals the real purpose of Jesus in this world. In it lies the secret that the majority, reading through it, cannot understand anything from it.
The fundamental principle is that flesh and blood cannot reveal the truth that was revealed to Peter. Human beings cannot contribute to God’s revelations. Of course, God can use humans, at His will, but it is God, who provides the revelation. How God reveals the revelation, does not involve humanity, including Jesus. Therefore, the composition of God’s Church is mysterious.
Jesus insinuated that He had not contributed anything to Peter’s understanding. Jesus had been Peter’s focal point, for understanding, but Peter’s understanding came directly from the Father. Peter’s understanding was revealed by God, the Father of those for whom the Church would be built. That Church is spiritually composed, and not sustained by physical material.
The context implies that God’s Church cannot be visible to ordinary humans. That Church can only be visible to those included to be of that Church, but not visible to ordinarily excluded humanity. Hence, Jesus strictly instructed His disciples not to tell anyone about the unveiled mystery (Matthew 16:20).
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:15-20 NIV).
In the above Scripture, Jesus denotes the quality of the composition of the Church that He had promised to build. Those called would be helped by an advocate, understood only in the spiritual realm. This would be the Spirit of truth who would be with them forever. Jesus’ assurance that they would not be left as orphans, implies Spiritual protection, not physical protection.
The description of those people cannot be associated with those who the world readily recognizes. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17). These are the people who would be very uncommon to Orthodox Christianity.
Heresy in Christianity denotes the formal denial or doubt of a core doctrine of the Christian faith as defined by one or more of the Christian churches. In Western Christianity, heresy most commonly refers to those beliefs which were declared to be anathema by any of the ecumenical councils recognized by the Catholic Church. Heresy in Christianity – Wikipedia Heresy in Christianity – Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heresy_in_Christianity
The important key lies in the phrase: as defined by one or more of the Christian churches. The term “heresy” was, therefore, not prescribed by Jesus, but recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. In reality, heresy suggests believing what has not been broadly adopted in Orthodox Christianity. The core doctrines include the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection; Christ’s atoning work on the cross, and salvation by grace through faith.
These doctrines comprise the essence of Christianity, as a religion, being what fascinates ordinary humanity. But, certainly, not carrying any significance to those, of the Church whose foundation was established by Jesus. But, by whose authority were the described core doctrines established? When going through the entire Books of the gospel, there is no mention of these doctrines being described as more important than others. Nothing is fascinating about the deity of Jesus, whose appearance was not for religious purposes.