Stop trying to be good!

I love the passage in the Bible concerning the rich young ruler. Matthew 19:16-30

The young man had a desire for eternal life. He went to the right person, Jesus who was the way to eternal life.

He addressed him as teacher. He was specific with his question. Basically, he wanted to know what good thing he most do to get eternal life.

Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments”

Then the young man wanted to know which ones. Jesus names off about six of them.

Why didn’t he name all ten?

What did it matter? Could anyone obey them?

Jesus was creating awareness here. It should have awakened a sense of need for God’s mercy, grace and redemption in this person.

The law is great as it helps us understand the fact that we can’t be ‘good,’ enough. It’s not possible.

My challenge to those reading this, would be to name anyone in the Old or New Testament that ever obeyed all of the commandments?

Besides Jesus, there is none. That’s the point isn’t it?

We cannot receive eternal life through being good. The commandments show us that truth. Without God it is impossible.

Romans 3:10, 12 “As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.

It is a worthless attempt to be good on our own merit. It is impossible.

Impossible means unable to occur or exist.

There is no possibility we can get eternal life through doing good, or just obeying the commands.

The rich young ruler could not kept all the commandments. We cannot keep all the commandments. Again it’s not possible.

If he or we, were capable of keeping the commandments, capable of being righteous, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross.

The rich young ruler told Jesus that he obeyed all the commandments, but still he was missing something.

His next question was, “What do I lack?”

Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, then go, sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.”

Want to be good? Obey all the commandments.

Want to be perfect? Sell your possessions

Want to have treasure in heaven? Sell your possessions and give to the poor.

Want eternal life? Follow Christ

The young man went away sad, because he had great wealth.

That wealth was his weakness. He was not willing to put Christ above his possessions. He left sad. He missed the truth.

Jesus made this statement to the disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

I can’t help but wonder, what would have happened, if the rich, young ruler laid it all down to follow Jesus?

I didn’t have to wonder long because the disciples ask a good question, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus answered “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

God can enlarge the eye of the needle! Open wide the gate! And he did! On the cross!

Ephesians 2:8-11 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

There is such joy in following Jesus!

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