And He said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but one, that is, GOD: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments. He saith unto Him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. (Mat 19:17-21)
In this conversation with the rich young ruler, Jesus confronts the man with two problems that he has. One, his pride; in his riches and in himself. Jesus redirected his thinking about who alone is 'good', not from our point of view, but the perfection that GOD requires. Second, his faith in what he possessed and what he could do. Because he had an unhealthy and unscriptural view of Salvation, and himself, he trusted that he could either buy or earn his way into eternal life. Neither is true, for only by grace through faith can we receive the free gift of eternal life from GOD.
Two other points I want us to consider. One, even if this young man had kept all those commandments, he still wasn't perfect, which is required. Second, when he could not depart from his riches, because he trusted them more than GOD, Jesus didn't chase him down and alter the requirements for the money that could be added to the treasury. It is important that we understand the perfection that GOD requires, that we can only achieve in Christ, and not of any of our own works. It is also important that the Church not look to the riches of unbelievers and alter the Gospel, just so they will join our congregations.
Jesus, the Son of GOD who is GOD the Son, GOD in the flesh, understood both the heart and faith of this seeker, who trusted his riches, and what he could accomplish, more than he trusted GOD. His faith, which was not in GOD, but himself, was not saving faith, and therefore kept him out of the Kingdom. If we are trusting any other system, religion, church, or even ourselves to get and keep eternal life, which is the free gift of GOD, we are revealing a serious flaw in our understanding of Scripture, and we may not be the Christian we think we are. Only in Christ can we be made perfect, and fulfilled, through our faith in who He is and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary, having received forgiveness of our sins and justified, we now have peace with GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ.
That peace, and the Liberty that comes from Christ and Him alone, is not a license to sIn, for we still follow His moral and eternal Law, not because we have to, but because He makes it possible and we are complete in Him. We love GOD with all our ourselves, offered as a living sacrifice, and we love our neighbours as ourselves, as GOD loves them and shed His blood for them too.
We love GOD alone, for He alone is GOD, our Saviour and Lord. We don't worship or bow down to any other gods, idols, or graven images because GOD alone is worthy of our worship in Spirit and in Truth. We don't take His Name in vain, either as a curse, for it is Holy, or in misusing His Authority, for He is our Lord and King. We remember the Sabbath, remembering both His creation and His resurrection and resting in Him, with corporate worship together at least every seventh day.
We honour and respect our parents, in this world and in the faith, for the responsibility and sacrifice they have made. We, as people, do not take other people's lives, from the very young to the very old, for He is life, and we are made in His image. We honor the marriage vows, one man and one woman, for life, as GOD instituted marriage, and consecrated the union. We do not take what others have, for we trust GOD for our needs. We do not lie or gossip, for GOD is Truth, and hates lairs and talebearers. We do not desire that which others have, but trust GOD for all our wants, needs, and provision, for He is our GOD and will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus, whom we have trusted alone for Salvation.
If you are not secure in Christ, GOD desires for you to come to Him, not trusting yourself, but putting your faith in Him and Him alone. For GOD is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance and the knowledge of the Truth. Jesus loves you and wants to establish a covenant relationship with you that is real and personal. Surrender to Him on His terms and He will give you a brand new life of discipleship and fellowship with Him that is abundant and everlasting. GOD calls you to trust Him and what He has already done for you to pay your sIn debt. He has provided the only way of reconciliation with GOD with forgiveness and Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD who is GOD the Son, to give you a new life in Christ. Turn away from yourself and your sIn and turn to Him alone for eternal Life, now and always.