A Community of Grace · Clinton, SC

How to Have Eternal Life

Luke 18:18-30

So much of the world, and many within the church, believe that our standing before God is based in our works. We believe there is some list of things we can do to qualify for eternal life. However, we cannot keep the law in a manner that earns eternal life. Indeed, even our best deeds are tainted with sin before a holy God. This means that if we are to get eternal life – it has to be given to us. The account of the rich, young, ruler’s interaction with Jesus reminds us of this. We first get a taste of the Presumptuous, for as sincere as he may have been, he presumed that there was something he could do to inherit eternal life, and he presumed that he had kept the commandments Jesus listed out (to expose his sinfulness). Jesus crushes the man’s presumption by taking him to the first commandment. He calls for the man to sell all he has and give it to the poor. Jesus is not telling the man if he did this he could gain eternal life – he is exposing the man’s heart – showing him he had a god more dear to him than THE GOD. The man’s God was money.  Do we believe there is something we can do to gain eternal life or to merit God’s love? Do we believe that as long as we are better than most, or if we give to the poor, or fight our favorite political battle that all will be well with God? Do we have idols in our life that keep us from trusting in God alone for our salvation? This is the case of the rich! It is hard for them to enter because of their riches. And it is impossible for them, or anyone else to enter because of their sinfulness and their spiritual inability.  Thankfully, Jesus restores hope when he reminds the disciples that with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. God elects, calls, regenerates, redeems and grants the gift of faith.  He also promises great spiritual blessings to those who choose to give up their lives to follow after him.