“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” – Luke 18:18
Scripture: Luke 18:18-30
No one can possibly go forward in the gracious strength of the LORD until he has first learned to stand still in his own helplessness. The rich ruler did not know his own helplessness. He relied on his own “merits” rather than the merits of Christ. He assumed that his deeds would earn him eternal life. And when challenged and confronted with a choice, he chose his possessions rather than putting God first.
We must never forget that we can be right with God only by true faith in Jesus Christ. We must recognize that even though our conscience accuses us of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments and of never having kept any of them, and even though we are still inclined toward all evil. Nevertheless, without our deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to believers the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ, as if the believer had never sinned nor been a sinner, as if the believer had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for His sheep. The believer must simply accept this gift of God with a believing heart (cf Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 60).
Jesus knew that materialism and greed were preventing his questioner from truly seeking salvation. The rich ruler did not know his own sin and thus he did not know his need for a Saviour. As the question of the life to come confronts you (as it does every day) how will you answer?
Suggestions for prayer
Confessing your great need can only be answered in Christ and the power of His washing blood. Praise God for His justifying grace.
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