By Robert Serreyn
Question? Could you help me understand Matthew 19:16- 21, was he suggesting works for salvation?
(Matthew 19:16-21) And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (17) 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. (18) 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, (19) Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (20) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? (21) 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.
NO!!!, Christ WAS NOT advocating works for salvation, if you read verses 22- 24, V23 the young man went away sorrowful BECAUSE he had GREAT POSSESSIONS.
Christ explained that it is V24 easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle and V23 harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God(heaven). BECAUSE OF V23.
Christ KNEW that the young man’s god was his POSSESSIONS, and SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Analyzing the previous verses the young man came to Christ asking “WHAT GOOD THING SHALL I DO”? that I MAY HAVE eternal life?
the young man already had a FALSE BELIEF considering salvation, Just like today MANY believe it is Faith + Works which is a FALSE GOSPEL.
When the young man proposed the question WHAT HE COULD DO? Christ told him to KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS (to prove to him that he was not perfect) – Galatians 3:24, James 2:10.
To enter heaven YOU MUST BE as perfect(righteous) as God is to enter – In Romans 3:23 (the word glory means perfect or righteous). and that PERFECTION or RIGHTEOUSNESS can ONLY be obtained by TRUSTING Christ ALONE as your savior the complete payment for your sin. The moment that a person BELIEVES personally that Jesus Christ went to the cross and died and shed his blood to pay for their sins and rose from the dead, God then declares them PERFECT/RIGHTEOUS in his sight he no longer see your sin but ONLY the blood of Christ – 2 Corinthians 5:21.
When Christ told the young man to keep the commandments the young man said that he HAD KEPT ALL the commandments from the days of his youth and then with pride said to Christ “WHAT LACK I”, Christ being God in the flesh KNOWING this wasn’t true said “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”.
Christ Just simply made the young man make a choice (If thou wilt be perfect) between his possessions and wealth (go and sell that thou hast) or trusting Christ(COME) as his messiah(savior) and becoming one of his disciples(follow me).
A SERIOUS false teaching that has INFECTED most churches is the FALSE TEACHING of Lordship Salvation, their claim is if you have NO EVIDENCE or PROOF OF FRUIT in your life then that indicates that you WERE NOT SAVED according to them, that is a lie, You can be saved and HAVE NO WORKS or evidence/fruit to back that up – 1 Corinthians 3:15, but you CANNOT have works to prove that you are saved because salvation is not Faith + Works or Works + Faith, there are many such as Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics, Lutherans, Baptist ect. you would think that they are saved by their outward deeds, and character but if they believe a false gospel they are LOST, and the same was true for the young man, his god was his possessions and he prided himself in his self righteousness(works).
The MOST IMPORTANT thing to know IS Jesus Christ as savior, just simply believe that Jesus Christ went to the cross and DIED and shed his blood, was BURIED and three days later RESURRECTED from the dead to pay for your sins.
A. Christ DIED for you – Romans 5:8
B. Christ PAID your sins in Full – 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:24
C. BELIEVE(Trust In Completely) on Christ ALONE for salvation – John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8,9
“For the wages(payment) of sin is death(Eternal Torment In Hell & The Lake of Fire); But the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord”. Romans 6:23
IT IS THAT SIMPLE – THE GOSPEL TRUTH