Matthew 19: 16, Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" NKJV
Do you believe that being a Christian is all about being good and doing good things? If that is your belief, then allow me to share some truths from God's Word that can empower you to live a victorious life in Christ. Although "good" has its merits with man, it is a stench in the nostrils of God. Remember when Adam fell into sin, he and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves. If this had been acceptable to God, then why did He sacrifice an animal and skin it to cover their nakedness?
In the New Testament, Jesus warned the disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were all about making a show before man, but were disobedient to God. They were more consumed with self-righteousness through the law than they were of being obedient to God through faith in His Son, Jesus. The man into today's scripture really believed that he had all the qualifications to inherit life because he believed in his heart that he was keeping the entire law of God.
However, when Jesus spoke the truth concerning his heart, he found out that all he was really doing was deceiving himself. Being good has nothing at all with being righteous in God's sight. Being good has nothing to do with being righteous as a disciple of Christ. Having a good heart doesn't make us a Christian, but it is the result of a life that has committed to being a Christian. Once this man talked with Jesus, this man discovered that his goodness wasn't so good.
Matthew 19: 18 - 22, Jesus said, "'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness, ''Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. NKJV
This ruler thought he was keeping the Law of God, but when he heard the truth out of Jesus' mouth, he learned that he had fallen short. He obeyed the law as long as it didn't cost him...thus revealing his heart's motive: he did it out of duty and not from a heart of faith and love.
If you will reread the commandments Jesus quoted to the rich ruler, you will see that Jesus commanded him to love his neighbor as himself; to this, the ruler replied that he had kept it from his youth. Nevertheless, when Jesus told him to take all that he had and sell it and give the proceeds to the poor, he walked away sorrowful. In one instance, the rich man said that he obeyed, but when it came down to him having to obey, he walked away disobedient. This man had a form of godliness, but he denied the power of Christ because his trust was in his riches and not in God.
If we are truly born again, we will love God more than anyone or anything, and we will demonstrate that faith and love by sacrificing whatever is required to obey His voice.
Words to Live By,