God makes salvation possible by his free undeserved grace, otherwise impossible to us

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Matthew 19:16-26
“Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
“Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””

This passage is about the question of how a person may “get eternal life,” in other words about how a person can be saved. 
By what means did the rich man wanted to get eternal life? The man wanted to get it by something good he himself had done. Jesus’ question to the man indicates that the man did not understand what good is because he wanted to do good apart from the “only One who is good” – God. 

What good thing did Jesus tell the man to do in order to enter life? 
Jesus told the man to keep the good commandments of God. And the reason they’re good is because God is good, and it is he who gave them to us. 

In Deuteronomy 5:6-21 God gave the Ten Commandments to his people, the Israelites. The first four teach us how to love God; the last six teach us how to love our neighbor. Which part of the commandments did Jesus tell the man to keep, those which pertain to God or those which pertain to our neighbor? 

Jesus told the man to keep the second half of the commandments, those concerned with loving our neighbor. Perhaps Jesus knew that the man thought well of himself in the area of love for neighbor. And the man’s response indicated just that: “all these I have kept,” he says. 

But notice the young man still asked, “what do I still lack?” Jesus set him up so the young man would feel his own lack of perfection and not think so well of his own goodness. So the young man felt like he isn’t doing enough or that he still needs to do some other “good thing...to get eternal life”. 

Jesus’ answer to the young man as to what he is still lacking is unexpected and shocking. He said to the young man these words: “if you want to be perfect.” Jesus brought the man to the issue of perfection because a Holy God expects and accepts only perfection in order for us “to enter life” with God. 

Remember, the young man said he kept the commandments which pertain to loving his neighbor. But what about his love for his God? The first four commandments pertain to us loving God. And the first commandment is “you shall have no other gods before me” or besides me. Jesus knew the young man loved something else in his heart more than his God. Therefore Jesus brought the young man to his existential crisis. He told the young man to sell all he has, give it to the poor and follow Jesus. 

The young man’s great wealth was his idol which he put before God or beside God. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 “You cannot serve both God and money.” It is not possible for a person to love God and money at the same time – you either depend on the one or on the other. This young man loved and depended on his great wealth, so he walked away from Jesus sad, without getting eternal life. 

Jesus basically told the man that if he would enter life, he must keep all of God’s commandments perfectly by starting to put God in his life first, loving him supremely, and depending on him alone. Simply put, in order for the young man to enter life everlasting with God, he must be perfect as God is perfect.

The question we must ask ourselves is this: What is the idol of my heart? Do I love something or someone more than God? It’s not only a love of great wealth that will make a person walk away sad from Jesus. It could be an ambition to gain great wealth. Or maybe it’s putting family, work, career, success, friends, toys, leisure, or anything or anyone else before God. Who is first in your life: God and his Word, or your self and your wants?

Picture in your mind a camel. And now picture a needle for sowing. And now picture someone trying to thread that camel through the eye of that needle. Ridiculous? Funny? According to Jesus, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Jesus said that if it was possible to do that, a camel would have a better chance of getting through the eye of a needle than for a rich man entering the kingdom of God. 
But is it possible for a human being in this world to be perfect, to keep all of God’s commandments perfectly? Why not?

Someone said that God won’t ask us to do what we cannot do. But the truth is that God only asks us what we cannot do: to love God with all of our hearts, minds, strength and will, and to love our neighbour as ourselves; to keep all of God’s commandments perfectly not only outwardly but inwardly; not only the letter but the spirit of the law must be kept perfectly all the time. Just as Jesus said that we must be “perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” after explaining that we must not only not murder but also not be angry with others, and we must not only not commit adultery but also not lust. Why does Jesus say such impossible things to us? So that we may become childlike, “for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” We must become childlike – helpless and dependent on God, for our salvation, and for everything else. 

So when the disciples heard that it’s impossible for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God, “they were greatly astonished” the Scripture says. But the same inability to come to God and be saved by him is understood of anyone who has an idol in their heart which takes the place of the true and living God. And who is without such an idol among all of us sinful humans, unless they have already come to Jesus for the free grace in their brokenness, humility, and faith? 
In their astonishment, the disciples asked, “who then can be saved?” 

“Jesus looked at them (perhaps to catch their undivided attention because what he was saying to them was of utmost importance) and said, ‘With man this (salvation) is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Even the most impossible has become possible, our own salvation. 

Since no one can save themselves by their “good,” though imperfect, deeds, salvation is and must be only by God’s “amazing grace” alone. He alone makes salvation, which is impossible to us, possible through the person and work of Jesus Christ, God’s Son who became a man to live the perfectly obedient life we ought to live, to die the death we deserve for our sins, and to rise from the dead so his perfect righteousness may be applied and credited to us by his Holy Spirit. 

Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."