Tuesday, January 16, 2018

False Assurance

"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” (Matthew 19:21).

Yesterday we saw that some people think they are Christians and are certain that they will go to heaven, when in fact they are deluded. What kind of people are these? They are those who think that God will let them into heaven based on their own performance.

We can divide these people into two groups. Some have no idea of what God’s law demands. They simply think that they are Christians because they are nice, normal people as measured by modern society. Others do have some idea of what God requires, but they think that they measure up. For instance, I once met a man who knew the Bible fairly well (he thought), and he told me that he simply did not sin. In his own eyes, he was perfect.

In fact, however, this man was sadly deluded. Anyone who really understands what the Bible says about God’s requirements knows that he falls far, far, far short of them. Nobody who really understands God’s law can ever believe in salvation by his own good works. Remember the story of the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16–22)? The man came to Jesus and asked how to be saved. Jesus replied that to be saved a man must keep God’s law.

The young man professed he had kept the law. Was there anything else he should do? Jesus then told him to sell all his possessions. Was this some new, extra requirement that Jesus was giving this man? Was this to become a normative standard for all who would seek salvation? No indeed. The man had professed to keep all the law, so Jesus tested him in terms of the very first commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” Far from keeping all the law, as he had proudly announced, the rich young man failed at this first point of testing.

Christ’s perfect fulfillment of the law allows us to trust His righteousness, not our own. Put yourself in the role of the rich young ruler. Which one of the Ten Commandments might Jesus use to test you? Your failure even in the slightest degree indicates your need for a Savior.