Monday, October 24, 2011

The first commandment.

Exodus 20:3 (NKJV) 3 You shall have no other gods before Me.

The New Testament section of the Bible begins with four books that are known as the Gospels. These books reveal the ministry of Jesus as a man here on earth. This is a period of about 3 1/2 years leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. There are many things to be learned in the Gospels and in this post we will uncover one very valuable lesson.

The lesson is this: On our own we could never earn the position of righteousness. We needed a Savior.

The story we'll look at is about a rich young ruler, it is first mentioned in Matthew 19:16-22. This story is also told in Mark 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27. I think because it is repeated three times in the Gospels, we need to take a really close look.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 19:16-17, "Now behold, one came (the rich young ruler) and said to Him (Jesus), "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." Jesus made a point here of saying that no man is good.

The young man then asked, "which commandments?" (verse 18). Then Jesus began to list off a few of the 10 commandments that were the foundation of the old law covenant. The Bible then goes on to say in Matthew 19:20, "The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" Most of us have wrongfully believed that this young man did indeed keep these commandments. After all he said that he did. Jesus however could see much deeper than the surface.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 19:21, "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." He started to list the commandments like a check list, one by one. Exodus 20:3, "You shall have no other gods before Me." This was the first commandment and that alone was enough to cause this man to fail the test.This was as far down the list as Jesus got.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 19:22, "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions."  The young man's possessions separated him from God. This demonstrates the first point Jesus made back in verse 17, "No one is good but One, that is, God". Jesus made a point. No one could ever be perfect. The Bible says in Matthew 19:25-26, "When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Jesus paid a huge price for our sins so that we could talk to God face to face. No matter what sins we have committed in the past, present, or future, God wants our fellowship. The New Testament tells us in Romans 8:38-39, "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  This tells us that time, space, matter and even life itself can no longer separate us from God.

Thank God that we don't have to earn a place in heaven. It is a gift provided by the sacrifice of Jesus. Does this mean we just continue to sin? When we stay connected to God our desires just change for the better. He does the changing as long as we stay connected. We just sin less and less. Stay connected through prayer and studying His Word. He is REAL. He will speak to you and you will learn His voice.

Be Blessed!

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