A writing discourse from my personal Bible Study giving me the assurance of salvation
I found Luke 18:18-30 to share as a Scripture reading in conjunction with The Christian Writing Contest for September which is hosted by ruwth on WdC’s 18th birthday celebration.
This passage of Scripture tells the story of a rich young ruler who had the advantage of knowing Jesus up close and personal. In a nutshell, let me summarize the intriguing conversation that took place between this young man and Jesus.
“Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” is a question this certain rich young ruler asked Jesus, which is a relevant question we can ask ourselves today, as well.
He was rich. He was young. He was a ruler. On top of that, he asserted that he followed the Ten Commandments religiously. It can be concluded that he believed he was perfect in the sight of humanity and in the sight of God.
But, wait a minute. How did Jesus answer him?
“Why call me good? No one is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother.”
“All these have I kept from my youth up,” he responded.
“You’re lacking one thing, young man,” Jesus seems to be saying. “Sell everything you have and distribute to the poor. It’s the way to have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me.”
How did the ruler react to what Jesus said? He was very sad because he did not want to part with his riches. When Jesus saw the man’s sad face, he said, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God. For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” With that said, we can surmise that he did not want to follow Jesus either. After all, he was a ruler: respected, honored and adored by his subjects, and presumably, the world around him.
Interestingly enough, people milling around, who heard the conversation, where asking each other, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus answered, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Peter, who was one of the twelve disciples, said, “We left behind everything and followed you.”
Addressing the crowd, Jesus said to them, “There is nobody who have left house, parents, brothers, wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
What comfort and consolation for Jesus’ followers to know that their treasure in heaven awaits them when they wholeheartedly and willingly obey and follow Jesus’ example of how to live a spiritual fruitful life by giving.
This maybe the message the Hebrew people and the Gentiles around them during those times can understand because after Jesus death and resurrection, the message of salvation drastically changed. While following the commandments and giving to the poor was the mantra they were taught - to have a place in heaven, Apostle Paul provided a nuance that was difficult for them to accept. “For by grace are we saved through faith; not of ourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” He admonished the Ephesians in Chapter 2 verses 8 and 9.
I would say this message destroyed the rich, young rulers’ belief, comfort and assurance completely, as well as those who relied on their good deeds to reach the gate of heaven someday.
It’s worthy to note that in all of Apostle Paul’s epistles, his message of salvation seemed contradictory to what the Twelve Apostles preached. In fact, because of their disagreements, they argued and fought and drove Apostle Paul out of synagogues and places where he preached. He was persecuted and eventually jailed for his defiance in adhering to the Great Commission that the Twelve Apostles disseminated around the countryside and to the regions beyond.
Because of these seeming contradictions, it is worthy to spend time in studying the Bible dispensationally. In II Timothy 2:15, Apostle Paul charged Timothy to “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, right dividing the word of truth.”
Today, our mantra is from Apostle Paul, as revealed to him by a resurrected and ascended Christ on his way to Damascus. We can find this passage of Scripture in the Book of Acts, Chapter 9 Verses 3-30.
The dispensation of the grace of God was revealed to Apostle Paul. There is no contradiction. A new method of dispensing the way of salvation was launched because of the hardened heart and stiff neck disobedience of pious Jews and proselyting Gentiles alike.
I hope this discourse finds its way in someone’s heart who is thirsty for the knowledge of the Word of God and be saved “by grace through faith plus nothing.”