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Mark 10:17-22Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.The law has no power to save, not because the law is bad, but because people are. Jesus taught specifically that adherence to the law could never save.Had the rich young man accepted Jesus' charge and followed Him to the cross with a complete adherence to the law then he would have been justified by following the law. But there are none righteous. Jesus knew it and the rich young man came to know it just as everyone needs to come to the same realisation.Could a person have followed the law to be saved? No. Not unless he were God Himself. Why? Because none are righteous. All have sinned. Why could Jesus do what man could not? Because with man it is impossible, but with God, it is possible.One must be careful reading passages from the gospels. Jesus was teaching a people whose salvation rested upon their adherence to the law, not that the law would ever save them, but that it was the means by which God required men show faith.Paul taught a different message. Paul taught that the law was powerless to save. Paul taught that men today obey God in a direct alignment with the means by which they are saved.People have only ever saved by faith in Jesus Christ. Before Paul's revelation faith was expressed by adherence to God's law. But now we can express our faith in fullness and truth through adherence to God Himself, Jesus Christ.
Dear Grant,Your comments above seem a bit confusing to me, and possibly will be to others. You state: "Jesus was teaching a people whose salvation rested upon their adherence to the law..."Actually the whole point of the NT is to help explain that you can see from Abraham in Genesis 12 onward very clearly that it has always been justification through faith. The administration through OT rituals, temple worship, etc. were ways of pointed to the coming Messiah. It was through faith in God's provision and promise that people were justified. They just did not see as clearly exactly how things would work out. The same for us today, though we look back and have a more complete understanding.Paul did teach a different message than the Judaisers and Pharisees. But Paul did not teach a different message than Jesus. He taught the same message. It was always the same message -- from Genesis on -- "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness." Justification by faith is from the opening pages of the Bible to its end. The problem with the Pharisees was that they had dumbed down the law to the point where they felt justified in their own eyes. Jesus used a way to expose the fact that the rich young ruler was a law breaker. He showed the rich young ruler that the whole law is summed up in "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and soul and strength" -- and so he broke the whole law. Paul: No one will be justified on account of observing the law; rather through the law we become conscious of sin. -- Romans 3:20James 2:10 says the same thing -- anyone who breaks one command is guilty of breaking the whole law.
Sorry. I don't mean to confuse.Jesus taught adherence to the law because God's rules were that people had to express their faith through adherence to the law.However, Jesus came to Paul and changed the rules.Paul taught that people were to express their faith in spirit and truth, that is in Jesus Christ.People have always been saved through Christ, but before Christ came there was no way for people to express faith in the fact of His sacrifice. They could however express faith in the hope of His coming. That is what the law did. It pointed to Christ. Now that Christ is risen the law is dead.I think we only disagree on whether Jesus taught adherence to the law. I say He did. The passage in Mark 10 clearly shows that Jesus taught adherence to the law:Rich Man:"Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"Jesus' answer:"...know the commandments..."
Dear Grant, you perhaps are not understanding Jesus operating as the Second Adam as our Covenant Head. (Romans 5, 1 Corinthians 15)You also in your post are not distinguishing between three types of laws -- civil, ceremonial, and moral. The moral law was never changed. God wants us to walk after Him in His holiness. The moral and ceremonial laws use for justification only was able to ever justify one man -- Jesus Christ because he was perfect. Everyone else is still under the curse if he relies on the law for justification. Paul is not writing this as some new teaching that does not apply to the past, but rather applying to all ages. We must take the New Testament writers under the Holy Spirit's inspiration as they portray themselves and their purposes, and be careful not to fit them into the mold of some philosophical construct. That is reading into the text our outside fallible human ideas instead of getting our ideas from the text itself, the immediate context, and the context of the entire Word of God.The ceremonial law was abrogated. The civil law was no longer applicable. Why did Jesus come to earth as a baby -- to fulfill all the laws in our behalf. As we are united to Christ under his covenant headship by faith (just as Abraham was, and as David was, etc. etc.) we are accredited with his actions and we are guaranteed to take part in his perfect human nature now resurrected and immortal. Just the way Adam effected humanity in the reverse by his sin.It is a very unclear thing to say Jesus "came to Paul and changed the rules." Maybe you are talking on a completely different wavelength from how I am understanding your comments, but again this may also be the case for other readers.Jesus always taught adherence to the moral law. (the spirit of the law). Jesus also taught a much clearer understanding of the purpose of the ceremonial laws. (What really makes a man unclean is not what goes into him... etc.) Jesus also taught an abrogation of the ceremonial laws, when the Temple --- Immanuel, God with Us, was come that fulfilled/replaced the man-made temple -- e.g. in John 4 (a time is coming and has now come when God's worshippers will neither worship on this mountain nor Jerusalem...)The entire New Testament teaches adherence to the moral law. But not for justification -- rather for holiness, since you have peace with God, since you are justified, go act like a child of the King. Jesus did teach to the rich young ruler -- IF you can obey all the laws you will be justified, but then Jesus proceeded to show him he could not do so... and so was then pointing him to come follow the only one who could fully obey the law, and come follow the one who could justify him by being his covenant head.As I read your formulation or concept, it does not fully match the Gospel account.I do not want to keep discussing this in a blog comment section, but when there is an assertion of doctrine that I think will draw people away from the truth or confuse them then I have to answer it. In a longer conversation, I could ask you follow up questions to clarify your terms and word usage and arrive at a clear statement of your position, and then analyze it Scripturally, but this is not possible in a blog comment section. Come to church and talk with Daniel, or me, or you might especially enjoy talking with Dr. Dean Ulrich, and OT professor who has a very good handle on how the OT connects with the NT.This blog is a forum for any listener/reader to ask questions, but I think it would be better if readers stay away from writing doctrinal assertions in the comments section. Thanks,- Joel
OK. Sounds good. :)
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