Is Matthew 19 speaks of having eternal life via good works?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Bro. Ruben, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Bro. Ruben

    Bro. Ruben
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    Clearly, Jesus said in verse 17 “Keep the commandment”. Also, verse 29 he/she who has “forsaken all” shall inherit everlasting life. (re-phrased)

    Comment on this.

    Thanks. God bless.


    Matthew 19: 16-29

    16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

    17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

    19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

    21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

    23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

    26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

    28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
     
  2. UnchartedSpirit

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    um, if you're seeking to find God, you naturally desire to do these things?
     
  3. Bro. Ruben

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    This passage was part of my daily morning devotion; I find these verses truly serious especially that I'm going to share to my relatives about salvation. Some of them know the Bible quite well; expecting the unexpected, what if someone raises this issue.

    Here, a man was talking to Jesus directly and asked Him that question.

    The reply was straightforward -- KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. Also, verse 29 tells us the same.
     
  4. J. Jump

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    This passage doesn't have anything to do with salvation by grace through faith. It has everything to do with what a person must do to find entrance and a position in Christ's Kingdom (1,000-year reign of Christ).

    It can't have anything to do with salvation by grace through faith because Ephesians 2 tells us that salvation by grace comes through faith not of works so that no one can boast.
     
  5. standingfirminChrist

    standingfirminChrist
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    Ephesians 2 does tell us Salvation is by Grace through Faith, yes. But, James tells us that Faith without Works is dead.

    Is there a contradiction there? By no means. The Works that follow are Christ's works through us.

    We can also say Salvation is a Works Salvation, not only after, but before as well.

    John 6:29 tells us that the work of God is to believe on Him.

    So, even to believe on Him in order to accept Eternal Life is a work, but it is not our own. It is a result of the Work of the Holy Spirit drawing us to that precious cross where the Blood of the Sacrificial Lamb takes away the sin of all who will come and accept Christ.
     
  6. arkie pastor

    arkie pastor
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    This is an age old discussion...about works verses salvation....My little imput into this thread will not solve the age old question.

    But I simply believe Paul's staement in Gal.2:20 expains the best how works and salvation go hand in hand.

    He stated, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I ,but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live BY THE FAITH of The SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

    1. Whose faith do we live by....Christs or ours
    2. Whos works are to be protrayed in our lives..His or ours?

    Believe if one will only carefully and prayfully read Paul's statement here one will find Paul simply states...I am what I am and do what I do only by the Grace of God....It is only by Him and trough Him which liveth in me, that I have any good works....To God be the glory.
     
  7. Helen

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    The clue is in the young man's question: What must I (me, myself) do...?

    And Jesus answered him in his own terms -- if he would want salvation in and of himself, he must obey the law perfectly. He must never, ever sin.

    In other words, it is impossible for a man to save himself.

    I think the lesson is pretty simple, isn't it?

    But verse 29 is about something different. It is about the judgment of believers -- those who are found in Christ; whose names are in the Book of Life. Some of us will be in heaven, but only as the least of these; those who obey Christ in their lives and their influence, however, will be considered 'great' there (Matthew 5:19). A number of times there is a reference to rewards that can be won or lost. I Cor. 3 refers to those who build with things that can be burned and so will only be in heaven themselves, without the testimony of their works; and then to those who build with that which fire cannot touch and so are in heaven with the testimony of their works -- and whom, I think, will be the ones to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant."
     
  8. Marcia

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    Helen's view is a new one -- and interesting one for me. Had never thought of it like that.

    The other view I've heard and which I tended to have on this is that Jesus knew the young man could not part with his possessions/wealth, and that was what was keeping him from truly desiring God. Jesus merely got to that point by questioning the young man about the commandments so that this point would be brought out and the young man's true barrier to the faith that brings eternal life would be seen.

    Related to the above point:
    If the young man really loved his possessions over the "treasure in heaven," then he was not really following the commandments at all, even though he said he was. Jesus showed him that the legalistic following of the commandments meant nothing if he (the young man) loved his wealth more than God.
     
  9. Calvibaptist

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    With all due respect to J. Jump, I graduated from a dispensationalist seminary and have heard this type of argument way too much. The person does not ask Jesus what he must do to get into the kingdom. He asks Hims what he must do to inherit eternal life. To make this passage about the 1,000-year kingdom does injustice to the question and to Jesus' answer.
     
  10. Calvibaptist

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    But, Helen, I don't think the view you express is possible considering, not only the context of the passage, but also the last phrase of the verse. First, the disciples see the impossibility of salvation if man must give up everything to be saved. Jesus responds that only God makes it possible. Peter then says, "Well, we've given up everything!" (So we must be saved, right?" Jesus then responds that in the age to come they will receive more than they gave up. God will give them eternal life. While rewards are mentioned, it definitely references salvation. It is not just about rewards.
     
  11. Calvibaptist

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    Now, to my view, which I admit, is imperfect (as am I!).

    Works are necessary for eternal life, salvation, or any other name you may want to give to it. You will not enter heaven unless you are holy. See Hebrews 12:14. This is why James says a man is justified by his works. This is why Jesus gave the illustration in Matthew 7:21-27. Obedience is necessary for final entrance into heaven.

    BUT, it is not a pre-requisite for salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith. It is all of God. Works are a result of faith. At the final judgment, the books will be opened, and those whose names are not written in the book of life will be told, "Depart from Me you workers of iniquity." Those whose names are written in the book of life will be told, "Well done good and faithful servant."
     
  12. Bro. Ruben

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    I always believe that salvation is by Grace thru Faith.

    I only chanced to read these verses and needed clarification.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  13. here now

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    Helen says:

    The clue is in the young man's question: What must I (me, myself) do...?

    And Jesus answered him in his own terms -- if he would want salvation in and of himself, he must obey the law perfectly. He must never, ever sin.

    In other words, it is impossible for a man to save himself.

    I think the lesson is pretty simple, isn't it?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here Now replies:

    You are right on the mark!
     
  14. slow to learn

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    the key to this whole passage is verse 21. Jesus knew where the young man would go in the conversation and was preparing him for the final and only answer. follow me. it is the answer. Jesus told the man that following the law was not enough, there was one thing left and the man rejected it.
     
  15. Hope of Glory

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    I highly recommend reading the out of print book, "Dualism of Eternal Life", by S. S. Craig. It's available here to download in pdf format: Dualism of Eternal Life
     
  16. Bartholomew

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    With all due respect to J. Jump, I graduated from a dispensationalist seminary and have heard this type of argument way too much. The person does not ask Jesus what he must do to get into the kingdom. He asks Hims what he must do to inherit eternal life. To make this passage about the 1,000-year kingdom does injustice to the question and to Jesus' answer. </font>[/QUOTE]Not so. As Hope of Glory has pointed out (through referencing S.S.Craig's book), "eternal" means "to last for the age." True, it is often used of the absolutely unending age (after the millennium); but why can it not refer to the age to come (the millennium)? It would make FAR more sense of the pasage.

    P.S. Do not assume this is a J.W. teaching. It is obvious from a plain reading of the Bible that "everlasting", etc. does not always mean "infinite."
     
  17. Bartholomew

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    Also the passage shows that a higher standard is required than that of the Old Testament (cf. the sermon on the mount, which is all about the standard needed to enter the kingdom).
     
  18. Calvibaptist

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    I'll have to read Craig's book later.

    As far as the passage is concerned, the question regards eternal life. The answer regards eternal life. Jesus comments on the fact that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (equivalent to eternal life). The disciples respond - who then can be saved. They did not respond, "who then can enter the promised millenial kingdom?" The equated eternal life with the kingdom with salvation. Jesus did not rebuke their misunderstanding and tell them that he and this man were referring to a future dispensation. He said salvation is impossible with men, but with God all things are possible.

    CONTEXT DETERMINES MEANING. The words zoayn aionion (bad transliteration, I know) here are the same words in John 3:16. Does this mean that God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but make it to the millenial kingdom? This is ridiculous.

    I did not even mention J.W.'s. It is Classical Dispensationalism as used to be taught by Dallas Theological Seminary. Even they have moved more towards Progressive Dispensationalism which sees more compatibility between the "kingdom" statements and eternity. I was there during a major portion of that transition, one I think is for the better. Otherwise, most of the gospels is useless to us.
     
  19. Craigbythesea

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    Hi there, Calvibaptist. Welcome to the Baptist Board! [​IMG] I pray that we will be a blessing to you, and you to us.

    As for your post, I find it to be a bit confusing. It appears to me as though you are saying that works are necessary for eternal life, but not necessary for salvation. If you are saying that, salvation alone is not enough for one to be granted eternal life. Please explain this.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. J. Jump

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    The gospels are far from useless to Christians that are walking by the Spirit and understand the Gospel of the Glory of Christ. The heavenly kingdom was offered to the Jews, but because they rejected it, it is now being offered to the new creation in Christ, neither Jew nor Greek.

    Therefore the gospels are extremely important, because we need to know and understand what was being said and taught because now that offer is given to us.
     

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