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“Why Do You Call Me Good?”

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
May 7, 2022 4:00 am

“Why Do You Call Me Good?”

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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May 7, 2022 4:00 am

Many people believe that access to God’s kingdom and eternal life is earned by trying your best and being good. But discover why self-righteousness is more of a roadblock than an entry gate into heaven. Join us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.



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Most people believe that access to heaven and eternal life is earned by trying your best, and being good today untruthful life weekend will learn how self-righteousness is more of a roadblock than an entry gate to heaven. Here's Alister big continuing his investigation of seven questions God asks. Let's read the text from which our question is taken and that is in the Gospel of Mark will read from the 17th are smart. Chapter 10 is Jesus started on his way a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. Good teacher.

He asked what must I do to inherit eternal life.

Why do you call me good Jesus answered, no one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, do not murder. Do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony do not defraud, honor your father and mother, teacher, he declared all these I have Since I was a boy. Jesus looked at him and loved him.

One thing you lack. He said go sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me at this the man's face fell. He went away sad because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. All this young man who is central to the story here alongside Jesus would be on most fathers lists all possible son-in-law material.

First of all, he's prosperous.

We know that doesn't matter in its entirety, but it sure helps, and the ability for someone to provide is an important thing. It was at the same time principal that she was an attractive characteristic.

He was at the same time personable and also spiritual he made of described himself in that way might've described himself as religious, but certainly he was a young man who was interested in eternal life, prosperous principal, personable and spiritual is therefore quite striking that when you get to the end of the dialogue you discover that the man's face has fallen and he's going away sad knowing you read the New Testament, you discover that are a number of people who arrived side in meeting Jesus and went away happy. But this is the only individual that I've been able to find in the whole New Testament who met Jesus and went away sad. Verse 17 which is our starting face seems to suggest that his concern was so great that his interest was so sincere that he's virtually falling over himself as he seeks to address his question to Jesus. He was a young man of ability. You don't rise to leadership. Nor do you amass wealth unless you are involved in corruption unless you are zealous, hard-working, marred by exertion and by activity, and it would be no surprise if we been able to walk through a couple of days with this young man to find that he was just the kind of individual who was on he would be the part kind of person who returned his telephone calls, he would be the starter chap who said if I'll phone you at 6406. He would just that kind of individual and if somebody presented a challenge. He was ready for it.

He made that part of his life. Therefore, it is no surprise, it's all that when he comes to Jesus with this spiritual question. He wants to know what he had to do activists always want to know what they have to do in this instance. What do I have to do to receive eternal life. Very good question and you may have been thinking along those lines, even this week, you may not have the new maven just to start thinking along those lines right now. I encourage you to do so know the reply of Jesus stops this fellow in his tracks and the more I read this passage I think that's largely what Jesus was seeking to do. It's almost as though the man arrived on a great emotional search. He's excited this is his latest project he wants to find out how to get eternal life. He's had various things about Jesus of Nazareth and Sawyer arrives is it where in a bit of a stew steamed up emotionally intrigued desperately keen to find out the addresses Jesus in this way, good teacher. He asked what must I do to inherit eternal life might've expected the Jesus of all, thank you so much for coming out of the opportunity to talk with you and thank you for greeting me in such a nice fashion.

It's always nice to be described in these terms. Now he says why do you call me good Jesus answered, no one is good except God alone admit that is a fairly's striking kind of response stands out even in the text doesn't it. Most of us would say all, what's what.

What's all this about what happened.

Note good teacher was actually not used as a customary greeting plumbers details is and you need to know Plummer is, but he's a reliable source that there is a single example in the Talmud of a rabbi being addressed in this way because, to use good in this way was to ascribe to a man and attribute that in its intrinsic nature was possessed only by God. So what the young man is actually doing is employing a piece of thoughtless, unnecessary flattery, but again you know that's kind of a stock that wasn't how do you become a ruler and how you put together a portfolio like that you know how to approach people and he figures you're not how to approach people good teacher, stated eternal life is a dearth.

Jesus why you calling me good. There's nobody good around here except God himself. Of course, Jesus is not by making that statement denying his divinity. What he's doing is making clear to the young man that he may only be repaired to legitimately as good if he is actually none other than the son of God, and given that he knows that the young man doesn't have an inkling of his real nature. Given that he knows that the young man regards Jesus as merely human. He's pointing out to the man that there is no validity no utilitarian value in implying that kind of superficial flattering form of address and actually in that he stopping the man in his tracks by saying, well, maybe we should think about the nature of goodness and since God is all good.

Maybe you just want to think about the thought of possessing eternal life in the company of an allgood God, and maybe as you go about your self evaluation you might include that kind of thing in your reckoning, but at the heart of this encounter, as in the heart of all encounters with Jesus the matter of his identity is at the very core of the young man is looking for a way to tackle if you like this important question. This spiritual question, just as he tackled other aspects of his life. So Jesus as well then if you want to know what what to do then keep the commandments in one of the Gospels. I think it may be Matthew the man comes back and says which ones do you have in mind.

And Jesus runs through a little list.

He doesn't use them all, but he runs through a list including these you know the commandments, for example, don't murder don't commit adultery, and so long.

Keep the commandments because the Bible actually teaches that whoever does these things perfectly will live as I Jesus says this you wanted. You want to do something to get eternal life, then keep the commandments and do it perfectly without one step to the wrong and you will get eternal life goes the only problem with that is a big problem. No one has one can no one will keep the commandments perfectly. The only person who has is Jesus himself, but that doesn't seem to faze this young man. He is able to reply verse 20 well teacher, he declared all these I have Since I was a boy. None of these commanders are been a problem for me, says even from my youth I been good at all. This is a say he say what people like to say he saying the kind of thing that people often say when you asked them if there is a heaven. Do you think you'll go to yesterday reply, I do then ask them on what basis do you believe you will go to heaven and in the top five answers to that question is essentially the answer. This young man provides. I'm a good person. I'm essentially a good person and I live by the rules. It is interesting to at least I found it to be of interest and I never noticed this before and I read this passage, along that despite the meticulous nature of his observance of the commandments that has not provided him with rest for his soul if it had there would be no reason for them to run up to Jesus and say what am I supposed to do to get eternal life. I have been many places, but I have been some places and I have been conversations with a few folk and I think that almost without exception, the individuals that I have met whose quest for heaven and eternal life is directly related to goodness have by their own testimony been prepared to acknowledge that their ability to keep the rules and live by the commands has not does not provide with a sense of security, a sense of forgiveness, a sense of assurance that when they die they will actually experience eternal life. Despite that, many continue still to hold to the path of religious observance is a stony path and it does not yield the peaceable fruit of eternal life, and this is where the loveliness of Jesus comes out is not in verse 21 Jesus has stopped him in his tracks by this strange question exhorted him in relationship to the commandments. The young man is said, well, I've actually been taking care of that. Ever since I was young and then Mark tells us that Jesus looked at him and left him, but he knows that the young man has an inadequate understanding of what true fulfillment of the law means I've kept all these since I was a boy.

Jesus could of got into it with him. He could've said well I I wonder if you understand the nature of adultery that it goes beyond the physical act to mental activity. I wonder, do you realize that to say in your heart that you wish someone was dead is akin to having murder.

He doesn't do that. Instead what he does is he moves to a different part of the law. He actually move right up to the top of the table and he says well then, let me just put something to you.

He says why don't we do it this way there's there. There's one thing that you lack what I want you to do is go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor you will have treasure in heaven. And then you just come and follow me know what he was doing there was pointing out that this young man, despite his affirmation in relationship to the commandments mentioned that this young man had actually broken the first commandment you shall have no other gods before me. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength and clearly this young man did not love God in that way and Jesus in his wisdom puts his finger on the issue in his life. He says let's just think about your resources. Shall we. Let's think about your finances. Let's think about all the things that you hold dear, why don't you go and smash that idle. Why don't you invest in a whole different financial portfolio, one that yields treasure in heaven. And then when you have made a great switch then you come back and follow me, and then the story ends doesn't at this Mark tells us the young man's face fell and he went away sad because he had great wealth and Jesus looked around and he said to his disciples how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God how hard it is a how impossible it is just hard.

Why, because in our affluence who attempted always to rely on earthly things that if we have managed to secure a certain level of lifestyle. If we have been able.

If you like by dint of hard work and their pursuit of the American dream to amass enough of this world's provisions to gain access to the kind of clubs we would like to join to be able to take at least some of the vacations that we would like to enjoy, and so on.

Then it is no surprise that when it comes to the issue of the idea of a kingdom with Jesus as a king or the issue of a life that begins now and goes into eternity the perspective of that kind of individualist to say what this young man said what I have to do here what is this cost.

Let me know what I need to do. Let me know where I write the check.

I'll take care of this and of course it is impossible and therefore there is a tremendous sadness that attaches to the affluent.

When they find that the only way of entry is to catch themselves on God's mercy when the only way is to accept God's offer of salvation is a free gift. When the only way is to bow down before the provision that Jesus makes to hold out empty hands and thank them for is a dreadfully humbling thing to do is not let me draw this to a close and simply applied in this way, the ultimate impediment in all of our lives. The Bible says is that we are at wallets with God.

We are alienated from God and they were unable to put ourselves in the right with God that God, in recognition of that has come in the person of Jesus and has died on the cross, not as a display of his affection, but the sun hasn't died in order to bear the sampled indignation of the father against the rebellious hearts of men and women and that he hasn't died in the place of sinners and when we read the law of God. We discover that we haven't love them with all of our we discover that we haven't always told the truth, we discover that we have coveted things of our neighbors.

We have been guilty of impure thought and sore and we realize that that is a lawbreaker. I neither have the time nor the capacity to do enough.

Even if I could to counteract all the mess that I have already contributed to this point in my life. There may be some teenagers here tonight. And that's exactly how you feel you feel as though you started your life, your teenage years with a white without white notebook and that white notebook is filled already with garbage your mistakes, your disappointment, your regrets, and so on.

And sometimes of a night you look at that book. Is it where you imagine that the you said yourself. I have made such a royal hash of everything to this point, I might as well just keep this going because there is no way back and there is no way for what I tell you, there isn't. Down the road of religious observance, but there is down the pathway to Jesus.

He still looks at young guys and girls and loves loves the willingness to be honest about where they are. You may be impeded tonight. Not because of your money but you may be impeded tonight because of your mind. And the reason that you have never become a Christian is because you think you're too clever to become a Christian and if Jesus were to come and have a personal conversation with you and it went down the same lines on very interested in eternal life. I like to talk about how it might be handled and Jesus put his finger on your mind, and he says you know, why don't you just go and read a few children's books for a little while. Why don't you recognize that unless you become as a little child you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Your impediment may be moral.

It may be physical, it may be relational. In other words, I'm not going to become a Christian because he's put his finger on that area of my life I I remember so clearly having a conversation with a man I regard as a friend of very very prosperous felon in the city of Cleveland, and on one occasion we went out for lunch soon after he'd been listening to a series of sermons and we sat opposite one another in a in a club in the center of Cleveland. He was the athletic club, and he said to me, if I were to do what the Bible says I must do that. It would demand such a drastic change in my lifestyle. For which I am unprepared and therefore I will not trust in Christ. I will not fall. Now his honesty was admirable, but I still pray for him.

I send them things in my prayer is that somewhere along the journey he might run up to Jesus and fallen his knees and they may not live with a resulting sadness of this young man sadness which was tied to his false confidence because he had an idea of entry into a kingdom by means of exertion and Jesus said the way of entry was the way of childlike trust and the great sadness of the story is that this young man walks away from Christ, not because he's a bad but because he's a good man, and it is his very goodness, which keeps them from the king the same sense of self-righteousness, which keeps some of us from entering the kingdom tonight as well. It is impossible for anyone to his or her entry into heaven.

Our only hope is to humbly cast herself on God's mercy listing to Truth for Life weekend with Alister Bragg. All of Alister's teaching is available online.

It's free to download and to share if you enjoyed hearing today's message and would like to save it to your device to listen to again. You can download without cost. And if hearing today's message made you think of someone who would benefit from this teaching you can share the message. It's easy to do, just click the three dots near the image on our website or on the mobile app when you do, there's an option for sending a link to this message through email or you can share it with your friends through social media. It's all available@truthforlife.org or through the mobile app while you're on the website. Be sure to check out the book were recommending titled women and God, the Bible has to say about why and how God created women often clashes with contemporary ideas. The book women in God explores many of these issues affect the subtitle of the book is hard questions.

Beautiful truth, the author looks to Scripture to better understand why God made women the way he did to explore his plan for a woman's role. Why is it different than the role God gave to men.

How should we honor these unique and different roles in the society that blurs them together and find out more about the book women and God. When you visit our website Truth for Life.Bob Lapine thanks for listing have all of us your Truth for Life. Let me take a minute and wish all the moms listing a very happy Mother's Day sure to join us again next weekend. We will examine the intensely personal question Jesus asked that actually marks the turning point in all of the gospel records the Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life with Learning is for Living


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