What must I do to inherit eternal life?
By Ivan Ho 8 Feb 2017
The rich young man asked Jesus: “Good teacher, what must I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him: “Sell everything, give to the poor and follow me”.
Jesus does not require everyone to sell everything in order to follow Him, but He does require us to let go of self to follow Him as our master. The problem with a lot of us is not in material things but in SELF: self centeredness, self agenda, self ambitions, self worth, self identity, self righteousness, self help…
Basically, all false religions and self help materials out there have their starting point on the self. If one starts with self, he will end up in self. The person does not like certain things about himself and he tries to fix those areas in his life, or asks God to do so. Even though the intention may be “good” the focus is still on self.
The rich young ruler thought that Jesus was a good teacher and that being good was the way to eternal life. But Jesus said to him: “Why do you call me good? Only One is good and He is God”. Jesus is the only person who is good because He is God. We will never inherit eternal life by trying to become a good person. No matter how much we try to be good, we will fall short of God’s glory. That’s why all religions and philosophies of man that teach us to be a good person is ultimately futile when it comes to salvation and eternal life.
We can do workouts and self improvement programs everyday but the moment we stop following the program we will go back to our former self again. In order to keep the six packs one has to keep the workout program everyday. The moment he drops the workout routine, sooner or later he will go back to one pack again. We can try to be good but the moment we miss the mark we become the good old self again.
Jesus wants us to change us from being a self centred person to a Christ centred person. That’s why He says: ” No one can become My disciple unless he denies himself and follow me”. He never asks us to follow a set of religious programs but He does require us to follow Him as our master.
There are practical things we should do to enhance our relationship with God, like fellowship with believers, like prayers, like fasting and so on, but the focus of these activities is not on self agenda but on God’s agenda.
If we want to have God’s glory manifest through us, Christ must first come into our lives. Jesus must take residence and centre stage in the individual before he or she can become a godly person. A godly person is one who allows God to manifest Himself through him or her.
Jesus forgives us and sets us free from our sins so that we may be free to follow Him. Self and sin is no longer our master. Christ replaces self and becomes our master.
Salvation does not begin with self, it begins and ends with Christ.