#DailyDevotion Keep The Whole Law To Inherit Eternal Life
Mark 10:17 As [Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments:
Sometimes as Lutherans, because we know we are saved by grace alone though faith alone in Christ alone we forget we can be saved by our good works. This man’s question to Jesus isn’t really all that crazy. Look at Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, Luk 10:25-28 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (26) He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” (27) And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (28) And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
It’s clearly taught in the Old Testament. Lev 18:5 “You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.” Eze 20:11 “I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live.” So yes, you may certainly obey the Law of God given in the Old Testament and inherit eternal life. This man certainly thought he was doing that. Many Jewish people in Jesus’ day thought they were doing that, at least as far as how keeping the commandments of God were being taught by the Rabbis who added and subtracted from God’s Law. Never the less the young man felt something was missing hence his question.
The thing is, no one is able to keep the Law of God perfectly and completely. Even if you perform all the animal sacrifices required for making atonement for when you failed on even a single point you still were not keeping the Law as the Lord had intended it. Peter tells us in the book of Acts when the Church was deciding whether the Law should be applied to the Gentiles, Act 15:10 “Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?” But, and it’s a big but, if you kept the Law of the Lord perfectly, including the sacrifices for sin which dealt with our transgressions, you could inherit eternal life. But no one has been able to do this but Jesus from Nazareth. He became our sacrifice and our fulfillment of the Law. As the only one able to inherit eternal life by keeping the Law he gives us that life in his death. So Peter also says, Act 15:11 “But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” Yes we inherit eternal life by being joined to Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection through faith and baptism into Jesus. Through faith in Jesus we receive his grace, eternal life, we inherit his kingdom he won for us by the shedding of his blood. It is a gift of God. Thanks be to God for that.
Gracious God and Father, you gave the Law so that men may learn to rely upon you alone for eternal life, grant us faith in your Son Jesus Christ that we may receive the gift of life from him and then begin to fulfill the Law of trusting him and loving our neighbor as ourselves. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.