By Neal Griffin
The well person has no need for a physician and neither does a rich person need charity. A sick person will not be healed as long as he is in denial, a starving person who will not admit to his destitute condition will die, and a financially destitute person who thinks he is rich will never apply for bankruptcy. Revelation 3:17. Jesus alluded to this point when He said that it will be as hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. We are talking about pride. Pride prevents the acceptance of charity and charity is what Jesus offers. Pride must go before the impoverished can apply for bankruptcy. It is the impoverished soul who has emptied himself of his pride who has readiness to receive the Engrafted Word.
Who has this readiness? Consider the publican and the Pharisee of Luke 18:10f. Which of them received justification? The Pharisee was starving to death but in denial while the publican recognized his destitute condition and was willing to accept charity. The rich young ruler of Matthew 19 was so accustomed to paying his own way that he could not see that he was poor and wretched and in need of charity. The love of money had blinded his Spiritual eyes. He lacked readiness to receive the free gift of salvation. Pride prevented him from entering the Kingdom. That same pride prevents men from entering the Kingdom today. Nothing has changed. It prevents their Spiritual eyes from being opened. Men are not willing to lay aside their pride and fall at the feet of Jesus and beg for charity.
Various denominated religious organizations have bypassed the narrow road that leads to the Kingdom. They have implemented detours to accommodate pride's need to pay its own way. They teach that salvation is attainable on the part of man, that man can "gain" salvation by his own effort. The Bible, however, teaches that salvation is impossible on the part of man. I beg you to read Matthew 19:26 where this is proclaimed and then go back to verse 16 and read the entire story of the pride-filled, young ruler. You will see that eternal life is what is "impossible" on the part of man. Salvation is of God. "All things are possible with God".
It is an insult to our Divine Host when we try to pay Him for His free gift with our filthy rag works. It is the pride-filled heart that cannot make this acknowledgment. It is pride that causes man to boast in his works instead of boasting in what Jesus has done. The obedience that God wants is that which is the outpouring of grateful hearts. It is the obedience of born-again believers on whose hearts God's laws are written. It is heart rendered obedience. It is not the self-promoting obedience of a proud heart. It is the obedience generated by Christ dwelling in the heart. Ephesians 3:17.
Many place their trust for salvation in their church membership and, without exception, in the performance of their church's Kingdom entry requirements which, without exception, are things they claim that man must do to "gain" salvation. The absolute need for approaching Jesus as a feeble beggar is not emphasized. Pride filled men in our day hold rein on the religious systems the same as they did in Jesus' day. They teach that man can "gain" salvation by the performance of certain Church ordinances. Whether it is counting beads or doing other things this heresy allows man to be puffed up in his own importance having "somewhat of which to boast".
Without bringing a railing accusation against such organizations I would like to pose a few questions for your consideration if you are placing your trust for salvation in your church membership or in anything else that you have done? Were the Galatians placing their trust for salvation in something other than Jesus? Were they "fallen from grace"? See Galatians 5. Can we boast in anything other than Jesus? Please see Ephesians 2:9 and Jeremiah 9:24. Is this issue under consideration a life threatening issue?
Accepting charity is repugnant to the proud, strong willed, and able bodied yet that is what Jesus calls on us to do. To be great in the Kingdom one must become small as a little child. Let us approach Jesus with poor, broken, and contrite spirits! Let us not once mention our own efforts, for if we from this point forward never committed another sin we would yet be unworthy of eternal life except for the blood of Jesus! Instead let us brag about what Jesus has done! To Him belongs the glory. Let us not be too proud to accept His charity!
Please consider these thoughts in light of the Word.
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