By Neal Griffin
Great things He has done, for He gave us His Son, goes the refrain. The greatest folly of man, I suppose, is his reluctance to give God the credit for his salvation. His vanity demands that he achieve it by his own effort. Pride and arrogance dominate his thinking, but it is not in man to accomplish salvation. Salvation is the accomplishment of God. It is God who saves us from the consequences of our own waywardness and not ourselves.
It is a noble objective to desire salvation. The rich young ruler of Matthew Chapter nineteen was seeking it, but he was misdirected from the very start. This is obvious from his question: "What good thing must I do to gain eternal life?" He obviously thought that salvation was something that he could accomplish.
That salvation can be accomplished by man is the prevailing concept in our day. Pride filled men come asking the same question that the young ruler asked. They would like to "gain" salvation by their own efforts, and many paid pulpit ministers there are who are willing to provide them with the formula to accomplish it. They say, "Do 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 and salvation is yours". It is interesting to note that when the rich young ruler came asking this question Jesus did not provide him with that formula. It is interesting to note further that His answer was, "impossible", on the part of man. See Matthew 19:26.
It is imperative that we understand the lesson of the rich young ruler. It is imperative that we attribute salvation to God instead of to our "filthy rag" works. It is to those who put their trust for salvation in their own works that Jesus will say, "I never knew you". Trusting in one's own efforts is to deny that Jesus did all the saving work. It is rank arrogance and denies God the glory.
Arrogance is the very thing that kept Moses out of the promised land. Is there any reason to think that it will be any different with us? God is the Author of salvation. To Him belongs the glory.
Please consider these thoughts. I believe them to be true to the Word.
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