Sermon for the service of March 26, 2017 by Pastor Steve Hopkins
The Trouble with Camels
(Matthew 19:16-26, NIV)
- Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
- “You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God. If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 18:4-5, NLT)
- “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”
- Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. (Romans 13:10, NLT)
- “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
- My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:81, NIV)
- Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
- Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48, NRSV)
- But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:20-21, NIV)
- When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
- How would I respond? Does this apply to me?
- Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21, NIV)
- Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
- “That is, humanly speaking, it is an absolute impossibility. Rich man! Tremble! Feel this impossibility; else you are lost for ever!” (John Wesley, Notes on the New Testament)
- When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
- But now apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:21-24, NIV)
- The point of this story? But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV)
Δ? See yourself in this story: Am I seeking that “good thing” I must do to inherit eternal life? Or am I trusting in Christ alone for salvation?
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3, NIV)