What Must I Do?

The Gospel of MarkThis message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, October 07, 2007, and was taken from Mark 10:17-33.

How do we enter the kingdom of God? This is a very politically-incorrect passage. It tells us tht there is only one way to God. It is as simple as that. It’s not easy, but it is simple. We like salvation the old fashioned way: we want to earn it. Jesus makes clear from this passage is that you cannot achieve eternal life. It is well beyond your grasp. The gospel is narrow because truth is narrow, despite the popular belief in this post-modern world.

This young man had much to commend himself, even to the discerning observer. He looked “good” and he was “good.” Sincere, honest, and genuine he came to Jesus, seeking eternal life. He knew there had to be more. He knew he was not right with God. The clue to this passage is in the wording of the young man’s question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life” In other words, he was saying “Name your price. What ever it takes, I will do.” Jesus saw the man’s heart and went right to the heart of the matter. Jesus first responds with “Why do you call me good?” Then Jesus quizzes him concerning the law. Is Jesus saying that salvation is by keeping the law? The answer is yes and no. Yes: Jesus kept the law and paid the price for our lawlessness. No: We are habitual lawbreakers and the purpose of the law is to show us that we are just that. God’s standard reveals to us the wickedness of our heart.
Many a man has missed the kingdom of God merely because he fails to see the depths of his own wickedness.

  1. Receiving eternal life demands an honest acknowledgment of your helpless estate. There is not a thing that you can do to inherit eternal life because of the wickedness of your own soul.
  2. Receiving eternal life demands absolute confidence in Christ, and him alone.
  3. In this passage Jesus is telling us that wealth is a handicap. Why? It can cause you to be stubbornly independent. It can cause you to know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  4. All you give up for your faith in Christ, you will “receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”
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