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What Would You Have Said?

Sunday’s message at church about the Rich Young Man was a great reminder to me. Money can easily worm its way into the most important position of our lives, that even as Christians we can try to use faith to get more money.

While listening to it, I asked myself what I would have said if I had been in Jesus’ place. While walking along, Jesus was asked by a rich young man,

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

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I would probably have given an overly literal and theological answer.

What must you DO? You don’t need to DO anything! You just have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins and rose again. You’re willing to believe that aren’t you?

Technically, my answer would have been right. But practically, it would have been wrong.

Jesus didn’t tell him to “just believe.” He told him to go DO something. Something very specific and difficult.

Does that mean that belief isn’t enough? No. But Jesus knew that true belief – genuine faith that saves us from our sins – produces actions. The man’s faith would have been proven by his actions.

I wonder how many preaching critics would consider what Jesus said to be “moralistic,” “works-focused,” or “legalistic.” Many people today resist hard sayings like this because they want to continue living lives of sin, excused by smart-sounding words. They don’t realize that hiding behind technicalities will not produce divine life in them. 

Jesus knew that theology is not some stale doctrine you just apply out of the blue. No, real theology is practiced. The proof is in the result of the life.

To hear more from this message, check out my dad’s podcast.

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