God’s Grace and Truth Meets Us Where We Are

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

What path are you on? Who’s directions are you following?

We meet a man in Matthew 19 that is only referred to as the rich, young man. He was forced to make a choice of commitment.

Matthew 19:16-22
16 Just then someone came up and asked Him, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask Me about what is good?” He said to him. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he asked Him. Jesus answered:

Do not murder;
do not commit adultery;
do not steal;
do not bear false witness;
19 honor your father and your mother;
and love your neighbor as yourself.
20 “I have kept all these,” the young man told Him. “What do I still lack?”

21 “If you want to be perfect,” Jesus said to him, “go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”

22 When the young man heard that command, he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.

Jesus wants more than just our words of commitment…he wants commitment to Him through our actions. He wants us to truly live for Christ–a true commitment to Him. In the case of the rich man, it was his desire to keep his wealth and possessions that kept him from making a complete commitment to Him.

Grace brings to us to a place where we need to make a choice. We are to trust in Jesus or to trust in self.

Mark 10:17-22
17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God. 19 You know the commandments:

Do not murder;
do not commit adultery;
do not steal;
do not bear false witness;
do not defraud;
honor your father and mother.”
20 He said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth.”

21 Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22 But he was stunned at this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.

Grace and truth comes from Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke the truth to the young man and spoke to him in grace.

John 1:17
…for the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 15:22
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin.

Titus 2:11
For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people.

God’s grace brings Jesus Christ face to face with us. He faces each one of us with His grace and truth, and extends it to us. In order for us to say “yes” to His truth, it would take His grace, for our self and our own reasoning would never do it on its own accord. Grace and truth was brought to us to deal with our sin. Sin prevents us from being faithful and obedient to God.

Even with this, we still must make the decision to acknowledge His grace and His truth.

In Mark 10:17, the young man asked the question, “What must I do to gain eternal life?” The man asked the question to answer the question about immortality, everlasting, perpetual, enduring, never-ending life. Keep in mind that he was asking about this with the knowledge that he has wealth and riches. He did not really want to give those things up; instead, he was seeking eternity with what he already possessed. He wanted eternal life to encompass his present wealth and independence.

Salvation is never granted to us on our own terms or conditions. He will only provide on His terms, and His terms alone.

Jesus pointed out initially that only one is good, as He was directing the man to focus first on God.

John 17:3
(Jesus is speaking here)–
This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent—Jesus Christ.

Salvation comes from God with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior. It is the will of God that this occurs.

John 3:16-17
16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Jesus provides the terms and direction to the young man for eternal life in Mark 10:18-19. God is the One who is good. He asks the young man how he has lived, and tells him that he already knows the commandments.

When Jesus was speaking with the young man, He was challenging about how He has done everything according to man, but now He was challenging him to look at his relationship with God. He approaches us with love, but note that His love and His truth go together.
God speaks to us in truth because of his love for you.

Mark 10:21
Then, looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”

The young man lacked a relationship with God because he had great wealth that hindered his true knowledge of God. He spoke the truth to the young man because He knew all about him, and truth always challenges each of us to live according to His will.

The challenge that we have as people is to see to it that we truly do leave everything behind that can keep us from following Jesus Christ.

Note what Peter says after witnessing the discussion with the rich young man.

Mark 10:28-30
28 Peter began to tell Him, “Look, we have left everything and followed You.”

29 “I assure you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children, or fields because of Me and the gospel, 30 who will not receive 100 times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come.

What is the treasure that is 100 times more that we will realize in the present age?

Note the question was asked by the disciples after Jesus tells the young man when he has to sell everything to realize treasure and how difficult it is for one to enter God’s kingdom.

Mark 10:23-26
23 Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 But the disciples were astonished at His words. Again Jesus said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 So they were even more astonished, saying to one another, “Then who can be saved?”

Look at Jesus’ response:

Mark 10:27
Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.”

It is impossible for man to save himself, but not with God. It is done through the work of the living God–through the grace of God.

The gospel message is an easy message to understand, but it is also hard for many people to hear and to live by because they don’t want to give up their present life. We have to always remember that we are saved by grace through faith because of how much God loves us.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast.

Jesus Christ is in our presence with the fullness of grace and truth. Salvation is from His grace and mercy, and our salvation is not on our terms. Salvation comes only from repentance of sin and recognizing Jesus as Lord and Savior in your life. He loves us and is committed to save us because of our trust in Him. God will save you if you put yourself completely into His hands and trust Him.

The treasure that you will realize in trusting Jesus Christ is not an earthly treasure. It is a heavenly treasure because of your focus on God, and even with that, giving what you have for God will bring back much more than what you may have ever had.

Job 42:10-12
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his prosperity and doubled his previous possessions. 11 All his brothers, sisters, and former acquaintances came to his house and dined with him in his house. They sympathized with him and comforted him concerning all the adversity the Lord had brought on him. Each one gave him a qesitah and a gold earring.

12 So the Lord blessed the last part of Job’s life more than the first. He owned 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.

2 Chronicles 1:7-13
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him: “Ask. What should I give you?”

8 And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great and faithful love to my father David, and You have made me king in his place. 9 Lord God, let Your promise to my father David now come true. For You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Now grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of Yours?”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this was in your heart, and you have not requested riches, wealth, or glory, or for the life of those who hate you, and you have not even requested long life, but you have requested for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are given to you. I will also give you riches, wealth, and glory, unlike what was given to the kings who were before you, or will be given to those after you.” 13 So Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place that was in Gibeon in front of the tent of meeting, and he reigned over Israel.

The rich young man must have assumed that God was asking Him to give up too much, which explains why he went away not wanting to part with what He had. God wants to change us and see that there is nothing greater than Him. Jesus paid everything for us to grant us salvation, but our cost to follow Him means to die to self and put everything aside for God. He doesn’t want a partial commitment, but a complete and full commitment to live for Him.

Galatians 2:19-20
19 For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and speaker with years of experience as a business owner and corporate supervisor. My philosophy is “excellence in leadership-by-example with integrity and without compromise.” I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also held memberships with the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am Church Administrator and Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron, Ohio. I have taught adult Sunday school for over 25 years and facilitated numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. Every now and then, I fill in for the pastor with a sermon. I am a longtime advocate of Christian-based elementary and high school education. I am a graduate of The University of Akron with a degree in Business and Organizational Communication, and recently earned a Master’s degree in Christian Studies at Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. I am also a member of the Chaplains Association of Ohio, and involved in Clinical Pastoral studies for possible full or part-time chaplaincy. I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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