Eternal Life

Text: Matthew 19:16-26

His question (vss 16-22)

  • Good master… good thing… me good?… none good, but God.
  • First mention of eternal life in the Bible.
  • Question that shows his concern for righteousness
    • This is the first time the phrase eternal life shows up in the Bible.
    • The question asked by this young man is a genuine and moral question.
    • The young man is obviously devout; he takes righteousness seriously.
    • People who aren’t looking for eternal life will certainly never find it. And even those who diligently seek for it may not accept it when they find it because the world is a mine field destroying trust in Jesus Christ.
  • Question that characterizes eternal life
    • Besides eternal, there are two or three descriptions that characterize eternal life: good, righteous, and holy. These are implied in the question. It is a holy lifestyle.
    • Both the LORD and this young man agree that eternal life is a quality of life without sin.

Jesus uses the law properly (vss 17-20)

  • Law is a schoolmaster to bring Israel to Christ. Parts of the law must be used to bring you and me to Christ as well.
  • You can’t even come to Jesus Christ until whatever sin stands in the way is dealt with.
  • You’ve got to disconnect whatever stands between you and 

The ONLY connection to eternal life is Jesus Christ

  • I can’t stress this enough. Jesus Christ is the ONLY connection to eternal life.
    • There is no legal connection to eternal life: Galatians 3:21…for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
    • There is no financial connection to eternal life: Proverbs 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
    • There is no charitable connection to eternal life: Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
  • Jesus Christ is the ONLY connection to eternal life.
    • He that hath the Son hath life, but he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
    • John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
    • John 6:68 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
    • Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
    • 1 John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) Also see 1 John 5:11-15, 20-21.
    • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. But the gift is of no value unless you LAY HOLD of eternal life. What this young man finds out is what you and every soul will come to find out, there is something you’re hanging on to that causes you NOT to trust Jesus Christ. For this man, it was his money. He couldn’t lay hold of eternal life because he held on to his money too tightly.

Laying hold of eternal life

  • The LORD will end up telling this young ruler to follow Him. Follow and trust are synonymous terms. Mark 10:24, same account, Jesus says to the disciples the rich young man’s problem is he trusts his riches. If he’s going to follow Christ, he has to stop following his money.
  • It’s the same advice Paul gives in 1 Timothy 6:10-12, 17-19.