And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?  18And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.  19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.  20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.  21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.  22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.  23And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Mark 10:17-23

There are many errors in the understanding and proper interpretation of the Bible. From a fleshly stand point it might be said that there are good men who preach and teach truth in 90% of what they say. But what keeps them from understanding the other 10%? nothing good: pride, laziness, arrogance. If would be safe to affirm the Scriptures when it says “there is none good but one, that is, God.”

It is a noticeable fact that people tend to stick with what they learn right or wrong for whatever reason. This is an impediment to the unity of the faith.

One error many people make is to learn something the wrong way and stick to it no matter what.

Harry Lorayne, Secrets of Mind Power (1961)

Two of the errors this lesson is concerned with are that under the Old Testament and Jesus’ teaching salvation was by works and that now we are under the ministry of Paul and not Jesus, Peter, or any of the other apostles that were sent to the Jews. This is most common as what I called Grace Theology the teaching that Paul was given the dispensation of Grace. It is also known as Hyper-dispensationalism.

After 40+ years of walking with the Lord and studying his word I have come to certain conclusions on what is needed to properly interpret the Scriptures. They are as follows:

  • Eternal salvation at any time in the history of man has always been by God’s grace, through faith toward God, without works. Works have always been a show of faith.
  • You must understand the two part nature of salvation: Christ died for the sins of the world opening the door of salvation to all men, but each individual must come to God by faith for forgiveness of individaul sins.
  • Open Theology: history is running in real time. All is not predestinated nor is God looking down from eternity on the past, present, and future. He is guiding and controlling the flow of history according to his plan and judgments upon men.
  • Once Saved, Always Saved is our liberty in Christ

Unless you understand and approach the study of the Bible with the above as your frame of reference you will wrest the Scrptures, forcing false interpretations upon them, and pervert them.

Such is the case with our passage. It is often taught that the passage teaches works for salvation. If you are wise in the Scriptures you will know that eternal salvation is never by works, hence the passage can not be teaching that it is.

Mark 10:17-21 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Examining the passage through the right framework and correct bias you can see that his works, keeping the commandments, did not get him eternal life: “thou lackest”. What is the one thing he lacked?

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

The passage is a similitude of the gospel; the Lord told him to stop trusting in his riches and put his faith in Him.

Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

Our works mean something in this life and will in the next, but they have nothing to do with eternal salvation at any time from Adam to Zerubbabel.

Haggai 2:23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.

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