And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’
Luke 10:25 – Scripture Of The Weekend (January 4-5, 2014)
What a great question! Even more than that, what interesting answers man has proposed over the ages to answer it! The atheist would say, “There is no eternal life and no God to give it to us.” The agnostic would say, “I’m not sure God or eternal life exist.” The deist would say, “God doesn’t care enough about us to grant us eternal life.” The Muslim would say, “Go on a jihad and eternal life is guaranteed.” The universalist would say, “Nothing, because God will grant eternal life to everyone.” The Calvinist would say, “Nothing, because God has already decided whether or not you will receive eternal life.” The current Pope would say, “You don’t even have to believe in Jesus to receive eternal life.” Numerous Catholics and Protestants would say, “Just be a basically good person, regardless of what church you go to or what doctrine you follow, and you’ll receive eternal life.” I could cite many more answers man has given to this lawyer’s question.
What is most important, in fact what is solely important, is the answer the Son of God gave to this lawyer’s question: “He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live'” (Luke 10:26-28). To love God means to obey him (1 John 5:3; John 14:15), and those who obey him will receive eternal life (Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21-27). To love our neighbor the same way we love ourselves is best illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan Jesus immediately gave to illustrate his point to the lawyer, and in the definition of love Paul gave to the Corinthians (Luke 10:29-37; 1 Cor. 13:1-7). When we obey God with all our being and love our fellow man the way in which God commanded us, eternal life is ours…not because we earned it (we could never earn it due to our sin – Rom. 3:23), but because of the grace of God whose instructions we followed (Eph. 2:8-10; Tit. 2:11-12).