The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"The Impossibility of Salvation"
"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:24-26).
The disciples held the standard view of their day. If a person possessed many material things, he must certainly be favored and blessed by God. The Lord Jesus Christ countered this notion, declaring that the wealthy would have more trouble than most in becoming citizens of God's kingdom. This shocked the disciples, who then raised the issue of salvation in the general sense. The Lord surprised them even more, proclaiming redemption to be a matter of impossibility for all according to human understanding and perceptions. "With men, this is impossible."
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:19-20).
Even the perfect law of Moses, given by God, could not redeem and justify human hearts. In fact, such a law actually condemns all who attempt to find salvation by keeping its tenets. "The letter killeth" (II Corinthians 3:6). "Impossible!" This is the message of both the law and the Lord Jesus regarding human ways and means to enter into the family of God.
Thankfully, of course, the consideration does not end with such futility. "With God all things are possible" declared the Savior. "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ" echoed the Apostle Paul, who before coming to Christ sought more than any other to achieve righteousness by the law's tenets and rituals (Galatians 2:24; Philippians 3:1-6). Human impossibility leads to Divine certainty for all who humbly accept their complete inability to justify and make themselves worthy of God's favor. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5). Only those who realize the utter futility of our own works forging a key to Heaven's door can freely discover the gates of glory flung open wide by the grace of the Savior's sacrifice on our behalf. "Through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Ephesians 2:18).
Can the rich be saved? Impossible! Can the poor be saved? Just as impossible! No one can be saved according to the standard mode of human pride and self-affirmation. This is the humbling message of the Gospel of Christ to every heart. For those who acknowledge the shattering truth, the Gospel then shines its light of grace on "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). God does completely for us what we could never do for ourselves. Completely! "By grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should boast… For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 10:14).
Wondrously, the impossible bows before the accomplished, the assured, the guaranteed, and the freely given grace of the Lord Jesus for all who join the hymnwriter in his joyous exultation, "Nothing in my hands I bring. Only to Thy cross I cling!" This is truth, stark and hard truth to the pride of humanity. To the broken, humble, and trusting heart, however, this the most blessed of all truths, given freely by the most blessed of all Beings. Yes, God has obliterated the door of impossibility that barred us from His eternal presence and glory. Through Christ and His suffering sacrifice, He has done for us what we could never do for ourselves. Let us then avail ourselves of the access made possible by the agony. And let us unabashedly proclaim the gift so breathtakingly free to human hearts because no other possibility exists for finding our way to God.
Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way."
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh, and having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith."
Weekly Memory Verse
"The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works."