Yesterday, I read something that struck me and made me see why salvation can only come from the Lord. The commentary I read was based on Mark 10 where Jesus told a rich man to sell his possessions and give to the poor and then follow Him but the young man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. He asked the right question, “…what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” but he was not willing to do what was required of him.
It is no use asking what you must do in order to be saved if you are unwilling to discard your material things and follow Jesus. I think of the demon possessed man whom Jesus healed. He wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus encouraged Him to stay and tell his countrymen what God had done for him. The disciples gave up everything they had to follow Jesus.
Max Lucado made this point: “God does not save us because of what we have done…And only a Great God does for his children what they can’t do for themselves.” God does not save us because we have accumulated lots of riches; or are successful or because we have done many charitable works. John 3:16 tells us exactly why God saves us: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
In order to be saved, we must acknowledge that we need a Savior–a Redeemer. Hebrews 7:25 states: Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Jesus wants us to place Him over any possessions. He wants us to let go of our self-sufficiency, our possessions or anything that hinders us from following Him. The rich young man came face to face with salvation but chose his riches. Those who place greater value on the material things of this world will have a hard time entering into the kingdom of God.
It is not impossible for God to save. All we have to do is go to Him in faith and in complete surrender. And He was able to do what the law was powerless to do–that is: “sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3, 4).