And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.Luke 10:27(KJV)
"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" was a legitimate question that this man, who was an expert in the Mosaic Law asked the Lord Jesus. The Lord did not answer directly but responded with a counter-question: "What is written in the law?" He asked him, "and how do you read it?"
Oh, his quick reply came directly from perfect Law of Moses and with keen enthusiasm this clever lawyer was proudly able to respond with the correct answer: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and you must love your neighbour as yourself."
Indeed, this bright young lawyer even expanded on the written Law of Moses by including that our love for God must also include 'all of your mind' as well as our heart, soul, and strength. This was indeed a man who was an expert in the Law - and yet he had never recognised that he was a lost sinner who needed salvation.
"You've answered correctly," Jesus told him. But then the next words that came from our Savour's lips were shattering, for He continued, "Do this, and you will live." DO THIS and you will live! DO THIS and you will inherit eternal life. Love the Lord your God with ALL of your heart, ALL of your soul, ALL of your strength and ALL your mind, and love your neighbour as you love yourself - and if you DO THIS you will live.
But in our fallen, sinful state we realise that we can never, ever love the Lord our God as He requires. Jesus was graciously pointing out that inheriting eternal life through the works of the Law was an impossibility for fallen sinners. For who in this world can honestly say that from birth to death that they love the Lord their God with ALL their heart, ALL their soul, ALL their strength, and ALL their mind?
The first commandment alone requires total dedication to the Lord throughout our whole life. The demands of this one commandment alone requires 100% commitment 100% of the time for 100% of our life - and the plain fact is that the standard that God requires for entrance into eternal life is impossible - theoretically impossible, practically impossible, and spiritually impossible. Keeping the Law is impossible for you and impossible for me, just as it was impossible for this expert in the Law who proudly considered that keeping the works of the Law would gain him a ticket to eternal life. Instead, it shows man's desperate need for a Saviour.
No one but Christ has ever, nor could ever attain to the impossible, perfect requirement of the Law, which only serves as a schoolmaster to point us to Christ. The Law is an ideal that is unattainable by human effort. The Law of God is an impossible standard that convicts sinners of their need of a Saviour. It is a tool that God has designed to show mankind that we are all lost and all in need of a Saviour.
This proud lawyer was under the false illusion that he could DO something to gain eternal life and Christ used the Mosaic Law to demonstrate that this man needed to be born again and to be saved, in order to receive eternal life as God's free gift - but when a man or woman does not realise that they are lost and without hope in the world, they falsely consider that they can merit eternal life by good deeds or works of the Law. In Romans we read: "By the works of the Law shall no man living be justified." Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone, for there is no other way to the Father, except through the SON Who gave His life as a ransom for all who would believe in Him. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. Praise His holy name.
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me that I can never attain the perfect standard that You require for entrance into eternal life. What amazing love you showed to me, that Jesus paid the full price for my sins in His finished work on Calvary. Help me to love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and give me a heart of love to my neighbours and those in my life. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.