Summary: The Story of the Good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10 and what it teaches us about the true nature of Sin. In this message we discuss the reasons why we cannot inherit eternal life and why a new spiritual birth is the only way of salvation.

The Nature of Sin

The Good Samaritan

In this message, we’re going to consider the story of The Good Samaritanand what it tells us about the nature of sin.

We begin in verse 25 of Luke chapter 10, when a legal expert tried to put

Jesus on the spot!

‘Teacher’, he asked. ‘What must I do to inherit eternal life?’

Now how was Christ going to answer this? After all, what a man inherits

is his by right – it belongs to him. And in this context, eternal life is the

reward and the goal of a perfect life on earth.

So Jesus gives the only possible answer to the way the question was


He asks the legal expert what is written in the Law.

The man’s answer is given in verse 27:

‘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, ‘Love your neighbor

as yourself’

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will


So then, if we want to inherit eternal life, the standard we must attain to

is perfect love to God and Man. Jesus couldn’t have answered the question

any other way.

In Romans 2:7, the apostle Paul words the answer a little differently. He

says this:

‘To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and

immortality, he will give eternal life’

So it’s quite clear! We can inherit eternal life – we can claim eternal life

as our right -provided that we meet the criteria.

The problem for mankind is that this standard of doing good, which

involves perfect love to God and to man, is not only unreachable by

human beings, but we can’t even really understand it.

We think that righteousness, so-called, is simply not breaking the law; not

hurting other people; not polluting one’s mind or body. If we do this,

surely this will be good enough for God!

But God’s view of righteousness is very different.

Righteousness, or rightness before God, is man being all that he was

created to be.

To be righteous is to be totally dependent upon God – totally obedient to

God. It describes a man who glorifies God with every action he performs.

Who loves both God and fellow-man completely. And if we think of those

words in Romans 2:7

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour and

immortality, he will give eternal life,

we find that, for a fallen human being, all of this is quite literally out of

the question. The very next chapter in Romans, verses 10-12, gives us the

grim reality of the human condition:

There is no one righteous, not even one;

There is no one who understands No

one who seeks God.

All have turned away,

They have together become worthless

There is no one who does good, Not

even one.

In order to see sin in its proper perspective, look for a moment at the life

of the only sinless man who ever lived – and let’s see how we compare.

The apostle Paul said that Jesus Christ knew no sin, Peter said he did no

sin and John said that in Him is no sin. Hebrews describes him as: holy

and separate from sinners.

So what made the Lord Jesus Christ sinless? What made his life perfect?

Simply this! He lived his life as God had originally intended man to live –

to glorify God. His whole existence was characterized by complete

dependence on God, total obedience to God, and absolute love for God

and for others. Listen to what Christ says about his own life:

John 5:19: ‘I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can

do only what he sees his father doing because whatever the Father does,

the Son also does.’

John 6:38 ‘For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do

the will of him who sent me’

John 8:28 ‘I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has

taught me …… I always do what pleases Him!’

Christ never did what he wanted to do as man – He only and always did

God’s will. His whole life – every waking moment – was devoted to God!

His every thought, every word and every action were given over to

pleasing God, and not himself. Every thought was one of absolute love for

both God and man.

Everything that is short of this, or different from this, is what the Bible

characterizes as sin.

So it seems that only a fool – or a Pharisee, could dream of inheriting

eternal life.

The only real question is this:

Has God provided a way by which men who are not perfect – but sinful

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