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
“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
‘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
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
The only real question is this:
Has God provided a way by which men who are not perfect – but sinful