Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Here we have the story of a young man seeking Jesus. He has one question,"What good thing must I do to receive eternal life?" The answer Jesus gives him causes him to leave very sad and has the disciples asking "Who then can be saved?"

The Rich Young Man Matthew 19:16-29; Luke 18:18-29


Here we have the story of a young man seeking Jesus. He comes with one question, “What must I do to have eternal life?” This question leads to others and great lesson from Jesus. By the end of the lesson it will have the disciples questioning their faith and asking the question, “Who then can be saved?”

I. The First Question

A. “What good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

1. Only God is good (holy and righteous).

2. We cannot do any good things to be saved.

a. Ephesians 2:8-10

b. Yes, we are to do good works, but it is not the good works that saves us. It is only God’s love, mercy, and grace that enables us to be saved.

B. Jesus responds that he should keep the commandments.

1. Leviticus 18:4-5

II. The Second Question

A. “Which ones?” or “Which commandments?”

B. As we saw in Leviticus 18:4, ALL the commandments were to be obeyed and carefully followed.

C. Many people today still like to pick and choose which commands they want to keep.

1. James 2:10 says that if we stumble at just one point, we are guilty of breaking the whole law.

D. Jesus names off several of the commandments.

E. The man responds that he has kept all of those commandments.

III. The Third Question

A. “What do I still lack?”

B. He realizes that something is still missing. I think what was missing was faith. As we shall see, he has placed all his hope and trust in something other than God.

C. Jesus says, “If you wish to be perfect, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and then come and follow me.”

1. Matthew 5:48 says “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

2. Jesus is saying that in order to be righteous, he must do these things.

D. The young man had placed all of his hope and trust in his possessions and not in God.

1. Matthew 6:19-24

2. It is not about having riches and possessions. It is about what we do with those things and how we view those things. It is about ANYTHING that takes your faith away from God.

3. Proverbs 3:5, Proverbs 11:28, Proverbs 28:26

E. He went away sad because he had great wealth. He was unwilling to do away with his things and put full faith and trust in God and Jesus Christ.

IV. Jesus Teaches His Disciples

A. It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Often times, the rich trust only in their possessions. They fail to realize that it is God who has blessed them and provided them with their wealth.

B. Jesus clearly teaches that we must deny self in order to be a true disciple of his.

1. Matthew 10:37-39

2. Luke 9:23-25

C. The disciples ask “Who then can be saved?” Jesus answers “With God all things are possible.”

1. God is capable of doing all things. Man cannot save himself. He cannot keep law and the commandments. It is because of God’s love, mercy, and grace that we can receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

2. Job 42:2 “I know you can do all things”

3. Jeremiah 32:17 “Nothing is too hard for you”

4. Luke 11:37 “For nothing is impossible with God”


We cannot do anything to save ourselves. But by faith and obedience, God can save us and give us eternal life. We must put our FULL faith and trust in Him and in Him alone. We must believe that Jesus is the son of God (John 3:16). We must repent of our sins (II Peter 3:9). We must confess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). We must put Him on in baptism (Acts 2:38). Then we must take up our cross daily and follow Him.

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