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Salvation Belongs to the Lord

Gospel of Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Jonah 2:9 ESV
But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
The Scriptures declare plainly through and through that God is the initiator, securer, provider and the sustainer of salvation. Let’s look again at to see how Jesus exalts God’s power in the deliverance of sinners.
Luke 18:18–30 ESV
And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

The Hardness of Salvation for the Rich

Jesus, seeing that he had become sad - It is clear from this phrase that Jesus observed the sadness of the rich young ruler. Jesus has told him the way of salvation for him, which is to surrender his love of possessions and wealth.
Yet, he was very sorrowful. This was a person who at the beginning of the conversation was asking what must be done and suddenly he is saddened by the answer.
How will Jesus respond to this young man’s sadness? Will he run after him to try to change his mind? Will he lower the standard, because the young man had good intentions? Let us see,in the next phrase.
Said, “How difficult is it for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! - Jesus does not lower the standard, but makes a clarifying statement about what has just occurred. Jesus is giving his summary and commentary on the response of the rich, young ruler. It is not easy to swallow.
Jesus’ simple statement is that riches are a hindrance for salvation. It would be safely concluded that the greater the riches the greater the hindrance. Those who are wealthy have a strong tendency to trust in their wealth. This excludes an absolute trust in God.
Jesus uses the phrase “to enter the kingdom of God” as a synonym for possessing eternal life. One who has eternal life has entered the kingdom and one who has entered the kingdom has eternal life. This means that one has come under the sovereign, saving reign of God and his Christ.
What does Jesus mean to communicate by idea of difficulty?

The Hopelessness of Salvation for All

For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle Than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God - In the history of the church, there has been much speculation about the meaning of this phrase. Some have argued that there was a actually a small city gate named the “Eye of a Needle” and that it was hard to get a camel to go through it. Others argue that camel should actually be translated cord to show that salvation is not impossible but only difficult.
There really is no reason to be mislead by this phrase. Jesus is using a way of speaking that is called hyperbole. This is a form of exaggeration used to make a point.He is describing the difficulty and how hard it is for a rich person to enter into he kingdom of God.
Well, it is like a large domesticated animal being able to physical pass through the small, tiny hole that is in the top of a seamstress’s tool. The illustration reveals the impossibility of the task. We all know that sometimes getting a thread through the eye of a needle is difficult. Therefore, getting a camel through would take nothing less than a miracle.
The illustration reveals the impossibility of the task. We all know that sometimes getting a thread through the eye of a needle is difficult. Therefore, getting a camel through would take nothing less than a miracle.

The Hopelessness of Salvation for All

Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” - Why were Jesus’ hearers so shocked to the point where they would ask this question? As I mentioned last week, in this time of human history and society, rich people were seen to be blessed by God (Nothing new under the sun)
Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” - Why were Jesus’ hearers so shocked to the point where they would ask this question? As I mentioned last week, in this time of human history and society, rich people were seen to be blessed by God.
Robert Stein reveals the thinking of the day in the following:

If a rich person—whose wealth was understood as a sign of God’s blessing and who could offer more alms and sacrifices due to this wealth can scarcely be saved, how could others—who lacked this sign of God’s blessing and who could not be as generous in their alms and sacrifices—be saved?

•Since the rich man was seen as favored by God and had a head start toward salvation, those questioning Jesus conclude that it is difficult for anyone to be saved. If not the rich, then no one has any hope.
So, what is the point that Jesus is making? I think that he is articulating that it takes a miracle, a work of God, an intervention of God power and authority, a sovereign activity of Yahweh, a powerful provision of God’s grace for a rich person to be saved. In other words, it does not matter how materially blessed you are or how many alms gifts you are able to make, you cannot do anything on your own to bring about your redemption and deliverance. One cannot earn for themselves eternal life or a place in God’s kingdom.

The Heavenly Necessity for Salvation

But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” - Here Jesus points his audience to the powerful necessity of God’s activity.
What is impossible with man - Jesus is saying that man is impotent, powerless or incapable of saving himself. In regards to a rich person, they are not capable of freeing themselves of their love for money. Let’s think about why salvation is impossible with man. I have a few verses from the OT that should sound familiar to you. I am going to focus on the OT, because we know the rich ruler had some access to these verses.
Jeremiah 13:23 ESV
Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.
Psalm 53:1–3 ESV
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Psalm 5:9 ESV
For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
Psalm 140:3 ESV
They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah
Psalm 10:7 ESV
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
Romans 8:6–8 ESV
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Isaiah 59:7–8 ESV
Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace.
Psalm 36:1 ESV
Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.
How can a rich person, or any person for that matter, be saved? Is possible with God - God is capable to accomplish what man cannot.
Job 42:2 ESV
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Isaiah 59:1 ESV
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
Jeremiah 32:17 ESV
‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.
Jeremiah
Jeremiah 32:27 ESV
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?
Jonah 2:9 ESV
But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

Practical Application

We must not conclude that riches are the only idol that keep people from the kingdom.

Practical Application

God has provided complete salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
God has provided complete salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:12 ESV
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
To completely trust in God, we must relinquish any self-confidence or creation-confidence.
Hebrews 11:24–27 ESV
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
Hebrews 11:24-
We must trust completely in God from the beginning of our salvation until the end.
We must trust completely in him from the beginning of our salvation until the end.

The Concordia Triglotta 785, etc., and 881, etc., is most certainly right. But the more all hope in ourselves dies, whether we are rich or poor, the more our hope in God rises like the morning sun with healing in his wings: “possible with God.” And why not? “For with God all things are possible,” Mark 10:27. Greater assurances no man can ask. God can save even the rich, difficult though it be to eradicate trust in riches and to put trust only in God’s grace in its place.

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