Only God can save you

man_in_chains_sm

“What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

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.” (Luke 18:25).

Jesus is using such extremes and the disciples responded exactly as He wanted them to….”“Then who can be saved?” Their response is exactly the message Jesus wants to bring across. A rich man is self sufficient and a camel was the biggest animal in the middle east. To get a camel through the eye of a needle is easier than getting a rich man in heaven. The focus was not money, but self sufficiency. A rich man can look after himself. Humanly speaking, a rich man can fix any problem he had with money. Jesus was trying to show that self sufficiency stand between people and heaven. Only those who are totally lost and realise their need and realise their total inability to save themselves, are those who can be saved. By this story Jesus is showing that a person cannot get into heaven on his own. The best place for a person to be, is at the end of himself, realising there is nothing he can do, he is lost. This was at the heart of the story Jesus was telling about the text collector at the temple. “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (Luke 18:13).” Only when it is humanly impossible to be saved, can true salvation happen and that is why Jesus was saying: “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

Today it is very popular among people to say you have the ability to choose Jesus. I have heard people say that we have the ability to see our own state of need and sin by our own mind and logic. This is against what Jesus was teaching His disciples. The tiniest form of self reliance is of the flesh and not of God. Salvation is from A to Z, completely a work of God (Jonah 2:9). Even in our response to repent and believe, we can find no ability from us. To respond is an ability God grant through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. People put their trust in their own mind, will and ability. Jesus was showing the disciples it is impossible. The Bible says: “trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Jesus said that the flesh is worth nothing when coming to salvation (John 6:63). Jesus said that no one will be ABLE to come to Him unless that Father grant it and draw a person to Christ (John 6:44, 65). Jesus also said that which originates in the flesh, is flesh and of no use, but that which is born by the Spirit, is life (John 3:6). Paul said that Israel sought the Lord, but only the elect found it (Rom. 11:7). The Bible command people to seek God while He may be found (Is. 55:6). Although this is true, only the elect will find God, because the Holy Spirit enable them to search for Him with their whole heart. The Bible says it is God who works in us to will and act according to His will and pleasure (Phil. 2:13). The Bible also says that EVERYTHING happen according to the predestined purposes of God (Eph. 1:11). The Bible also says that believers are predestined to be adopted as children of God according to God’s own will and purposes. The Bible knows nothing of “I did this”. The Bible only knows “God did it”. In salvation, there is nothing, not the tiniest form of my ability. The Bible says that God did it this way so that it will not depend on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy (Rom. 9:16). Salvation is through grace alone (Eph. 2:8).

The Bible knows NOTHING of man reaching God on his own. Neither does the Bible know anything of man having the tiniest ability to seek, will, desire and understand God out of his own will and mind. Unless God through His choice and mercy grant a person grace by giving him the ability to seek and find God, no one will be able to see and find God out of their sinful state. They are blinded by the spirit of this age and they are deaf. The Bible says they are dead in sin. We are so sinful that we have no desire and will for God, nor the ability to see by ourselves our need for God. People will live ignorant of their state of sin and their need until the Holy Spirit open their eyes to see their own need and sin and to draw them to Christ.


Comments

Only God can save you — 12 Comments

  1. Jaco as ek dalk ook iets kan bydra. Jy skrywe baie” die Bybel se” met n teksverwysing by. Kan dit nie op n ander manier gestel word nie. Stem saam met jou sienings. Ek dink net aan die wat nie die Bybel aanvaar nie. Dit is immers die Woord v God.

    N ander voorstel. In biologie het ons bv. altyd die eksamenvraag gekry wat jy die plant en diersel se veskille in tabelvrm moet plaas. Ek dink dit sal bv. maklik vestaanbaar wees vir veral die wat n geringe kennis vd Bybel het.

  2. Hier moet ek julle dan beide teenstaan 🙂 Jou manier van doen hier bo is doodreg Jaco. As iemand die bybel nie aanvaar nie, is hulle geestelike oë nie oop nie, en maak nie saak wat, en hoe, jy enigiets sê bnie, dit sal vir hulle dwaasheid bly. Ons moet pasop om deur ons eie pogings en aanpassingtjies mense te probeer trek en lei tot geloof. Dit sou juis die boodskap hierbo onwaar maak….

    • Anton, jy is reg. Ek sien nou ek het Frans verkeerd verstaan. Ek dog hy bedoel ek moet eerder die woorde “Woord van God gebruik”. Ek stem dus heeltemal met jou saam. Ek skaam my nie vir die rou weeklikheid van die Woord van God nie. As iemand nie die Bybel aanvaar nie, is hy geestelik dood en net die Woord van God deur die Gees gespreek kan hom lewend maak. Dankie vir die reghelp.

  3. Ek het dit bedoel soos jy dit verstaan het Jaco maar Amton is ook reg . Dit klink net as ek nou n totale leek is of as jy die woorde “the Bible say “vir my net nie reg nie. Ek verstaan dit wel maar die impak as ek dit so kan stel sal beter wees as jy dit dan afwissel.

    Net n voorstel.

    • Ek verkies eerder om by Bybelse terme te bly Frans. Ek wil nie mense te vrede stel en huk vlees te voed nie. Mense wat deur die Gees gelei is om tot bekering te kom sal die Woord verstaan en sal nie bedreig voel deur die term Bybel of Woord van God nie. Dankie vir die bydra.

  4. Uitstekende stuk, Jaco.
    Mens kan kwalik daarop verbeter, sou ek se.
    Ek weer hou nie daarvan dat mens die Bybel ‘kleiner’ maak nie.
    Wie dit nie aanvaar nie, sal dit ook nie andersins aanvaar nie, dink ek.
    Ek dink aan Jesus se vertelling van wat Abraham aan die ryk man in die hel gese het oor Moses en die profete.
    Die Woord is voldoende en al stel mens dit anders, sal hulle dit eweneens nie aanvaar nie.
    Jy kan miskien wel aan die formulering werk (ek sou nie) as jy wil, maar daar is geen nodigheid nie, m.i. is dit goed Skriftuurlik gefundeerd.
    Vrede!

  5. Jaco ek kan net jou en andere aanraai om “What love is this? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God” deur Dave Hunt te bestudeer. Niemand kan met outoriteit oor Calvinisme praat as hy nie die boek deurgewerk het nie. Kry dit by http://www.loyalpublishing.com of bestel dit van Amazon. Kry ook dr. Dale Yocum se boek “Creeds in Contrsast – a study in Calvinism and Arminianism. Jy kan dink dat jy Calvinisme se rottweiler is maar glo my jy het nie al die teologie agtermekaar nie. Beste.

    • Louis, dankie vir die terugvoer. Ek respekteer jou siening alhoewel ek daarvan verskil. Ek het al Dave Hunt se “What Love is this” deurgewerk en ek stem nie met hom saam nie. Ek het nog nie Dr Dale Yocum gelees nie, maar wel vele ander. Na jare se groei en weens my eie bekering weet ek gereformeerde teologie is ‘n Bybelse teologie. Alhoewel glad nie perfek nie, bevat dit die kern van hoe God red en wie Hy nader trek na sy Seun Jesus Christus.

      Ek probeer nie Calvinisme se Rottweiler wees nie. In stede gehoorsaam ek God deur die gesonde leer soos eens oorgelewer deur die Heiliges te leer en verkondig. Ek poog ook deesdae om nie meer myself uit te druk ten opsigte van die naam Calvinisme nie, maar ek trek, deur die hulp van die Heilige Gees, God se waarhede uit Sy woord.

      EK wil graag vra dat ons mekaar respekteer en sal liefhê wat ‘n opdrag is aan ons beide as ons kinders van God is.

      Ek hoop ons kan in die toekoms lekker gesels al verskil ons dalk.

    • Louis, ons het gister tydens die diens ‘n wonderlike lied gesing ‘O great God of Highest heaven’ Ek deel graag die tweede vers met jou en is seker jy sal saamstem: ‘I was blinded by my sin, Had no ears to hear your voice. Did not know your love within. Had no taste for heaven’s joys. Then your Spirit gave me life. Opened up your Word to me. Through the gospel of your Son, gave me endless hope and peace’

  6. Thank you Jaco for inviting me to comment on this. What a “great little” verse, a bit of a contradiction there! rather a “little verse” with a “great” meaning. One of the first things that comes to mind is that lovely Hymn,

    “Nothing is impossible with God”
    It is no secret what my God can do.
    What my God has done for others he can still do for you.

    Jesus had such a pictorial way of explaining His message to the disciples and here we have another picture. Just imagine a camel, a huge beast and the eye of a needle, try in your mind to picture it passing through; its not going to happen is it! Such is the way that Jesus spoke, it is all about Him is it not, God can make it happen and that is the truth. Our dependency rests entirely upon Him; only He can pull us through. The comparison between the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in verse 10 of the chapter points to this very fact, that the Pharisee, this egotistical boastful man, full of his own self could even think of causing favour with God was truly mistaken indeed, he trusted in himself that he was righteous but our Lord’s rejection of him was surely because he thought that the merits of his good works alone would secure him, big mistake on his part. Quite a sharp contrast indeed to the Tax Collector who’s only prayer, plea, was that of asking for mercy from a contrite sinner.

    Many men of huge wealth and fame, abound in the world today, doing great anthropocentric works, putting there wealth at the disposal of lifting mankind up, trying to alleviate poverty, promote education to increase well being and standard of living, all to their own glory, will surely die if it is done without Christ.

    How often do we think that we have done it all, that we can work our way unto salvation, Matthew 7:22-23 can be our lot, and what a dread indeed to hear those words at the hour of our Judgment.

    When our Lord calls we must listen, and coming back to my previous comment about nothing being impossible with God, I think of Saul, what a wicked specimen of a man, Saul as he was known before, he became known as Paul, must surely be proof of this. Saul was rich, a learned Jew, a “huge camel” and with no need of Christ, that is until Christ did the impossible and brought him to his knees on the road to Damascus. Only God can call us unto Him, only God can give the assurance of Life Eternal and only God can make that promise. 1 John 5:11-13.