Preparing the Way for the Gospel
One of the easiest, and most biblical, ways to show someone their need for Jesus is using God’s Law—the Ten Commandments. The storied preacher Charles H. Spurgeon highlighted this point saying, “They will never accept grace until they tremble before a just and holy God.”
- The Law stops our mouths from a self-righteous defense
- The Law shows our guilt of breaking God’s laws/commandments
- The Law shows us what sin is
- The Law guarded righteously observant people from living immorally
- The Law is our tutor—our teacher that brings us to Jesus Christ
The Law helps us realize that we’ve broken God’s Law and how desperately we need a Savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ.
Jesus proves this point as Scripture shows us how He used the Law to win people to Himself.
For his part the young man saw eternal life, like many people in his time, as a result of performance. Jesus lays out part of the Law to him and the man responds, “I’ve followed those things all of my life.” Righteousness to this young man was seen as a performance of a legal code and in his mind he’d kept the code. He’d done it all.
Then Jesus. He looks at the young man with love in his heart and tells him, “One thing you lack. I need you to sell all of your possessions, give the proceeds to the poor, come back, and follow Me.”
At that moment Jesus stops the young man’s mouth from his self-righteous defense. He points out his sin, with love, not condemnation, and the young man knew it. Scripture says, “He went away sorrowful.”
Jesus asks the young man to make a decision and the young man realizes he’s broken at least the first two commandments—no other God beside Me and no idols. The young man knows exactly what Jesus is telling him. The great possessions had him. Jesus knew it and so did
Jesus used the Law to stop the young man’s self-righteous defense and also to show him his guilt—where he had fallen short. It caused the young man to look at making a decision to do something he unfortunately was unwilling to do. Jesus loved this man but He would never lower the standards of the Kingdom.
Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, in their book Conquer Your Fear, Share Your Faith note, “[Jesus] addressed the rich young ruler’s ignorance about the meaning of the word ‘good.’ Then He used the Law to bring the knowledge of sin—to show the young man God’s standard of righteousness. That’s what Jesus did when He evangelized—Law to the proud and grace to the humble. Why would we do anything different when we have ben told to imitate Him?”
Let’s imitate Jesus and help people see their need for the Savior.