Concerning the Jewish-Israeli/Religious/Cult error of law-keeping and the misunderstood “Rich Young Ruler,” Matthew 19
Where you err Jon is not understanding that Jesus was born under the Law and was in the process of redeeming those under the Law through faith in Him as Messiah, not works of the Law (Galatians 4:4-5). Jesus is fully cognizant that no one but Himself could find righteousness through the Law because the Law mandates absolute perfection (James 2:10) and mankind is under the condemnation of sin as we’re all sinners (Romans 3:23); actually, the Law condemns anyone seeking righteousness through it (Galatians 3:10) because absolute perfection by humanity is not possible; therefore, no one but Jesus is justified before God the Father through Law-keeping as the Law only defines our sin void atonement (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16).
How does mankind find righteousness (a right standing) before God the Father and avoid the “second death” in Hell?
The ONLY righteousness (right standing with God) mankind can attain in this life constrained by Time is the righteousness Jesus earned for us by His sinless perfection and His shed blood as atonement for our sin (John 3; John 14:6). When we trust-believe in Jesus as our Lord who died for us, the Father, by covenant promise (Hebrews 8:12), imputes the perfection and righteousness of His dear Son, Jesus Christ, into and over our lives and subsequently declares us “not guilty” (Hebrews 8:12) and in addition, the Father endows the faithful in Jesus with the indwelling Holy Spirit as the Guarantor of covenant relationship with God, forever (Ephesians 1:13-14) and it is the Holy Spirit who then methodically, daily, guides the redeemed in Jesus in accordance with God’s will via the process of sanctification as the Holy Spirit prepares the redeemed for service in the New Jerusalem (Galatians 5:16; 1 John 2:27; John 14:26).
Concerning the Rich Young Ruler, Matthew 19…
In Matthew 19, Messiah’s conversation with the rich young ruler is often times misunderstood. Consider this…
The young ruler had asked Jesus what he must do to inherit or earn eternal life and Jesus responded (under the Law) to keep the Commandments; this, in response to the young man’s self-righteousness thinking himself sufficiently “good” to enter the Kingdom…Jesus reminded the young man that no one is good but God…Jesus at this point asked the young man if he recognized Jesus as God as this would have been key to salvation…but the young man insisted that he was sufficiently righteous to earn his own salvation…then…Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy and sin of the young man by commanding him to follow Jesus and sell all that he had and give it to the poor…the young man could not obey because the young man loved his wealth, his money and possessions more than God thereby violating the Greatest Commandment of all.
Jesus knows that we cannot keep the Law sufficiently to earn our own salvation as the Law mandates perfection (James 2:10; Galatians 3:10; Deuteronomy 27:26) and we’re under the condemnation of sin as we’re all sinners (Romans 3:20-23) and Jesus understood that only by trusting in Him as Messiah would the young man find righteousness (a right standing) with the Father and eternal life (John 3:16-28;14:6).
Jesus provided the young man no less than two-opportunities to find eternal life through Him, Jesus as Messiah, but the young man did as most Jews and Christian cults do today, they trust in their own righteousness to save them and deny the righteousness of Christ offered them by faith in Him as their Messiah who died for them (2 Corinthians 5:21).