“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: This do, and thou shalt live.”  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 1}  
The positive question of the lawyer was as positively answered by the Master. The condition of salvation specified was the doing of the commandments of God. After receiving this positive answer, the lawyer asked, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus then gave the parable of the robbed, wounded, and dying stranger who was aided by the good Samaritan, to illustrate what he meant by loving our neighbors as ourselves. Through obedience to the commandments of God, our characters are built up in such a way that we may safely be intrusted with the gift of eternal life. Justice, truth, love, pity, forgiveness must be found in the heart of the Christian, for in his sermon on the mount Jesus said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Merely to profess to believe the commandments of God, while following the example of the priest and Levite, who left the needy, suffering one to die, without lifting a hand to help him, will not insure eternal life. He who treats a suffering soul in this way reveals the fact that he does not love his neighbor as himself, and his profession has no practical value.  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 2}  
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” The Lord Jesus weighs men in the golden scales of the sanctuary, and gives them credit as far as their practice of the great standard of righteousness will justify.  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 3}  
“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.” The faith of this young man did not penetrate beyond the surface. He did not discern in the Master the Son of God, one equal with God, who is the way, the truth, and the life. But Jesus answered, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, which?” The Lord Jesus specified several precepts of the decalogue, and quoted, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” as a necessary requirement. “The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet?” Mark states that “Jesus beholding him loved him,” but he said unto him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 4}  

The young man had inquired of the Master, “What lack I yet?” and Jesus had told him. But when he “heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” In this requirement to sell what he had and give to the poor, Jesus had revealed to the young man the plague spot of the heart, and he wished no further enlightenment. His decision was made. He had come full of admiration for Christ, running unto him, and kneeling down before him. Jesus looked upon the ardent young man, and saw material for the working out of a beautiful character; but the young man had not taken into account what was meant by practicing the commands of the law. Jesus laid before him the cost of eternal life. He revealed to him what was involved in the doing of the commandments of God. Nothing short of loving God with the whole heart, and his neighbor as himself, fulfilled the law. Jesus sought to clear the mist of deception from his soul, to give him spiritual eye-sight that he might discern the fact that he had not met the standard of character required by the law of God.  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 5}  
The question asked of Christ involved the whole conduct of life, and in the answer Jesus revealed the scheme of redemption. He revealed the young man to himself, by presenting before him the moral standard of righteousness. The young man had thought that he understood all the requirements of the law. He had asked, “What lack I yet?” Satisfied with his morality, confident of his piety, he imagined that he was above the average, and if not quite perfect, very nearly so. He desired to receive instruction if he needed any, that he might be perfect in himself. Christ revealed to him the fact that he was building upon his own self-righteousness. He showed him what he was lacking in the knowledge and practice of the law. The love of self, the love of the world, was the barrier which stood between him and Christ, and Jesus alone could remove this obstruction. The young man had never known himself before, never realized how he was idolizing earthly treasures. The opportunity was offered him to use his intrusted talents of earthly treasure in doing good, in blessing the needy, thus laying up an enduring substance in heaven. He was offered the privilege of choosing to follow the Master whom he had called good, and whom he really admired, or to hold fast his earthly possessions and forfeit eternal life. He never understood how little love he had for his neighbor, or how much his earthly possessions were to him until he was required to part with them. He went away very sorrowful. He preferred his property rather than the company of Jesus. He preferred his earthly substance rather than the treasures he was assured he would have in heaven. He loved the passing things of this life rather than eternal life.  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 6}  
The young man could not have the world and the heavenly treasure also. His neighbors were in suffering need of the good things which had been lent him of heaven, through which he was to bless the widow and the fatherless. Instead of distributing to the needy, he was hoarding up his treasure, and still considering himself a doer of the commandments of God. He did not understand the spirituality of the law, and the worthlessness of a formal, ceremonial obedience. He did not comprehend what were his eternal obligations to God. He had no practical experience. He neither understood the holy, paternal character of God nor the relation he sustained to his fellow-men. He did not look upon his possessions as a trust from God over which he should act the part of a faithful steward. He did not realize that he was to dispense of his abundance, doing good with his possession. He did not accept the conditions upon which eternal life was granted. He refused to obey the commandments which he claimed he had kept from his youth up. He did not realize God’s great love in giving his Son for the salvation of the world. He did not comprehend the spiritual nature of the gospel, nor realize the necessity of repentance, of prayer, of holiness on the part of all who would enter the kingdom of heaven. If he had accepted the invitation of Christ to follow him, he would have been enlightened, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, which renews and sanctifies the soul.  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 7}  
The Son of God presented to the young man eternal riches, but he did not estimate the eternal treasure as of more value than the temporal treasure. He had not kept the ancient precept which enjoined love to his neighbor, and pointed out the duty of relieving his necessities. He had no practical experience in doing deeds of benevolence, in showing kindness and loving consideration. But the Lord Jesus proposed to set before him an example of obedience. Christ was free from every taint of selfishness. He pleased not himself. His whole life was one of disinterested benevolence. He invited the young man to follow him. O, if he had only obeyed, appreciating the heavenly treasure above the earthly substance, what gain it would have been to him!  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 8}  
How many who profess to keep the commandments of God are virtually acting as did this young man! They put from them the grace and truth revealed in Jesus, and although professing to keep the law, they stand as transgressors. But selfishness and idolatry cannot live in the heart of him who keeps the commandments of God. How many, when tested and proved by the royal standard, will be found wanting,–lovers of self, idolaters, worshiping their possessions, hoarding their earthly treasure, and neglecting their fellow-men, loving themselves better than they love God. There are many who profess to be children of God, but who are deceived, and need to be aroused by the sacred truths of the word of God.  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 9}
To every soul who is inquiring, “What shall I do that I may have eternal life?” the answer comes from the divine Son of God, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Does Christ tell us to do that which it is not possible for us to do?–No, never. The path of obedience is possible, and it leads to the tree of life. This is the path that leads to the paradise of God. The requirement of God to obey and live was given to Adam. The only way to life is found through obedience to the commandments.  {RH, March 28, 1893 par. 10}  

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