Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Philosophy of the Rich Young Ruler

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on January 12, 2018

Originally published January 25, 2017

“…he went away sorrowful…”

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ And [Jesus] said unto him, ‘Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God…’” ~ Matthew 19:16-17

To say that something is “good” is to refer to its intrinsic value or worth. When God said in proclaiming His creation “good” was that it had value, and not just value to Him, but value in and of itself.

That doesn’t mean that something that is “good” cannot be used for evil intent, and even if it is used for evil, that doesn’t change its intrinsic goodness.

Now contrast this with every philosophy, from Plato to Immanuel Kant, where the chief aim is the destruction of man. Such a philosophy was held by Philo who had a great influence on the Pharisees and Jewish religion, incorporating it into Jewish orthodoxy.

Given this understanding it is easy to see why Jesus would say what He said to the rich young ruler, who would have been a student of this philosophy under the Jewish orthodoxy of that time. Jesus was not making a definitive existential statement about man. He was sardonically pointing out the rational inconsistency of the rich young ruler in calling Jesus “good master” when his own philosophy taught that man is not good.

Nevertheless, unregenerate man is not under condemnation because he has somehow lost his value in being “good.” He is condemned because he is under law. The reality that God made a way for man to be reconciled to Himself is evidence of God recognizing man’s continued “goodness”, his value. That man in the weakness of flesh from time to time may break the law is not somehow indicative of his lack of “goodness”. This is why the Bible states that righteousness is apart from the law. Any attempt to define righteousness by some standard of law-keeping (even if Jesus “keeps the law for us”) is placing man right back under the very same law that can only condemn. The only way for man to escape condemnation is for him to get out from under the law.

This is exactly what the new birth accomplishes. It makes man a truly righteous being who is the literal offspring of God the Father, and one who is no longer condemned by the law because he his a new creature that is not made under the law.   The old man who was under the law is dead, and you can’t condemn a dead man. This is the very reason why the apostle John can state unequivocally and without contradiction:

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” ~ 1 John 3:9

~ Andy



3 Responses

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  1. John said, on January 12, 2018 at 10:36 AM

    Thanks, Andy. Many (including the evil lot) believe the Internet is evil in itself and that’s why they swamp the thing with their evil nonsense websites and “blogs.” Ugh. Ya, it’s funny. Well, maybe 90% of what is on the Net is a load of rotten flesh and inaccurate, it still does not make it evil. PPT is on there, for example. PPT weird? Sure! Evil? Nope.

    This rich young was sad when he left Jesus, but who knows if an eternal light came on in his troubled mind during/after the wonderous crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. Of course, it’s speculation, but this young guy had eternal life on his mind when he had approached Jesus, didn’t he? The young ruler dude did not want last week’s winning lottery numbers, did he? That also showed me that the guy had huge doubts about the going philosophies at the time.

    God’s timing is better than a Rolex’s. And not every SECOND time, but every time.


    • republican mother said, on January 12, 2018 at 4:27 PM

      I think institutional church rags on the internet because it allows people to see outside of the cute little platonic cave they’ve set up for churchians. I think it’s hilarious that some dude in his man cave talking about the Bible can get more views that some little SBC church will get all year. And if you contact a internet Christian, you are more likely to get an individualized response than the poor soul who emails their megachurch “pastor”. You can listen to all the music all day long, get in group chats about the Bible, get all the preaching you can handle. Or like us discriminating types on here, watch TANC Conferences with your spiral notebook! I mean, really, how can they compete with all that? I guess they’ve got the physical “fellowship” angle. (sardonic laughter). That’s the part where you sit in a pew, and if you really try to be friends with anyone, they act like you are some kind of desperate loser. Their phony attempts at being internet savvy with their retarded blogs only shows the world how weird their little cave actually was.

      May I brag on my kid? She encountered a gay guy (probably in a chat room) on the internet and asked him if he was going to heaven or hell. He said probably hell, as he had been told there was no hope for him. She related to him the fact that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He may always struggle with his feelings, but that does not mean there is no hope for him. He said he hated church, and she said, well I do too, and began to tell him of the situation we all know so well here. He said it was nice to have a reasonable discussion. We hope he searches out some of the Scriptures she gave him and get born again-out from the Law and under some Love.


      • John said, on January 12, 2018 at 9:06 PM

        RM, you called their blogs “retarded.” I swallowed a daydream I was having at the time and then I had to chase the purple bubbles that flew from my mouth until I recaptured most of ’em. One ‘scaped. She will return when I stare into space again.

        Not only may you brag about your kid, you should be darn proud (the non-biblical way, of course, of course) of the ‘missionary’ daughter of yours. Such wisdom from someone so young (I assume=chat room) points at a few things: great parenting, responsible parenting, ya daughter is born-again; a proper understanding of the New Birth; the boldness to share the truth (verses of law against verses of love) since she understands it, and an empathy/love for the souls of others.

        She might have helped saved a soul, you know? Well, she gained an admirer from here John. Good on you and husband. It was such a refreshing comment to read. Now the gay dude should know that there is hope; that others who call themselves “Christians” also hate “church.” And maybe, just maybe, he’ll see Jesus’ hands ready to take hold of him and turn him into a new creature. Perhaps now he understands that he is not automatically going to a place of desolation and hell and stuff (Detroit or Tucson) upon death . . . he has a lifeline. He has a choice. Good on your daughter.

        Blessings, and send that purple bubble back my way if you see her floating around somewhere.


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