David, thank you form contributing to this discussion and you reference to your blog, He Lives. I think we have many things to discuss, esp. Covenant Theology.
_Mark 10:17-22 (NIV2011) _
_7 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to Him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call Me Good?” Jesus answered. “No one is Good—except God alone.
19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
You referred to the story of the Rich Young Ruler and this is an excellent place to begin.
1) The man asks the question, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" which seems to indicate that this is a question of salvation. On the other hand he asks, What must I do?, which indicates a works righteousness point of view.
2) The man called Jesus, "Good Teacher (Rabbi?)" and Jesus responds, "Why call Me Good, when on one is Good --except God alone?" The important point here which most people seem to miss is that Jesus does not say, Don't call me Good (because I am not Good or I am not God.)
Jesus asked, Why call me Good? and there are two logical answers, a) because Jesus was Good and therefore was God if no one is Good but God, or because he was lying about the goodness of Jesus in an effort butter Him up and throw Him off-guard. It would seem to be the former, particularly if the man did not bear false witness, but it appears that he was a member of the Pharisee Party.
3) Jesus asks him if he has kept the Commandments, but only brings up 5-9. Jesus does not question his claim to have kept them, but says, "You lack one thing. Sell all you have, give the proceeds to the poor. Then, Follow Me."
This too seems to be overlooked by most people. Or maybe I should say that most of us like the disciples are distracted by the question of wealth, that they don't see the role of commitment. Jesus said one thing, and then seemed to say two things. I would say that the sale of his assets and total commitment of the man to Jesus are two sides the same thing.
4) Here Jesus is revealing indirectly the New Covenant in His Body and Blood. The Mosaic Covenant is based on the Exodus, YHWH liberation of the Hebrews and all that followed. They are God's Chosen People. The New Testament is based on the Liberation of all of God's Children from sin and death through the gift of Eternal Life.
They are two different Covenants, even they are both from God.
Jesus called everyone to "Repent! the Kingdom of God is at hand." Turn away from our human ideas of YHWH and follow Him. Do things His way, which is God's way, because He is the Messiah, God's Son.
5) It is my experience that both Liberals and Evangelicals are enamored with the Decalogue. In this sense it is valid, because Commandments 5-9 can and should be the basis of "civil law' as opposed religious law. 1-4 are clearly religious laws which cannot be legislated. Only the first applies directly to Christians and that min a different manner from the Jewish covenant.
No. 5, Honor your parents (not obey your parents) again is a good idea, but cannot be legislated. No. 10, Do not Covet! is another that cannot be legislated and I would how many people understand or care about.
6) The Summary of Law as the Great Commandment to Love God and to Love others is the statement of the NT Covenant Law by Jesus. Clearly it is related to the Decalogue, but it is not the same. It is the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.