Recently I stumbled across Matthew 19’s presentation of the story of the rich young ruler, and was struck anew by what it says and what it doesn’t say.
And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why askest thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The young man saith to him: All these have I kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me? Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
What Jesus tells him is exactly what he asked to know: what he must do in order to inherit eternal life. What Jesus did not tell him is exactly what you would expect if the Protestant error of sola fide was actually true: He did not tell him, “You do not have to do anything. Just have faith in Me.” Whatever else might be said about this passage, one thing is certain: It flatly cannot be said that what a Christian does has no bearing on his eternal destiny. The man who would be saved must obey God.