With Men Salvation is Impossible


By Dr. Ken Matto


Matthew 19:25-26 (KJV)   When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?  {26} But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.


Mark 10:26-27 (KJV)   And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?  {27} And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.


Luke 18:26-27 (KJV)   And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?  {27} And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.


The word “impossible” is found in these three verses: Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27.  It is the Greek word “adunatos” which is also translated “impossible” 3 times in the book of Hebrews: 6:4; 6:18; 11:6  It is translated “not possible” in Hebrews 10:4.  It is translated “could not do” in Romans 8:3.


Hebrews 6:4 (KJV)   For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,


Hebrews 6:18 (KJV)   That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:


Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)   But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


Romans 8:3 (KJV)   For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:


I was contemplating the word “impossible” a while back. Then the Holy Spirit opened up my understanding wider on these verses.  Those who hold to the Free Will belief system claim all you have to do is exercise your faith and believe and you will be saved.  If that was the case, Jesus was in error because “then with men it would be possible” but the Bible states in 3 places that “with man it is impossible” but “with God salvation is possible.”  This is not just another nail in the myth of free will but is equal to Jael’s Nail which took out Sisera (Judges 4:21).


Then Jesus tells them the reality of salvation in all three verses and the key to being saved. If man was left to himself, he would be unable to become saved. This is because man is spiritually dead and his entire life and understanding is tied to this earth. (Eph 2:5 KJV) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  The word “dead” in the Greek is the word “nekrous” which means “dead or lifeless.”


The only way that a man can be saved, whether wealthy or poor, is through God who does the saving. If a rich man is one of God’s Elect, even if he is a billionaire, it will not prevent him from becoming saved because God would be doing the saving. The unsaved man has no understanding of the Gospel and is unable to understand any aspect of it and that is why with man it is impossible because of their deadness. (1 Cor 2:14 KJV) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Only God can quicken or make a person alive by the Gospel and then comes the understanding.  He does this by resurrecting the soul of the person He is saving and once that is done, then they can understand, believe, and exercise faith.  The spiritually dead man can in no way raise himself up from being spiritually dead.  It must be done by God just as He raised Lazarus (John 11) and the Son of the Widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-16) and Jairus’s Daughter (Mark 5:22-43).  God performs salvation first by making the person spiritually alive as it states in Ephesians 2:4-5:  Ephesians 2:4-5 (KJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  A spiritually dead man has no ability to quicken himself and that is why Jesus said with man it is “impossible” because only God can raise a person from being spiritually dead to spiritual life and save them.  Man does not possess that power.