Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are You a Good Person?

Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,  ~Proverbs 20:6a 

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, ~Ephesians 2:1,2a
If you ask any unsaved person if they think they are a good person, nine times out of ten they will say yes. At least for me, this has proven to be true during the witnessing encounters I have had. Most people like to think of themselves in a positive light; almost as if their good impression of themselves prevents any negative judgment by God, should His existence prove to be true. You can imagine the shock and anger of people when they find out God has something very different to say about their character...

They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.  ~Psalm 53:3

The pride crushing truth is no one is a good person, at least not by God’s righteous standard. A person may occasionally do good things; some deeds might even be considered selfless, but deeds and works cannot change the inner nature. Out hearts are deceitful and corrupt (Jeremiah 17:9), a condition which we can do nothing to remedy...

Who can say, “I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin”?  ~Proverbs 20:9

The writer of Proverbs asks a rhetorical question and the obvious answer is “no one.” This is not to say nothing can be done about our sinful condition, rather this harsh truth is given by Scripture to bring a person to the place and condition where something can be done about it. God’s diagnosis and evaluation of mankind’s condition is meant to break hardened hearts and humble pride filled spirits...

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  ~Psalm 34:18

We, as Christians, must still remember we are not good. Being forgiven of sin and adopted into the family of God does not remove the nature of sin in our flesh instantly. Instead God gives us a new nature, one that we are to feed and nourish on His Word and obedience to that truth. Jesus calls us to take up our own cross daily to crucify self (Luke 9:23) and Paul declares that true Christians crucify the sinful works of the flesh (Galatians 5). When we are saved we do not become good, rather we enter into a battle with that sinful nature which would lead us to hell...

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  ~Romans 8:13

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