Are Christians Good? (Y1.T2.D27)
Updated: Mar 18
Goodness does not differentiate a Christian from a non-Christian. In our passages today, Jesus tells a certain ruler—"No one is good, except one: God" (Luke 18:19).
Of course, this doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for holiness.
But striving and obtaining are two different things. The ruler who approached Jesus had spent his life trying to be good. He diligently followed the rules with the hopes of "inheriting eternal life" (Luke 18:18).
But you can't get into heaven by your works. What makes a Christian different from a non-Christian is threefold. It begins with what we believe:
If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” (Romans 10:9–11)
This leads to the second difference, which is our eternal destiny. The free gift of eternal life.
And this free gift brings about the final thing the Bible said would set apart Christ-followers: "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
So, Christians—like non-Christians—are not good. We come to God as sinful as the rest of the world. We've just chosen to access all the goodness God has to offer:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. (James 1:17)
Be Good Through Me, Lord
17b But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18a He said to him, “Which ones?” (Matthew 19:17b–18a)
24a The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter into God’s Kingdom! (Mark 10:24)
28 Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)
I am not wise according to my flesh nor am I mighty or noble. But You chose this foolish, worldly thing to shame those who are wise. You chose my weakness to shame the strong. You chose me, who was lowly and despised and nonexistent, so You could bring to nothing the things that exist. I have no boast before You. Because of You, I am in Christ Jesus, who was made to me wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Therefore I will boast today in the Lord alone (1 Corinthians 1:26–31).
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