I overheard a lady on a commuter van talk about one of her friends who was helping a needy family from her church. The Lady claimed, “She was just trying to be a good Christian.”
Many well-intentioned Christians spend lots of time, energy and resources trying to be good Christians.
The truth of the matter is, however that good Christians just don’t exist. The Bible doesn’t teach that at all. Believing that Christians are somehow good is a lie straight from satan. Evil people with no conscience can do good things and help little old ladies across the street and buy Girl Scout Cookies, give money to the poor and donate to charities. Doing good things for others doesn’t make anyone a good Christian.
Think about it. If one of your friends refers to you as a good Christian, that would mean that some Christian is better than you and someone else is worse than you. The word good is a comparative adjective. It goes with better, best, worse and worst. So if you say your Sunday School teacher is a good Christian, that must mean someone else is not as “good.” Is your Sunday School teacher a “better” Christian than you? Is your pastor a better Christian than your Sunday School teacher?
Jesus was not even a good Christian.
In the book of Luke chapter 18, Jesus addresses the concept of being “good.
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.”
Did you catch what Jesus said? “No one is good–except God alone.”
We’re not good or better or worse Christians because of what we do. We are Christians because God chose us to be his children and all the good works in the world we do will not impress God in the slightest. Nor will our good works gain us any status in the Kingdom.
In Ephesians Paul tells us God’s grace saves us and makes us who we are. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one can boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2: 8-10.
God created us for good works He created for us, “that we might walk in them.”
Our good works come only from what we allow Jesus to do in us, through us, and as us to bring glory to His name. They are HIS works, not ours, and HE can only work through us as we allow him to. And we can only allow Him to do His good work to the degree that we surrender to him. In Luke 18 Jesus continued to teach about what we need to do:
20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”
21“All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.
24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!
25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
29“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God
30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”
It’s called total surrender, reckless abandonment, trusting totally in Jesus, obedience to God’s commands.
Will total surrender and reckless abandonment and total trust and obedience then make you good?
Nope. Not in the least.
But they will bless you and assure you of eternal life in God’s Kingdom and more blessings than you can ever dream or imagine.
Now THAT’S good!