Whose Definition of ‘Good’ do You Use?
Does it ultimately matter if you are a “good” person or not? Only if God really exists and will judge you after your death does it certainly matter. So if God really does exist, shouldn’t you understand what being a “good” person means?
Do you think that you are a good person? If so, whose definition of “good” do you use to determine that you are as you claim to be, a “good” person? Are you establishing yourself as being a “good” person based on comparing yourself to someone you know or have heard about who has been for example, arrested, stood trial, and found guilty of some sort of crime which you have not been? Are you centering yourself as a “good” person because you do a lot of “good” things to help others? Or are you doing a combination of both in your personal claim of you being a “good” person?
When you are comparing yourself to other people to determine that you are a “good” person, do you always use the same person or people when you do your comparison of you against them? Or do you just use the same kind of person meaning that it is someone you “think” you are always better than? What about those people who are better than you… a lot better than you? Does that make you not as “good” as you think you are?
If you are saying that you are a “good” person because you help others… what about those people who do even more to help others in an even better way and more often than how you help others? Does that not mean that they are the “good” person and you are not as “good” as them or do you just look for someone else who you “think” doesn’t help others as much or as well as you do to continue your “thinking” that you are a “good” person?
Can you even know that you are a “good” person if there is no absolute standard of “good” for which clearly defines just what “good” is that applies to everyone equally? No, you cannot know that you are a “good” person if there is no absolute standard of “good” defined that applies to everyone equally. So without a standard which applies equally to everyone, no one knows whose “good” or not.
Does it even matter if there is an absolute definition standardized of the word “good” that applies to everyone equally? Yes, it is a life and death matter that you know the absolute definition of the word “good” because there is a personal choice that you need to make which is directly based on the definition of the word, “good.”
Thankfully, you and I do not have to live our life in question of an absolute definition of the word, “good.” God is the absolute standard definition of “good” defined. Jesus said in Mark 10:18 that no one is “good” except God alone. This means that you and I are not good. We (you and I) are not “good” because we are all guilty of something. Be it that we are guilty of telling a little white lie or of our perpetrating a huge scam which cost thousands of people millions of dollars and their livelihoods or even their life, we are all guilty of sinning against God (Romans 3:9).
The Good News (Gospel) is that even though you and I have sinned against God, we have the choice to freely accept Christ Jesus as our savior. By our honestly accepting Christ Jesus, we can be justified as a gift through the grace of God through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23-26). This means that our boasting about how “good” we “think” are doesn’t count for anything. Nor does our “thinking” we are doing “good” count when we think we are doing “good” in our helping others. What it takes to be “good” in God’s eyes is perfection—and you and I are not at all perfect. Only through our having placed our faith in Christ Jesus is what counts in God’s eyes as all else we do fails to meet His standards of “good” (Romans 3:27-28).
“Wait!” you say and then ask; “Why can’t God just let everyone go into His Kingdom even if they do or don’t take Christ Jesus as their savior?” You go on and ask, “Why can’t God just overlook our ‘sin’ because He is all powerful and can do anything?” There are three reasons God cannot just let everyone into Heaven; one is that God always keeps His word, the second is that He allows us to freely make our own choices and the third is that all of the choices we make have consequences.
God said that the wages (consequences) of “sin” is death. God also said that the free gift He has for us is eternal life if we place our faith into Christ Jesus as our Lord and savior. (Romans 6:23) When God says something, He means it! Seeing that neither you nor I are perfect and can never on our own pay our debt of sin by our own accord (by our thinking we are “good” through our own works meeting up to God’s perfect standards), God through His love for us freely gives to us a simple choice to make.
God said that our prevailing sin has to be paid. God through His grace to us paid our debt via Christ Jesus. The choice we have consists of our personally choosing one of the following two choices. Either of the choices we can freely choose and both choices have consequences. Not making a choice is making the default choice, Choice 2.
Choice 1: Honestly accept Christ Jesus as our savior as payment of the debt that you and I owe to God for the sins we do.
Choice 2: Not accept Christ Jesus as our savior as payment of the debt that you and I owe to God for the sins we do.
If God were to allow people into Heaven who did not honestly accept Christ Jesus as their savior and Lord, God would be breaking His word and saying that it is okay to commit sin. But as you know, God does not break His word and has said that the wages (punishment) of sin is death. All good parents know that rules need to be consistent and punishment needs set appropriately per each rule and consistently applied to everyone. God is our ultimate Father. God has given to us in the Holy Bible consistent commandments for us to follow and He has stated what we owe Him our life if we break them. God also through His grace gives to us a choice we can freely accept that God pays our debt through Christ Jesus (Romans 5:1-5). God takes our sin seriously and we should too!
You see, you are either a slave to sin, which leads to death, or someone obedient to God, which leads to righteousness. But thanks be to God that, you and I do not have to be a slave to sin. You and I can be set free from sin and choose to follow the righteousness of Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:16-18) True, being a slave to sin, you and I are free from the control of righteousness but what lasting benefit do we reap from that? Those things result in death because the wages of sin is death! Accepting Christ Jesus as our savior sets you free from sin and leads to holiness and an eternal life in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:20-23).
So whose definition of “good” do you use? I use the definition Jesus gave us in Mark 10:18 which informs us that only God is good. Knowing the truth really does matter in the end, doesn’t it?