I’ve heard a lot of people say that despite the evil in the world that most people are good. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe there is a single person on this earth who has any inherit good in them. Not you, not me. We are selfish and evil beyond comprehension.
This isn’t my idea. This is a biblical concept. Romans 3:10 states, “no one is righteous– not even one.” I know this is true not only because it is in the God breathed scripture, but also because I see the evil surrounding me in this world. Not only that, as much as I’d like to think I’m not that bad, I have regularly been crushed by overwhelming guilt from the evil in me.
So how exactly are we supposed to be good when there isn’t anything good about us? If you’ve been reading this series, you should know the answer by now. We are good only by God’s Spirit in us.
Only God is good, and God dwells in us.
Any good in the world is thanks to the hand of God in the world. We see a sunset and know that it is good. We witness a new born baby enter the world and know life is good. We observe reconciliation, kindness, and love amongst people and know that it is good. All of this goodness is because we live in a world that God created and is still actively accomplishing His will. I would even venture to say that people who are not disciples of Christ can do good things (though they cannot inherently be good because their own spirit in them isn’t good) because there are in a world where God has not yet removed His goodness. Christians can not only do good but be good because they have a Spirit that is not their own in them. They are filled with the Holy Spirit
All of the good in this world stems from God because there is none good but He. Jesus said in the story of the rich man (Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19) “only God is truly good.” All goodness that we see is the workings of His hands in creation. From the sunset to the baby to the good deed, nothing good comes apart from Him.
He is good and He is holy. He is so set apart in his goodness that He cannot have anything to do with evil or have it in His presence. If we are to be in the presence of God when we die, we need to be made good. This is why he sent the Son to make an atonement for the evil in us and gave us the Holy Spirit to manifest His goodness in us. This is the great exchange. God bore our sin and clothed us with His righteousness. He took our badness and filled us with goodness. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Yet not all those who confess Christianity act and live in goodness. I’m not saying they’re not saved; their salvation is not for me to decide. But they aren’t living the life God intended for them and they are reverting back to sin. I am equally guilty of this as other are. Our spirt wells us in us and we act out of selfish ambition. We act badly.
We need to embrace daily what Paul said in Romans 12:1-2 so that we might step aside abd let God’s goodness in us: “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead woth you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” We need to give our lives up to gain a better life, to exchange our spirit for the Holy Spirit. This is a daily practice we need to adopt if we want the goodness of God to flow in and out of our lives. We need less of us, and more of Him (John 3:30).
(For further reading on setting aside our evil and living in the righteousness of Christ, please read Romans 6.)
While there is none good but God, through Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Spirit’s dwelling in those who are saved, we can wear God’s goodness. Let us not be cocky and think that it is us who are good people. Good people don’t exist. The earth is filled with only fallen, evil people. Yet some of us are redeemed and refect God’s goodness. I hope for myself and for my readers that we will grown in God and learn to daily step aside to let the Holy Spirit fill us with the goodness of God.