Study 16

Lately, in my life, I have been hearing a lot of people describe themselves or others as “good” people. I understand that people may evaluate their lives (or others’ lives) based on their perception of some kind of implicit scale. Considerations on this non-existent scale would be how often someone volunteers, the kind words a person uses, or possibly the amount money a family gives to charity. However, it says in James 2:10 that even one little mistake in keeping God’s law makes a person a sinner. There is no partial credit in salvation. You are either saved by Jesus’ sacrifice (and nothing good you have to offer) or you are a good person standing on your own merits that in the end, might buy you a nice life here on earth.

There are a lot of references in Scripture to humans being dead in sin before accepting Christ. We are born sinful and remain sinful until we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. When we accept Christ, we are still sinners, but now we are saved by the shed blood of the Lamb. Good people are not saved people until they make this decision. So the next time someone says they are a good person, you can say that you wish you were too. What a great topic starter!

What’s the difference between a good person and a saved person…

• Rely on what they think of themselves as a rationale for feeling good about their lives
• Justify their worth by the good they have done, and the bad they have not done
• Cannot understand why bad things happen to them
• Don’t feel that they have done anything bad enough to necessitate being redeemed
• Compare themselves against others’ in society, and feel that society approves of them

• Have come to terms with their fallen nature and know they fall short of God’s standards (Romans 3:23)
• Accept they are separated from God as a result of their sin – and have hope in Christ’s death and resurrection on the cross as their only means to eternal life
• Feel grateful to God for what He’s done for them (John 3:16)
• Understand why bad things happen (we live in a fallen world) and understand that God can make something beautiful out of it (Romans 8:28)

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