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Friday, June 3, 2011

Oh My Goodness

As I was talking with a friend the other day, my friend said to me "Justin,  Christians are not the only good people in the world, for I know many leaders, friends, and family members that aren't Christian but are exceptionally honorable people. So how can these "good" people be exempt from the promises of the Christian life? They do not hurt people neither do act unjustly towards their fellow neighbors, but they enjoy life, they enjoy people, and they seek the justice for all. Therefore, how can these "exceptionally good people" be without the promises of God's people that are only experienced through the proclamation of Jesus as both "Lord" (the king who God's people submit too), and "Savior" (the redeemer, and restorer of all creation) of our lives? 

I can agree with my friend, for I too believe that there are incredibly noble individuals in the world who sincerely seek the well being of all creation, and as a follower of Christ I am deeply grateful to God for their good and gracious efforts. But as I sit and I think to myself, I am deeply amazed by those acts of goodness, for even those acts of goodness display the brushstrokes of God in his crafting of man in his image. However, as Christians we have to come into terms with the other reality of ourselves, for although we were created in God's image we have broken and distorted the image of God deeply by our sin (Genesis 3). 

John Stott quotes in his commentary on Ephesians 2, 

"Death, Slavery an condemnation: these are three concepts which Paul brings together in order to portray our lost human condition. Is this too pessimistic? Well, we must agree that this is not the whole truth of mankind. He says nothing here about the image God in which human beings were originally created and which - now grievously damaged- they retain, although he certainly believes it and speaks of our redemption in terms of recreation in Gods image...the biblical doctrine of total depravity means neither that all humans are equally depraved, nor that anyone is capable of any good, but rather no part of any human person (mind, emotions, conscience, will, etc.) has remained untainted by the fall. Nevertheless, despite this necessary qualification which affirms the continuing dignity of man on account of the divine image which he has not altogether lost, Paul's diagnosis remains. Outside of Christ man is dead because of trespasses and sins, enslaved by the world, the flesh and the devil, and condemned under the wrath of God. It is the fault or corruption of the nature of every man that is naturally engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is far gone from original righteousness, and his own nature is inclined to evil, so that he lust always contrary to the spirit; therefore every person in the world deserves God's wrath and damnation" 

Is man in nature good? Yes, "why"? Because man is created in the image of God, but that image has be deeply corrupted rendering man dead and incapable spiritually from knowing Him that is ultimately "good" through Jesus Christ. Man now is naturally inclined to evil, enslaved to the world, flesh, and the devil condemned under the wrath of God.

"Nevertheless, despite this necessary qualification which affirms the continuing dignity of man on account of the divine image which he has not altogether lost, Paul's diagnosis remains. Outside of Christ man is dead because of trespasses and sins, enslaved by the world, the flesh and the devil, and condemned under the wrath of God. It is the fault or corruption of the nature of every man that is naturally engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is far gone from original righteousness, and his own nature is inclined to evil, so that he lust always contrary to the spirit; therefore every person in the world deserves God's wrath and damnation"  -John Stott

2 comments:

  1. Very well put Justin.....I can't wait to read more on your blog *un brazo*

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  2. Christianity isn't about taking "bad" people & making them "good" & isn't about dealing w/morality or even immorality; it's about taking dead people & giving them LIFE, which is Jesus Christ. Your friend is right in saying there are good people that aren't "Christians" & just because some1 is a Christian doesn't mean they are necessarily good... there are tons of good, even great, people in the world that don't know Jesus & tons of Christians who aren't the nicest, most moral people. Our problem is a death problem, we are spiritually dead & we need life; we have a Savior who is life & is the solution to our biggest problem. The difference between some1 who believes in Jesus & some1 who doesn't is that 1 is alive & 1 is dead. The believer has the Holy Spirit living inside of them. Jesus loves us all & wants to give the gift of life freely; all we have to do is receive it & believe in the reality of Jesus & His love for us! =)

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