I remember those Pastors and especially the one I heard his preaching again and again, who mentioned, kept mentioning and highlighting that none is good, only God is good. I do not remember the foundation verses for this statement but somewhere in my heart I always felt that something was not in place.
Growing in my Christian life, I have learnt a lot and still, I have many questions. In time, they are answered or not as yet. I keep asking the questions, believing that the response will come soon or later. I am not ashamed about it. I believe that we need to ask the questions and look for the answers, we know in part as the Bible clearly says.
I believed as no-Christian and I continue believing as Christian that we are no perfect. There is no perfect human on this earth, never existed and we will never trace one. Today, from the point of view of a believer I know that the only person in human form who was perfect was Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Saviour.
What about all the rest of us? I meet many people, independently of race, religion, education, culture, people from all ways of life who are good people, not perfect but good. They are kind, lovable, trying their best, with dignity, with good intentions, helpful, full of unconditional love. All characteristics that cover the meaning of good. Don’t just read what I write, go please and check the dictionary’s definition of good or/and good person. My research shows the following meanings:
Meaning of good:
- To be desired or approved of
- Pleasing and welcome
- Healthy, strong or well
- Useful, advantageous, or beneficial in effect
- Appropriate to a particular purpose
- Strictly adhering to or fulfilling all the principles of a particular religion or cause (a good catholic girl!)
- Possessing or displaying moral virtue
- Showing kindness
- Obedient to rules or conventions
Meaning of good person:
- A person who is good to other people
- Benefactor, helper, giver, does not harm, responsible, with admirable characteristics, strong, stable and dependable, reliable, uncomplaining, hard working.
As far as I understand the English word “good” is about what I spoke above with an addition that in religious term it could mean holy (a holy man) but we agree that only God is holy, so this is out of our way. Plus, the fulfilling all the principles of a particular religion. We agree that Christianity is not a religion but a personal relationship where obviously we try to fulfil what a relationship is.
The statement “There is none righteous, no, not one; or “None is good”, is it true or false? I need to go back to the Word!
We have similar statements in the Old Testament’s books, as well as, in the New Testament. Old Testament is the period of the Law, New Testament is the period of grace. Let’s keep this in mind.
Old Testament – the era of the Law:
Psalms speak much about the subject, I chose two scriptures:
“The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity;
There is none who does good.”
“Every one of them has turned aside;
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.”
“Wisdom strengthens the wise
More than ten rulers of the city. For there is not a just man on earth who does good
and does not sin.”
New Testament – the era of Grace
“They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
(There is reference of the scholars concerning the Romans 3v12 to the following scriptures of the Old Testament: Psalms 14:1–3; 53:1–3; Ecclesiastes 7:20 – see above)
What do you understand?
Reading the verses at an absolute way, just the phrase “there is none who does good, no, not one” is clear that none is good, none is a giver, none is a helper, none is kind, none is working hard, none is possessing or displaying moral virtue, none is obedient and so on.
Life itself proves that this is not true. However, as a Christian, I would prefer to stick with the word of God as my base for all understanding and not just my experience. I am not in a position to quote all Bible but who knows the Bible well, she/he knows that this is not true also based on the word of God! We have many examples of people of the Bible who were helpful, peaceful, hardworking, well intended, loving and lovable, peacemakers, obedient, faithful.
So, what’s happening? What is true and what is false? Is it normal to have such huge contradictions in the word of God?
My understanding is that “good” in the specific mentioned scriptures, is connected with sin, weather someone has sins, a fact that it is true: none was or is without sin! That’s why we still ask for forgiveness through Christ and we try with Holy Spirit’s help to repeat not that sin.
I understand that “good” is connected with holiness and we well know that in this earthly form we are and won’t be holy. Only God is holy. When the time comes to face Him, it will be only through grace and not deserved.
I understand that “good” is connected with perfection. We well acknowledge that we are not perfect, He is only perfect. When we change to perfection, it will be only through grace.
It is important to read and study those scriptures – speaking about none is good – into their context. God spoke about people who believed that there is no God, people who were corrupted…
Concluding, if I was preaching about good, I would make sure that there is clear definition of the English Dictionary meaning, the meaning that the world uses in daily life and the meaning of the Bible’s good. The reason is that people misunderstand and feel underestimated, unappreciated even when they try truly their best. We put them off, accuse them for no reason and pull them away from truth, without encouragement to keep trying their best.
I have met truly good people – I would say more no Christians than Christians – still, they – as everybody else – are not without sin, they are not holy or perfect – and for all of us there is only one way to reach holiness: through Christ!
Let’s be better than those false preachers who just desire to oppress people than support them to become better and come closer to God and Christ life.
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