Why “Good” Isn’t Good Enough

MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
—Romans 3:23

A self-righteous person doesn’t think he needs forgiveness. A self-righteous person doesn’t think she needs Jesus. A self-righteous person will say, “You go and preach that gospel in the prisons and on the streets and to the criminals. But don’t bother with me. I am an educated and intelligent person. I am a moral person.”

But the Bible says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, . . . that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5, 7).

Self-righteous people are different from what I would call garden-variety sinners. Self-righteous people are kind people. They are considerate people. They may volunteer and help out. They do benevolent things. We all know people like this. In fact, I have met some non-Christians who are nicer than some Christians I know.

It isn’t wrong to say there are good people in this world because there are. The Bible doesn’t dispute that. But the Bible does say that no one is good enough to get to heaven. We don’t get to heaven on the basis of niceness. Heaven is not for perfect people; it is for forgiven people.

We see a classic example of this in John’s gospel. In John 3, we find Nicodemus, who was a religious guy, a moral guy. But then in John 4 there is the Samaritan woman, an immoral person who was living in sin. What do these two have in common? They both encountered Jesus. And they both believed in Jesus.

This reminds us that everyone needs Jesus—both the moral and the immoral, both the down-and-outer and the up-and-outer.

Everyone needs Him.

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Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

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