Wednesday, February 22, 2012


He seemingly had it all—he was young and rich and ruled over others. But he sensed something lacking in his life. “He ran up to (Jesus), and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life (Mark 10:17)?” Jesus answered his question with a question: “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18).

“No one is good except God alone.” God is good. He is intrinsically and inherently good. He does not have to try to be good, He is good. He defines good. There would be no good were it not for God. The Psalmist declared “Thou art good and doest good” (Psalm 119:68). His goodness is reflected in His creation. “And God saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Indeed, “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 33:5). “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).

Charles Spurgeon once wrote, “’He is good.’ This is reason enough for giving Him thanks; goodness is His essence and nature, and therefore He is always to be praised whether we are receiving anything from Him or not. Those who only praise God because He does them good should rise to a higher note and give thanks to Him because He is good. In the truest sense He alone is good. ‘There is none good but one, that is God’; therefore in all gratitude the Lord should have the royal portion. If others seem to be good, He is good. If others are good in measure, He is good beyond measure. When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because He is good; and we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless Him that ‘He is good.’ We must never tolerate an instant’s doubt as to the goodness of the Lord; whether else may be questionable, this is absolutely certain, that Jehovah is good; His dispensations may vary, but His name is always the same, and always good. It is not only that he was good, and will be good, but He is good; let His providence be what it may. Therefore let us even at this present moment, though the skies be dark with clouds, yet give thanks to His name!”

Separated from God man is not good and cannot even discern that which is (Romans 3:20; Isaiah 5:20). Any apostasy is marked by a depravity that is accompanied by moral confusion (Romans 1:18-32). In such a climate the practice of evil is even celebrated (Romans 1:32). Such is the nature of these difficult days (2 Timothy 3:1f). Good discernment is essential (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

The rich young ruler thought he could be saved by keeping the law. The law is good but there are no good lawkeepers (Romans 7:12; Romans 3:19-20). He failed to recognize that about himself (Romans 3:23). He recognized Jesus as good but not as God. The fullness of God, and His goodness, was manifest in the person of Jesus Christ, who is God (Cf. John 1:14-18). Goodness cannot be attained by those who are not good. It must be imparted to them from an outside source.

We are made good only by being re-made by Him who is (John 3:7). The Good Shepherd came, and laid down His life, to save those who are not good--that they “might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10-11). The born-again believer in Christ is His ‘good’ workmanship, created according to the image of the One who created him (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:10), to do good works. The Spirit of God bears fruit, including His ‘goodness,’ in his life (Galatians 5:22).

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.” Titus 3:4-8 (ESV)

Praise God for His goodness!

Pastor Jerry

No comments: