Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
So be good for goodness’ sake?
An Atheist group has launched an add campaign (just in time for Christmas) that says “WHY BELIEVE IN A GOD? JUST BE GOOD FOR GOODNESS SAKE.” By the way, my computer will let me spell God with a little g, but won’t recognize Satan without a capitol s? There’s the world for you.
Anyway, the argument is that a person can be good without believing in God. Unfortunately, there is truth in that, but by whose’ standard? Who decides what is right or wrong. Is there grey area, and who decides that? Even the folks who wanted slavery believed in the same things you and I do, as far as pursuit of happiness, equal rights - etc. So to get around these and still have their way, their court decision on slavery established three points. That black people were not “fully” human; that they were not therefore eligible for the same rights; and that they were the property of their owners.
Spiritual Switch: In 1973, the R vs W decision established three points. That fetuses are not fully human; that they are not therefore eligible for the same rights; and that they are the property of their mothers. Extra credit: Fetus is Latin for offspring.
Although this is settled in my heart, I acknowledge that we won’t establish this here. I could run down a litany of Biblical reasons why Abortion is hideously wrong, and probably won’t change one mind. The point is, that there are folks on either side of the issue, that by every worldly standard, are Good People.
I don’t want to talk about you now, for fear of angering you, so I’m going to tell you about me. This is me through the eyes of a Holy God.
My heart is deceitfully wicked beyond all measure. On my best day, the most righteous thing I can do is like a filthy rag before God. All the thoughts of my heart are only evil all the day long. I lust, and have not. I kill in my heart because I desire to have what I can not obtain. I yield my members as instruments of unrighteousness. Please don’t think this false humility. The apostle Paul said of himself: “there is no goodness within me”. I used to think I was a good person – certainly better than most, but God doesn’t grade on a curve. On my very best day, I could not be good enough. “Because the carnal (worldly) mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” - Romans 8:7. Does it now start to make sense that Jesus said he didn’t come into the world to destroy the law, but to fulfil it on our behalf because we literally can not do it. I cannot be GOOD FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE. Here’s the good news. “God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. -Romans 5:8. “It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.” - Gal. 2:20. There is an unshakable, objective standard for determining right and wrong. He is God; I am what He says I am, regardless of how I feel, and ultimately, Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is lord. - Phil. 2:5-10. It’s really good news when you think about it. God Bless.