Summary: This message looks at what we really mean when we say, "He’s a good person" and what the Biblical standard is to be able to say that.
1. Our Belief: “I’m a good person.”
2. Some Examples Of God’s Standards:
a. It’s a blot on our record every time we get angry at a friend without cause.
- We’ll say, “Well, at least I’m not a murderer,” but here we see that we’re in danger of judgment for our unjustified anger.
- I might be able to say that I have never killed anybody, but I certainly can’t say that I’ve never gotten mad without cause at someone. I’ve done that thousands of times in petty huffs or self-centeredness.
b. It’s a blot on our record every time we look with lust at someone.
- Most married people here today might be able to say that we’ve never cheated on our spouse, but how many of us would be willing to say that we’ve never looked at someone of the opposite sex with lust in our hearts?
c. It’s a blot on our record every time we seek revenge.
- How many of us actually live up to the standards set here by Jesus that a “good person” would follow?
d. It’s a blot on our record every time we hate your enemy.
- How many of us have that kind of love for those that we despise?
e. It’s a blot on our record every time we speak a word inappropriately.
- Maybe I can say that a lot of what I say is good, but am I willing to put every single word I say out there for God to judge?
Note before leaving:
- Matthew 5:20.
- The Pharisees were the ones who defined “good people” back in Jesus’ day. If you asked someone to show you a “good person,” they’d have pointed you to the Pharisees. Yet, Jesus says that that’s not enough.
- Matthew 4:17.
- Jesus’ first sermon was not about how good everyone was, but it was a call to repent. “Change direction; feel sorrow for the sin you’ve been committing.”
3. What’s Really Meant By “He’s A Good Person”:
a. What we mean: “He’s nice to me and his sins are hidden or amusing.”
b. What God means:“He has absolutely no sin in his life.”
- The reason these distinctions are important is that many people are betting their eternity on them. Many people have no more of a plan than “I’m a good person” for their hope of getting to heaven. And as we’ve seen, that’s a plan riddled with holes.
- In truth, our standard here is Jesus Christ. Not just His lack of sin, but His active pursuit of God’s will. His active desire to do good. Even if we can go without sinning for a short period of time, most of us are still fairly self-centered and lacking thought as to pursuing God.
4. Where Does That Leave Us?
a. “If the Bible is true, you have be absolutely perfect to be a ‘good person’ and go to heaven.”
b. “You can admit that you’re not a ‘good person,’ but that you believe Jesus is.”