Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is Jesus Good? Part 3

So...is Jesus good?

The question, for those who cling to and isolate this verse on a doctrinal island, must be answered “no.” But there is extreme hazard in confining one verse of Scripture as if it was written in a vacuum. The idea of Jesus denying His goodness, and thus denying His deity, was not the purpose of this passage. No, Jesus was endeavoring to extricate the young man from his own flawed view of goodness and works; how neither was acceptable to God. If he did not approach Jesus as Savior (acknowledging Him as God), then it was pointless to approach Him at all. Christ serves no purpose to the one set on redeeming himself through religious activity and moral living.

How can men “dead in sins and trespasses” live moral lives acceptable to God? All our righteous efforts are filthy rags before a holy God, Isaiah 64:6. Sinning just once makes one guilty of all the law and separates us from God, James 2:10; Isaiah 59:2. This separation is eternal, since sin must be cleansed before God allows the sinner back into His presence. The choice remains then: eternity separated from God in a vain bid to cleanse ourselves, or faith in the One whose blood is more than capable of removing the filth of our sins and making us acceptable again to God, due to Jesus’ worth, Revelation 1:5; Ephesians 1:6-7; 2:5-7; Colossians 2:13; Hebrews chapter 9.

Jesus is good, because Jesus is God; He is the only One capable of bringing us to the Father, John 14:6; Hebrews 7:25. The question is posed a different way earlier in Matthew’s gospel. Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:15. The answer to this question determines one’s eternal destiny. We need a right view of Jesus Christ as our God and Savior, our Redeemer who is capable of giving us new life by imparting Himself to us, Hebrews 1:1-4; Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:11-14; Philippians 2:6-11. Let us not repeat the mistake of the rich young ruler, who saw Christ, heard His words, stood on the threshold of salvation, and walked away from Him. Rather, let us give all the glory to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who as the triune God give us life and breath and all things. God saves us solely by His grace, and was pleased to reveal His person and purpose in redemption by coming in the person of Christ. Our appeal should follow righteous Daniel: “we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies,” Daniel 9:18.

The answer to our query was adequately demonstrated in the life, ministry, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the Lamb of God, without sin and without spot, John 1:29, 36; 1st Peter 1:19-21. He is our hope and our trust, who has done what we cannot, and received for us what we could never hope to attain. Jesus Christ does not dispense salvation; He is salvation. Those who do not have Him do not have life, John 3:36. Those who have Him have peace with God and are free from any further wrath, Romans 5:1; 8:1-3.

Jesus is indeed good, as even His enemies attested. To esteem Him with creature honors, but deny His person and role in redemption and sanctification is a farce. Let no one deceive you with persuasive words of human wisdom; Christ is God our Savior, as the New Testament goes to great lengths to demonstrate. It is when the totality of Scripture is brought into sharp focus that the picture the Holy Spirit paints of God’s Son may be clearly seen. Christ is the “I AM,” Jehovah God of the Old Testament, as He revealed Himself to John in Revelation 1:13-16. The descriptions of God found in the Old Testament are here, as recorded by the inspired prophets. Yet here it is Jesus John sees (Revelation 1:17-18); not only He who became dead and was alive forevermore, but also the First and the Last. May the Lord clear our vision and lay to rest our fallible human wisdom to impart genuine wisdom; to impart Jesus Christ to us, 1st Corinthians 1:30-31; James 1:5. I pray that this post edifies and enlightens any who read it. Amen.

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All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible (KJV) or New King James Bible (NKJV). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.