Both the Old Testament and New Testament state that man is not good. Scripture claims man [and woman] is “dead in sin” [Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13], “there is none that doeth good, no, not one” [Psalm 14:3, 53:3; Romans 3:12], and even Christ said “there is none good but one, that is, God” [Matthew 19:17; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19]. Surely there were people of God [elect] at the time Christ said these words, so why is it that we call someone good? Is it because we are scared to say the truth?
We are ungodly creatures than “worship and serve the creature more than the Creator”. If honest, we would have to admit that we serve self more than we serve God. Whether we say it or not, Christ did.
As a saved man, woman, or child we have been “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” [1 Peter 1:22], “quickened together with Christ” [Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13]; “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” [Ephesians 2:10].
As a saved man, Paul said, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” [Romans 7:18-25].
Paul says, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” What Paul says in this chapter is very important. Above we have seen that man is not good, and here Paul says that our flesh serves the law of sin. With this said, where do we find the lost man, without Christ, still “dead in sin” without the “Spirit of truth”?
Paul said, in the flesh “dwelleth no good thing”. John said of the “Spirit of truth”, that the lost man “cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him” [John 14:17]. Paul also said, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” [1 Corinthians 2:14]. John also said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” [John 4:24].
When we call someone good or bad, we are most likely thinking of their actions and not their hearts, with the flesh and not the spirit. The one problem that we run into is that, “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” [1 Samuel 16:7]. Man may outwardly do a “good deed” to fellow man, but can do no good thing in the eyes of God. This includes anything to merit salvation or “brownie points” with a Holy God.
For the saved person, “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” [Philippians 2:13], but for the lost person, they are blinded by the “god of this world” [2 Corinthians 4:4].
What then is the UNREGENERATE SPIRITUAL WORTH? -0-
It is impossible for a lost person to come to Christ from within themselves [Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27]. Man simply does not contain a single grain of spiritual goodness to cause them to realize their need of God.
Remember this the next time you see or hear of an unsaved man doing something “bad”. It is in their nature. The only difference between them and you, is not you, it is the grace of God that has granted unto you salvation from the bondage of sin and His working in you to bring forth good works unto the glory of God.
Expect sin [bad] from the lost because he is without God; expect righteousness [good] from the saved because he is indwelled by God. God is the difference, not the person.
Pray that God will open the ears of the lost to the gospel, their eyes to the truth!