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Only God Is Good

by Tom Stewart
August 3, 2003

Jesus said, "There is none Good but One, that is, God" (Mark 10:18). Did He mean that both angels in Heaven and Saints living and departed could not also be Good? Apparently not, for Jesus also spoke of a "Good man out of the Good treasure of the heart [bringing] forth Good things" (Matthew 12:35). Further, the Son of Man will commend the appropriate people, "Well done, thou Good and Faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy LORD" (25:21, 23). You may ask, "But, did not Jesus plainly label us as evil?" "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" (Luke 11:13). True. We have all undoubtedly been and too often are evil, so the shoe fits. But, as a rule, we should also be able to say as the Apostle Paul said, "By the Grace of God I am what I am: and His Grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain" (1Corinthians 15:10).

This leads us back to Christ's assertion,
"There is none Good but One, that is, God" (Mark 10:18). Who but the Eternal God has always been Good? "Oh that men would praise the LORD for His Goodness, and for His Wonderful Works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107:15). Neither created angels nor justified men can lay claim to but a moment of time or the remainder of Eternity to be Good. "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18). We can certainly believe that God is Good. "Thou art Good, and doest Good; teach me Thy Statutes" (Psalm 119:68). Only those who do not trust Him would question His Goodness, e.g., "LORD, I knew Thee that Thou art an hard man, reaping where Thou hast not sown, and gathering where Thou hast not strawed" (Matthew 25:24). And, who but God has always been? "From Everlasting to Everlasting, Thou art God" (Psalm 90:2). Therefore, it is fair to say, "There is none Good but One, that is, God" (Mark 10:18).

What can be said of any goodness in man?
"Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?" (Proverbs 20:24). Man is Good, IF he chooses to be Good, but alas, the Scriptural record infallibly reports that all that can sin have sinned. "All have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Our human senses are confronted by the Spirit of God with the knowledge that man cannot be safely trusted. "10 As it is written, There is none Righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth Good, no, not one" (Romans 3:10-12). This is not surprising, unless perhaps, you feel compelled to defend the position of man's inherent Goodness, but again, "every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psalm 39:5). This leaves us all in a dismal state, if we are forever separated from God's Goodness; but praise be to God, "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Such an Atoning Sacrifice could alone bring penitent men together with God. "The Good LORD pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God" (2Chronicles 30:18-19). An infusion of God's Goodness is received at what point we turn in faith to Him away from sin; but, the same act of faith that allows God to regenerate us as a "new creature" (2Corinthians 5:17) in Christ must be continuously repeated throughout our lives, if we are to continue to experience His Goodness. "28 Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

We do not give God enough credit for His Wisdom that He is able to give us of His Goodness, unless we only trust Him.
"O taste and see that the LORD is Good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him" (Psalm 34:8). May we praise Him now for His Goodness, for which we will worship Him for Eternity. "8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for His Goodness, and for His Wonderful Works to the children of men! 9 For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with Goodness" (Psalm 107:8-9). Not only is God Good, but He "is Able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His Glory with Exceeding Joy" (Jude 24). Such "Exceeding Great and Precious Promises" (2Peter 1:4) will deliver us before His Good Throne in His Good Time. "The LORD is Good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him" (Lamentations 3:25). May all His Saints rejoice in Him Who Alone Is Good! "It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For He is Good; for His Mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD" (2Chronicles 5:13).


Tom Stewart

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