Christians are just good people, right?

Christianity is just a way to make people good, right? So as long as you are a religion, and you are being good, it doesn’t matter which religion you are.

That’s what a dear friend of mine had to say the other day. What do you think?

My first thought was that it does matter which religion you are, and Christianity is much more than making someone good. But I decided that rather than spout the first thing that came to mind, I would mull over what God’s answer to that would be – what He has said through the Bible.

Jesus refutes the idea of any religion getting you to heaven pretty adamantly in John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (i.e. gets into heaven) except through me.

But this whole idea that Christianity is just to make people good got me thinking.

Jesus says that only God is good, in Matthew 19:17. Well, there is no way I am going to be able to be that, then!

But here is some hope from Paul’s letter to the Galatians (3:27):

And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

I actually ran into numerous places in the Bible where we are encouraged to put on the righteousness of God through Jesus. Have a look for yourselves. I was surprised at the number of times this concept comes up.

So, it seems, on our own, we definitely cannot be good. But with the Holy Spirit in us, given to us when we decide to become a Christian, we can be all sorts of Godly things like loving, peaceful, patient, kind, joyful, gentle, self-controlled, and good.

Notice that to be good, we must be in a relationship, first with Jesus, who then gives us the  Holy Spirit, so that we can finally confidently come before God.

So I guess being good is an important outgrowth of being a Christian, but a relationship with God is “where it’s at.”

The benefits of being good, are many, though sometimes being good can cause suffering. And I am thankful for God’s mercy when I fail at it yet again. So while being good is, well, good, it is not my favorite part of Christianity.

My favorite part of Christianity is that there is a purpose to my life, even on the days when life feels mundane.

What is your favorite part?

 

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Published by

Heather Holbrook

I found out that I have Autism upon having a son with the same "disorder." Ironically, I was voted, "Most Likely to Succeed," by my high school classmates. But had I been born now, instead of 40+ years ago, I would have been considered a different sort of special. This site was started to encourage other Autistics and the people who love them .

8 thoughts on “Christians are just good people, right?”

  1. In answer to your question, if it was a question, no you don’t need to be Christian or belong to any religion to be good. 😊 to believe the opposite is the slippery slope to doing evil. 😈.
    Well written article I enjoyed the read 😊

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I really appreciate it! In my own humanness, from what I can see of other people’s actions, I would have to agree with your statement. But, since Jesus says that only God is good, then the only way to be good is to have God’s Holy Spirit in us. Jesus also says that the only way to have God’s Spirit in us, making us good, is through accepting that we are not good on our own and believe that Jesus died and came back to life to pay the penalty for our sins (our not-goodness), and let Jesus be the master of our lives. The Holy Spirit then comes to live in us, giving us goodness.

      The problem I see is that there are many people who call themselves Christians, but don’t really let Jesus/the Holy Spirit be in charge of their lives. So, while they should be good, they aren’t because they are still doing what they think is the right thing. Also, there are other Christians, like myself, who do truly try to let Jesus be in charge, but still mess up and take back control, causing all sorts of ungoodness that then needs to be forgiven.

      I think because people are made in the image of God, we are able to do good things. But we aren’t able to be totally good without God in us. People who seem good and don’t claim to be Christians, or any other religion, either do have a true relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and don’t want the title, Christian, or they are doing things that seem good with an ulterior motive that will eventually prove to be anything but good, or they are being called by God to join up with him, but they haven’t realized who it is that is calling them yet, so they don’t identify with Him, yet.

      I am not quite sure how believing the opposite is the slippery slope to doing evil. Are you maybe thinking of what happened during the Crusades? If so, you are correct in feeling that way. The Crusaders forgot Jesus words that we are to love those who don’t agree with us and that we are to turn the other cheek, not cut them down. It is so sad when Christians decide to use their own wisdom instead of God’s to “do good.” It always turns out evil, as you so powerfully pointed out.

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  2. My first thought is this scripture. “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him in in whose spirit is no deceit.” NIV Ps. 32:2 Thank God for his righteousness. You are right however, in pointing out that evidence that that has occurred is generally manifest by some change shown by being or doing “good.” Great post. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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