What Part of Man is Good

“Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette and the West Alabama Gazette”.

Watering the Tulips

08/10/2011

“…There is none who does good, no, not one” - Romans 3:12

What is man’s real problem? Is it that he will not respond to the offer of the Gospel? Of course it is. But, why
is he that way? The natural man is at enmity with God (Romans 8:7). There is simply nothing in him that will ever move positively towards God unless God breaks his stony heart and gives him a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19, Acts 16:14). The world, however, seems to believe that man is basically a good creature. This short treatise intends to test that belief by the Word of God.

The flesh of man is corrupt. It is called “sinful flesh” by the Apostle Paul (Romans 8:3). Every place you study the flesh of man in God’s Holy Word it is represented as being against God. Having this understanding, Paul said, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). If man is
basically good, these Scriptures seem sufficient to prove that this supposed goodness is not in his flesh.

How often do we hear somebody spoken of as having a “good heart”? Yet, the Bible declares that “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). This is not a heart that is naturally concerned about the things of God. The world may believe man has a good heart. However, God’s Word says otherwise. Jesus said that all of the sin of mankind proceeds from his heart (Matthew 15:19). If man is basically good, these Scriptures seem sufficient to prove that this supposed goodness is not in his heart.

The mind of the natural man is definitely not his friend. Paul said, “There is none who understands” (Romans 3:11). The Gospel preached to one that can’t comprehend the things of God will be meaningless to him. Again, Paul said “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14). The mind is naturally in darkness and is in need of God to shine “the light of the gospel of the Glory of Christ”
(II Corinthians 4:4). If man is basically good, these Scriptures seem sufficient to prove that this supposed goodness is not in his mind.

One may come to man’s defense by asking, “What of man’s conscience? Surely it will be of some benefit to him.” Yet, God’s Word says that the conscience of the unbeliever is “defiled” (Titus 1:15). Some are said to have their conscience “seared with a hot iron” (I Timothy 4:2). Sadly, even man’s conscience is bent toward evil. It is of no spiritual benefit to him. If man is basically good, these Scriptures seem sufficient to prove that this supposed goodness is not in his conscience.

How, then, can God ever accept us? How can the holy and righteous King accept those that are corrupt from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet? There is but one way to be accepted by God. “…He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). If man is ever to meet God’s standard and be declared righteous (justified), it must be by faith in the work of the Son of God (Romans 5:1, Galatians 2:16). Do you trust in
Jesus alone today? Or, do you believe there is enough good in you to win God’s favor?

Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your app to the Gospel” is available for download in the iTunes app store and the Android market. Download it today.

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