Monday, November 14, 2016

The Lie: You are Good Enough

This post, which appeared in a slightly different form some years ago, is part of a list of posts about the lies that sin tells us hosted by Bethany Mcllrath.  I hope you will click over and read more of these articles!

Who would you die for?  Not risk your life for, like heroic police officers, soldiers, and others do.  I mean for whom would you deliberately step forward and offer to die in his/her place?

For me, the answer's easy. I would die for my daughters, my nieces.  I might die for my husband if he didn't beat me to it.  Or perhaps for other adult family members.  But that's it.  Short list.

Why do I ask? 

 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him (Romans 5:7-9).  

Because these verses haunt me. Because left to myself, I know I am neither righteous nor good.

You know that too, don’t you?   Our culture constantly bellows "You're special! You're important!  You're just great!" then backhands us with a thousand insults to prove we're not. But we recognize sin’s lie when it comes a calling. Deep in our hearts is the whispered truth.  “I’m no good." To which God says simply, "I know you're not.  But I am."

Nobody.  That's the answer.  I wouldn't give up one of my girls even to save the other and certainly not to save any other human being on the planet.  Forget it. No way.

For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Romans 5:10).

It's not just that Jesus came down to earth and gave His own life for us, as mind-boggling as that thought is.  It's that God Almighty offered the life of His unique and only Son to His enemies in hopes that by His death they might become His children instead. What kind of King grants His enemies adoption instead of assassination? 

His own Spirit of adoption dwells in our hearts and the natural result is goodness.  How could we be surprised? (Romans 8:15,Galatians 5:22-24) Our God is the definition of good; He declared everything He made good. He created Adam from dust and His own breath. He knit us together in our mother's womb. Neither Adam's sin nor ours negates His intention.  We were created to be good! 

What about our sin? The Creator of the universe made us a new creation. Each Christian is born a second time of water and the Spirit (John 3:5). Paul puts it this way, "We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). 

Of course if we are walking in the Spirit, we'll be good.  How could we help it?  We were made by a good God.   More than that, we'll do good.  Like a hammer was made to pound nails, like a mug was made to hold coffee, we were made to do good works.  Not in some frantic effort to earn the love of God, but extending from His nature, His Spirit, and the way He made us. 

I know frantic Christians, urgently working more and more, in the fear of finally failing.  They misunderstand.  I know gloomy Christians.  They reject the lie of sin that they are themselves "good enough,” but do not accept the truth that God is. They despair as if they were still lost. I am here to trumpet the truth.  In and of ourselves, we are not worthy.  But God means for us to be!  He crafted us again, purposing us to be vessels for His Spirit and agents for His good work and His good will.  Out of the immense depths of His goodness, so vast that He would send His only Son to die for the worthless, He makes us good. 


  1. Even though I've already read it, these words just stir my soul to praise, Helene! Thank you again for participating and sharing this amazing truth with me and other readers. I am so excited the Lord ensures we are not still lost and makes us anew for the good He has prepared!! AMEN!

  2. I know what you mean! This truth from God's word, that we are recreated in His good image, just makes me want to shout!

  3. Beautiful meditation. Thanks for sharing.

  4. In the deep recesses of our hearts, we all know we are not good enough. But then, as you pointed out, that's the reason for the cross. We are not good, but He is. And because of His great love and sacrifice, we can share in His goodness. Amen!