Why We Cannot Be Good Enough
And Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?” And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.” — Acts 10:21-22
Many believe that being morally good is good enough. They believe there is some level of morality, determined by society, that can be achieved by a man, thus defining them as "good." In fact, I would have accepted this idea as a biblical idea in my youth and young adult years. But if you ruminate on the assumptions behind this concept for even a few minutes, you will conclude this is really a broken construct. To assume there is some ideal measure of morality, that can be determined by humanity and then achieved by a man is a very arrogant idea. And it's this arrogance that gives way to everything immoral about this world. Actually, if you work out this premise, there could be no more unfair proposition on planet earth. And by the way, this is not a biblical idea at all.
And in this text, we discover a man who was well aware he was good but not good enough. In fact, this man did a lot of good things. He was a God-fearing man. He was generous with his proceeds. He lived an upright and moral life. Even Jews spoke well of him, which was a rarity. But none of these good deeds or his good reputation made him good enough. This is morality defined within humanity and by humanity, and it's exhausting and will eventually fail. It will leave us wanting more.
And this leads us to a conclusion and a solution. You see, it is only when we discover that we can never be morally good enough by human means that we pursue a better means of morality. We must conclude that moral goodness must be provided by someone who is actually morally good. And that perfectly moral person is Jesus. And through means of his divine moral perfection, we the immoral creature can be recipients of his divine morality through the mercy, grace, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Through belief in Jesus's life, death, and resurrection, we receive the means to be righteous in God's sight. And this is what Cornelius lacked. He lacked the divine moral goodness only provided by faith in the risen Savior that his good deeds could never provide. Because you see only Jesus's moral goodness is good enough. Even our best moral day is still exceedingly short of being good enough.
So here's the good news for all men. You can be perfectly moral (righteous) in God's eyes by declaring your total immorality to him. By declaring your immoral past, pursuits, and passions and placing your full faith and trust in Jesus — your unrighteousness can be cleansed by Jesus, and you will receive the right to be called a son of God. And honestly, that makes sense, and it sounds pretty awesome.
ASK THIS: What immoral action or moral goodness are you hanging onto?
DO THIS: Give it all to Jesus.
PRAY THIS: God, I surrender all my good and bad deeds to you today. I receive your perfect grace, mercy, and forgiveness that makes me right and righteous in your sight.
PLAY THIS: All To Jesus I Surrender — Simple Worship.
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