When Christ is called, “Good Master,” He responds, “Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is God.” (Mk 10:17-18) This is helpful: God is good, and only God is good.
So, Man is not good; Man is bad; desperately wicked. Man has free will: God gives Man freedom to choose, and in choosing freely Man always chooses badly. (Ge 6:5)
We should not be surprised that people are evil and that God’s angry — it’s a miracle that any at all are good … indeed some are (Lk 1:5-6), a mystery hid in God restraining evil. (Pr 16:1, 9)
God can make us good, and only God can make us good. If He can make anyone good, then He can make you and me good, by replicating His nature in us.
Do we want to be good? This is the beginning of goodness, itself the gift of God, working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Php 2:13)
I seem to need a constant reminder that my hope is not in politics, or in religion, or in my family, my friends, my job or my country … or in myself … but in a sovereign God Who always does according to His own purpose and will … which is always good. (Ep 1:11)
2 thoughts on “None Good But One”
I was fretting about the evils in our land, particularly in our leaders (listening to talk radio too much I suppose). I needed this reminder: God is in control, always has been, always will be.
Molinism is a teaching designed to resolve the problem of the unevangelized; it claims that God knows who would be saved under what conditions, and has so arranged the world that everyone who would ever receive Him under any condition has been placed under conditions that will allow them to be saved.
In my opinion, this is perhaps a reasonably good way to explain this one phenomenon, how the plan of salvation could be just even though all people have not had a chance to hear, but it does not appear to me to do sufficient justice to either the nature of God or the nature of Man. It seems to me to place Man as the ultimate cause of his own salvation, rather than God’s election, and to deny the reality of God’s sovereign control of all people at all times.
I think a better resolution to the problem of God’s justice in light of the unevangelized lies in challenging the assumption that one’s eternal destiny is determined at death, being only a function of choices made from understanding obtained in this life. I think it is more accurate to say that our choices and understanding in this life spring from our basic orientation toward the truth, and that it is this orientation which eventually leads us to salvation. (2Th 2:10) Death does not change this orientation, it only removes a veil which obscures the truth and governs the amount and kinds of truth we have access to. After death, as this veil is drawn away from us, we are all exposed to the truth in its undiluted and purest form. Those who love the truth in this life will find salvation, either in this life or the next, as they’re exposed to the truth. Those who do not love the truth will not find salvation, in this life or the next, regardless how much truth is available to them. Most people do not love the truth (Jn 3:19), so the more light they are given in this life the worse it will be for them in the end. (2Pe 2:21) The love of the truth is itself the gift of God, evidence of God’s restraining grace, which He gives to His elect. (Ps 119:36)