“Moralistic” - meaning that “God wants me to be a good person and not a jerk”
Answer the question: How good is good enough?
Logic goes: There is a good God who lives in a good place reserved for good people.
The Rest of the Story
John 3:16 CSB - For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Yet, many we have shared our faith with feel this is simple too easy. They’ve done too many bad things.
John 3:17 CSB - For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
You’ve lived a terrible, no good, rotten life? No worries! Jesus did come to condemn you!
It seems right. It feels right. It sounds right. Yet… it’s not the whole story.
John 3:18–21 CSB - Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world because the world was already condemned.
CARM defines Total Depravity as: The doctrine that fallen man is completely touched by sin and that he is completely a sinner. He is not as bad as he could be, but in all areas of his being, body, soul, spirit, mind, emotions, etc., he is touched by sin. In that sense, he is totally depraved.
Psalm 51:5 NLT - For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
Romans 5:12 NLT - When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.
All of humanity is infected
Romans 3:23 NLT - For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Yes, even you.
Ephesians 2:1 NLT - Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.
The issue is deeper than we deserve a slap on the wrist. We are dead because of sin and disobedience. Not sick, not ill, not slightly nauseated—DEAD.
Isaiah 64:6 NLT - We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
>>> We have to get the Gospel back. We are born condemned and are in desperate need of a Savior.
Getting the Gospel Back
How good is good enough?
Ephesians 2:8–9 NLT - God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
It’s not about how good you are!
It’s about how good—how great—how supreme—how complete—how total—how faithful—God is.
Romans 3:22–28 NLT - We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
Paul said this is true for “everyone” who believes.
John 6:44 CSB - No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.
If you feel God calling you today, you’re chosen, you’re invited. Today is the day of salvation.
His arms are open wide. His call is effective. His sacrifice is sufficient.
The prevailing religious belief in our society is that there is a good God who lives in a good place reserved for good people. But how good is good enough? Contrary to culture's moralistic view of God, Scripture repeatedly points to man's depravity. We have to get the Gospel back--we are born condemned and in desperate need of a Savior.