Monday, December 11, 2017

The Source of Goodness

Monday, April 10, 2017, 20:29
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I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

I have no good apart from you.”

-Psalm 16:2-

King David, the Psalmist, knew whereof he spoke.  After David had tarnished his office by committing adultery with the wife of a soldier away at war, he tried to cover his wrongdoing by orchestrating the death of that soldier so as to make it appear like just another war casualty.  What a foolish betrayal of his own conscience–that inner lie detector common to humanity!  Later, likely reflecting on this period of his life, David wrote,

. . . when I kept silent, my bones wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;

my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to you,

I did not cover my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”

and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. [1]

The fact is that we sin in thought, word, and deed on a regular basis.  Like King David, we were conceived in sin–and the sooner we acknowledge that fact the sooner we are able to get on with our lives, daily acknowledging our wrongdoing and seeking the LORD’s forgiveness as the Lord’s Prayer instructs us. [2]  Seeking God’s forgiveness on a daily basis and extending that forgiveness to others who have wronged us, is an essential element of our Christian duty.  As the apostle John reminds us:

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. [3]

Lest we too soon forget, the apostle John reminds us that in the wake of the historic Fall, Christians are those who know that natural human goodness is a foregone possibility.  The source of goodness in a fallen world does not spring from within themselves, but from within Christ Jesus their Lord.  And that is our unending testimony.

Endnotes

[1]. Psalm 32:3-5

[2]. Matt. 6:7-15

[3]. 1 John 1:6-10.

About the Author:

David C. Brand has served churches in Washington, Ohio, New Jersey, and Virginia, administered Christian schools in New Jersey and Arizona, served a year in mission work in Seoul,  Korea, and directed ADVOCATE Enterprise <www.advocateenterprise.org>, an educational project, in Ohio.  He is the author of Profile of the Last Puritan: Jonathan Edwards, Self-Love, and the Dawn of the Beatific published by Scholars Press as part of the Academy Series of the American Academy of Religion, 1991. He and his wife, Marilyn, have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

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