Divine Good vs. Human Good by R.B. Thieme, Jr.

Nov 1st, 2012 | By admin | Category: Religion

A catalog of available tapes and publications will be provided upon request by contacting R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries, 5139 West Alabama, Houston, TX 77056

Before you begin your Bible study, be sure that, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you have named your known sins privately to God (1 John 1:9). You will then be in fellowship with God, under the control of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and ready to learn doctrine from the Word of God.

If you are an unbeliever, the issue is not naming your  sins.

The issue is faith in Christ:

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

Summary: Three Sources of

Divine Good

There is never a time when the UNSAVED PERSON ceases to be the enemy of God. We usually think of enemies as people who are in status hostility toward us- mental or overt. But this is not necessarily true with God. You may never give God a thought; you may believe that there is no God. It makes no difference, for either way, if you are an unbeliever, you are still the enemy of God!

Now, I want to remind you again that at least fifty percent of the unbelieving human race are nice people - very lovely people; and they perform human good. Even the people whom you do not consider to be nice people have human good in them. Some of the nicest people i the world are unbelievers…the most sincere do-gooders…the people whose acts and deeds we admire…these are just as much the enemies of God as the unlovely members of the human race whose sins are personally obnoxious to you. There is no such thing, from the divine viewpoint, as an unbeliever, with all his human good, who is not the enemy of God.

Why are they enemies? They are enemies because they have a sin nature (Rom. 8:8); they have imputed sin (Rom. 3:23); they are under the penalty of sin, which is spiritual death (separation from God in time - Rom. 6:23a); they are born spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1); their good is human good and relative and therfore not acceptable as Divine Good (Isa. 64:6); they offend the perfect character of God  (Psa. 24:3; Rom. 3:21,22); and they are “in Adam” (1 Cor. 15:22). In other words, the unbeliever has nothing - no asset by which to gain credit with God.

There is an insurmountable barrier which totally separates man from God. Whether the unbeliever is actively antagonistic toward God or not, his very position is enmity against Him. And he remains an  enemy of God until such time as he accepts Jesus Christ as Savior.

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly…For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son…(Rom. 5:6,10).

The word “reconcile” means that Jesus Christ removed the barrier that stood between man and God. He has done the work; we have but to receive it.

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration (the new birth) …(Tit. 3:5).

Only through regeneration can you become acceptable to God. If you add any human good to faith, it is no longer faith!

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law (energy of the flesh), but by the faith of (in) Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of (b y faith in) Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified (Gal. 2:16).


The Difference Between Human Good and Sin

The question has frequently been asked, “Is human good sin?” Human good is not classed as sin because the Bible distinguishes between human good and personal sins, even though both are obnoxious to God. The Bible speaks of our righteousness as “filthy rags.” Other phraseology for human good, as we have already seen, includes “not by works of righteousness which we have includes “not by works of righteousness which we have done”; “dead works”;’ “judged according to their works”; “every man’s work shall be tested.” What, then, is the difference in God’s sight between human good and sin, since they are both objectionable?

Human good does not involve a moral issue. For example, would anyone consider giving money to a church immoral? Or helping a person in need? You certainly would not class witnessing or worship or prayer as sinful or immoral! So, obviously, there has to be some way of distinguishing between sins and things that are generally good except when accomplished in the energy of the flesh.

Now, the question has undoubtedly arisen in your mind when you discover human good in yourself: do you confess it, or how do you handle it? There is only one way to eal with human good. you have to be filled with the Spirit; for, as we have seen, everything that you do that’s nice, or good, or moral, or right - every act of kindness, any sacrificial giving, all of your prayer and witnessing and teaching Sunday School, your service in the Ladies’ Missionary Society - everything that you do when you are out of fellowship is human good.

Therefore, the first answer as to how to handle human good is to avoid it by being filled with the Spirit. Under status quo grieving or quenching the Spirit, any good performed can only amount to human good. Remember, you are indwelt by both the Holy Spirit and the old sin nature. You can never sin when you are filled (controlled) with the Spirit.