Divine Good vs. Human Good by R.B. Thieme, Jr. (April 1, 1918 - August 16, 2009)

Nov 29th, 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)


The Difference Between Human Good and Sin

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. You have to be tempted first. You can be tempted in regard to motivation or overt sins or sins of the tongue. But you have to be tempted first, and then you have to go on negative signals. It is not a sin to be tempted. However, when you go on negative signals, you succumb to the temptation, the Holy Spirit is grieved, and then you come under the power of the old sin nature.

When you are under the control of the sin nature, you are going to commit personal sins. At the point you confess the personal sins involved, you go back to the control of the Spirit, which means that all of the good you perform until you sin again is divine good. It now comes from the Holy Spirit rather than from the sin nature. The solution begins with 1 John 1:9, but you do not confess the human good - you confess the sins.

You see, somewhere along the line you are going to know you are under the control of the old sin nature, because you will commit a personal sin. Then, when you confess that personal sin, you are forgiven the personal sin which you specify, as well as any sins you may unknowingly have committed in the meantime. You are now filled with the Spirit and no longer operating under human good. No matter what you do while filled with the Spirit - whether it’s only giving a cup of cold water in the Lord’s name, or whether it’s praying and witnessing - it falls into the category of divine good.

Human Good

A Satanic Concept

Since Satan was the first sinner and his sin was negative volition (Isa. 14:12-14), there is an obvious conflict in the realm of good versus evil. However, many believers, as well as unbelievers, cherish the illusion that only those things which are regarded as evil by society originate from the devil. There is also a conflict of good versus good - that is, Divine Good versus Satanic Good.  Dr. L.S. Chafer points this out in his theology:

“It is not the reason of man, but the revelation of God, which points out that governments, morals, education, art commercialism, vast enterprises and organizations, and much of religious activity are included in the ‘cosmos diabolicus.; That is, the system which Satan has constructed includes all the good which he can incorporate into it and be consistent in the thing he aims to accomplish. A serious question arises whether the presence of gross evil in the world is due to Satan’s intention to have it so, or whether it indicates Satan’s inability to execute all he has designed. The probability is great that Satan’s ambition has led him to undertake more than any creature could ever administer. Revelation declares that the whole ‘cosmos system’ must be annihilated - not its evil alone, but all that is in it, both good and bad.”

Hence, the great conflict between God and Satan is not only good versus evil, but good versus good. Satanic doctrine is promoted through such agencies as the social gospel, socialism, world peace, internationalism, economic panaceas, doing good in the name of good, and other man-made plans which seek to improve human environment without providing man eternal relationship with God.

Satan’s power is described in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 as “dunamis” (Greek) power (dynamic or inherent power):

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power (“dunamis”) and signs  (miracles) and lying wonders (eg., speaking in tongues).

One of the greatest “dunamis” powers is in the field of thought. Satan’s power of thought is religion (false doctrine - 1 Tim. 4:1).