Divine Good vs. Human Good by R.B. Thieme, Jr.Dec 6th, 2012 | By admin | Category: Religion
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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
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.
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). Satan is constantly trying to reach us through thought pattern, particularly in the field of religion. Bible doctrine is our only protection.
But since all people cannot be reached through religion, he has other dynamic systems, one of which is the field of politics. This isn’t to imply that politics are all Satanic. His system goes in for panaceas. Remember, he has a fantastic plan which has been in operation since he took over the world. Satan is trying to bring order out of chaos; he is trying to create perfect environment.
When the devil came into the newly created Garden, he saw perfect environment, and he didn’t like it. Furthermore, he saw that an inferior creature had been given the perfect environment which he formerly possessed. In his jealousy, he formulated a plan whereby he might remove man and woman from this perfect environment. After succeeding, he fully expected another “tohu wa bohu” - an earth waste and void (Gen. 1:2). But upon discovering that it was not God’s plan to take man off the earth, he made up his mind to “show God” - to set up his own perfect environment on the earth. This is the plan he has been working on ever since.