Luke 18: Why do you call Me good? The unsettling reply of Jesus is the “Most terrifying truth of Scripture,” Paul Washer
God is Good
A rich young ruler asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replies, “Why do you call Me good?… No one is good except God alone.” The problem, only God is good—we are not. (Luke 18:19)
God is Holy
- Moses had to take off his sandals when a “microscale glimpse” of God as a “burning bush,” turned the ground Holy. (Exodus 3)
- Nadab and Abihu offered “unauthorized fire” before the LORD that angered Him. The “Holy fire” of God consumed them. (Leviticus 10:1–2)
- Death came to Uzzah who touched the Ark of the Covenant. Despite his pure intention, as a man, God regarded it irreverent to touch it. God’s invisible presence made it Holy. (2 Samuel 6:7)
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone…”
No one is good except God alone
It’s terrifying to think what a Good and Holy God can do to sinners who come near His presence
God is entirely just. If God pardons wickedness, he is no longer just. The reason hell exists is to punish wickedness and severe unholiness. God cannot have fellowship with sinners because He is Holy, which is terrifying for sinners like us.
How can we call on God if we are not worthy?
The answer is found in Jesus alone. Because God is just, He must condemn our sin. But because God is love, He does the unthinkable. He sends His begotten son to a “tree to die” so we can live.
Our response to a “Good God”
The “mind” in scriptures refers to the control center of our will, emotions, intellect. It is where we make decisions. If you have changed your mind, everything else will change. That is what it means “to repent,” metanoia, a change of mind.
If you have changed your mind, everything else will change.
The case of Paul
Saul had a change of mind (metanoia). “Saint Paul” (who was Saul) thought Jesus was fake and Christians dangerous. His entire reality changed when he met Christ. He changed his mind and realized who Jesus was.
God calls all people everywhere to repent and believe the Gospel.
The question is, have your truly repented?
The work of repentance begins in believing in Jesus, recognizing that nothing and no one else can save us. Ask yourself the following:
- Has that “change of mind” replaced your understanding of who God is?
- Do you seek holiness; Do you consider heaven a great price?
- Do the sins you once love, you now hate?
- Do you believe (by faith alone) that you need Jesus to save you?
You will still fall into sin, but a real Christian cannot live in a continuous state of carnality and immaturity because He who began a good work in you will finish it
God will watch over you with loving parental care because he loves you and desires your holiness and sanctification. When you become a Christian, you become God’s child. He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it.
“To repent is to realize that your entire view about reality was wrong, and to see to submit God’s truth about who He is, about who you are, and what Jesus has done for you,” Paul Washer.