And Other Lies From Satan.
Before I gave my life to Christ, I would often try to convince myself that I was a “good person,” and therefore if Heaven did exist, I would have no problem gaining entrance. I continue to hear this argument from people, and friends, I must urgently tell you that this is just not true. We can’t even go one hour without sinning.
Satan, also known as Lucifer or the devil, is a great deceiver. He is the father of lies (John 8:44) and will do everything in his limited power to convince you that you do not need God and His son, Jesus Christ. He has convinced so many that they are “good,” and that their so-called “good works” will be enough. In this article, we will peel back the Scriptures and explore the history of sin, if indeed we can be “good,” and if our so-called “good works” make a difference.
What’s the Big Deal with Sin Anyway?
Satan wants us to think that sin is no big deal. That everybody does it, and that sin isn’t a serious problem for God. But the truth is that sin is a very big deal, and because God is Holy, He must give consequences for sin. The beginning of Romans 6:23 tells us that the wage for sin is death. Any one sin is enough to condemn us to death. If you think about it this make sense. Why would God send Jesus to be crucified on a cross if sin was not a big deal?
Are We Good?
It can be so easy to reason that we are good people. I’m not like those people who have murdered/abused/trafficked/robbed, etc. Yet when we take an honest look into ourselves, we will find that we are completely full of sin. God tells us through His Word that none of us are good. No matter how hard we may try, we will always slip up. It is written in both the Old Testament and New Testament:
14 “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is none who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
3 They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.”
10 “As it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
Sin comes in many forms: being selfish or self-absorbed, disobeying God in any way, not treating people the way he tells us, not doing His will in our lives, not using our resources the way he wants us to, foul language, our actions or inactions, murdering in truth or in thought, hate, racism, lust, pornography, cheating in any form, stealing, lying, envying, abusing our bodies, physical/sexual/emotional/verbal abuse, impatience, lack of compassion, lack of love, lack of mercy, bitterness, cold indifference, pride, laziness, lack of self-control, tardiness, and the list goes on!
C.S. Lewis wrote, “No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good.” The sad truth is none of us are good.
Our so called “Good Works”
Many churches teach that our “good works” are part of our salvation – that we can earn our salvation! This is NOT biblical! Only knowing God, Jesus, and humbly admitting our sins and need for Him allows us to receive His free gift of salvation. It is a gift and cannot be earned, ever, in any way. Having Jesus in our life gives us the Holy Spirit to help us obey Him and do His will, which will lead to doing good. But that is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) – not something we do to earn salvation.
The Bible is crystal clear about salvation solely coming from Jesus Christ:
Romans 6:23 (NIV)
23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Not only that, but God views our “good works” as filthy rags! Scripture tells us:
Isaiah 64:6 (NIV)
6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
The History of Sin
We all know about Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden. Yet that wasn’t the first sin. It all began with Satan, a fallen angel. The first recorded sin in Scripture is by Satan:
Ezekiel 28:14-15 (NIV)
14 “You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God;
you walked among the fiery stones.
15 You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.”
Isaiah 14:12-15 (NIV)
12 “How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.[a]
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
to the depths of the pit.”
Answers in Genesis has a great article on the first sin:
“It is obvious from the text that Satan’s sin was pride. He was so beautiful, so wise, and so powerful as an angel that he began to covet God’s position and authority. He chafed at having to serve God and grew angry and rebellious. He did not want to serve, he wanted to be served; he, as a creature, wanted to be worshipped. How starkly contrasted to our savior Jesus Christ, who came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).”
Unfortunately, Satan’s fall has a profound impact on humankind. See the passages in Proverbs that talk about the sin of pride:
Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)
18 “Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)
2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 18:12 (NIV)
12 “Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.”
“Here it is evident that pride literally went before the fall, both the fall of Satan and the fall of man. Pride causes shame, loss of wisdom, destruction, and ruin. If one were to summarize what actually happened as Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, would not these passages describe their mental and physical condition exactly? The shame of committing sin against God, physical disease, pain and death looming on the horizon, loss of fellowship with God, and the fight to eke out a living from the cursed ground—all these are the outworking of the sin of pride.” (Answers in Genesis, “The First Sin“)
Adam and Eve’s sin is outlined in Genesis:
Genesis 3:1-7 (NIV)
3 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Genesis 3:12-13 (NIV)
12 “The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.””
Adam and Eve doubted God and His motives and disobeyed Him by eating the forbidden fruit. However, the bigger grievance here is their prideful desire to be God.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea-bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”
After Adam and Eve’s sin, all of creation groaned (Romans 8:22-23). Humans brought sin into the world and every molecule sags under sin’s heaviness…for now.
God tells us at the end of the Bible in Revelation 21 that a new heaven and a new earth will one day replace our sin infested planet!
Are you ready?
The Good News!
The good news is that God knows our sin problem and sent His son, Jesus to pay for OUR sins. Without Jesus, we have no hope of receiving forgiveness and salvation. With Jesus, we are WASHED WHITE AS SNOW!
Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)
18 ““Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.”
1 John 1:7 (NIV)
7 “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, purifies us from all[a] sin.”
It is not too late! We are all sinners, but God has made a way for you to make it right. Give your life to Jesus today! There are 2 key steps to getting right with God; we must acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior AND we must admit we are a sinner.
For even Satan and his demons know God, but because they have not admitted their sin, they are lost! (James 2:19)
God wants you found (Matthew 18:12–14, Luke 15:3–7) and in His family forever. TODAY, make the best decision of your life and invite Jesus to set you free!
John 8:31-36 (NIV)
31 ““To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.””
Edited by Allie Anson