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Topic: What is a good person? (Questions for other Christians)

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Subject: What is a good person? (Questions for other Christians)
Date Posted: 4/26/2008 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2006
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I recently clicked on a link of a PBS member that said "Are you a good person?" I took the test. It was about the 10 commandments...and no, I didn't quite pass with flying colors!  There were things I had done in the past and most of the questions were "Have you ever...........?" Anyway, it brought a question to my mind. What is a good person?  I have been "lost or lost from God" before and I don't think I was a "bad" person. Also, I have been in a situation where I wasn't "lost" and did bad things.  What is your opinion?

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2007
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Straight from the Bible, plus my own life, Shannon,  we are all born sinners. Once we are saved - born-again - we cannot lose that gift of salvation, no matter what we do! God will discipline those who are His, but He's also very slow to anger and very gracious and forgiving. My former pastor said he used to push grace to the limit just to test God. I wouldn't recommned it. ;) But, God is good.

The ten commandments, I believe, were written in the OT for the Jewish people to follow, and for us now, to show us that we can't be perfect. We need God, and He wants us to need Him - on our own, of our own free will.

What is a "good person"? I guess just someone doing something good. ;)  I would never be able to pass that test!

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 5:34 PM ET
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"good person" is really a hard thing for me to define. I mean, a person can be good if they volunteer to feed the hungry, or clean a park, or play a game with their kids.

BUT

Christians know that good deeds don't save. Check out Ellen's siggy quote.

That's not a permission slip to be a "bad" person, though. Love thy neighbor and all that jazz.

The easiest surest way to be a "good" person is to keep God first in your life and let Him steer the way for you.

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 5:37 PM ET
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Michelle - last sentence was a beauty! ;)

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 5:59 PM ET
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Yes, it was. Go Michelle:)

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 6:37 PM ET
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By the way, I'm volunteering tommorow on a Sunday. Does that make me bad or good? lol

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
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"Once we are saved - born-again - we cannot lose that gift of salvation, no matter what we do!"

Have to disagree with the Once-Saved-Always-Saved concept...would enjoy seeing your Biblical Support of that!

"By the way, I'm volunteering tommorow on a Sunday. Does that make me bad or good?"

In my opinion you are doing good...Biblically you aren't breaking any commandments!

 

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 7:01 PM ET
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Christy, I'd love to see your evidence to the contrary.

Jesus said in John 10:28, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

"for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." -Hebrews13:5


"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," -Ephesians1:13

Here is a good site for you to read over, Christy. http://lionofjudah.tribulationforces.com/articles/conditional_security/tripod_osas.html


Date Posted: 4/26/2008 9:15 PM ET
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Christy, Michelle answered that very well - no need for me to add to it. ;)

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2005
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A good person is someone who does good things.

Of course, like others have said, being/doing good isn't the same as being righteous or perfect or holy...which is the requirement for salvation.  But I don't know if that's what you're getting at.  I didn't understand your references to being lost.  Are you feeling like you fall in and out of favor with God depending on your thoughts or actions?

People do not fall in and out of favor with God.  Ellen's siggy Scripture says we are saved by grace through faith.  If there is no work you can do to earn God's favor, if it is granted to you freely despite the depths of your depravity, then it follows that once God has granted you his favor, he will not take it away.    Michelle quoted some great verses to that regard.   There is no difference in working to earn God's favor and working to keep God's favor.  If you are working to keep God's favor then your salvation is based on works which is clearly not Scriptural.

 eta: sorry, my post is a mushing together of my thoughts not only on the op but on all the comments thus far.



Last Edited on: 4/27/08 2:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/27/2008 3:47 PM ET
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Well, Lost is something that was used to describe me before I was considered Christian if that helps.

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 4:32 PM ET
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I would have to agree that God's favor, His wanting to save us is constantly there BUT, I have to continually accept it and do my best to be a good person and follow God's commandments. 

Once-Saved-Always-Saved in my understanding says that even if I walk away from God and say I decide that I no longer believe in God and I do not maintain a relationship with Him and I die in that state of being I will still be saved.....Now THIS I totally disagree with.  If we sin and do not ask forgiveness for it, this will seperate us from God.

No, another person cannot "pluck" us out of God's hand but, we ourselves can remove ourselves!  God is constant, He is always there for us...we are the ones that create that distance between us. 

It is kind of like an umbrella...(granted this is a very simplistic example)... when it is raining and as long as we stay under that umbrella we will stay dry (sure we may get a few splashes on us) but, when we move out from under that umbrella we get wet and we no longer have the cover/salvation/protection of that umbrella.

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 4:57 PM ET
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I'm not speaking for all Once-saved-always-saved believers, but this is what "I" believe:  Original sin is the sin that keeps us from God and out of Heaven.  If you don't ask for forgiveness of this sin and accept Christ then you are rejecting God...I believe that it is the rejection of God in this way that actually sends you to hell.

Once you become a believer and have asked forgiveness for Original Sin (the sin you are born into due to Adam and Eve's act of disobedience and rebellion in the garden), then you are saved forever.  Now, that being said, when you are a Christian you usually try to follow God's laws (that's pretty much a given), however sometimes we fail to do that.  God knows our heart.  He knows we are humans, and that we are surrounded by an imperfect world, and temptations.  Due to our human nature, we will fall at times. 

We do need to ask forgiveness of the sins we commit as a Christian in order to keep our relationship with God in good standing...however, making a mistake and commiting a sin doesn't make the forgiveness of original sin null and void.  If it did, then what would be the point of Christ going to the cross...we might as well still be doing sacrafices.  The jewish sacrafice was done in order to "cover" the sins, but they had to continue to keep up the sacrafices due to the fact that sins were "covered" temporarily, not forgiven.  When Christ went to the cross, His blood ensured the "forgiveness" of sin.  Therefor, when you accept Him and His sacrafice into your life, you are saved.

Now, if you chose to return to your old ways (" as a dog returns to his vomit" ) then I believe that God can, and will, remove some of his blessings from you (blessings, not salvation) in order to bring you back.  Some people have to hit bottom before they realize they need to return to God.  I also believe that God knows the heart.  For example: If someone loses a loved one to death, they may become very angry at God and turn thier back on Him for a while...but God knows that it is just a strong human emotion, not necessarily what is in that person's heart.

anyway, to me once-saved-always-saved just makes more sense.  Yes, as a Christian you should be striving toward a sanctified life, but being good and trying to be Godly isn't what gets you to Heaven.  It is acknowledging that Jesus Christ is Lord, and accepting His sacrafice. 

It's like when you have a baby.  That baby is always yours, it belongs to you.  As a parent, you wouldn't dream of just sending that child away when it is disobedient and refusing it a place in the family.  You will disipline that child and do whatever you can to bring him back to right thinking when he is naughty, but you wouldn't just turn your back on him. 

anyway, just my thoughts.  :o)



Last Edited on: 4/27/08 5:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:10 PM ET
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Well, Lost is something that was used to describe me before I was considered Christian if that helps.

Yes, that is how I understand the term but...

I have been "lost or lost from God" before and I don't think I was a "bad" person. Also, I have been in a situation where I wasn't "lost" and did bad things.  

the way you worded it sounded like you go back and forth from being lost to found to back to lost again which is maybe what spurred this once saved always saved discussion :-)  Do you mind if your thread gets hijacked?  This could be a very interesting discussion...

Anyway, I understand what you're saying now.  I became a Christian as a small child.  I certainly wasn't a "bad" kid.  And after becoming a Christian I have done "bad" things.  So you're trying to solicit opinions on the parameters of goodness vs. badness from a Christian perspective?  I guess I would respond with good is behaving with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control.

eta: or is it goodness and then faithfulness...I always mix those two up :-)



Last Edited on: 4/27/08 10:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:18 PM ET
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LOL, Well what actually inspired me to think about it was a link that asked "Are you a good person" You click on the link and it goes through the 10 Commandments. Basically, if you have broken them and don't recieve Christ I took that as meaning you were a "bad person".  It just made me think about how people perceive "good" and "bad".

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:22 PM ET
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BTW, I don't mind if you hijack. It seems like it is appropriate to the conversation. If somebody came on here and said "What do you think of painting garage doors?" that would be hijacking:)

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
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So Shannon...what DO you think of painting garage doors?  **evil giggle**

Ok, done now.  :P

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:44 PM ET
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curious question about the following statement...(I find this theory interesting even though I don't buy it)

"Once you become a believer and have asked forgiveness for Original Sin (the sin you are born into due to Adam and Eve's act of disobedience and rebellion in the garden), then you are saved forever. "

IF I believed in Once-Saved-Always-Saved (note: I do not believe this, and never will)...back to the question...Ok, so I've been saved and oh let's say I decide to kill my neighbor (obviously a sin) and I'm not sorry I did it, I won't confess it, I become anti-God...I don't ask forgiveness and before my heart can be changed I die.  Would the fact that I had once been saved (based on the Once-saved-Always-saved concept)  still apply and I'd end up in heaven even if I didn't want to be there?



Last Edited on: 4/27/08 11:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/27/2008 10:55 PM ET
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If you were truly saved, that's not something you'd even consider. Accepting Jesus as your Savior changes you forever. I can't imagine living a life where I thought my salvation was based on good works. That is so unscriptural.

Date Posted: 4/27/2008 11:17 PM ET
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So, you are saying that a "good, truly saved person" can't change their mind about God and become a bad person?

I am not "saved" by my good works but, my good works are fruit of being saved...you can't say that you are "saved" and then do nothing.  If you are saved you try and follow the Bible (all of the Bible) as closely as possible and in the end when our name comes before God, Jesus steps up and makes up the difference.  "By Their fruit, ye shall know them."  If we do not produce fruit or we produce bad fruit then we do not belong to God...

"Accepting Jesus as your Saviour changes you forever."  This is true but, only as long as you maintain a relationship with Him and this is a daily process...I must daily seek Him, daily confess my sins, daily accept Him!!!

It is very possible to have accepted Jesus (aka:  be saved) and this be a true acceptance and experience but, then for that person to turn from Him and decide to live a life not in tune with Jesus...Of course perhaps your response is the catch-22 in the Once-Saved-Always-Saved theory...if someone does what I mentioned in the post above (my scenario/question) those that believe the Once-Saved-Always-Saved theory just claim that that person must not have been truly saved. hmmm *shrugs*



Last Edited on: 4/27/08 11:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 10:26 AM ET
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Christy, In answer to your question:

First, I just want to remind you that this is how "I" believe, I'm not speaking for all "Once saved Always saved" people (I don't really call myself that...I'm a Christian).  And I'm not trying to change your mind about how you believe or anything either.

"IF I believed in Once-Saved-Always-Saved (note: I do not believe this, and never will)...back to the question...Ok, so I've been saved and oh let's say I decide to kill my neighbor (obviously a sin) and I'm not sorry I did it, I won't confess it, I become anti-God...I don't ask forgiveness and before my heart can be changed I die.  Would the fact that I had once been saved (based on the Once-saved-Always-saved concept)  still apply and I'd end up in heaven even if I didn't want to be there?"

Ok, in the situation you described above, I still think that person is saved.  though I also think that it would probably take a lot for that person to feel that way towards God.  I don't think that a person like that maybe "wasn't really saved" (of course, only God knows his heart so I couldn't really judge the person on his relationship with Jesus).  I believe that a person can be saved, and then have something happen that angers them against God, and in turn they commit a horrible sin...but again, I still don't think that would be enough to completely seperate them from God (if they had already confessed Jesus as thier Savior and were forgiven of original sin).  I also believe that sin is sin...murder is no worse than lying in God's eyes.  "I" believe that it is the rejection of Jesus as Savior that sends you to Hell, not being a Christian who continues to mess up and have a hard time living by God's laws. (which is not easy for everyone to do...everyone is different in personality and life experiences)

I know that Jesus wants us to keep his commandments and do our best to live our lives in His example, but at the same time He doesn't expect us to be perfect.  That would be impossible for us to do since we are humans, in a human body, in a world where Satan has influence.  I believe that once we accept Christ, that we accept Him for life, and that we don't have to keep "accepting" HIm over and over again (to "me" that would feel like a lack of faith on my part..like I don't trust the power of Christ to save me the first time).  I do think that we, as Christians, need to live a godly life as much as we possibly can.

I do believe in daily confessing sins, and daily prayer (the Bible says to pray continuously), to ensure that my relationship with God is in good standing.  (much the same as any relationship, you must have communication or the relationship flounders).

anyway, I hope you aren't offended by the beliefs that I posted.  I am not arguing with you at all.  I am merely stating what I believe.  I don't expect you to believe the same way.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 10:47 AM ET
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I agree with Patricia. But I also think that you, Christy, are mincing words and have an argumentative stance here, and I respectfully withdraw myself from the conversation at this time. "hmmm...shrugs" is not something polite and conversational and I'm not up for a debate on this topic. I do wish you the best in all things.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 1:03 PM ET
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o.k. let me see what i can add here...

Christy said:

IF I believed in Once-Saved-Always-Saved (note: I do not believe this, and never will)...back to the question...Ok, so I've been saved and oh let's say I decide to kill my neighbor (obviously a sin) and I'm not sorry I did it, I won't confess it, I become anti-God...I don't ask forgiveness and before my heart can be changed I die.  Would the fact that I had once been saved (based on the Once-saved-Always-saved concept)  still apply and I'd end up in heaven even if I didn't want to be there?

There are only 2 conditions of the heart, regenerate and unregenerate.  We are all born with unregenerate hearts.  God has mercy on who He will have mercy and by a miraculous work of the Spirit regenerates some hearts.  This is an act of grace and not works.  One cannot choose to have their heart regenerated.  An unregenerate heart hates God.  It refuses to confess and repent.  Love for God, confession and repentance are the works of hearts that have already been regenerated.   (yes, there are works in a Christian's life...these works are proof of your new heart...one does not work to get a new heart or to keep their heart in a "saved" state) If your heart has been regenerated, it cannot be made unregenerate again no matter what you do.   (It is ridiculous to think that one would even desire this....after having tasted and seen that God is good and then to reject that....God is THAT good!  It's like someone living in heaven deciding that hell would be a better place...ridiculous!)

So if a Christian commits a sin such as murder or anything else, his heart does not change back into an unregenerate state.  Therefore it does not need to be "changed"  back into a regenerate state before death in order to secure salvation.  A Christian can die with unconfessed sin and still go to heaven.   Though we confess our sins daily the depths of our own hearts are unknown to us.  We all have unconfessed sin in our lives even after a time of confession.  Our hearts have  wickedness that we do not even know.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't confess our sin and often.  But our motivation is not to stay in God's favor yet it is out of our love for our Savior who knowing our depravity, saved us anyway.  As the Holy Spirit sanctifies our regenerated heart we will begin to hate our sin as God hates it...this drives our confession and repentance.  Confession and repentance are not a requirement to be saved.  One is saved and confession and repentance naturally follow.  The saved one cannot do otherwise.  He has a new nature.

Michelle said:

If you were truly saved, that's not something you'd even consider

murder is what I believe Michelle is referring to here.  I would like to believe that I would never consider such a thing.  However, I think King David's life demonstrates for us that no one is exempt from committing the most vile of sins...even believers.  And of course, when God confronted David with his sin he confessed and repented and had to live with the consequences of that sin...his wicked, rebellious children come to mind :-(

Christy said:

If we do not produce fruit or we produce bad fruit then we do not belong to God...

Yes, this is true.  I would like to add that those who belong to God, naturally produce good fruit.  That's how you know who belongs.  That's how you know you belong.  (that's not the only purpose of fruit, btw)   I think we're maybe arguing a fine line regarding who is responsible for the fruit.  Is the Christian responsible for producing fruit or does the Holy Spirit produce the fruit in a Christian?  I go with the latter....or is it the former?  I get those mixed up too. LOL!!  The Holy Spirit produces fruit in a Christian.

Christy again:

It is very possible to have accepted Jesus (aka:  be saved) and this be a true acceptance and experience but, then for that person to turn from Him and decide to live a life not in tune with Jesus...

Christy, I disagree.  But then I believe that one does not choose Jesus.  Jesus chooses a one and when He does His grace is irresistible and that one will not reject and will not fall but will persevere in the faith til the end.

(cont.)

Of course perhaps your response is the catch-22 in the Once-Saved-Always-Saved theory...if someone does what I mentioned in the post above (my scenario/question) those that believe the Once-Saved-Always-Saved theory just claim that that person must not have been truly saved. hmmm *shrugs*

(I prefer the phrase Perseverance of the Saints) but Yes, that is exactly right.  *shugging here too*  The church is packed full of unregenerate hearts.  These people do good things, may look like good people.  But in the end they do not produce fruit in keeping with repentance and they will not persevere in the faith.  They fall away.

Shannon, thanks for letting us hijack ;-)  I think I saw that post or one similar that you're talking about.  I really can't imagine thinking I had to be good enough in order to gain a pleasant after-life.  And I can't imagine why one would even worry about being good if they don't believe in an ever after or some kind of cosmic something. 

Subject: Good Person Test
Date Posted: 4/28/2008 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2007
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The website your referring to is www.livingwaters.com  and you go there and take the Are you a Good Person Test.

The Lord speaks of those who endure to the end will be saved.  Look up the word endure and you'll find about 5 in the new testament referring to enduring to the end and thou shalt be saved.  In Revelation in the letters to the 7 Churches he is actually talking about the spiritual condition of the Church and where he expects you to be in your relationship with him.  Hot not cold, because if your luke warm he'll spit you out of his mouth.  He's speaking to the believers here.  Hot means a relationship of following, you know forget yourself, pick up your cross (ouch) and follow him.  Also he speaks about those that will enter into heaven, will be those that are doing the will of God. A great verse that comforts me and keeps me on the right road is this:

2 Timothy 2:Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal,  The Lord knoweth them that are his.  And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

I was so glad that Christy mentioned the umbrella theory, I use it myself often. Heres a verse to relate that to.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

The Lord knows who are his and who aren't, one way the world knows who we are is through our words and deeds.  That goes along with faith without works is dead and works without faith is dead.  If someone has to question whether or not you are a Christian than more than likely you aren't.  Because we are to be lights that shine for Jesus for the world to see.   And I have lots more to say, but little time.  I hope this is enough to encourage you to dig in the word and know in whom you believe!

Live a life of repentance and confession so that you will always be ready when the Lord comes.  Don't be as the 5 foolish brides.

Date Posted: 4/28/2008 2:32 PM ET
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"Good" from what Jesus Christ says is perfection. Nobody is good.

In the passage below, Jesus is claiming to be God and point to what the definition of "good" is:

"Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God." (Luke 18:18,19)

So if anyone says they are good, they are deceived. Or they believe Jesus Christ is a liar. We do good things like help people, feed the hungry, talk nicely to people, etc., but that's not the biblical definition of good.

In order to be with Him after we die, we must be "good" (perfect). Since we have all broken God's Commandments (you shall not bear false witness, you shall not steal, and Jesus raises the bar in the N.T. saying that even if we look with lust, He considers that adultery of the heart...), we all deserve hell because we are not good people.

That's why the gospel is the "Good News" - those who repent of their sin and trust in Christ's goodness will be saved. Trust in our own self-goodness, go to hell... that's the message Jesus gave. God gave the best gift possible to sinners and those who receive that gift will glorify Him in heaven.

And no, nobody who has repented of sin and trusted in the saving work of Jesus Christ can fall away. It's impossible. Apostates were never saved in the first place (think of Demas and Judas).

Two good sermons to hear are here if you want to listen to them (the second one explains the parable of the sower - the key to understanding all parables... Jesus said if someone doesn't understand this parable, he / she won't understand any of His parables):

 

TWO SERMONS BELOW:

"Hell's Best Kept Secret" and "True and False Conversion"

http://www.spiritualthirst.com/listen

Those people who say they are saved and it looks like they lost their salvation were never saved in the first place. They may have said a "sinner's prayer" which is NOT in the Bible, is not biblical, and is sending more people to hell than anything I know about or they just think because somehow by osmosis or something they are just Christians because they were born into a Bible-believing family. Jesus said of those people that they are decieved:

JESUS SAID: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" (Matthew 7:13-23)

A good sermon on the passage above by Paul Washer (a former missionary in Peru) and founder of Heart Cry Missionary can be watched below (he was speaking to something like 5,000 youth at a church... most youth think they are not headed to hell, but to heaven even though you can't tell them apart from the unregenerate... it's so very sad):

SERMON BY PAUL WASHER (every single Christian needs to watch this video!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuabITeO4l8 

 

 

 

 

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