No Good Christians
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of good works, so that no one may boast.” – Ephesians 2:8 (NRSV)
I sometimes hear people say that Christianity is all about being a good person, or becoming a better person. While I appreciate the sentiment, I think it’s off-base.
For me, Christianity has little to do with being a good person. The essence of the Christian faith is this: God loves us not because we are good but because God is good. The above text says it best.
Christians are not measured by their good deeds or bad deeds. In fact, let’s ditch the notions of “good Christian” and “bad Christian” altogether. Christians may do good out of gratitude for the goodness of God, but if we fail to do good, well, God still loves us and the core truth of Christianity is undisturbed.
Does that mean a person can be an authentic, faithful Christian while being a lousy human? Absolutely yes. I’d be happy to introduce you to a few, including me in my worst moments.
Please do all the good you can. Our world can’t get enough. But no amount of good deeds can save you or earn God’s love, which is a free gift. That is not only good news, it’s the best news ever.
Let my life be my hallelujah in response to your gift of unmerited grace.
Matt Laney is the Senior Pastor of Virginia Highland Church UCC in Atlanta, GA and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers. The first two books, The Spinner Prince and The Four Guardians are available now.