Psalm 16:2 (CSB) I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides you.”
Psalm 14:1–3 (CSB)
1 The fool says in his heart, “There’s no God.” They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise, one who seeks God.
3 All have turned away; all alike have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one.
Good works are only such as God has commanded in his Holy Word, and not such as without the warrant thereof are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretense of good intentions.
Micah 6:8 (CSB) Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the LORD requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.
Hebrews 13:21 (CSB) equip you with everything good to do his will, working in us what is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
All of us as sons of Adam fall easily to the the notion that we have decided what is good and not good and take action accordingly. But what is actually good can only be determined by one who is actually good--that is, of course, being God almighty.
The law and the gospel of Christ states this: you are not good by what you do. You and I cannot do some good things and then call ourselves good. Even when we do something that is stated by God good, our own fallen and wicked selves have tinctured those good works with sin.
Again, we have argued for this: choosing God is an actual good thing. But can you choose God when you are wicked? No. You cannot.
You need a perfect goodness outside of yourself to choose God. You need someone to give you this righteousness, a new heart and his Spirit in order to choose God.
In other words, you must be born again.
No other way.
So, what makes us think we get to choose what is good and then do our chosen good? Nevermind the fact that in our fallen and wicked estate, we have conveniently forgotten to do the other good things that God has commanded use to do.
Only God is Good: and not such as without the warrant thereof are devised by men out of blind zeal, or upon any pretense of good intentions
Matthew 15:9 (CSB) They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines human commands.”
Isaiah 29:13 (CSB) The Lord said: These people approach me with their speeches to honor me with lip-service, yet their hearts are far from me, and human rules direct their worship of me.
TODO: Christ-centeredness vs. Focusing on self (Naval gazing, self-help, etc.)
But with all of our sincerity and our zeal and our passion for God is not the litmus test to determine our salvation. Because think about it: are you always affection towards God? Do you always feel good about God?
Let me press the real question: when was the last time you were sinless?
If you and I are completely honest with ourselves: there hasn't been a moment in our lives that we have been sinless against God. We can think we have good days or do good things, but again, our hearts are corrupted and our good works are filthy rags before God.
You and I cannot do good things with a perfect heart. Our affections cannot be high enough nor consistent enough. We cannot feel good all the time. Because we were never good nor perfect. Because our hearts are broken. Because we are weighed down by sin/
We must have the Almighty Holy One of God to look upon our wickedness, save us from our sin and give us rest.
Blessed be his holy name that our salvation is never determined on us in any way. If it were, we are all doomed. But since our salvation is completely, wholly, totally dependent on the risen Son of God, then and only then we are saved to God forever and ever.