Saturday, April 02, 2011

Be a good man

Galatians 3:11

Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because "the righteous will live by faith."

In Chinese translation (加拉太书 3)

11 没有一个人靠着律法在神面前称义,这是明显的;因为经上说,义人必因信得生。

Often people claim themselves being a good man. If they are asked about the bad things they did, a regular answer is that they have also done a lot of good things, which number is much greater than the number of the bad things they have done. So they are good people.

I do not know why many people accept this excuse. May we redeem ourselves by doing good? When one did a bad thing (unnecessary a crime, only something that is not good), can he redeem the mistake by doing another 10 good things?

Only if one has extra he can then use it for redeeming the shortage. For example, by law one must work eight hours a day. Today John only worked 7 hours. So he may redeem his today's shortage by working one extra hour, i.e. totally 9 hours, tomorrow. On the other hand, if by law it is said that everyone must work 24 hours a day and John worked only 23 hours today. He will never have a chance to redeem that one-hour shortage no matter how hard he tries in the future. He will never get a chance of an "extra" hour for the redemption.

The same is to our sins. In this world, is there anything that is too good to be "extra good"? No. There is nothing in this world that is too good to be extra. It means that no matter what good one does, such a good makes no extra credit for redeeming any tiny mistake he made before. No one can solve a bad by doing good.

Then how can we deal with a mistake we made before? There are only two ways.

The first solution is taking the consequence. If one is fairly punished with respect to the mistake he made, the problem is solved. He shall have no further guilty at all for what he has done since he has already been fairly punished.

The second solution is being forgiven. John hit Mary. But Mary forgives John. Then John's problem is solved. He shall have no guilty of that bad behavior later.

There are no other solutions to our sins.

If the wages of sin is death, however, nobody can afford the first solution. Therefore, the forgiveness from God becomes the only path we can take for redeeming our sins. And this is why Jesus Christ is the only path and solution for anyone who really wants to be a good man.

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