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Can someone choose good without God?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Godspell, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. Does are free will lend us the capacity to do good in spite of God, or does all that is good come from God?

    The concept of original sin tends to diminish the capacity to do good on our own free will. Yet, atheists do good things all the time. Are their actions despite God or is their good will because of God?
  2. Of course they can do good, and because of God. There is a God-shaped hole in everyone's heart that can only be filled by God.

    Romans 2:13-15 (KJV)
    (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another).
  3. Anyone can indeed do good and even for the purest of reasons -- and this includes Atheists. Atheist Joe can help his hospitalized neighbor by looking after his dog and cat because he genuinely cares for his neighbor and knows it's simply the right thing to do even though Atheist Joe doesn't know God.

    Atheists and others outside of Christianity sometimes get a bad rap for not having good motives. I've heard people say the only good they do is for selfish reasons (it makes them look good). I honestly believe many the right things for the right reasons. Most Atheists wouldn't dare entertain the idea of killing anyone because they know it's just wrong, no matter what.

    The one thing Atheists cannot do is justify these good things. They can't say WHY these are good things, only that they know they are good things.

    The justifiable reason for these things being good is God. Everything good comes from God, so it's not good things despite God, it's good things despite knowledge of where they come from.
  4. Here's a key question:
    HOW do you define GOOD?

    Do you define it as a "Moral" work accounted to produce righteousness... Say building a hospital in a poor country or setting up a trust fund to send destitute children to College....

    Do you define it as setting your heart to know and DO the will of God... and let the chips fall as they may.... We can cite some pretty graphic biblical examples of the Command of God seemingly flying in the face of what otherwise would pass as "morality" by a black and white definition.....

    Ravindran likes this.
  5. Paul in Romans seven explained to us just how hard it is to obey God without God’s grace.

    Then in Romans eight he explains how God has made it possible for us to defeat Satan/sin.

    (Romans 8: 4) “He did this in order that the law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the Spirit dictates.”
  6. All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
  7. Only if you deny the source: deny the Holy Spirit and say 'look what I did' for such and such cause..

    Which happens all the time. God still uses ALL things for His Glory-in His time.

    God will use the sin of one to benefit the other, example: unsaved parents have a a child, the child gets saved and does a work for the LORD. Out of the parents sin, God can make use of that soil....
  8. I was wondering if you can give us scripture to confirm your statement: “God still uses ALL things for His Glory-in His time.“

    I just don’t see God using sin for his anything.

    (Romans 8:28) “We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good.”

    (John 14: 23) “Anyone who loves me will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make a home in him.”
  9. The issue is that no one is truly good except Jesus. Humans think well this person is good because he did this righteous action that most people wouldn't do. But the truth is we all sin, Christians and atheists. The topic is assuming that being good can be achieved but it can't because we do bad also. Humans compare each other and judge each other as good or bad by certain actions, but the fact is we are all in the same boat and we are only saved thru Jesus. Righteousness is a gift that can not be earned. That is why everyone has to follow Jesus in order to truly be saved.
  10. Yes and yes. Its not an either / or statement.

    All we need to do good or bad is our brain. IQ>40 = accountability. Does a married man really need to be told how painful adultery will be for their spouse and kids? How hungry an orphan will be if you steal his food from him?

    The question needs to be... can an atheist do a truly selfless act? I think they would be selfless to family and good friends. But to enemies? Give cloak and coat? God takes 'good' to levels we cannot achieve without Him.

    There are good and bad people who sin. Good people who sin, repent and hate the sin. Bad people don't. They love the sin. They love the darkness. Albeit venial sins or tacit approval of those comitting mortal sins. Sin ironically has never being the reason we will be punished. Loving the darkness and hating the light, is the reason. Good people love the light.

    So the ultimate question is.....do atheists love what is good and hate what is evil? We all know what evil is. Unless our brain is not working.
  11. Read the following very carefully, because it seems that you failed to understand what John said.

    (1 John 1: 8-10) “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liarand his word has no place in our lives.”

    You need to see John was saying if one says he or she says they have never sinned they are liars.

    If one is forgiven of all unrighteousness are they not then sinless? Could they then be liars if they say they are sinless?

    John later says:

    (1 John 3:3-9) “Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ. Any one who sins at all breaks the law, because to sin is to seen Him or known Him. My children do not let anyone lead you astray’ to live a holy life is to be holy just as He is holy’ to lead a sinful life is to belong the Devil, since the Devil was a sinner from the beginning. It was to undo all that the Devil has done that the Son of God appeared. No one who has been begotten by God sins: because God’s seed remains inside him, he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God.”

    (1 John 3:8) “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work”

    John told us those who did not know God sinned and asked forgiveness and were forgiven, but once a person comes to know God he or she will not sin.

    Scripture goes on to say that if a person who does know God uses their free will to sin there is no repentance for that person.

    (Hebrews 10:26-31) “If, after we have been given knowledge of the truth, we should deliberately commit any sins, then there is no longer any sacrifice for them. There is left only the dreadful prospect of judgment and of the fiery wrath that is to devour your enemies. Anyone who disregards the Law of Moses is ruthlessly put to death on the word of two witnesses or three; and you may be sure that anyone who tramples on the Son of God, and who treats the blood of the covenant which sanctified him as if it were not holy, and who insults the Spirit of grace, will be condemned to a far severer punishment. We are all aware who it was that said: Vengeance is mine; I will vindicate his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

    (Hebrews 6: 4) “As for those people who were once brought into the light, and tasted the gift from heaven, and received a share of the Holy Spirit, and appreciated the good message of God and the powers of the world to come and yet in spite of this have fallen away it is impossible for that to be renewed a second time. They cannot be repentant if they have willfully crucified the Son of God and openly mocked Him.”

  12. Are you saying that you have not committed a sin since you have been baptized with the Holy Spirit? Jesus says if someone calls another person an idiot its a sin. He said if someone looks at someone and starts lusting its a sin. The Body and emotion is prone to sin, we have to battle our emotions everyday with the Holy Spirit who prevents us from acting on sinful thoughts.

    You are forgetting the key component in Hebrew 10:26 it says deliberately commit sins. He was talking about living a sinful lifestyle. There is repentance because Jesus said he is a God of Mercy not sacrifice. He also said if someone sins against you seven times in a day and repents seven times to forgive them. There is only one unforgivable sin. And just because we were forgiven of our sins does not mean we didn't sin. God gives us grace to look past our sins and judges us by our hearts.
  13. To answer your question I will try to explain what Jesus did for me.

    Jesus/Holy Spirit taught and gave me the grace to live God’s Word. After about a year of being personally taught by God, Jesus asked me to go and be cleansed.

    I knew Jesus wanted me to go and confess my past sins. I asked a Catholic priest that I knew to come to my residence, and let me confess my sins to him.

    The next morning Jesus told me that I was clean, and he could now use me.

    That was almost forty years ago, and God has kept me clean ever sense.

    Unless one has allowed the Holy Spirit to dictate how he or she is to live, and gives that person the grace to live as he or she is told to live, what I just shared is impossible to understand or believe.

    (Romans 8: 4) “He did this in order that the law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the Spirit dictates.”

    Paul told us what I just shared with you, but not many people seem to understand what Paul said either.
  14. Yup, a lot of celebrities are humanitarians and they dont know god from a hill of beans.
  15. I think JohnC asked the key question.. How do we define good? We all have relative understanding of this term.

    A proper definition of good would be something that pleases God. That should be the measuring stick. When God created earth, he was everything and it was good. It was pleasing to God. That is the definition of good.

    So the question is, can unbeliever please God? I think this is an easier question to answer! Bible tells us that no one is seeking God. It is God who seeks us. In this total rebellion to God, I don't think a person can please God.

    The last part to the question is, how about all the wordly good things people do? For example, a hindu being so nice and helping poor people and so on. It does not fit into the definition of good I mentioned. It is more of outer conformance to God's moral standard. That cannot count as good or righteousness. It is being done in total rebellion to God (by not being in faith). Anything outside of faith is sin. I think that verse pretty much sumps up the whole discussion!
    Ghid likes this.
  16. I believe being good means one is obeying God. Then the question is, how to know if one is obeying God.

    I believe scripture gives us that answer.

    (1 John 2: 27) “But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything: you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.”

    (Romans 8: 4) “He did this in order that the law’s just demands might be satisfied in us, who behave not as our unspiritual nature but as the Spirit dictates.”
  17. Yep! Pleasing God = Good.
    So... Can unbelievers Please God? Nope.... It's impossible...

    Let's take an example....

    Preaching the Gospel of Christ is GOOD? Right?

    Acts 16:16-17
    And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

    Oh... Wait... How did the Spirit of the Lord respond to this? Was God willing to accept the witness of Demons?

    Acts 16:18
    ... But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her....

    No. God was not willing to accept the witness of Demons...

    Why? Because Demons are doing things out of their OWN will, not following the will and good pleasure of God Himself!

    That seems to be a hallmark that people don't catch in the scriptures.... They are UNABLE to bend their will to God's will.... They are "SELF"-ish... Only interested in their own will... and they are enemies of God because of this....
  18. You didn't address the question though. I was not asking if it is possible for someone to be impeccable without God, I asked if they could do something good without God.
  19. The only way one can do Good/God’s Will is if he or she is given the grace to do so by God.
  20. So if someone does good, even if they do not believe in God, they have God's grace nonetheless?

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