When it comes to eternal life, people associate eternal life and fellowship with God with being good. Are you going to heaven? Answer: “I think I’m a good person.”
Is there a difference between good and righteous?
- The first mentions of being good are inanimate objects in Genesis 1.
- Work can be classified as good, meaning the job is being performed successfully.
What is the difference between good and righteous?
- Good: 3) Complete or sufficiently perfect in its kind; having the physical qualities best adapted to its design and use; opposed to bad, imperfect, corrupted, impaired. We say good timber, good cloth, a good soil, a good color. 4) Having moral qualities best adapted to its design and use…
- Righteous: Just; accordant to the divine law
Why is the difference important?
- The main reason is that it is a nearly universal belief that “goodness” is the vehicle to eternal life.
- The rich young ruler asks about what good thing he needs to do to get eternal life. Jesus’ answer immediately dismisses the description of “good” as having to do with eternal life.
- Proverbs 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
- Proverbs 12:28
- Matthew 5:20 except righteousness exceed… ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven
How do you get righteousness? How do you get goodness?
- Daniel 9:7
- Jeremiah 23:6
- Ephesians 2:8-10 created unto good works
- Romans 4:5-9
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Let’s go back to the first thing we said. You ask someone about eternal life, heaven or hell, and the answer is “I think I’m a good person.” Now, knowing goodness is not the vehicle to eternal life, but righteousness is, how does this change how you might reason this with people?
What about your view on salvation or maintaining good works to stay saved?