Vol.XI No.IX Pg.3
November 1974

Are You Good?

Dan S. Shipley

One of the things that makes good men good is their humility. They know that they are not as good as need to be. Making no claim to perfection, neither blaming others for their imperfections, they continually seek to do and to be better. While such good men are not always right, they ever want to be right— and what one sincerely wants to be speaks volumes about his character. Let it be said to the credit of the weak and sin-plagued Corinthians, they earnestly cared about their condition and sought to clear themselves (2 Cor. 7:11). Good men are never indifferent to their spiritual condition— they seek to be clear (pure); they hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matt. 5:6) because they are truly concerned about their standing with God.

Accordingly, the good man, having recognized that right is not relative and that the way of man is not in himself (Jer. 10:23), turns to God for his direction and standard of right. Good men become godly men; they come to have that piety which, characterizes by a Godward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to Him (Vine). As the Psalmist puts it, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delighteth in his way. (Ps. 37:23). Lifes journey without God is dark and dangerous. Knowing this, the good man does not look within himself, but to God and His word which becomes a lamp unto his feet and a light unto his path (Ps. 119:105). Thus, we see the strong correlation existing between good men and truth. Good men want to be right; truth determines right; therefore they reverence Gods word which is truth (Jn. 17:11). Hence, it is the honest and good (heart) that will hear the word, hold it fast and bring forth fruit (Lk. 8:15). Some prove themselves to be less than good by refusing to hear the word of God. Good men are not ruled by prejudice. Instead, they are ever willing to come to the light that their works may be made manifest (Jn. 3:21). Good men are not only willing to prove themselves, whether they are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5); they likewise respect Gods admonition to prove ALL things in order that they may hold fast to that which is good (1 Thss. 5:21).

Hearing the word is one thing—Jesus says the good man will also hold it fast or accept it (Mk. 4:20). In Proverbs this is called buying the truth (Prov. 23:23). Paul showed the Corinthians how that salvation depends on holding fast the word (1 Cor. 15:3). Accepting truth means turning away from wrong; it means change. Good men are willing to make whatever changes are necessary to put them right with God. Some otherwise good men allow pride to hinder needful changes. Holding fast to friends or tradition becomes more important to them than truth. Like others, they exchange the truth of God for a lie (Rom. 1:25) to their own eternal detriment.

Consequently fruits of righteousness are brought forth by such good men as hear and hold fast Gods truth. Herein is God glorified (Jn. 15:8) and man saved. Being counted as good by men is not good enough. Unless were good like God wants us to be, what have we profited?