Too many of us in the Body of Christ are still trying to be good boys and good girls.
No one seems to be willing to accept that there is nothing good in ourselves.
Do we really accept this truth, as presented by Paul the Apostle?
"18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me." (Romans 7: 18-20)
There is nothing good in us, in and of ourselves.
You and I -- we need a new life:
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" (Ephesians 2: 1)
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" (Colossians 2:13)
The moment that man ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he died.
No matter how well-dressed or beautifully adorned, dead is dead.
Pastor Tullian Tchividjian brought up another worthy point in his latest sermon. Just because we do something, even if we do not want to do it, we cannot then assume that we are good, that we are righteous.
In fact, the fact that we are doing good things, even though we do not want to, precisely demonstrates how fallen we are, and that we are in need of a new heart:
David prayed for a new heart:
"10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51: 10)
God promised all of us a new heart through His New Covenant:
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36: 26)
This New Covenant has been fulfilled at the Cross:
"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26: 28)
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19: 30)
"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." (Hebrews 12: 22-24)
So, we have a New Covenant, where He is our God, where He now works within us both to will and to do for His good pleasure:
"12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2: 12-13)
Now, what does this have to do with giving up on being a good boy, and now being a real boy?
A good boy keeps trying to make himself into something alive, the same way that Pinocchio kept trying to make himself real by going to faraway places, and getting tangled up.
Instead of trying to make ourselves feel good, instead of trying to fix our insides as well as outsides, let us rather accept that in ourselves, there is nothing good.
Let us see ourselves in Christ, for today we are as He is (1 John 4: 17)
"11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6: 11-14)
"1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3: 1-3)
It's time to give up the notion that we can be good boys or good girls. There is nothing good in and of ourselves. Let us rather be real about who we are in Christ today, and allow Him to transform us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3: 18)