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Just to get you thinking...
Each summer, all MasterWorks students, apprentices, interns, and faculty members take part in Bible study groups a few evenings each week. Over the years, these times of fellowship and growth have become a favorite for many, and it's been a joy to see the Lord use them for His glory and the furthering of the Gospel.
This year, the official MasterWorks Bible study is entitled Seeking the Truth: Finding Answers to Some of Life's More Challenging Questions, written by Mary Irwin and Patrick Kavanaugh. As the title suggests, the study delves into some of the most foundational questions of Christianity, prompting participants to search the Scriptures and evaluate their own beliefs in light of the Lord's truth.
Today, you have the privilege of taking a sneak peek at a portion of Seeking the Truth, featuring an excerpt from Mere Christianity, as we ask the question, "How good is good enough?"
We pray that this summer--no matter where you are or who you're with--you will see that Christ is the reason we have hope as Christians--not because of our attempts at being "good" or "nice," but because of His merciful salvation that grants us righteousness before the Lord. How amazing is that?
How does the world measure "goodness?" Consider this passage in Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis:
"There is either a warning or an encouragement here for every one of us. If you are a nice person--if virtue comes easily to you--beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God's gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible, your corruption more complicated, your bad example more disastrous. The Devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.
But if you are a poor creature--poisoned by a wretched upbringing in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels--saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion--nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your best friends--do not despair. He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day (perhaps in another world, but perhaps far sooner than that) He will fling it on the scrap-heap and give you a new one. And then you may astonish us all--not least yourself: for you have learned your driving in a hard school...
'Niceness'--wholesome, integrated personality--is an excellent thing. We must try by every medical, educational, economic, and political means in our power to produce a world where as many people as possible grow up 'nice;' just as we must try to produce a world where all have plenty to eat. But we must not suppose that even if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world--and might even be more difficult to save."
Are you fully aware of your inability to get to God on your own efforts? Have you been living a "good Christian life" for so long that you secretly think God is pretty lucky to have you on His side? To whom are you comparing yourself? Are you attempting to do good apart from God? See John 15:5.