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Old man
Sep 30th 2014, 08:45 PM
Here is a question that came up in our lunch time Bible study at my work that I thought I would put to you all here. Please supply scripture to support your response if you can.

Can man do good things without being influenced to do them by the Holy Spirit? Is it possible for man (unsaved) to do good things own his own initiative? I am not talking about whether one is doing them to earn salvation just if man has a stand alone ability to do good apart from God. If an unsaved man does a good deed is it because he was influenced by the Holy Spirit to do it even if he is unaware of the Holy Spirit as being the influence?

Noeb
Sep 30th 2014, 09:16 PM
People like to use selfish toddlers to justify the unbiblical position of a sin nature without recognizing the toddler also sharing and loving. There's nothing in scripture that suggests the good works the unregenerate do are influenced by the Spirit. It's much quicker to eliminate such an absurdity by reversing the question and asking for scripture that says they are. Does it say Rahab was influenced by the Spirit? No.

keck553
Sep 30th 2014, 09:22 PM
Here's a Biblical answer:

Romans 2:14 Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.

Old man
Sep 30th 2014, 09:27 PM
People like to use selfish toddlers to justify the unbiblical position of a sin nature without recognizing the toddler also sharing and loving. There's nothing in scripture that suggests the good works the unregenerate do are influenced by the Spirit. It's much quicker to eliminate such an absurdity by reversing the question and asking for scripture that says they are. Does it say Rahab was influenced by the Spirit? No.

By the same token (and which came up as a question) then would you say that the evil man does is not (always) influenced by the devil or demon etc.?

To clarify something I don't want to imply that the Lord never influences an unbeliever to do good just asking if it is possible for man to do good without the influence of God even behind the scenes to convince him to do so.

Noeb
Sep 30th 2014, 09:40 PM
Yes, I would say that.

ewq1938
Sep 30th 2014, 10:48 PM
Here is a question that came up in our lunch time Bible study at my work that I thought I would put to you all here. Please supply scripture to support your response if you can.

Can man do good things without being influenced to do them by the Holy Spirit? Is it possible for man (unsaved) to do good things own his own initiative?

Of course. We aren't puppets of satan nor God. We can freely choose to do evil or good , regardless of our religion.

Obfuscate
Sep 30th 2014, 11:58 PM
Man can do "good" on things beneath him, that which he has dominion over. Man can do good in civil righteousness, he can marry, work, help a neighbor in need etc. A Hindu or Muslim doctor who saves children's lives, has a wife whom he doesn't cheat on, and doesn't rob his neighbor are prevalent in society. What man can not do "good" on without God's word and the Holy Spirit are those things above him. The scriptures state that anything outside of faith is sin and without faith it is impossible to please him. Maybe the best question is can man do things of faith without the Holy Spirit. To that I answer no.

ewq1938
Oct 1st 2014, 12:14 AM
What man can not do "good" on without God's word and the Holy Spirit are those things above him..

What kinds of things are above man which are good to do?

ewq1938
Oct 1st 2014, 12:18 AM
CEV
Rom 2:11 God doesn't have any favorites!
Rom 2:12 Those people who don't know about God's Law will still be punished for what they do wrong. And the Law will be used to judge everyone who knows what it says.
Rom 2:13 God accepts those who obey his Law, but not those who simply hear it.
Rom 2:14 Some people naturally obey the Law's commands, even though they don't have the Law.
Rom 2:15 This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned,
Rom 2:16 when God appoints Jesus Christ to judge everyone's secret thoughts, just as my message says.

Old man
Oct 1st 2014, 02:44 AM
There is a flip side to this question:


Eph. 2:1-2 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, (2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience."

Can man do evil without being influence by demonic influence? Again please include appropriate scripture to back up what you post.

In other words when someone (specifically an unbeliever) does bad or evil is it always influenced by the enemy? Can some one become addicted to drugs or porn or anything else without that addiction being a result of demonic influence?

Scooby_Snacks
Oct 1st 2014, 03:01 AM
Man can do good, as Keck's scriptural reference indicates because man has conscience which comes from God--That knowing what is good and what is evil (Although I surmise that the good and the evil are almost always distorted by natural reasoning, as Obfuscate seems to be pointing out (Correct me if I am wrong please) and even those with Faith through the flesh can fall prey to their own reasoning.

:monkeyd:

Regardless of whether man can determine within his own mind that which is good or bad, there is still no one who will always do good at all times and so the question goes back to, has there ever been any one other than Christ who has not transgressed the laws of God. Nope. No ones right choices, or even good intentions of the heart will get them through the narrow gate. Only Faith in Christ will.

Old man
Oct 1st 2014, 03:09 AM
Man can do good, as Keck's scriptural reference indicates because man has conscience which comes from God--That knowing what is good and what is evil ...

Would this "conscience" be considered as "influence" from God. If it wasn't for that God influence could man do good?

Scooby_Snacks
Oct 1st 2014, 03:24 AM
There is a flip side to this question:



Can man do evil without being influence by demonic influence? Again please include appropriate scripture to back up what you post.

In other words when someone (specifically an unbeliever) does bad or evil is it always influenced by the enemy? Can some one become addicted to drugs or porn or anything else without that addiction being a result of demonic influence?

Deceived by the enemy is the way I like to look at "influence" of Satan.
I believe in original sin because there came a point in my early years that I came to know good and evil.
Even if I did have a "choice" I was not able to carry my own load of sin-- I had to sin and then know something was terribly wrong. I knew something was terribly wrong very early-- That continued through my life for many years. Most of the "influence" came through others, good and bad.
Satan didn't have to lift a finger.
Everyone is accountable for the sin that they themselves commit.
There is no "perfect" parent, there is no "perfect "neighbor.

The truth is that Christ will relieve any person from the burden of their sin if they acknowledge their sin and place their faith in Christ as the only One who can atone for sin, or heal the deceptions that are in their heart...deceptions planted by Satan, IMO mostly through other people or their own selfish desires.

Not believing in Jesus kept me locked up in deception a really long time. Addictions are merely a band-aid to the greater soul problem more often than not. Being is bondage to sin is Satan's area. Not ever having hope that there is actually joy and freedom waiting.
The emptiness of the soul that is lost in addiction requires divine intervention.

Jesus is the Savior of mankind. All praise goes to Him.

I apologize for what seems to be a rant?? I pray for grace that what I say is received in the same.

Scooby_Snacks
Oct 1st 2014, 03:28 AM
Would this "conscience" be considered as "influence" from God. If it wasn't for that God influence could man do good?

It could be the influence of God or the knowledge of good and evil, something that Adam and Eve started.
I say everything good comes from God. If it isn't good, it isn't from Him. The boundary between good and evil certainly helps us get to the net...or need...Christ.
*add

I do not believe Man can do anything apart from God's Holy influence that Glorifies Him. I had an experience today with people who do good to others, and yet, I knew, somehow, they just didn't have the heart in the giving???

And in the same turn, I thought it was terrible for a person to park as if they owned the world..and just by saying it, I knew, I sinned. Go Figure.

LandShark
Oct 1st 2014, 03:29 AM
Man can do good, as Keck's scriptural reference indicates

Man can do good, what man cannot do is "good his way to God!" My brother (blood) despises me, he can't stand Christians, and even though I think he is probably fighting against the pricks, he still openly and vehemently stands against everything we are. Yet, he will be one of the first to stop and offer someone in need help. Is that God? I don't know, if yes then that is proof there is a little of God in all of us, even before we become "His."

Old man
Oct 1st 2014, 04:07 AM
... Yet, he will be one of the first to stop and offer someone in need help. Is that God? I don't know, if yes then that is proof there is a little of God in all of us, even before we become "His."

And this is what I'm looking to find an answer for. If we do good only because God influences us how can we say that we did good and be rewarded for such good, 2 Cor 5:10 comes to mind. If the good we do is because God does it through us then it is not us it is still Him and He rewards us for what He did.

Can an atheist build a hospital without that influence to do be from God?

The reverse is also in question. How can we be judged if it is really demonic forces which influence us to do bad?

So I guess the real question is:

How autonomous is our actions or the actions of unbelievers when doing both good and bad. How much responsibility (or blame) do we carry for our actions as opposed to how much responsibility (or blame) is on those outside influences both from God or from the demonic.

clormond
Oct 1st 2014, 05:29 AM
Man can do good, what man cannot do is "good his way to God!" My brother (blood) despises me, he can't stand Christians, and even though I think he is probably fighting against the pricks, he still openly and vehemently stands against everything we are. Yet, he will be one of the first to stop and offer someone in need help. Is that God? I don't know, if yes then that is proof there is a little of God in all of us, even before we become "His."


I believe that god's nature is in us, and we may fight against our maker yet we are still our fathers children. Not all of us will finally believe in our savior, I don't believe that we ever can remove god nature that is in us..i will always believe that there are some who war against the spirits more than others do to our choices but we continue to pray for them and show them who Christ can be to us thru us

Brother Paul
Oct 1st 2014, 02:04 PM
Man can do good, what man cannot do is "good his way to God!" My brother (blood) despises me, he can't stand Christians, and even though I think he is probably fighting against the pricks, he still openly and vehemently stands against everything we are. Yet, he will be one of the first to stop and offer someone in need help. Is that God? I don't know, if yes then that is proof there is a little of God in all of us, even before we become "His."

Amen...one or the other, brother....even evil men give good gifts to those who love them...I know an atheist professed communist woman who is one of the most gracious and caring people in our neighborhood. Cares deeply about the homeless, the hungry, etc., but it won't get her into the kingdom. She denies God and resents those who believe in Him, but as for good works she cab boast many...I will pray for your brother now....

brother Paul

LandShark
Oct 1st 2014, 02:08 PM
Amen...one or the other, brother....even evil men give good gifts to those who love them...I know an atheist professed communist woman who is one of the most gracious and caring people in our neighborhood. Cares deeply about the homeless, the hungry, etc., but it won't get her into the kingdom. She denies God and resents those who believe in Him, but as for good works she cab boast many...I will pray for your brother now....

brother Paul

Thanks brother!

keck553
Oct 1st 2014, 04:36 PM
Would this "conscience" be considered as "influence" from God. If it wasn't for that God influence could man do good?

I think this is a moot question because God created man. His stamp is on us, whether we know Him or not.

keck553
Oct 1st 2014, 04:38 PM
Man can do good, what man cannot do is "good his way to God!" My brother (blood) despises me, he can't stand Christians, and even though I think he is probably fighting against the pricks, he still openly and vehemently stands against everything we are. Yet, he will be one of the first to stop and offer someone in need help. Is that God? I don't know, if yes then that is proof there is a little of God in all of us, even before we become "His."

Its possible he has an issue with what he perceives as "religion." Perhaps he still has room for Yeshua in his heart?

I will pray also...that God will make a way for him.

keck553
Oct 1st 2014, 04:47 PM
For some reason, this thread made me think about Isaiah. I have no reason to doubt his walk was "blameless" before God, a man of faith, someone we would see as a righteous man.

How ironic such a man would find himself unclean and defiled in the presence of God (Isaiah 6). Wow. Most of us (me for sure) couldn't live up to Isaiah's walk, yet he found himself far, far short of the glory of God.

If a man can do good works (per Romans 2), then HOW MUCH MORE are those who have God's Spirit to do good works?

When James exhorted us to walk out our salvation with fear and trembling, I think I can get a glimpse of what that looks like.

Old man
Oct 1st 2014, 05:30 PM
I think this is a moot question because God created man. His stamp is on us, whether we know Him or not.
Perhaps you are right.

The conscience although from God is not God. It can be ignored, seared, broken, twisted, etc. It is not what makes us do what we do since it can be and often is ignored and dismissed by people. It is like a spiritual information library giving us insight to right and wrong but it doesn’t necessarily make us do right or wrong just gives us knowledge and perhaps a sense of which would be better but the choice and actions are still not determined by that. People do that which they love but not necessarily what our conscience says for us to do.


John 3:19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. (20) For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (21) But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

Verse 20 shows that there was some sort of conscience in action showing that it produced a knowledge of right and wrong but was ignored or suppressed /covered up.
Verse 21 is interesting because it seem to indicate that the good works people (even unbelievers?) do actually are based on and perhaps because of God’s influence.

divaD
Oct 1st 2014, 05:47 PM
There is a flip side to this question:



Can man do evil without being influence by demonic influence? Again please include appropriate scripture to back up what you post.




Not to get us into an endtimes discussion or anything. But it does seem to be the case if the binding of satan is after the return of Christ, and that in Zech 14 it is also speaking of a time after the return of Christ, where apparently some might refuse to go up to worship the LORD in Jerusalem, thus no rain because of this. If all of this is so, doesn't that at least show man is perfectly capable on his own to do evil without demonic influence? And if so, why can't it be possible in this age as well at times? The question is, can satan and demons read our minds, or perhaps influence our thinking? For example, one moment a person is getting along fine with someone, the next moment they are wanting to knock this person out based on something they had just said, as this thought then crosses their mind. And since this would be happening in real time, do demons even have this capability to influence someone just like that, on the spur of the moment?

Old man
Oct 1st 2014, 05:59 PM
Not to get us into an endtimes discussion or anything.
Yeah ….…. I prefer not to get into that aspect.


But it does seem to be the case if the binding of satan is after the return of Christ, and that in Zech 14 it is also speaking of a time after the return of Christ, where apparently some might refuse to go up to worship the LORD in Jerusalem, thus no rain because of this. If all of this is so, doesn't that at least show man is perfectly capable on his own to do evil without demonic influence? And if so, why can't it be possible in this age as well at times?
Good point. It seems to be a clear demonstration of people doing evil or being rebellious on their own accord. I’ll have to think that through.


The question is, can satan and demons read our minds, or perhaps influence our thinking? …
No they can’t read minds but they can guess the best reaction that would happen do to a suggestion based on simple observation of the person’s habits and personality.


And since this would be happening in real time, do demons even have this capability to influence someone just like that, on the spur of the moment?
I think only in full possession cases.

IMINXTC
Oct 1st 2014, 06:11 PM
Always been intrigued by the fact that scripture is silent as to the notion of demons tempting man to sin; the NT teaching, of course, that man is tempted by the sin already in his heart.

I do believe, in light of scripture, that demons are involved in false (damnable) doctrines as attested by Christ and the Apostles, and the main thrust of demonic activity appears to be against the truth of the Gospel - to keep men from Christ.

One might argue that a temptress entering the life of a Godly man did so under the influence of demons.

keck553
Oct 1st 2014, 08:12 PM
Perhaps you are right.

The conscience although from God is not God. It can be ignored, seared, broken, twisted, etc. It is not what makes us do what we do since it can be and often is ignored and dismissed by people. It is like a spiritual information library giving us insight to right and wrong but it doesn’t necessarily make us do right or wrong just gives us knowledge and perhaps a sense of which would be better but the choice and actions are still not determined by that. People do that which they love but not necessarily what our conscience says for us to do.



Verse 20 shows that there was some sort of conscience in action showing that it produced a knowledge of right and wrong but was ignored or suppressed /covered up.
Verse 21 is interesting because it seem to indicate that the good works people (even unbelievers?) do actually are based on and perhaps because of God’s influence.

Yeah, I think that's pretty much the gist of Paul's comment in Romans about it.

Old man
Oct 2nd 2014, 03:03 PM
Always been intrigued by the fact that scripture is silent as to the notion of demons tempting man to sin; the NT teaching, of course, that man is tempted by the sin already in his heart.

I do believe, in light of scripture, that demons are involved in false (damnable) doctrines as attested by Christ and the Apostles, and the main thrust of demonic activity appears to be against the truth of the Gospel - to keep men from Christ.

One might argue that a temptress entering the life of a Godly man did so under the influence of demons.

I’ll have to look more into this.

But through a quick search (NT only) I found these references.


1 Thess. 3:5 “For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.”

Although the reference in 1 Thess. 3:5 to "the tempter" could just as likely be men following Paul trying to disrupt and make void his efforts to bring salvation to the Gentiles rather than “s”. The prevailing thought is that this is referring to “s” who is called “the tempter” in Matt 4:3. I have to admit I lean more to this referring to men though I would have to be flexible about it.

If it is men how much of the actions in hindering the gospel is a result of "s" influence and how much is their own hatred?

To what degree will they be able to stand before the judgment seat and say (with justifiable reason) the devil made me do it?


1 Cor. 7:5 “Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

In 1 Cor. 7:5 however we see that our actions can stop “s” from tempting us. Apparently “s” is in the business of tempting men but it is a result of our lack of self control (at least in this passage) or already existing sin.

Is lacking self control sin or simply an exploitable weakness?

The direction of thought then is how much control or power does “s” have in a person’s life?

If God is the one who determines the life span of a person (even unbelievers) can “s” kill whom he wants?

The ultimate question is: does "s" influence "force" us to do bad things in that we have no control over it? Is there any Biblical support for this?

Brother Mark
Oct 2nd 2014, 03:17 PM
I think there's a difference between human sympathy that most all of us experience, and God authored mercy. Mercy empties itself and goes to the last place. It gets beneath those it wants to help and then lifts them up. Sympathy looks down at the plight of others and wants to lift them up to the same level it is currently at.

Sympathy can look good and is trying to follow the law as written in the hearts of every man. But it is not the same as mercy. Still, I think sympathy can cause good deeds even if the motives can be questionable.

keck553
Oct 2nd 2014, 03:40 PM
I think there's a difference between human sympathy that most all of us experience, and God authored mercy. Mercy empties itself and goes to the last place. It gets beneath those it wants to help and then lifts them up. Sympathy looks down at the plight of others and wants to lift them up to the same level it is currently at.

Sympathy can look good and is trying to follow the law as written in the hearts of every man. But it is not the same as mercy. Still, I think sympathy can cause good deeds even if the motives can be questionable.

It's the heart of a servant - if a Christian had to state his mission of sacrificial service to God in one word, it would be "others."

Yes, you are correct. Mercy is manifested to those who do not invoke our sympathy, extended even to those who invoke our wrath. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples - but consider - one of them was Judas, and He knew He was washing the feet of His enemy, not just His enemy, but the worse enemy a man can have - a traitor.

Mercy must be manifested in actions if it is to be fulfilled. Our reasonable service to God is serving others.

Slug1
Oct 2nd 2014, 03:45 PM
It's the heart of a servant - if a Christian had to state his mission of sacrificial service to God in one word, it would be "others."

Yes, you are correct. Mercy is manifested to those who do not invoke our sympathy, extended even to those who invoke our wrath. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples - but consider - one of them was Judas, and He knew He was washing the feet of His enemy, not just His enemy, but the worse enemy a man can have - a traitor.

Mercy must be manifested in actions if it is to be fulfilled. Our reasonable service to God is serving others.Sure seems mercy and compassion go hand-in-hand?

Old man
Oct 2nd 2014, 03:51 PM
I think there's a difference between human sympathy that most all of us experience, and God authored mercy. Mercy empties itself and goes to the last place. It gets beneath those it wants to help and then lifts them up. Sympathy looks down at the plight of others and wants to lift them up to the same level it is currently at.

Sympathy can look good and is trying to follow the law as written in the hearts of every man. But it is not the same as mercy. Still, I think sympathy can cause good deeds even if the motives can be questionable.

Sooooooo ...... you're saying that man (unbelievers) can do good things without God been the one who influenced (directed / impressed / urged / forced / placed on his heart / etc.) him to do that good thing?

Brother Mark
Oct 2nd 2014, 04:00 PM
Sooooooo ...... you're saying that man (unbelievers) can do good things without God been the one who influenced (directed / impressed / urged / forced / placed on his heart / etc.) him to do that good thing?

I would agree with Keck's post earlier on the scripture that says even the Gentiles know right and wrong because God put it in them to know. I would also draw a distinction between a good deed, and a good motive. One can do a good deed with a bad motive.

Phil 2:3-8
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
NASU

Jesus showed mercy by emptying himself and getting below everyone. He became last. He took the least seat at the table. He did these things in order to offer all that were above him mercy, grace, heaven, Himself.

Mankind on the other hand, looks at the plight of those beneath him and has sympathy. We desire to bring them up to our level. But all we can offer them are things in the natural. In the natural, we think well of ourselves and in pity wish to bring others up to our level. While that can create a good deed, maybe the heart has mistaken both the need of the one being helped, and the piety of the one helping. IOW, we look down at those we are helping instead of looking up or over to them. In our humanity, we are moved because they are worse off than us. In the Spirit, we are moved because they are without Christ and we think as much or more of them than we do ourselves.

keck553
Oct 2nd 2014, 04:35 PM
Sure seems mercy and compassion go hand-in-hand?

Every time I've done a word study in the Bible, the words point to actions done in spite of emotional appeal. I'm still convinced its not about what we think, but what we do. Gotta have a lot of faith to have pure motives.

Neanias
Oct 2nd 2014, 05:46 PM
The good Samaritan was not a Christian, he wasn't following Jesus, yet Jesus praised what he did. Measuring whether it is the influence of the Spirit becomes splitting hairs, for one, it is impossible for us men to say exactly and in every case, and for two it's irrelevant: God leaves every man his free will, and if a man willingly lets himself be influenced by God and his love, even unknowingly, the man did it. He did the act willingly, and if it was good, then it was a good thing.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

The sheep are a perfect example of those who do right unknowingly, and it is credited to them. What man cannot do without God is to do the works of God, to advance the kingdom. Man cannot do the perfect works prepared in advance unless he is in communion with God. Christianity has often done itself a great disservice because it failed to discern between the two and condemned all those outside the church, not realizing they were also condemning the good Samaritan who Jesus praised, and the sheep who did right without knowing the Lord.

God doesn't condemn those who love and do right, Christian or not. In that sense, any man is capable of choosing with his will to love. As John Wesley wrote...

"But it may be asked, if there be no true love of our neighbour but that which springs from the love of God, and if the love of God flows from no other fountain than faith in the Son of God, does it not follow that the whole heathen world is excluded from all possibility of salvation? Seeing they are cut off from faith for "faith cometh by hearing" and how shall they hear without a preacher? I answer St Paul's words spoken on another occasion are applicable to this;"What the law speaketh, it speaketh to those under the law". Accordingly that sentence "He that believeth not shall be damned" is spoken of them to whom the gospel is preached Others it does not concern, and we are not required to determine any thing touching their final state. How it will please God the Judge of all to deal with them, we may leave to God himself. But this we know that he is not the God of the Christians only, but the God of the heathens also; that he is rich in mercy to all that call upon him according to the light they have, and that in every nation "he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him"."

Brother Mark
Oct 2nd 2014, 05:52 PM
The good Samaritan was not a Christian, he wasn't following Jesus, yet Jesus praised what he did.

I think the Good Samaritan was/is Jesus.

Neanias
Oct 4th 2014, 07:02 PM
I think the Good Samaritan was/is Jesus.

Jesus uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to answer a man asking “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

He is not describing himself, but describing what a righteous man does. He compares the Samaritan to two religious men who do not help those in need. The end of the matter does not have Jesus saying 'I am this Good Samaritan', but rather 'Go and do likewise'. Jesus is telling this expert of the law what man must do to have eternal life, that is the question that was asked.

He gives a rich young ruler the same answer to the same question. Obey the law. Do right. And you will have eternal life. I don't think Jesus was making fun of them or being sarcastic, and nowhere does scripture imply that. Being 'the Good Samaritan' in secret and before God, and not for show, is being righteous... Even if one isn't religious. The contrasts between the Samaritan, the Priest, and the Levite is that two are religious, and one is not... And Jesus praises the unreligious but compassionate man. Like your signature says, "I desire compassion, not sacrifice".

The rich young ruler asks another question though, saying 'all these things I have done, what am I still lacking?' and Jesus says 'if you will be perfect, sell all you have and give it to the poor, and come follow me.'

So many times we like to see everything in extremes. We often make a doctrine where the possibilities are either a) being glorified with Christ like the Apostles or b) burning in hell like the devil. But that's not what Jesus teaches. He puts out a standard for eternal life that is simple: honest, humble righteousness. God is close to the contrite of heart, and a broken and contrite heart the Lord will not despise.

If we will, however, rule and reign with Christ and be glorified with him, we must give up all to follow him. The sheep inherit eternal life at the judgment seat because they did like the Good Samaritan. So Jesus' answer is true, if you will have life, go and do likewise (as the Good Samaritan). The other answer, however, is also true, if you will be perfect, give up all you have and come follow me.

Man can do good... On a human level. But this shouldn't be belittled. Jesus said 'whatever you did unto the least of these my brethren, you did unto me.' It should not, by the same token, be mistaken with giving up all to follow and serve the Christ. Both these things are good and pleasing to God.

Brother Mark
Oct 5th 2014, 01:05 PM
Jesus uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to answer a man asking “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

He is not describing himself, but describing what a righteous man does. He compares the Samaritan to two religious men who do not help those in need. The end of the matter does not have Jesus saying 'I am this Good Samaritan', but rather 'Go and do likewise'. Jesus is telling this expert of the law what man must do to have eternal life, that is the question that was asked.

He gives a rich young ruler the same answer to the same question. Obey the law. Do right. And you will have eternal life. I don't think Jesus was making fun of them or being sarcastic, and nowhere does scripture imply that. Being 'the Good Samaritan' in secret and before God, and not for show, is being righteous... Even if one isn't religious. The contrasts between the Samaritan, the Priest, and the Levite is that two are religious, and one is not... And Jesus praises the unreligious but compassionate man. Like your signature says, "I desire compassion, not sacrifice".

The rich young ruler asks another question though, saying 'all these things I have done, what am I still lacking?' and Jesus says 'if you will be perfect, sell all you have and give it to the poor, and come follow me.'

So many times we like to see everything in extremes. We often make a doctrine where the possibilities are either a) being glorified with Christ like the Apostles or b) burning in hell like the devil. But that's not what Jesus teaches. He puts out a standard for eternal life that is simple: honest, humble righteousness. God is close to the contrite of heart, and a broken and contrite heart the Lord will not despise.

If we will, however, rule and reign with Christ and be glorified with him, we must give up all to follow him. The sheep inherit eternal life at the judgment seat because they did like the Good Samaritan. So Jesus' answer is true, if you will have life, go and do likewise (as the Good Samaritan). The other answer, however, is also true, if you will be perfect, give up all you have and come follow me.

Man can do good... On a human level. But this shouldn't be belittled. Jesus said 'whatever you did unto the least of these my brethren, you did unto me.' It should not, by the same token, be mistaken with giving up all to follow and serve the Christ. Both these things are good and pleasing to God.

Rom 3:9-13

9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written,

"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

NASU

mailmandan
Oct 5th 2014, 01:31 PM
Rom 3:9-13

9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written,

"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

NASU

Those under sin cannot do good? Those who are born of God can do good? Romans 2:7 - eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality.

Brother Mark
Oct 5th 2014, 02:22 PM
Those under sin cannot do good? Those who are born of God can do good? Romans 2:7 - eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality.

Whatever is not of faith is sin. To do a "good work", a work of faith, one must first have faith. Right?

I think we have to be careful not to confuse an act of kindness with a good work.

Matt 7:22
22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
NASU

Those sound like good works to me, but Jesus would have none of it.

Matt 7:23
23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
NASU

Noeb
Oct 5th 2014, 02:40 PM
Rom 3:9-13

9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written,

"THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

NASUCONTEXT!!!! "All have sinned" -Rom 3:4-5, 9, 20, 23

Therefore,
Only God is righteous
None always understands
None always seek God
None always do good

Understand, seek, and do, are Greek present continual, and does not mean we cannot understand, seek God, and do good.

Noeb
Oct 5th 2014, 02:44 PM
Whatever is not of faith is sin. To do a "good work", a work of faith, one must first have faith. Right?

I think we have to be careful not to confuse an act of kindness with a good work.

Matt 7:22
22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
NASU

Those sound like good works to me, but Jesus would have none of it.

Matt 7:23
23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'
NASUWhen the unregenerate trust the natural law they are having faith.
An act of kindness is a good work. There's no logical way to say otherwise.
Jesus didn't say those in Mat 7:22 did not do good, he said I never knew you.

Brother Mark
Oct 5th 2014, 03:00 PM
When the unregenerate trust the natural law they are having faith.
An act of kindness is a good work. There's no logical way to say otherwise.
Jesus didn't say those in Mat 7:22 did not do good, he said I never knew you.

Faith in Allah, faith in natural law, faith in good works, faith in man kind, etc. isn't the faith that God is looking for to motivate man.

John 6:28-29
28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."
NASU

To work good works means one is believing in Him who God sent. That belief will produce good works. When Jesus says "Depart from me" he does so because not once do those folks say "we trusted you Jesus". What we do every day is what we believe. But Whom we believe in matters when it comes to what is an acceptable work and what is not.

Noeb
Oct 5th 2014, 03:00 PM
Those under sin cannot do good? Those who are born of God can do good? Romans 2:7 - eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality.....and...."seek for glory, honor, and immortality." is seeking God, BTW :)

Brother Mark
Oct 5th 2014, 03:03 PM
....and...."seek for glory, honor, and immortality." is seeking God, BTW :)

Didn't the pharisees seek glory, honor and immortality?

Noeb
Oct 5th 2014, 03:46 PM
Faith in Allah, faith in natural law, faith in good works, faith in man kind, etc. isn't the faith that God is looking for to motivate man.

John 6:28-29
28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."
NASU

To work good works means one is believing in Him who God sent. That belief will produce good works. When Jesus says "Depart from me" he does so because not once do those folks say "we trusted you Jesus". What we do every day is what we believe. But Whom we believe in matters when it comes to what is an acceptable work and what is not.
No. You said,
"Whatever is not of faith is sin."

Paul was talking about our conscience -between ourselves and God, not doing something in Jesus.

Rom 14:22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.
Rom 14:23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Good works is not restricted to believing on Jesus, as pointed out already in Romans 2, not to mention the entire OT,......and this Gentile

Act 10:22 And they said, "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say."
.......
Act 10:34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,
Act 10:35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

JFB Commentary
"he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness — This being the well-known phraseology of the Old Testament in describing the truly godly man, within the pale of revealed religion, it cannot be alleged that Peter meant it to denote a merely virtuous character, in the heathen sense; and as Peter had learned enough, from the messengers of Cornelius and from his own lips, to convince him that the whole religious character of this Roman officer had been molded in the Jewish faith, there can be no doubt that the apostle intended to describe exactly such saintship - in its internal spirituality and external fruitfulness - as God had already pronounced to be genuine and approved. And since to such “He giveth more grace,” according to the law of His Kingdom (Jam_4:6; Mat_25:29), He sends Peter, not to be the instrument of his conversion, as this is very frequently called, but simply to “show him the way of God more perfectly,” as before to the devout Ethiopian eunuch."

John.......
Luk 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

Noeb
Oct 5th 2014, 03:49 PM
Didn't the pharisees seek glory, honor and immortality?From (context) Romans 2
Rom 2:17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God
Rom 2:18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law;
Rom 2:19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
Rom 2:20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--
Rom 2:21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?
Rom 2:22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
Rom 2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.
Rom 2:24 For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

and 9 and 10
not by faith and according to knowledge, but as it were by the works of the law

Oh, and Jesus said they were blind.....therefore how could it be said they were seeking God? If they were, they would not have missed him (many didn't). He's not far from any of us.

Old man
Oct 5th 2014, 04:07 PM
Two unbelievers are walking into Walmart. Niether one knows the other (i.e. complete strangers) The first one about 10 paces ahead of the other goes through the door and accidentally drops his wallet. The other one following behind sees it picks it up and gives it back to the first guy.

I would call this a good deed or work. But is it one that was motivated or influenced by God.

When Jesus said:

Luke 11:11-13 "And what father of you, if the son asks for bread, will he give him a stone? And if a fish, will he give him a snake instead of a fish? (12) And if he should ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion? (13) Then if you being evil know to give good gifts to your children, how much more the Father out of Heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those asking Him."

Are these actions those which take place because the Holy Spirit has impressed them to do it even though they do not acknowledge Him? Or are these good deed actions something they can do outside of any influence from God prompting them to do them?

Brother Mark
Oct 5th 2014, 04:12 PM
Two unbelievers are walking into Walmart. Niether one knows the other (i.e. complete strangers) The first one about 10 paces ahead of the other goes through the door and accidentally drops his wallet. The other one following behind sees it picks it up and gives it back to the first guy.

I would call this a good deed or work. But is it one that was motivated or influenced by God.

When Jesus said:

Luke 11:11-13 "And what father of you, if the son asks for bread, will he give him a stone? And if a fish, will he give him a snake instead of a fish? (12) And if he should ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion? (13) Then if you being evil know to give good gifts to your children, how much more the Father out of Heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those asking Him."

Are these actions those which take place because the Holy Spirit has impressed them to do it even though they do not acknowledge Him? Or are these good deed actions something they can do outside of any influence from God prompting them to do them?

I guess it would help to define "good deed". That seems to be a sticking point in a lot of this discussion. What is defined as good or not good when it comes to works?

IMO, if it doesn't have an eternal reward, it doesn't qualify as good. But that's my opinion. Certainly there are works that are done by unbelievers that are beneficial to mankind.

BroRog
Oct 5th 2014, 04:34 PM
Here is a question that came up in our lunch time Bible study at my work that I thought I would put to you all here. Please supply scripture to support your response if you can.

Can man do good things without being influenced to do them by the Holy Spirit? Is it possible for man (unsaved) to do good things own his own initiative? I am not talking about whether one is doing them to earn salvation just if man has a stand alone ability to do good apart from God. If an unsaved man does a good deed is it because he was influenced by the Holy Spirit to do it even if he is unaware of the Holy Spirit as being the influence?

How about Matthew 7:8-11 for example:

8 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 "Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
10 "Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?
11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Here Jesus argues from the lesser to the greater. If 'X' is true, then certainly 'Y', which is greater, is also true. If you being evil know how to give good gifts to children, then certainly God, who is good and not evil, will give good gifts to those who ask. Because Jesus argues from the lesser to the greater, his argument only works if the lesser is actually true. In other words, his argument assumes, in fact, that even evil people can do good things. And if evil people can do good things, how much more certain is it that a good being, your heavenly Father, will do good things?

Neanias
Oct 6th 2014, 01:28 AM
CONTEXT!!!! "All have sinned" -Rom 3:4-5, 9, 20, 23

Therefore,
Only God is righteous
None always understands
None always seek God
None always do good

Understand, seek, and do, are Greek present continual, and does not mean we cannot understand, seek God, and do good.

Exactly!

Cornelius was a righteous man, before seeing Peter. Peter was sent as an answer to his prayer. Peter said 'in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.' God is not unrighteous to condemn those who love and have simply not been given testimony of him. Men will be judged by their works, and the sheep did not even know Jesus, or that they had fed him. That is not a Christian! A Christian knows his brethren, and knows he is helping the saints when he tends their needs.

We have created a Christianity that belittles the righteousness of the humble and simple man who loves, though he has not encountered God in a way that he knows. But Jesus did not do this. Jesus loved all who did good, and called some to be saints, spreading his good news, and suffering for the gospel. God is merciful to the merciful. Not just the merciful Christians...

Noeb
Oct 6th 2014, 01:28 AM
I guess it would help to define "good deed". That seems to be a sticking point in a lot of this discussion. What is defined as good or not good when it comes to works?I haven't seen any sticking points but what's wrong with your own words?
"works that are done by unbelievers that are beneficial to mankind"
Of course that's also true for believers.
A work that's not bad is good. Why complicate it?



IMO, if it doesn't have an eternal reward, it doesn't qualify as good.All works, both good and bad, have eternal reward.

Rom 2:6 He will render to each one according to his works:
Rom 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
Rom 2:8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
Rom 2:9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
Rom 2:10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2Co 5:11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.

Neanias
Oct 6th 2014, 01:29 AM
Otherwise we have a doctrine that condemns the unreligious who do right and justifies us religious people who are guilty of the same...

Sounds like the Pharisees?

I think so.

Brother Paul
Oct 6th 2014, 10:14 PM
Since when does whether one can do good things get them into the Kingdom (John 3:3-8; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:23)???

Brother Mark
Oct 6th 2014, 10:48 PM
I haven't seen any sticking points but what's wrong with your own words?
"works that are done by unbelievers that are beneficial to mankind"
Of course that's also true for believers.
A work that's not bad is good. Why complicate it?

Because ultimately, the discussion at hand is do works save a man. They don't. Pharisees were capable of doing things that were beneficial to mankind, but they still were condemned because of their self righteousness.

Rom 9:30-33

30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written,

"BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE,
AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
NASU

One doesn't get to heaven by works but rather, by trusting God to be his savior.

Brother Mark
Oct 6th 2014, 10:50 PM
Otherwise we have a doctrine that condemns the unreligious who do right and justifies us religious people who are guilty of the same...

Sounds like the Pharisees?

I think so.

I think I addressed this in the post above, but just in case... the pharisees weren't condemned because they trusted in a religious system. Rather they were condemned because they thought they could be found righteous outside of grace from God through Christ Jesus. No one is justified because of religion or works. Rather, they are justified by grace through faith in God.

Luke 18:13-14
13 "But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, bemerciful to me, the sinner!' 14 "I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
NASU

Should we exalt ourselves through our own works, then we will be humbled.

Eph 2:8-9
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
NASU

Noeb
Oct 6th 2014, 11:17 PM
Since when does whether one can do good things get them into the Kingdom (John 3:3-8; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:23)???It doesn't. Who said it did?

Noeb
Oct 6th 2014, 11:19 PM
Because ultimately, the discussion at hand is do works save a man.It is? Sure you're not thinking of another thread?

Old man
Oct 6th 2014, 11:31 PM
Because ultimately, the discussion at hand is do works save a man.

Actually Mark. That is not what the OP is about. It is about the question of whether every good deed a person does he does it because he is being influence by God to do it(we are specifically referring to unbelievers). Also the flip side to this question: is every bad deed or action done by a person (specifically and unbeliever) a result of the devil influencing him do do it. Can a man do a good or bad deed without the influence of God or the devil making him do it? This question has nothing to do with whether one is saved by doing them.

Brother Mark
Oct 6th 2014, 11:51 PM
Actually Mark. That is not what the OP is about.

I know. But it seems to me that it has become about works based salvation. Maybe that's because I was focused on one or two writers.


It is about the question of whether every good deed a person does he does it because he is being influence by God to do it(we are specifically referring to unbelievers). Also the flip side to this question: is every bad deed or action done by a person (specifically and unbeliever) a result of the devil influencing him do do it. Can a man do a good or bad deed without the influence of God or the devil making him do it? This question has nothing to do with whether one is saved by doing them.

To be honest, such a question is too complicated for me. We do know that "all good gifts come from God". That would seem to suggest that God prompts even lost people to move on some level to benefit mankind. There are plenty of examples in scripture where God moved man to do what many would consider good and many would consider bad deeds.

Noeb
Oct 7th 2014, 01:19 AM
That's not a biblical definition of gift in James 1:17 or anywhere in scripture.

Old man
Oct 7th 2014, 01:27 AM
We do know that "all good gifts come from God". That would seem to suggest that God prompts even lost people to move on some level to benefit mankind. There are plenty of examples in scripture where God moved man to do what many would consider good and many would consider bad deeds.

I think a more appropriate reading would be closer to something like "all gifts from God are good" especially in light of the previous discussion in that chapter that some were believing that temptations were coming from God as well. Its more about the quality of what God Himself gives. IMO