Robert Morris - Good Enough
So we're in a series called, "Perfect or Perfected". I'm sure none of you have related to either of the first two messages, the first one on perfectionism. No one here has ever had a problem with that. Last week, on stress, "Stressed Out". No one's ever had a problem with stress. So, this week, the title of the message is, "Good Enough" - "Good Enough". Now, in the same way that, "perfect," has become a catch phrase, a buzzword, same way, "good enough," has. But, "good enough" is like, almost a bad phrase. It's like when you're doing a school project. About 2:00 a.m. you say, "It's good enough". Good's gotten a bad rap.
So, I'm gonna actually show you that the word, "good," is a good word in the Scripture. And we're gonna talk about, are you okay if you're perfected by grace and you're not perfect? Are you okay if God says you're good, you're okay, you're good, all right? So, Mark 10:17 says, talking about Jesus, "As He was going out on the road, one came running," this is the rich, young ruler. They call this the story of the rich, young ruler, 'cause he was rich, young, and a ruler. All right, so. "One came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, 'Good Teacher'" - notice immediately the focus is on being good, "What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life"? So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments".
Now, if you want to number them, you can. "Do not commit adultery. Do not murder. Do not steal". There's three. "Do not bear false witness. Do not defraud. Honor your father and mother". He only named six of the Ten Commandments. The commandments are divided into two categories. The first four have to do with your relationship with God. The last six, which He named, have to do with your relationship with other people. Those are the only six Jesus named, not because He forgot the first four, but because the man couldn't say that he kept them. He couldn't say that he'd kept not having any other gods before Him. He couldn't say that. You see what I'm saying? He could only talk about what he had done in relationship with other people.
So, Jesus only named six. He said, "You know the commandments". Verse 20, "He answered and said to Him, 'Teacher, all these things I've kept from my youth.' Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him". I just love those two words. I think people miss them. "Loved him" - in other words, He loved him enough to tell him the truth. "And He said to him, 'One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Come, take up the cross,'" sounds like more than one, by the way, but it's all involved in one. "'Come, take up the cross, and follow Me.' He was sad at His word and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions".
Okay, here's the point. His focus was on being good enough, and Jesus, in essence, says to him, "That's not enough. We can't be good enough to go to heaven. The only way you can go to heaven is to give everything up to God". In other words, to be perfect. Now, we're gonna talk about this, and we've talked about, "Perfect or Perfected". But, He comes up and here's a guy that says, "I've kept all of these commandments". Now, I thought about this, this last week when I was preparing this message, and I went through the Ten Commandments. I broke nine of them by the time I was 15 or 16 years old. I didn't kill anyone, so that's the only one I've never broken. Aren't you glad? I thought about it, but I didn't...okay. But anyway, the point is I've broken the other ones, and you probably have, too. You've probably broken a majority of them.
So, here's what He's trying to say. "You want to talk about being good? Okay, let Me just put it out of your reach. Sell everything, give it away, take up a cross, be willing to die a horrible death, and follow Me". And the guy goes away sad. You would, too. Because He says, "No, it's not about being good, it's about something else". And we're gonna talk... in a moment we're gonna follow up with this passage, because most of the time when we preach on it, we don't read the passage after it, and that's when Jesus explains what He meant. So, we'll talk about that in a moment. So, the first thing we want to talk about though, is good is good. Good is good! It's not bad, it's good.
I looked up the word, "good," in the dictionary, Merriam-Webster, and there were so many definitions I can't even put them on the screen. I'm just gonna scroll through some of them. Look at these words - favorable character, bountiful, handsome. I'm a good pastor! Attractive, suitable, pleasant, wholesome, amusing. I am a good pastor! Clever, true, honorable, deserving of respect, adequate, satisfactory, virtuous, commendable, kind, benevolent, competent, skillful, something conforming to the moral character of the universe. So, good is not bad, good is good, and we're gonna get to the end of this message and find out that good is good. It really is good. It's okay to be good.
So, we're talking about being good or perfect. So, let me ask you something. Do you have a good job, or do you have a perfect job? Okay, hold on. So, there was a time when - remember, I traveled and spoke, and did revivals, youth revivals and things, but I had to do things on the side sometimes to make extra money. I worked for a guy that built fences, and we would do the fence posts and the fence panels. But, another guy I worked for had a cleaning company, and so when I went to clean, we cleaned office buildings, and he had me clean the restrooms. And he did not believe that you cleaned toilets with brushes. You put a rubber glove on, and you took this, you know, rag thing, and just cleaned that toilet. So, I'm kind of cleaning the toilet, you know, and he comes in and gets on me. "No, it's not the way you do it. You've got to really get after it, you know". And he kind of chews me out, you know.
So, I'm a little mad at him. I'm a little embarrassed. So, I thought, "Okay, I'll just really go," so I went like that. Well, his glove was longer than my glove. So, when he would go all the way down in the toilet bowl, no water got in his glove. My glove was about that long. Are you all following me? So, when I went all the way down, my glove filled up with toilet water. It was not a perfect job, but it was actually perfect for me at that time in my life. It was perfect for me. So, I want to talk about this, good or perfect. So, now I'm gonna ask a question. Men that are married, look forward. Don't blink. Don't move in any way at all, okay? Is your wife perfect? Don't move. Is she good? Is she a good gift from God, or is she a perfect gift from God?
I'll show a Scripture, Proverbs 18:22. "He who finds a wife finds a good thing". She's good. But, let me show you another Scripture. James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning". So, is your wife good or perfect? Are you ready for this? Yes. Let me tell you what I mean.
Debbie and I were having a funny fight one time. I don't know if you know what a funny fight is, but you'll recognize it, you've had one. It's when you're arguing about who was right, which way to go, which was the shortest route or whatever it is, and you're not mad at each other. You've been married a long time. You're just kind of, you know, joking with each other. You're not jabbing. There was nothing... we were just joking. Does everyone understand? We were not really fighting and we weren't, you know, mad. We didn't say anything that would have hurt each other's feelings, but we were joking with each other. And so, I said to her, "You know, contrary to popular belief, you are not perfect". And she said to me, "I'm perfect for you". So, is my wife a good wife or a perfect wife? Yes. She's a great wife, and she's perfect for me. Is she perfect in her behavior? No. But, is she perfect for me? Yes. Are you all following me?
So, when God gives a gift, it's perfect for us, but it's also a good gift. Good is not bad, good is good, okay? Here's point number two. Grace is good. Grace is good. So, remember, a rich, young ruler runs up to Jesus. "What do I have to do to inherit eternal life"? "You know the commandments". "Kept them all". "Okay, you lack one thing, that's everything you own". Okay. So, watch what happens next. Verse 23, "Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, 'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God.' And the disciples were astonished at His words". "Astonished," I want you to remember that word, we'll come back to it. "Astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, 'Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches,'" now He's clarifying it a little more, "'to enter the Kingdom of God!'"
And then, here's the famous verse. "'It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.' And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves" - they didn't say it to Jesus, among themselves - "'Who then can be saved? But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With men,'" now we're talking about being saved. "'With men it's impossible, but not with God; for with God, all things are possible.'" So, let me just talk for a moment about the disciples. Why were they astonished? Why were they greatly astonished? By the way, these are two different words in the Greek. "Astonished" means amazed. The second "astonished" is amazed, but it's a compound word, and the other word that it joins with it is, "to strike with a blow," like to strike someone in the face, hit them with your fist.
So, it was like He hit them in the face with amazement. That's the word the Bible uses. They were amazed the first time, then they were knocked down with amazement, but why? Because I've heard that the disciples were poor. So, when Jesus said, "You know, it's hard for rich people to go to heaven," you would think they'd say, "Yep, that's right. Yep, yep, those rich people, they're not gonna make it, but us poor fishermen, we're gonna make it".
Well, I'm not saying they were rich, but just remember, when they followed Jesus it said they left their nets and boats with their hired servants. Hired servants are called employees. Poor people don't have employees. I'm not saying they were rich. I'm not preaching a rich gospel, or hyper-prosperity, or anything like that. I'm just saying they were okay. They had hired servants. Their businesses, by the way, kept going while they were gone, because Peter goes back to fishing then. He's still got his boat. All I'm saying is there's no reason that they would be astonished and be afraid. This word actually also means not only amazement, but fear. Why would they be afraid when Jesus said it's tough for people that's got money to go to heaven? Why wouldn't they just say, "Yep, that's what we think, too"? Why would they be afraid? Because they had some money.
It's just crazy that somehow we think these guys... they had businesses. That's all I'm saying to you. They're greatly astonished. And so, Jesus said, "Well, it's just tough". And they said, "Well then, who then can be saved"? Now, I want you to hear His answer. "With men it's impossible". Let me tell you what this means. It's impossible for you to save yourself. That's what Jesus is saying. You can't be good enough. You can't be. It is completely impossible to save yourself. You need - oh, I just think this is incredible, Jesus saying this. Here's what He's trying to tell them. You need a Savior. You need someone who can do it for you. Because, you have to remember, in order to be accepted by God, an acceptable sacrifice had to be perfect. It had to be perfect. Want me to show you?
Leviticus 22:21, "And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, to fulfill his vow, or a free will offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted". Right there in the Scripture, "It must be perfect to be accepted. There shall be no defect in it". Exodus 12:5, about the Passover lamb. "Your lamb shall be without blemish". And then, obviously it's fulfilled in Christ, 1 Peter 1:19, "But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish". So, here's the perfect One standing there, saying, "You can't save yourself. You can't be good enough. You have to be perfect, but I'm perfect. I can save you". That's what He's trying to tell them.
So, we've been talking about perfectionism, stress. Let me just tell you, perfectionism will never be overcome by trying to do better. You'll never overcome it by trying to be better or do better. You only overcome perfectionism by grace, by being perfected by grace, receiving grace. Let me give you an example of grace. So, in the Old Testament, God gives the law. It's His moral standard. The New Testament tells us it's literally to frustrate us to bring us to grace. It's phenomenal. It's just, Paul spends, Jesus and Paul spend most of their ministry trying to get people to understand how good grace is. So, you've got the law, and most people, again, think it's 10 questions. It's not 10 questions. It's 613 questions. It's Leviticus, which is the Law of the Levite's, Leviticus, and then Deuteronomy means, "the law a second time".
So, Leviticus and Deuteronomy have the law, 613 laws. So, here's how good grace is, okay? God says to every human, "If you want to go to heaven, you have to be perfect. There's a test you have to take, 613 questions, and you have to get them all right. If you miss one, you don't go to heaven. And by the way, you've already missed about 600 of them. Now, My Son took the test and scored a perfect score. If you want, you can take His grade, or you can take the test yourself, but you've already failed". Are you all following me? That's how easy it is to accept Christ and what He did on the cross! Do you want to try to work your way there, or do you want to accept His score?
Here's the problem, though, with believers. We accept grace and then we still try to be perfect in everything we do - and you're not gonna be perfect. You're a human. You're gonna make mistakes. But, you're good because He's made you good, and God's good, so. All right, so good is good, grace is good, and here's number three - God is good. God is good. Now, I know where the word, "good," comes from, but I decided to just kind of refresh myself on this, so I put in the search, "Does good come from God," the word, "God". All of these articles - no, no, good doesn't come from God. Good is this word, God is this word, and almost, one of them said straight out, several straight out, "God is not good". It's amazing.
And I kept thinking, "Well, I need to go back," because I remember when I did this study years ago, you know, this is going back to the 12th century. It's around the 6th century this word came into existence from, you know, the Greek, and the Latin, and da-da-da. So, I was kind of thinking, "I think I need to go back farther," and I can't go back and I can't find it, you know, da-da. And then I thought, "Oh, I know how I can go back farther. I'll go to the Bible". And you know, I just remembered, I just kind of got reminded of, the Bible is better than the internet! It's incredible how good the Bible is! So if you're really trying to find out correct theology and doctrine, just go to the Bible. So, let me just show you whether God's good or not, okay?
Deuteronomy 26:11, "So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given you in your house".
Psalm 118:1, "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good".
Psalm 119:68, "You are good and do good".
Psalm 145:9, "The Lord is good to all".
Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose".
1 Timothy 4:4, "For every creature of God is good".
3 John 11, "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God". Why? Because God is good. God is good.
Now, here's the question I've been wanting to get you to the whole message. Is good good enough if God says it's good? So when I started, I said, "Is good good enough"? And you were like, "Nope". But, is good good enough if God says it's good? Yes. So, I just want to show you how good good is, according to God. So, God created the world, six days. Now, the Scripture talks about a day is as a thousand years. We don't know. God's eternal. We don't know about old, or new, or all of those things. There are all sorts of theories about that. Have whatever theory you want. I don't mind. I don't mind. Millions of years, six days, whatever you want, as long as you know God did it. That's the bottom line. As long as you know God did it and we didn't happen because, you know, nothing collided with nothing.
God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And we have a designer, okay? So, all right. So, do you remember, at the end of each day of creation, God checked for one thing? Here's the end of day one, Genesis 1:4. "And God saw the light, that it was," what? "Good". It didn't say perfect. It didn't even say great. God said, "That's good". End of day two, Verse 10. "God saw that it was good". End of day three, Verse 12, "God saw it was good". End of day four, Verse 18, "God saw it was good". End of day five, Verse 21, "God saw it was good".
Now, you do need to know on day six He created man before He created woman. Genesis 2:18 says, "And the Lord God said, 'That's not good'". That's not good. Created man without woman, looked and said, "Yeah, that's not good. That's not good". Just...ladies, just leave him for a few days and you'll agree with God - not good. That's not good. But at the end of day six, after He created woman, Genesis 1:31. "Then God saw everything that He made, and indeed it was very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day". So, I just want you to know something - good is good enough with God. It's good enough to be good, to be made good by God's grace. Everything He made was good, and when He made you, He said, "That's good. That's good".
You are perfect in your Father's eyes. Because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, because of the perfect life of Jesus, and the perfect death of Jesus Christ, You are perfect. Just like your children, when you held that baby for the first time, you probably thought to yourself, "He's perfect," "She's perfect". Your Father sees you as perfect. He has a perfect love for you. So stop trying to achieve something that you've already received by grace. Hey, I'm gonna continue the series next time. I'll see you then.