Can we do good without God?


by Ninos Hadjirousou

Many have said to me that ‘we don’t need a God to tell us what to do and what not to do’ ‘we ok being good without God’. But did you know that everyone needs God, but do not accept the fact that they do? How can that be then?

Well if we consider some very truthful facts about human beings that prove the need for God and for His forgiveness, we will find the answer.

First, let us consider the fact that all human beings consciously know what is morally right and wrong.

Honestly, we must realize that everything we do in our life, whether it’s making up decisions, or dealing with circumstances of life, we end up making a moral decision on what is right and what is wrong. In fact, we also end up judging the decisions or circumstances of others, whether their actions are good or bad, just, fair or unfair.

Why do we have this sense and this obligation to judge and say what is true and what is not, just and unfair? It is because human beings have a moral code that tells them from right and wrong, this is evident by what your conscience tells you. You know that if someone murders another person that it is wrong. You know this because it is a universal reality, but you also know it, because you have within, your own moral standard of what you feel is good and what is bad. You decide good or bad on the basis of your own law that is written within you. You know stealing is wrong, lying is wrong, murder is wrong, rape is wrong, because you are born by knowing this. It’s not something you inherited by your parent’s or by education or by government law or by reading the Bible, no, you have it already written in your heart.

I know this because the Bible says it in (Romans 2:14 )“ For when Gentiles, who do not have the law (the law of Moses the ten commandments), by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.” The Apostle is talking to Jews and to Gentiles, who are very different from each other. The Jew has God’s laws given to him by Moses, but the Gentile has a law written within their own hearts. Then the Apostle adds “They show that the work of the law is written on their heart, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them”. The Apostle here is simply saying that although you have a conscience, and a written law within you, there is a problem.

The only problem, which takes me to the second point, is that people’s conscience is corrupted.

When something does go wrong in your life, for example if someone lied to you or if someone did harm to a friend of yours, you judge other’s according to your own standard. But at the same time, your own standards are corrupt, because you realize that you are unable to keep faithfully your own moral standards. That is when your conscience begins to kick in. It is when we know deep in us ‘ I should not be doing this’ and yet, you still do it anyways. This is what it also said in (Romans 1:18) “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”

Don’t you think that makes us hypocrites? It surely does. We know that there are things that must be done and things that are not to be done. Then who is to judge what should and should not do? Off course, if we take out God from our lives, we say ‘I do, I am the captain of my own life’. Well, if we take this to its logical conclusion, if we do follow our own rules in life, then it is impossible to live in social harmony with others.

But let’s not forget, that there is this idea that ‘everyone has their own truth, so there can’t be only one ultimate judge, one ultimate truth and one ultimate good, because everyone is good’ ‘ we don’t need a God in order to be good people and love each other’. But again, if we consider logically this understanding, that if everyone has their own rules of how they ought to live, then there will be nothing but division and chaos. There would be no harmony and no social justice, because, everyone has their own standard of what is fair and unfair. No one would be able to tell the truth for what it really is. And what is the truth?

The truth is that all human beings, though we may have a moral code within us, have a corrupted mind that seeks to do nothing but evil, by trying to please our own desires. The Bible says that “None is righteous, no, not one” (Psalm 14:1-3) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”(Jeremiah 17:9).

Yet, we must ask again for the reason for why we have a conscience? Where did it come from? It cannot be from us, because we can’t even keep our own moral standards, we are not so perfect and good and right all the time, as the Scriptures say “ every intention of the thoughts of his (man’s) heart was only evil continually”(Genesis 6:5). So this must be rooted beyond the human experience. It is rooted from a divine being that is truly good and truly just in all that He does.

If we cannot carry out and be responsible for providing a moral basis for our own moral values, then we can’t be responsible for the moral justice of other’s around us. Our conscience demands a basis, an authority that will be the basis of moral judgement about anything and everyone. That means that we are accountable to someone who is perfect and who is just and righteous, personal and unchanging. And there is none other who is perfect, just and righteous and unchanging than God himself.

As John Blanchard wrote: ‘The conscience is God’s fingerprint, an inescapable reminder of our moral obligation to obey him in everything. Wherever you pass judgement on your own behavior, or on the behavior of others, you are confirming that you are under the authority of a transcendent moral code.’

This moral code was designed by God and planted by God, from the beginning of Genesis before the fall of Adam and Eve, before they rebelled against God. According to (Genesis 1:27) it is written “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”. However, after the fall (Genesis 3), men became corrupt because he rebelled against God. And so this is why he cannot keep these moral standards.

When you consider these things, you must also consider that there is God, that God is real and that you need His forgiveness for rejecting. Now, God is not a God of the gaps, who fills the gaps when something cannot be explained; God is the sustainer, creator and sovereign Lord of the Universe. He alone is the answer to all things in life.


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