good christian, bad christian

I remember being called a “good Christian girl”  by other kids when I was growing up.

I really didn’t like it.  There were a couple of reasons I didn’t like it.  One was, it wasn’t being said in a complimentary way.  It was sarcastic and I was being made fun of for not doing certain things and for doing certain other things.  I was a “good Christian girl” (insert mocking tone here).

The other reason I didn’t like it was because it wasn’t true.  I didn’t know how to tell people that what made me a Christian was definitely not my goodness.  Quite the opposite; I became a Christian because of an irreparable problem I have with sin (badness).  I am not a good Christian; I am a saved sinner.  Even being saved doesn’t rid me of my sin and never will on this earth.  In that sense, I guess you could call me a bad Christian.

But just as a being called a good Christian has an element of oxy moron in it, so does calling myself a bad Christian.  Being a Christian means to have the good, perfect, and holy Christ’s blood spilt on my behalf, as payment for my sin, so that His goodness can be imputed (transferred and covering) to me.  That work is done.

God-man Jesus died on a cross, enduring God’s wrath and judgment, for me (and you, if you love Him and hear this as good news).

So, to say that I’m a bad Christian, minimizes the complete work of Jesus.  His goodness is covering me and is mine, even though my sin continues.   I am a good Christian because Jesus is good and has covered me in His goodness.  It is not my righteousness that makes me good, it is His.

It’s the “Christ for Righteousness” that this good/bad Christian is thankful for this year.  Good, because Christ died and imputes His goodness to me and bad because my sin lingers on until His return.  The paradox of being a sinner and saint continues.

Do you think Christians are able to do anything purely good?  Can a non-Christian do good?