The Trap of Good Deeds (Part I)

03-06-2019 12:11 AM

Fr Philopater Magdy


We often ask ourselves “Is God satisfied with our deeds?”

“Are these deeds sufficient to get us to heaven?

“And how will God judge them? Is it according to their number or quantity or according to our intentions?? Or randomly?

Could good deeds wipe out bad deeds?

What is the destiny of pagans? Some of them do very good deeds and their behavior is very courteous; what will be their fate?” So many questions come to our mind …

Let us first read this example to have a clearer idea:

If there is a very wealthy person who does very good works … he builds hospitals and shelters and pays for paving roads and constructing villages, and has continued to do good works along many years. However, one time he had a conflict with someone and killed him.

Does the law in this case forgive the rich person because he has done so much good? Will he not be held accountable in exchange for his good deeds? Of course not. This is the law of all countries in the world no matter what their various affiliations orientations. The law will take its course and this person will be held accountable, regardless of his position or social status.

This means that good deeds alone are not enough to save a person from punishment even if the sentence was eased; there will certainly still be punishment.

Despite the logic of the answer from the point of view of the law … we find some some non-Christian beliefs saying that good deeds alone are enough to have a man’s sins forgiven and wiped out.

Let us start the story from the very beginning in order to be able to reach the answer to the question : How will God judge us?

When our ancestors Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, man fell into a huge predicament represented in three dilemmas:

1 – The first dilemma: Man began looking for the supreme forces governing the universe, which could save humans of the evil counter-forces challenging humanity. But these powers should be infinite.

2 – The second dilemma: Sin, evil, corruption in the land and in the nature of man came into existence.

3 – The third dilemma: Death emerged; that the life of man ends and he is forever forgotten.

It was necessary for man to regain his life in heaven and his fellowship with God and His image, which was distorted by sin, and to find a solution to these three dilemmas.

In this article, we will present very briefly how Christianity, Christ the Saviour, has been able to offer a solution to these serious dilemmas.

First: Solving the dilemma of the supreme powers:

Since the creation of the world, God declared Himself to man gradually:

A) To the Gentiles: the Bible is full of characters and events that prove this

example. Among them is Job whom the Bible spoke about through a whole book so that the Holy Spirit would show us how God deals with the gentiles. There is also Rahab the harlot, who became one of the grandmothers of Christ; also the people of Nineveh for whose salvation God cared, sending them two the prophets Jonah and Nahum.

Many many other stories in the Bible prove that God was not biased to the people of Israel as some sceptics claim.

B) To the Jews: God communicated with them in all ways and throughout all times, from the stage preceding the Law of Moses, then the era of the Law, and through to the captivity and return (after they got disciplined).

When God declared Himself to Moses, He said: “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ … (Exodus 3:14 NKJV)

He has no beginning and no end, the only being with whom everything stands as if it does not exist … a very open, undoubtable declaration that that only one God exists and He is the greatest being in the universe and in all existence …

God declared himself by saying, ” “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!.” (Deut. 6: 4 NKJV) … Any God wouldn’t accept to have a partner. Neither Christianity nor Judaism believe in polytheism … Our God is one God.

When Christ came and took the shape of our bodies, a new and important stage began in man’s life … as man entered into communion with God.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Heb 1: 1-2 NKJV).

But in fact, and despite the bright truth about the existence of God, Satan did not cease to mislead a lot of people who went behind other powers in the universe, pagan worship of all kinds. For some, their minds and logic and science and themselves became their God … As if their recognition of God will rival or threaten them or at least will expose their sin.

Atheism emerged: men denied the existence of God in principle, and atheists continue to look for a supreme power but, unfortunately, to no avail.

The faithful reader of the Bible realises that God did not leave man prey to circumstances or chance, but communicated with him and declared Himself to give humans an answer to this dilemma. Also, showed man that the forces of nature: the moon, sun, fire … not even animals such as cows, or birds … cannot be the supreme powers that humans are looking for.

God alone is the solution to this dilemma.

To be Continued

Watani International

2 June 2019

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