This week, I was reminded (in more ways than one) we often learn more by teaching than receiving teaching. When I was listening to the other professors, God gave me a sort of epiphany. In the beginning, God defined what was "good." Jesus, when the Rich young ruler approached Him defined good further: And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." (Mark 10:18)
In other words, it is only God who can determine "good." To call something "good" means it is "of God." This, then, means that evil is absent of God. So, when the people say: "‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ (Matthew 7:22)" and Jesus says "I never knew you, away from me, doers of lawlessness" (7:23), He's saying "your works were absent of God." They were doing the works in His name, but for their own purpose. All of their "good" they thought they had done were detestable to Christ, because they were absent of His will. We like to label, and rightly so, rape, murder, and the like as evil. Yet, what about our thoughts that are not of God, or our actions? What about seeking to befriend the world in God's name (Friendship with the world is enmity with God, James 4:4, Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15, 1 John 3:13, `1 John 5:19). We may do things "In Jesus Name," but if we're seeking our own selves in the process, we're becoming less than what we were designed to be. Over and again, especially in the Old Testament, when people do what is right in their own eyes, it's disgusting to God! Consider then, are your actions, thoughts and words "good," of God, or are they lacking God completely, or "Evil" as the tree revealed in the Garden. We need, then, to submit every thought, action and breath to God, to become like He intended us to be, like Jesus. Romans 5:12-21 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men[e] because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.