“Only One Who Is Good” ( John 3: 20 – 21, NIV ) by Carley Evans


“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3: 20 – 21, NIV)

The good deeds we do are “done through God.” Our adversary is the father of lies; and “hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” Everyone not aligned with God is aligned with our adversary. These persons “hate the light,” living in fear of it. As our adversary is the progenitor of evil, so is God the progenitor of good.

Jesus says, “There is only One who is good.” (Matthew 19: 17) In response to the young man who calls Him “Good teacher,” Jesus says, “No one is good — except God alone.” (Mark 10: 18) But the young man goes ahead and claims to be good, having kept all of the commandments “since [he] was a boy.” (Mark 10: 20) Jesus loves him, but tells him the truth. This young man lacks one thing. Jesus tells him to sell his possessions, “then come, follow Me.” (Mark 10: 21) Jesus tells us that this young man is incapable of saving himself — neither his obedience to God’s commandments nor his self-righteousness are able to obtain for him the eternal life he seeks.

Only one thing is needed — “come, follow [Jesus.]” Come into the light, leaving behind the deeds of darkness.

Jesus’ disciples are amazed: “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10: 26)

Jesus speaks the truth, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10: 27)

“God’s Handiwork” (Ephesians 2: 8 – 10, NEB) by Carley Evans


“For it is by grace you are saved, through trusting Him; it is not your own doing. It is God’s gift, not a reward for work done. There is nothing for anyone to boast of. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to devote ourselves to the good deeds for which God has designed us.”

A pot is created by the potter for a certain purpose. On the wheel, the potter gives the clay the shape of the pot. The clay only submits to the hands of the creator. So it is with God’s children: we submit to God. We “devote ourselves to the good deeds for which God has designed us.”

And “we are God’s handiwork” just as pots are the handiwork of the potter. We have no right to complain to our Creator just as we have no right — or for that matter — reason to boast that somehow through works we save ourselves.

Paul is clear: we are saved by the gift of trust; for this is what faith is: trust. We trust Christ. We trust that He fulfills the Law, satisfies His Father’s wrath against sin, and loves us as friends. We are designed for specific “good deeds” by God Himself; and this, too, is not of our doing. To God belongs all the glory.