Even with all that goes on in the world today, I still run into people who believe that people are generally good. Often what they say is something like: “I am a pretty good person and God is alright letting me live my life how I think.” Really?
It does not take very long to get corrected on that thinking when the Bible is opened up and read.
“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:1-2
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” – Colossians 3:5
This section of Scripture continues to list off more things you are to take off and a whole list of things that you are to put on. In other words, yes it does matter to God how you live and no you are not good on your own. That goodness comes only as a result of a transformation that happens as you trust in Jesus Christ. It is at that point that these sinful things come off and these new things get put on.
This realization is actually key to the Gospel message. When we stop and recognize that we are sinful people in need of a Savior it positions us to receive the gift of new life in Christ. The message is not about behavior modification; the message is about a new spiritual life. That is where true freedom is found – not in doing things our own way!