So Good" or "so Bad"?

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
"You think you are so good!" This came from the lips of one who had listened to a few words on assurance and the love of Christ.
But listen to a few Christians. Wrote Charles Simeon of Cambridge: "Dearest brother, God alone knoweth how corrupt I am. It is not for naught that I wonder at the mercy of being out of hell."
Said Henry Martyn: "If God's Word did not unequivocally declare the desperate wickedness of the heart, I should sink in despair. Nothing but infinite grace can save me. But that which grieves me most is that I am not more humbled at the contemplation of myself!"
Another devoted servant of God said: "I saw so much of my hellish vileness that I appeared worse to myself than any devil." This was dear David Brainerd. And again he says: "For my part, I feel the most vile of any creature living; and I am sure sometimes that there is not such another existing on this side of hell."
"None but God knows what an abyss of corruption is in my heart," says McCheyne of Dundee.
John Bradford, the martyr; "I am a most hypocritical wretch, and not worthy the earth should bear me."
"Lord, I am hell; and Thou art heaven," said his companion martyr, Bishop Hooper.
The Christian is not one who thinks himself "good," but one who has found out how bad he is that in him, in his flesh, "dwelleth no good thing," that from the "crown of the head to the sole of the foot there is nothing but wounds and bruises and putrifying sores." And seeing with horror himself, he has turned and seen the beauty of Christ, the spotless lamb of God: "the holy, harmless, undefiled." "Who did no sin,— neither was guile found in His mouth." 1 Pet. 2:2222Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (1 Peter 2:22).
"Oh, what a contrast," cries the soul overwhelmed with a sight of sinful self. And what a joy to find that the soul dark with sin can hide in this perfect righteousness, can sink all the black stains in the blood of Christ, and can see Him stand before God as the Justifier for him. Abraham of old, "the friend of God," said he was "but dust and ashes."
"I abhor myself," said Job.
"I am a beast before thee," said Asaph.
"I am a man of unclean lips," cried Isaiah.
"I am not worthy to loose His shoes," said John the Baptist.
And the apostle Paul: "I am the chief of sinners."
It is at the cross we see our sin, understand how terrible and loathsome is that fierce tide of iniquity which needed such a remedy—needed the sinless stainless Son of God to hang there in that unfathomable agony as Substitute, bearing sin's heavy load—before God could admit man into His holy presence.
William Carey, the missionary to India, wrote: "I know the Lord can work by the meanest instrument, but I often question whether it would be for His honor to work by such an one as me."
Oh, dear friends, it is the one racked with fierce pains, and tortured with the sleepless nights and restless days of disease, who seek the physician, not the careless, robust possessor of perfect health. It is the famine-parched lips that cry for bread, not the sleek gourmand who knows no want.
Those washed in the precious blood of Christ are witnesses of their own badness, and cry out, "I have found how bad I was and how good He is, and I clothed myself in His beautiful garments of salvation, and threw away the filthy rags of mine own righteousness. And now, behold! I am 'perfect through His comeliness which He has put upon me.' "