If only God is good as stated in scripture, Luke 18:19 then, does that mean Adam’s descendants by nature are evil?
Does this infer that only the Holy Spirit is good since God is Spirit John 4:24 and anyone without the Spirit of God dwelling in them cannot do anything pleasing to God?
The scripture teaches the justified by Jesus Christ’s atoning shed blood and His imputed righteousness shall live by faith.
Faith in the Gospel or good news that Jesus saves and that His work and perfect imputed righteousness are the only grounds and way of salvation without any effort or work contributed from the sinner He represented is the fruit from the gift of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:8-9 Galatians 5:22 Ephesians 2:8-10 John 3:3,5,8. John 5:24 Romans 1:17 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Ephesians 2:5 Roman’s 3:19-27
Jesus Christ :The Word was in beginning with God and was God and The Word became Flesh. He is not a corrupt tree that produces bad fruit. Jesus was given the spirit without measure; therefore, Jesus cannot produce bad fruit, is not a corrupt tree and cannot sin.
All things that were created were created by Him and for Him and through Him and there wasn’t anything created that wasn’t created by Him. He is before all things
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, the One being into the bosom of the Father, that One declared Him. John 1:18 John 3:34 John 1:1-3, 14, 18 Matthew 7:18 Romans 11:36 Revelation 4:11
Who is a corrupt tree?
Scripture will give us the answer.
Scripture below describes Natural man, The fallen descendants of Adam
Because of this, even as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death passed to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.
for all sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Comment: Death not only includes degeneration of the body that leads to eventual physical death; but also spiritual death. We all became liars, manipulators for selfish gain etc and Those in the flesh produce nothing but dead works that lead unto death and they are unable to please God.
Belief of the Gospel of Christ demonstrates that you have passed from death unto life. God is no longer angry with you because of your sin because of Jesus Christ’s atoning shed blood and His imputed righteousness. John 5:24 Romans 7:5 Hebrews 11:6 Romans 3,4
It is natural for fallen sinful man to desire to run from the truth; The True God and The One whom He sent. He doesn’t want his sin exposed and cannot accept that he has no righteousness of his own John 3:19-20 Isaiah 45:24
He doesn’t come to Jesus asking for mercy. His contrary nature towards God which is to sin against the True God and fall short of His glory has no desire in his self righteousness to come to Him and acknowledge his righteousness is compared to a filthy menstrual cloth. Isaiah 64: 6
He cannot believe The Gospel of Jesus Christ; but instead makes up, false gods, false christs, false spirits and false religions from his own fallen sinful imagination and ends up worshipping the creation instead of the creator within his delusion of the freedom of the will.
for all sinned and fall short of the glory of God
according as it is written, “There is not a righteous one, not even one!
There is not one understanding, there is not one seeking God.”
12 All turned aside; together they became worthless, not one is doing goodness, not so much as one!” LXX-Psa. 13:1-3
13 “Their throat is a tomb being opened;” “they used deceit with their tongues; the poison of asps is under their lips;
14 whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery are in their ways;
17 and they did not know a way of peace;
18 there is no fear of God before their eyes.”
1 Corinthians 1:18
For the Word of the cross is foolishness to the ones perishing, but to us being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
22 Professing to be wise ones, they became foolish
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into a likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four- footed animals, and creeping things.
24 Therefore, God gave them over to impurity in the lusts of their hearts, their bodies to be dishonored among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God into the lie, and worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness more than the Light, for their works were evil.
For everyone practicing wickedness hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, that his works may not be exposed
A good tree cannot produce evil fruits, nor a corrupt tree produce good fruits.
Comment: Scripture tells us only God is good and that a good tree can only produce good fruits and cannot produce evil fruits and a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit; therefore, if natural man is not good; since only God is good, then natural man cannot produce good fruit and he must be a corrupt tree.
Why do you not know My speech? It is because you are not able to hear My Word.
Why couldn’t they hear and know His speech? They did not have eyes to see and ears to effectually hear because they were in the flesh still dead in their sins and trespasses and were not able to hear His word.
Everything they do brings forth fruit until death. They did not have the spirit of Christ dwelling in them?
If they were regenerated or generated from above, they would have understood, known Him and understood His words. They did not and could not believe The Gospel of God that salvation is conditioned on the work, the atoning shed blood, and the person of Jesus Christ alone without any effort or contribution originating from the people for whom He substituted for and chose to mercy.
They did not know their righteousness was comparable to a filthy menstrual cloth
You are of the devil as father, and the lusts of your father you desire to do. That one was a murderer from the beginning, and he has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own things, because he is a liar, and the father of it.
And the ones being in the flesh are not able to please God.
Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also may do good who have learned to do evil.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, If one is not generated from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.
Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, If one is not generated out of water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God.
The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice; but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone having been generated from the Spirit.
Comment: Please notice repentance, faith and salvation is in the Sovereign hands of the Grace of God “ The Spirit breathes where He desires”
The Spirit is the Sovereign source of mercy for His people chosen from before the foundation of the world who were dead in sins and trespasses and He has mercy on whom He wills conditioning His people’s salvation only on the shed blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Romans 3,4 John 3:3,5,8 Ephesians 1,2,3, Romans 8, 9
9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, this one is not His.
10 But if Christ is in you,the body indeed is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of the One having raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One having raised the Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through the indwelling of His Spirit in you.
How do you know that you have the spirit of God dwelling in you?
You know that salvation is conditioned on Jesus Christ’s atoning shed blood and His imputed righteousness alone without any effort or contribution from those for whom He died.
You have no righteousness of your own. The justified shall live by faith in this Gospel of God and out of love via the spirit of God will keep His commandments. You will not love the world; but love God with all your heart, soul and spirit and your neighbor as yourself.
Here are 2 biblical accounts of God’s regenerative power of generating from above a changed mind through a new heart and a new spirit toward the true God. (1) One of the criminals next to Jesus on the cross. And (2) the tax collector
Here are 2 persons realizing they have no righteousness of their own while showing that God has shined into their hearts the illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ 2 Corinthians 4:6
The Regenerate Criminal on the Cross next to Jesus
Then two plunderers were crucified with Him, one on the right, and one on the left of Him
39 But those passing by blasphemed Him, shaking their heads,
40 and saying, You the One razing the temple and building it in three days, save Yourself. IfYou are the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41 And in the same way, the chief priests with the scribes and elders, mocking, said,
42 He saved others; He is not able to save Himself. If He is the King of Israel, let Him come down now from the cross, and
we will believe Him.
43 He trusted on God. Let Him rescue
Him now, if He desires Him. For He said, I am Son of God.
44 And also the plunderers crucified with Him defamed Him, saying the same.
Let come down the Christ, the king of Israel now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe Him. And the ones (plural) crucified with Him were reviling Him.
And one of the hanged criminals blas- phemed Him, saying, If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.
40 But answering, the other rebuked him, saying, Do you not fear God, for you are in the same judgment?
41 And we indeed justly, for we receive things worthy of what we did. But this One did nothing amiss.
42 And he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.
43 And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, Today you will be with Me in Paradise.
The criminal dying on a cross next to Jesus that had a change of heart knew that both he and Jesus were going to experience physical death that day; so there is no possible way he would have said to Jesus “ Lord remember me when you come in Your kingdom” unless God had shined into his heart the illumination of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The Tax Collector
¶ And He also spoke this parable to some of those relying on themselves, that they are righteous, and despising the rest:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee was standing, praying these things to himself: God, I thank You that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious ones, unrighteous ones, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
12 I fast twice on the sabbath; I tithe things, as many as I get.
13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but smote on his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me, the sinner!
14 I say to you, This one went down to his house having been justified, rather than that one. For everyone exalting himself will be humbled. And the one humbling himself will be exalted.
The Tax Collector was so aware and deeply troubled by his sin that he begged for God’s mercy. He was so ashamed of who he was that he could not look up into heaven and come near Jesus but God had shined the illumination of the Knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, The Word was God became flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:6 John 1:18..
He knew his righteousness was only in YHWH who shows mercy to whom He wills Romans 9:15,18 Isaiah 45:24
The Tax Collector referred to himself as “The Sinner” not “a sinner” which shows he was focusing strictly on his sinfulness against God and his lack of righteousness, not someone else’s sinfulness and their need for mercy.
Highlights, italics added for emphasis Scripture taken from KJ3 literal translation SGPbooks.com