How do you rate yourself as a person? Are you a good person? Are you a bad person? A little of both? I bet most will say that they are a good person. Most of us have been fooled in to believing that about ourselves. And why not? We watch ourselves help little old ladies cross the street. We say "hello" to strangers. We give a nice tip at the restaurant. We give of our time and resources to help the poor. We may even give generously to charities. Why wouldn't we see ourselves as good people if we were doing all that? But in fact, there lies the problem. Doing any one or all of those things doesn't make us good. We have certainly fooled ourselves if we think so. To truly understand that we are not good, we only need to look in the Bible. Jesus Himself said no one is good except God alone. What you will find in the Bible is twofold. Law and Gospel. The law is there to kill us. It shows us how bad we really are. We have to start there. Declare yourself bad. If you can understand your badness you will understand your need for goodness. This is where the second part, the Gospel, comes in. The Gospel tells us that Christ is good on our behalf. Moreover, he gives us His nature, His righteousness despite our badness. As we place our trust in Him we can move forward knowing that we are good but only because of Him. However, we must hold the tension in place that we are really both good and bad. We still have that bad nature and it rears its ugly head. We live as Saint and sinner daily. Yet we should be comforted in knowing that when good is coming from us it is really coming from Christ. The bad that we do just continues to push us towards Him and His forgiveness. Don't be fooled! We are bad. But don't also be fooled to think that you are anything less than what Christ declares you: righteous!!