Well, I misspoke…let me retract some of that. Thanks for pointing at out.
After Jesus, no good can be done apart from Him. Prior to Jesus, your faith was credited as righteousness, like Abram.
God even used Rahab, a prostitute. None of us are perfect and we all sin and I do believe there were righteous people outside of the Israelites. God even blessed the Ishmaelites.
This opens a new can or worms about who was saved before Jesus? My beliefs are that faith in God’s goodness and love, which Jesus personified, gave hem salvation and there are probably non Israelites in heaven, the Israelites were just meant to be an example people, a priesthood. So there probably was good people outside of the Jews, and amount the Samaritans. But after Jesus came, if you believed in the goodness of God, you would then believe in Jesus. This is why the Pharisees didn’t recognize Jesus, they never rally loved God, they loved their status and had pride in themselves. But Paul and Nicodemus knew God, and that is why they eventually saw Jesus as the Son of God. But that is another topic.
This Samaritan clearly loved, as he took care of his neighbor, like the heart is God would have wanted. So again, something for God’s glory is good. Not the act itself. Again, I don’t these Jesus’s actions at face value were good, rather done for the glory of God, the Father of good. 1 Cor 13:2
" I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
Meaning if you give to the poor, or love your neighbor not from the love of God or for His glory, it is not good. It is for the betterment of men and to help our human biology or yourself, but if not acknowledging God, is no good."
The only light there is is from God. All we can do is reflect the light of God. John 8:12, John 9:5
The only thing that makes good deeds good, is when it glorifies your Father in heaven.
Like a good deed that glorifies is a like a person headed down the track, and a good deed at face value is just running in circles…Biblically speaking.
But the problem with good deeds outside of the Bible, is that good is a relative word, that mostly means apparently beneficial. Like sacrificing a child to the volcano gods. If it saves many lives and produces good harvest is this not good? Some cultures believe this. If there are perceived benefits from something, it is labeled as good. Hitler might have been doing good in his mind. It’s possibly that he actually thought ridding the world or non-arians would create world peace and benefit humans. We used an atom bomb that killed thousands, to save millions.
It’s kind of silly to say, but, if you could end all natural disasters and diseases to tomorrow, but it required you to do some terrible things ( rape, murder, torture, the worst of the worst “moral” things), to 1 person, would you so it? What about 10, or 1000 etc. “good or moral” is all weighed on the ends, and the means justify the ends. Atheist argue too often that there are some “obvious or born to know wrongs”. But those are only wrong until something of greater value can be had. Like how killing is bad, unless it is to save. Stealing is bad, unless it is to save your life. Giving is good, unless you can’t afford it. Loving is good (like the Samaritan) but what if you were late to work and you were going to be fired and didn’t have time to stop and help and love? If we all trusted in God ( which we won’t till heaven, but it is always worth trying hard everyday) we would all be loving and giving and doing good and glorifying the Father.
But thankfully God is in control of the ends, all we need to worry about is the means. If 1 person could be sacrificed to end world hunger and all diseases, we a Christian do it? May it never be! What about insulting 1 or 2 people and spewing hate to convert 1? May it never be! Unfortunately, to often Christians ( myself included, I’m not perfect, I screw up) worry about the ends and no it is their goal to convert people. There is no command to do this, and it shows our lack of faith on God’s control, or too much pride in ourselves and less reliance on God. We are simply commanded to love our neighbors as the Good Samaritan did, and to relate to and meet the needs of others as Jesus did.
I just hope it is clear that I am not sounding like on a high horse, I am no better than any Christian or atheist or Samaritan or Pharisee. Thanks to Gid’s grace, I am redeemed, but I deserve it no more than anyone. This is more Biblical truths/beliefs than a lecture to people below me.