Can Man be Good Apart From God?
Can man be good apart from God? Can people be good without use of the Bible? Some say Yes emphatically. I say an equally emphatic No. Many people think people can be good apart from God and by direct correlation, without use of the Bible. Where's the objective standard of proof that people can do that? Actually, here's the deal: Only God is truly good. His is the only truly objective standard of goodness.
Man is inherently "bad" (in contrast to "good") due to indwelling sin. Jesus said that while affirming His deity: no one is good but God. Man is under the sentence of death and under the wrath of God until God opens his eyes to the truth and he sees that only by the righteousness of Christ can one be considered good. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23). Believe in The Lord Jesus and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). And many more verses testify to these gospel truths.
Bottom line is the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; as well as to save, sanctify and secure forever all who believe in the Lord Jesus. Believers are those who actually accept the Bible as the objective Word of a God by virtue of being brought out of a state of spiritual death into spiritual life by God's grace and doing, through faith in Christ. They were blind, now they see the light of gospel of the glory of God seen in the face of Christ.
All those who have come to Christ for salvation dare not give up his Word that is eternal, unchanging, and which does it's work in those who believe, to follow after the moving target of man's subjective thoughts and ideas. One truly objective standard stands: the living and abiding Word of God. The grass withers and the flower fades but the Word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).
Anyone can make any argument they like. Just because we say something it doesn't make it true. Our declarations are not authoritative. Unless they are based upon my first assumption: the Bible is the Word of God and it is true and it is the Word above all other words. If someone does not believe that then they can make no further progress in this discussion.
Interestingly, noted atheist Christopher Hitchens used to start his debates something like this: "God does not exist, the Bible is not true, now let's begin." He would give absolutely no rationale but he would state his underlying assumption. Without apology. And then he would begin his argument. It's really all he could do. Some took his word for objective fact. It's an subjective world we live in. That's why I am staking everything I am and have on the objective Word of God. At the end of the day I'm banking everything on Almighty God as he has revealed himself in his Word.