Is Anyone Really Good?

Author: Rob Schenck

MUSIC VIDEO: All We Sinners

The Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck is an ordained evangelical minister and president of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, located in Washington, DC. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from Faith Evangelical Seminary in Tacoma, Washington and is a senior fellow of The Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy at Oxford. Rev. Schenck is the author of the book, "Costly Grace".


The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

Psalm 14:2-4

The Bible clearly tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  I know that the word sin is often anathema to people. No one wants to admit to being a ‘sinner.’  The thought of being born ‘in sin’ is a hard pill for many to swallow. The reality is, however, that we humans are not infallible. We are not perfect—not even close. The Bible even states that we are not “good.” Does that leave a sour taste in your mouth? Are we capable of doing good things? Absolutely. Does God love us and value us supremely? Without question. Are our sins, our misdeeds forgivable? Yes, they are, because we have a gracious and loving Savior.

But are we sinless? Are there some people who are ‘good’ and some who are ‘bad?’ No. As humans, we are all in the same predictable category – FALLIBLE. We all do things that are wrong; and we all have the capability of doing some very wrong things. That’s why we cling to Jesus Christ and His righteousness – His infallibility – to sustain us and help us be who He wants us to be.

When my children were very young, my wife and I did not have to teach them to do wrong – it came naturally! Just as much as we are born with an inclination of what is right and wrong – we are also born with a propensity to do the wrong thing. As parents, we never have to teach our kids how to lie, be selfish, or disobey. But, we do have to train them to do what is good and to be other-centered versus self-centered.

It’s important to recognize that we – every last single one of us – are all fallible before an infallible God.

As as in Romans 12:3: “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

“Naught have I gotten but what I received;
Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed;
Boasting excluded, pride I abase;
I’m only a sinner saved by grace!”
—James Martin Gray, “Only a Sinner”


May we be humble ourselves before God and our fellow human beings in order to exude the love of Christ to all we meet.