The Canoe


How can human goodness be likened to a canoe?

Human goodness may be likened to a canoe. A canoe is a lovely little boat for its purpose - to be used on rivers and lakes in calm wa­ters. It is admirably suited for young people on a beautiful day or evening in June. But the canoe is not suitable at a seaport or to cross the ocean. It is a totally unfit boat for such a purpose. The trip from New York to France cannot be made by a canoe, even in the month of June when the ocean is generally calm.

So the human character is admirably suited to take an individual around the daily course of life in the midst of a sinful world, but it is a totally depraved thing for the passage from earth to heaven. If a canoe be adjudged by all canoeists to be the best canoe that was ever made, it is still insufficient for the ocean passage. If a human character be adjudged by all men to be the best human character that ever developed, it is still in­sufficient for the passage from death to life, from earth to heaven.

Isaiah 64:6: We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteousness is like polluted garment.

1.Based on Isaiah 64, why are good works and religious activities useless “canoes” to please God and reach heaven?

2. How are faith that produces works and a faith system demanding works different from one another?

3. How does the gospel of grace that produces work provide real salvation and hope to the sinner?


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