Is man basically good?
Do men sin because they live in a bad environment?
Does our environment cause us to sin?
If a person lived in a perfect environment, would he live a life without sin?
Can the government or good social policies create such a perfect environment?
In Denial of Reality
We live in a world that is in increasing denial about the basic nature of man.
Most people believe that man is basically good. And that outside influences are what cause a man to do wrong.
The Bible doesn’t teach this. It says the exact opposite.
As we’ve been observing the riots, the burning of businesses, and the looting of stores in various cities across America, the media and the Liberal Left have denied that these things have even occurred. They are looking the other way. They are denying reality.
And, when some brave souls in the media will acknowledge that something bad has actually occurred, the culture blames whatever influences must have caused the criminals to do what they did. Then, the media or politicians will get everyone worked up, wringing their hands, over Systemic Racism, Social Injustice, Economic Injustice, and a whole laundry list of other injustices that cause people to do bad things.
But that is a lie.
It is a lie that the young have been taught since they were toddlers. It is taught on TV, in the movies, by the Elementary schools, by the High Schools, and by the Colleges across our nation.
The lie that man is not accountable for his actions. That he is not to blame.
Blaming Something Else
The tragic truth is that the vast majority of people in this world will die in their sins; while continuing to justify their iniquity by blaming someone or something else. Or denying the existence of sin altogether.
In fact, if we could put this philosophy on a giant banner and put it into orbit over our country, it would say, “It’s Not my fault!”
Yeah. Blame something or someone else. Anything and anyone.
This lie is also pervasive in most religions to some extent. Which is why men believe that good works can save them. Because they believe that man is basically good. And that if one simply tries his best, he can be saved.
That God simply expects people to try. Not to be perfect, but to try to be perfect.
But this is not the way God views man.
The Wages of Working for Salvation
God says that “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23). This means that no one is able to please God by his works. Or by his efforts. Or by his sincerity. Or by any other supposed good quality we possess within ourselves.
This means that the “wages of sin is death”. Wages are what someone earns for working. The wages of working for salvation is death.
No person can earn salvation. Nor can we ever merit salvation. And therefore, we must find some other way to obtain it.
Even the biblical Law cannot save us. Even if we gave the rest of our lives to study the Law, to read the Law, to teach the Law, and to do everything that the Law demands, we would fall short.
God does not dispense forgiveness and eternal life based upon our good intentions.
If we choose to follow His Law or to devote ourselves to some other moral “code”, we will always fall short. And that is as good as failing completely.
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)
This is because the Law was not given so that a man could earn his salvation – by trying to keep the Law. No. Instead, the Law was given to condemn man. To force him to see how truly sinful he is.
The Law is a mirror. A mirror revealing own fallen nature.
It was designed by the Lord to drive men to despair. To despair of any hope or confidence in any goodness within ourselves.
So that, we would turn to Christ.
And find in the Lord Jesus Christ the Righteousness that God demands.
Only in Jesus. Only by faith in His words. Only by grace – which is undeserved merit.
Salvation is a Personal Decision
The world hates this message because it loves darkness. Oh, not necessarily the dark seedy things of the world. But spiritual darkness in all its infinite forms.
A man in spiritual darkness denies his personal accountability to God. Man’s rejection of Christ leads him to pursue some other way to God. Such as by pursuing one’s own good works to find acceptance with God. Or to try to combine our good works and religious devotion and present them both to God.
However, we must each take responsibility for our own spiritual decisions. And for our own physical actions.
Salvation is a personal thing. It is the result of an individual decision we must each make before God.
We are not saved through some Collective Salvation; as Liberation Theology teaches. We are not linked to anyone else in this matter.
Every soul must reckon with God personally. We each must face up to our own miserable condition. And flee to Christ for forgiveness.
If we do, the Lord is rich in mercy and overflowing with love and power for those who will come to Him. For those who rest in His righteousness alone.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay