The past week has been eventful to say the least. The most recent actions of the new president of the United States have thrown many into confusion, fear, anger, and even into contention with one another. Regardless of one’s view of Trump’s decisions, one thing remains clear:
We are a bunch of broken, messed up, sinful people. And I’m not just talking about Donald Trump.
The President’s recent executive orders and appointments have brought to the surface all our pride, meanness, deception, graceless, hateful, judgmental hearts, lack of compassion, lack of discernment, and more. One glance at one’s Facebook news feed and it becomes crystal clear that we are far from perfect and very much divided. And this, my friends, is why:
We are all terminally ill with the deep and deadly disease of sin, and there is not one person besides Jesus who is not infected with it (Romans 3:13, Romans 3:23, Ecclesiastes 7:20). But I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Maybe you’ve become numb to this truth, or maybe it’s never really hit you at all. Here’s a reminder of what sin is and what it means for us:
Nature of Man: We are inherently evil, prone to do what is wrong and to disobey the God who created us.
That sounds a little harsh, and you’re right—it is. But it’s even more true and far worse than we’d hoped. We enter into this world haters of God by nature, haters of the very One who made us and gave us life in the first place. By nature, we would much rather delight in the fleeting pleasures of this world and indulge in wickedness than obey and love the Holy and Righteous One. This is exactly what sin is: the act of disobeying God and opposing His will, and the effects of this are absolutely brutal. Why?
Nature of Man: Our sin separates us from God and makes us His enemies.
Yes, His enemies (Romans 5:10, Colossians 1:21). Not only does our sin separate us from God who is holy, righteous and perfect in every way, but it makes us opponents of God, and He will treat us as such. If you’re reading this right now and these words are sinking in, you should realize the horrifying reality that this is.
We cannot live in sin and be on God’s side, and if we think otherwise, we deceive ourselves, even to the point of death.
Seem unfair? It isn’t. In fact, it makes perfect sense. To sin is to act in opposition to God, to act against God. Should it offend us that He would then consider us to be against Him? No, it shouldn’t—and if it does, then our self-centeredness is all the more apparent.
Nature of Man: We are deserving of death—both earthly and eternal.
Again, this sounds harsh, and again, it’s true nonetheless. We have turned our backs on the Creator of the Universe, who out of His good pleasure and grace created this world for us to live in and breathed life into our lungs. He is the King, the Lord of the Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, and daily we choose to despise Him and live ourselves. This is sin, and it is a hateful and futile pursuit, a pursuit that God’s very own Word declares is deserving of death (Romans 3:23).
Nature of Man: How did we get here?
It wasn’t always this way. In fact, God created us in His very own image, after His very own likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). What a glorious thing! That that the Lord of heaven and earth instilled within us His own characteristics and abilities—the ability to be kind, to love passionately, to create masterpieces big and small, animate and inanimate, to use our bodies to do incredible things, to think and make conversation. We were born and still are image-bearers of God, but sin ruins things, just as it did in the Garden of Eden when our first mother and father chose to disobey God out of a distrust in Him and a love for self (Genesis 3:1-22). They chose to give in to a lie, doubt God’s Word and goodness, and they dove into sin, taking on a sinful nature for themselves and all who would come from them.
Nature of the Gospel: What can we do to fix it?
This is the burning question, and it’s the one we should be asking ourselves. But the answer is bleak:
There is literally not one thing that we can do to fix the problem of sin. We cannot fix our hearts. We cannot conquer our own sin. We cannot make ourselves right before God. We cannot earn His forgiveness. We cannot satisfy God’s righteous wrath. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot earn salvation. There is nothing we can do (Isaiah 64:6). But there is hope, and it doesn’t come from us.
Friends, the sinful nature of man is so necessary to the Gospel. If we were perfect, if we were holy, if we were not in eternal danger, what need would there be for a Savior? What need would there be for salvation if our end was not eternal death and separation from God? If we don’t believe the necessary truth that we are sinful creatures, the Gospel is not only twisted, but it isn’t even needed. But if we believe God’s Word, then we know that we are sinners, and that we have no hope for salvation apart from God Himself.
After having said all these things, there is good news. Salvation is available, and it’s available now. By God’s grace, that is exactly what we’ll cover this week: the nature of salvation.