To get us thinking in purely theological terms, which came first the chicken or the egg? Well, the evolutionist and the creationist would both answer the chicken. It’s pure logical deduction. There can be no egg without a chicken. (However a chicken can exist without an egg.)
When we think about theology and biblical doctrine it is not the time to suspend logical thinking. Evidently that is exactly what some people do. How else could they arrive at such illogical positions? And, it is imperative to allow the Bible to guide our thinking and advise our conclusions, rather than what someone we respect, or someone who has a book published, has said about a matter.
My last post was titled A Politically Incorrect view of a person without God. I challenged the idea that people are basically good. That view is the prevailing one but according to the Bible it’s wrong. More than once I have heard some Christian talking of a neighbor, relative, or co-worker, say “He is a good man he just needs to start going to church”. Oh my, how wrong can you be?
In that last issue of GraceDigest I presented a brief argument for the biblical teaching of the sinfulness of mankind, that we are not good by nature, and in fact that by nature we are ungodly and against God.
If you accept the idea that men are sinners and need a solution for their condition you then raise the question, when do people become sinners? There are all sorts of answers to this fundamental question. Some teach that it’s when a child is mature enough to know right from wrong. Others teach it’s when a person reaches the “age of accountability”, whenever that is. Others hold different views. Consider these opposing views from the Bible.
The first book of the Bible gives us a clue. After the flood (which wiped out all humanity because of sinfulness, men, women, and children) God had a change of heart after he smelled the pleasing aroma of the burnt offerings Noah made as he worshiped.
21And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. Genesis 8:21
Don’t miss the phrase, “the intentions of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” An evil heart with bad intentions is not reserved just for adults.
Now, when God describes “evil” He just might have different definition than yours or mine. In the economy of God’s justice all sin is evil. And all of us share that common flaw. One of the top 10 sins is lying. If an 80 year old man tells a lie, or a 25 year old soccer mom tells a lie, or a 9 year old school boy tells a lie, it is sinful, period, no question. And, if a 3 year old tells a lie it is sinful.
Our sweet little children, very early in their lives start to show signs of rebellion. They are impatient, selfish, and as soon as they are able they will take what is not theirs, and they will lie to try to hide what they know they have done wrong. Why? Because it is their nature to be rebels.
Now I want to be quick to say that toddlers are not condemned by God. Neither are mentally incompetent older people. In my view the Bible is clear that even though sin is universal in every human life, only those who can discern right from wrong are guilty before God. (Romans 2:12-16) Those who do not have the ability to make choices are covered by the sacrifice of Jesus just as those who receive the gift of life by faith. Now you might disagree with this but God’s integrity is what is at stake. God would no more allow a child who dies to perish in the fires of judgment than he would someone in a far away place who never had the opportunity to hear the name Jesus. How one responds to the light of revelation (of God) given matters.
The record of sin and sinners is stark and not up for negotiation.
To the Christians at Ephesus Paul wrote:
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3 among whom we all once lived .. Ephesians 2:1-3
“You” in these verses includes them all. All of them followed the course of this world (away from God), following the devil who is the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. And he says plainly “among whom we all once lived”. A pretty grim picture of the unregenerate person, spiritually dead, disobedient, following the evil one, and none of us are excluded.
Through out the Scriptures this truth is repeated.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:2-3
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. Ecclesiastes 9:3
2 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. Romans 5:12
How many humans are sinners? All. How many die? All. Why? Because all sinned.
If sin does not come to us just as God says it does here why can’t just one person get it right? Many of my friends do not believe the doctrine of “original sin”. So I ask, if people are not born sinful why can’t just one person make right choices and avoid committing sin? The obvious answer is they can’t because sin is what comes natural. It is our nature to sin.
Thank God, this isn’t the end of the story. Jesus made a way for each of us, a way to have a new nature, to erase our sins and take away our guilt.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:23
“The free Gift” is here for the taking. Receive the gift of God. Put your trust in Jesus and set out to please Him in every way you can. You can trade your old life in for a new model, one that will love and live forever.