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What is our condition, really?

September 30, 2009

The two central pillars in Christianity are the badness of man and the goodness of God. We cannot even attempt to grasp latter without understanding the former. But to what extent is sin inherent in our human nature? Are we born with “original sin” as some teach, or are we born without it? This is a central question and requires a biblical answer in order to rightly understand the plan of salvation. One writer has observed that “different views of sin lead to radically different roads to salvation.”

So what is our condition, really? When we turn to the pages of the Bible, we certainly don’t find a very saintly picture; in fact we don’t even get off to a very good start. We read that we are all “rebels from birth” (Isa. 48:8), and that we have been “brought forth in iniquity” and have been “conceived in sin” (Ps. 51:5). Paul says that all of us are “by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3).

One doesn’t need to be a Bible scholar in order to understand this “bent” towards sin as it is practically demonstrated in our own lives and the lives of others, from go to woe. For instance, have you ever noticed that you don’t need to teach a child how to steal a toy from his or her friend? They just do it! Who taught them how to do such selfish things? It is a direct result of our separation from God through the original sin of the parents of the human race. Since the Fall, all have been born with a natural tendency to sin, whether we like it or not. It doesn’t get any better as we get older either.

“There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit” (Rom. 3:10-13).

Therefore sin is a condition that we find ourselves right from the start. Sin is not limited to wrong wilful actions. That is what our “desperately wicked” hearts would have us think (Jer. 17:9). If that was the case, all we need to do is reform our lifestyle, stop eating between meals and this or that other bad thing and then we will be ready for translation. Really? If that is what you think, then you’re basically saying you are so good you don’t need a saviour!

Our often limited perception of sin has just as often led to a limited perception of salvation. Only by seeing ourselves as we truly are will we ever come to truly appreciate the great sacrifice of Jesus for our salvation. “Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound” (Rom. 5:20). Because of God’s overwhelming love for this lost world, He sent His only beloved Son Jesus Christ to die in our place. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). By accepting His death on our behalf, by accepting the grace He so freely offers, we can be redeemed and transformed from sinful sinners, to saved saints.

At age 82, while reflecting on his life, the great John Newton said “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.”

Jesus is called a saviour for a reason – He saves us from sin because we can’t do it ourselves.


From → Theology

One Comment
  1. Bellamy permalink

    yo benz you the mans fah thanx for breaking it down for us bro…keep goin wif this and may God continue to be with you brah.

    God Bless

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