Tuesday, November 25, 2008
AM I REALLY THAT BAD?
Psalm 14:3 states, "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become filthy, there is none that doeth good, no not one."
Romans 3:12 restates it this way, "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no not one."
The Hebrew word translated good in the Psalms in the word towb. It literally refers to anything good ethically, intellectually, sensibly, sensually, or comparitavely. And the verse states none of us have done anything good in any or all of these areas.
The New Testament Greek word for good is "chrestetotes," meaning, "moral goodness, integrity and kindness."
The Old Testament tells us we are depraved in every sense and function of our being. The New Testament tells us we have no capacity to be kind, moral or possess integrity. In other words, we are depraved. We are wicked vile reprobates separated from God and His glory, holiness and beauty. We are ugly, mean and crude. We are sinners and as Ray Comfort puts it in his "Way of the Master TV program," we are "exceedingly sinful."
Now, you're probably thinking, "Pastor Nathan, I'm not that bad!!! That's insulting! How dare you, you little punk! Who do you think you are talking to me that way!?!" The truth hurts, because that is exactly who and what we are. And I do say we. I'm in the same boat. I am exceedingly sinful.
I was reading a book lately by Ted Dekker entitled, Showdown. Basically, it is about what happens when people are left to their own sinful devices, unbridled and unchecked by the rules, law if you will, that God has placed to govern our lives. The end result is always death and destruction (Ref. Romans 6:23; James 1:15). I was talking to a friend about the book whom I knew had read it. They said, "How does Dekker keep everything in perspective writing about such evil." I think though that is the perspective. Left unchecked by the Law of God which the Holy Spirit writes on our hearts, we are as wicked as possible and are capable of doing the most wicked of sins. The reason we get so angry when we are confronted with our condition is because nothing is as repulsive as looking in the mirror and seeing ourselves for who we truly are.
Dekker went on to show that the only way for evil to be overcome was by the ultimate love of the creator being demonstrated to the creation - THE DEATH OF THE SON OF THE CREATOR FOR THE MASSES. Romans 5:8 tells us, "God demonstrated His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us." John 15:13 says, "Greater love had no man than this, that a man would lay down his life for His friends." Christ did that on the cross. The only way that this evil can be overcome in each one of us, is for us to allow the love of God to be shed abroad in our hearts. FRIENDS, THAT IS WHAT GRACE IS ALL ABOUT!!! And it is still by grace that we are saved through faith [Ref. Ephesians 2:8, 9]. As Tony Evans once said, "It is only against the black backdrop of sin, that the diamond of God's grace looks so appealing."
Has the love of God ever been shed abroad in your heart? You might be thinking as they were on Pentecost, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter told them to "Repent." Repent of your sins today, and surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Let Him take control. Be saved today!