Wednesday, November 7, 2018

No One Righteous

"As it is written, “There is no one righteous, not, even one” (Romans 3:10).

Today we will reflect on the sinfulness of man. Is sin an essential aspect of man’s nature? Is the phrase To err is human really true? No, it is not. If it were true that sin is inseparable from being human, then of necessity Jesus would have to have been a sinner. If to err is human, and Jesus was human, then Jesus erred. That cannot be the case, as we know, because Jesus was sinless.

At the same time, sin is not something merely accidental, tangential, or superficial in the life of fallen man. For those who are fallen in Adam, sin goes to the core of our being. We are, to use a phrase, rotten to the core.

This is what is meant by the term total depravity. Unfortunately, this term is generally misunderstood. Many think that total depravity means we are as bad as we could possibly be. This is not the case. You can imagine yourself worse than you are right now, just as you can imagine yourself better than you are right now.

Because total depravity is so often misunderstood, let me substitute another phrase that means the same thing: radical corruption. We are depraved in the radix, or root of our being, and that core-depravity influences everything we do. We are radically depraved, which means that our corruption influences every area of our lives, and it deteriorates as time progresses.

Our tendency is to minimize as much as possible this reality of human life by telling ourselves that we sin because we are finite. Only God is infinite. Everything created is finite. We tell ourselves that because we are finite, we cannot help but make mistakes and that causes sin. Ultimately, though, this makes sin God’s fault. The truth is, sin is a matter of relationship. We have rebelled against God, and our relationship with Him is warped.

We like to think that deep down everybody is really good and has potential. Society abounds with “self-help” programs for personal improvement. However, such attempts can only cause a superficial behavioral modification. We need the creative regenerating work of the Holy Spirit to change our heart and soul. Today remember your former state and thank God for the Spirit’s work in you.