Friday, January 21, 2022

The Sinfulness of Man (Isaiah 64)

"But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6a).

Ever since Adam sinned against God in the garden, man has been trying to hide his sin and downplay his wickedness. He does this by denying the holiness of God as well as the sinfulness of man. But no matter how much a person may deny his sin, the Scriptures stand against him. God’s Word condemns man, saying “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

When we compare ourselves to the holiness of God, we are instantly aware of our own corruption. We then must fly to the throne of grace for reconciliation. Sadly, most people refuse to admit that God is all that holy or that man is all that sinful. They believe man naturally makes mistakes and God is obligated to forgive. They do not understand that God does not have to forgive anyone. By grace we are saved, and grace is unmerited.

Because man is so dishonoring to a holy God, it is difficult to understand how God tolerates such wickedness. Habakkuk struggled with this dilemma when he asked, “Why do You look on those who deal treacherously?” (Hab. 1:13). We will discover in the Psalms that though God is silent for a season, He will bring judgment on the wicked. God is just, and mankind has transgressed His righteous law. Therefore, He will execute judgment and is doing so even now.

People try to suppress this truth. We don’t like to face our sin. We make excuses saying it is the human condition to sin. Many people believe sin is essential to humanity, that God created us this way and cannot hold us responsible. But if sin were essential to humanity, Jesus would have to be either a sinner or not human.

While we maintain that sin is not essential to human beings, it is more than an external blemish. Sin penetrates into the very core of our being. Mankind is radically corrupted. His sinfulness goes to the very root of his soul. Man is not as bad as he could be, but his very nature is corrupted, affecting every aspect of his being.

No matter how much people try to minimize their sinfulness, God will pour out His wrath on the ungodly. Their denials will not change reality. Unless they are covered by the righteousness of Christ, they will not escape God’s judgment.

In what ways do people you have contact with deny the sinfulness of man? What should your response to them be? What would you say to them about the holiness of God? Pray that God give you the opportunity to talk to someone about the reality of sin, God’s holiness, and grace in Jesus Christ.