Our Common Problem of Sinfulness
I love reading history books because they allow you to learn about different civilizations and cultures. Reading about the mighty ancient Aztecs or the formidable Zulu Empire can give you a glimpse in to how different people thought, acted, and believed. While it is interesting to learn about the many differences between the ancient Mayans, the German Nazi’s, and the modern Americans there is a common thread that binds all of humanity together – regardless of time, space, and culture. That common thread is our sinfulness.
It is no secret that mankind has a sin problem. Watching the news is a sad, yet a helpful exercise in observing the sinfulness of mankind. Headlines about school shootings and conniving politicians are commonplace. Even in our own lives, we can see our sinfulness manifest as fibbing to a boss, mentally cheating on a spouse, or cursing in rage when we get cut off in traffic.
Many philosophical ideas and world religions try to resolve our sinful condition by either enforcing strict religious obedience, encouraging wild pursuits of pleasure, or promoting solemn quests for knowledge. The problem isn’t that we are broken and in need of fixing. Nor is it a problem of enlightenment or lack thereof. The problem of mankind is that we are spiritually dead and in need of new life.
In Ephesians 2:1, we see that Scripture exposes the reality of our spiritual condition – “you were dead in the trespasses and sins” (ESV). Our sinfulness causes us to live in a state of spiritual death; which ultimately earns us God’s wrath. Ephesians 2:3 affirms this by telling us that without divine intervention, we are “by nature children of wrath”.
The All-Encompassing Solution
Fortunately, God doesn’t abandon us. In Ephesians 2:4-5, we see that God is abounding in mercy and pulls us up out of the grave – “by grace you have been saved”. And that “grace” came in the form of God Incarnate. Yet not incarnate as a Glorious Being, but instead as a helpless infant. An infant born as a carpenter’s son in the lowly town of Bethlehem, nearly 2000 years ago. An infant who became a man that lived a sinless life, died on a cross, and rose victoriously from the grave so that we could be raised to new spiritual life with Him.
“God, thank you so much for your love and mercy. Without you, I am dead in my sin. But with you I am made alive. Help me to live like I’ve been brought to life by being obedient to your word. Please bring new life to my friends and my family members who don’t know you. In Jesus name, Amen.”