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The Character of Humanity

To grasp and appreciate the gospel, we must not only understand some-thing about the character of God but also something about our character. What the Bible has to say about us is not flattering or pleasant, but it is accurate.

Humanity Is Morally Corrupt

Before he fell into sin, man’s original state was noble, but man’s present condition is desperate. The Bible teaches us that although humankind was created good (Genesis 1:26, 31), all humans have fallen into spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1). We are by nature morally corrupt, inclined toward evil, and hostile toward the righteous God.

Truly, this only I have found:

That God made man upright,

But they have sought out many schemes. (Ecclesiastes 7:29)

The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked;

Who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. (Matthew 15:19)

But we are all like an unclean thing,

And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;

We all fade as a leaf,

And our iniquities, like the wind,

Have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

Because the carnal mind is enmity [hatred] against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)

The Bible verses that you have just read may offend you; their indictment of humanity, however, is attested on every page of history. Furthermore, if you are honest with yourself, you will admit that the truth of these verses is also confirmed by your thoughts, words, and deeds, which continually break the holy law of God’s Ten Command-ments (Exodus 20:1–17; see Matthew 5:21–48).

Guilty and Condemned

The Bible teaches us that our inward moral corruption leads us to commit acts against the righteous standard of a holy, just, and loving God. All of us, without exception, are sinners both by nature and by the deeds that we have committed. All of us stand guilty and without excuse before God.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

There is no one who does not sin. (1 Kings 8:46)

As it is written:

“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.”   (Romans 3:10–12)

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Romans 3:19)

If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? (Psalm 130:3)

Examine yourself. Are you a sinner? This is not a question of whether you make some mistakes. Nor is it a matter of simply acknowledging that you have done a few wrong things. Do you recognize that you have a sinful heart and a record of breaking God’s laws? Don’t make excuses. Don’t pretend that you are a basically good person. If you do, then Jesus has nothing for you, for He came for sinners. However, if you acknowledge your sin with grief, then God’s wisdom has solved your great problem in the most remarkable way.

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