Mar 3, 2009, 4:06 AM
It shouldn't surprise anyone to hear or learn that in essence we human beings are sinners. In the Book of Romans, Paul, the Apostle, states categorically that "everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence." (Romans 3:23) What that means is that under normal circumstances, we are not worthy to come before God's presence because of His purity and holiness. God would not come into contact with sinners or take delight in sin. We ought to have been banished from His holy presence because of our unlawful acts. "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4) which makes everyone of us lawbreakers.
King David in Psalm 51 had declared: "I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived I have been sinful." (verse 5) It would seem like we have been caught up in this vicious circle of sin as an inheritance from our ancestors - Adam and Eve. It now runs in the blood.
Everyone born into this world, with the exception of our Lord Jesus, has sinned: Prophet Isaiah had prophesied of Him: "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." (Isaiah 53:9) John the Apostle wrote; "And in Him there is no sin." (1 John 3:5) We sin in thought, in word, and in deed. We sin when we do what is wrong in the sight of God - by commission; and by omission, when we fail to do what is right.
How can anyone therefore claim right standing with God if intrinsically we are sinners? Occasionally, you may run into some people who erroneously believe that all it takes is to be a good person. Unfortunately, human beings have since genesis failed to meet the standards set by God. We have been flouting them daily. Our status before God had been determined by Him through the commandments given to his servant Moses. These laws are such that no human being born of a man can humanly satisfy them. The laws, as spelt out in the Ten Commandments, literally condemn us. They expose our human weaknesses and openly betray our need for God and His righteousness.
For those who go as far as to boost of their goodness - 'I am a good person', and would even enumerate what qualifies their goodness - 'I do not steal, do not backbite, I pray often, I give alms' and so on and so forth, we have only to listen to the manner in which this Pharisee prayed: "God I thank you that I am not like other men - robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of what I have." (Luke 11-12) This man was not justified before God because he was exalting himself in the process.
To believe one is good in the sight of God is like attempting to change one's nature by one's deeds; worse still, to want be like God. Intrinsically human beings are like soap that cannot wash itself clean. It is only by the grace of God that we can talk in terms of goodness.
Prophet Isaiah put it this way: "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins are swept away."
Sin then has become a barrier in our relationship with God. Our efforts cannot absolve us from "the sin that so easily entangles us" (Hebrews 12:1). We need a Saviour to disentangle us and restore our relationship with the Father.
Until we meet God through His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, our status is one of hopelessness and state of loss. God has made the first move however in a bid to restore this broken relationship. He has condescended to reach out to humanity to save it from its lost state. To do so, He simply sent His son. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
"Christ came into the world to save sinners. (1Timothy 1:15)