The Sinfulness Of Mankind
By David J. Stewart
To be Saved, We Must Recognize Our Own Sinfulness
You must realize and admit that you are a sinner according to the Scriptures.
Romans 3:23 tells us, “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Again in Romans 3:10 we read the words “There is NONE righteous, No NOT ONE.” We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Adam was that “one man” who committed the original sin. God had told Adam and Eve that they would die on the very day they sinned. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the DAY that thou eatest there of it THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.” (Genesis 2:17). Interestingly, Adam and Eve lived many years thereafter. How could this be? The reason is because they died spiritually, NOT physically when they sinned. Their perfect relationship with God was over. They now had the sin nature and were at enmity with God. The days of paradise in Eden were at an sudden end.
The Curse of the Sin Nature — All Humans are Born with it.
Romans 5:12 teaches us that Adam’s spiritual death has been passed down to all of humanity. This means we are ALL born spiritually dead. Adam and Eve would have lived forever had they not sinned. This is why each person MUST be born-again! The term “born-again” means “being born for the second time.” There is the physical birth and then there is the spiritual birth. We are born spiritually dead into this world without God. We are all born with a fallen nature, a natural tendency to sin.
The sin nature has been passed down to us from Adam. No one needs to teach a child how to lie, steal, cheat, etc. On the contrary, children need to be taught NOT to lie, steal or cheat, etc. The only two individuals who were ever born into this world without a fallen nature (sin nature) were Adam and Jesus Christ. Adam of course sinned and took upon himself the sin nature; Jesus NEVER sinned, not even once. Adam’s love for Eve superceded His love for God. He chose to sin with Eve at the expense of facing the judgment of God. Adam became a sinner and died spiritually the moment he sinned. He would be a sinner from that day forward, even unto his death. The rest of mankind does not have a choice on the matter, we all have that same sin nature because Adam chose to have it. We are all descendants of our great ancestral father, Adam; therefore, we are all born with the same infectious curse of sin and death. We all have the sin-tainted blood of Adam. We are all born spiritually dead (the natural man). Jesus on-the other-hand NEVER sinned, not even once... “For he hath made him to be sin for us, WHO KNEW NO SIN” (2nd Corinthians 5:21). This was absolutely necessary if Christ was to offer Himself up as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind (as of a lamb without spot or blemish). I will cover this more later. You need to realize at this point my friend that you are a guilty sinner.
Man Cannot Save Himself
As sinners, we cannot do anything of our own effort to reconcile ourselves with God—We must follow God’s plan of salvation. All of our GOOD WORKS CANNOT SAVE US... “For BY GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). The truth could not be any plainer than this—you cannot earn your way to Heaven! You cannot brag about your self-righteousness to God because you have no righteousness of your own to offer. Adam and Eve could not make up for what they had done. All of their own good works could not get them out of the situation they had entangled themselves in. They had sinned and were bound for Hell. What were they to do? Ah, but God in His love had a plan to redeem mankind... Christ who knew no sin became as sin so that we who knew no righteousness could obtain Christ’s righteousness. Salvation is God’s FREE GIFT, paid for by Jesus at the cross. No amount of good deeds can undo the bad we have done.
Committing Even the Smallest Sins Make Us Guilty of ALL
NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). Read the following words spoken in Isaiah, “But we are ALL as an unclean thing, and ALL our righteousnesses are as FILTHY RAGS; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6). God hates sin so much that He can’t even describe it in words we would understand. So God instead tells us what He thinks about all the good things we do—they’re nothing but filthy rags in His sight. Don’t misunderstand—God loves good works, but God hates when we trust our self-righteousness to get us into Heaven. Salvation is receiving, not giving. If you are trying to please God with the nice things you do in hopes of making it to Heaven someday, you're in for a horrible surprise! Why? Because committing ONE SIN makes us guilty of ALL in the eyes of God... “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet OFFEND IN ONE POINT, he is GUILTY OF ALL” (James 2:10). Whoa! That doesn’t sound too fair does it? The point is that a sinner is a sinner. Whether you sin once or a thousand times, you are still a sinner in need of a Savior. Adam and Eve sinned just once but that was enough to bring them under the condemnation and judgment of Almighty God.
There is None Righteous
We are all sinners. God is simply trying to show you that your NOT as righteous as you may have thought you were. As a matter of fact; “There is NONE righteous…” (Romans 3:10). First John 1:10 declares that if we deny that we have sinned, we are calling God a liar. It is the LAW (commands of God) that show us just how wicked we really are, “...for BY THE LAW is the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN” (Romans 3:20). The law condemns us and points us to Christ.
As with any court, ignorance is no excuse for the law. Cain killed Able before the Law of Moses was ever given but God still held him accountable. The Law simply reinforces our moral conscience. Let’s read the purpose of the Mosaic Law (which includes the 10 commandments) in Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things so ever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD. The purpose of the Law of Moses was to reveal to Israel and to the rest of humanity just how wicked we really are. No person alive can keep the whole Law of God perfectly, NO ONE. The Law shows us our hopeless condition and then graciously points us to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Salvation is in Christ, NOT ourselves. “Wherefore THE LAW WAS OUR SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US UNTO CHRIST, that we might be JUSTIFIED BY FAITH” (Galatians 3:24). Keeping the ten commandments will not save anybody! Being a nice person CANNOT help you earn you heaven! Getting water baptized simply won’t help! The Law shows us our need for Christ’s work of redemption. The Law was given to us by God that our sin might become “exceeding sinful” in our own eyes. “...that SIN by the commandment might become EXCEEDINGLY SINFUL” (Romans 7:13). Having done it’s job, we must admit our hopelessly sinful condition and turn to Christ for our salvation.
The Reason Why People Become Self-Righteous
The problem that most people face is that they look and compare themselves with other people instead of God’s Word. “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are NOT WISE” (2nd Corinthians 10:12). This passage was written to Believers to warn them against comparing themselves with others. It is unwise to compare ourselves to someone else because everybody is totally different. Each one of us has been created in God’s own image, but very unique at the same time. There is no one else exactly like you nor will there ever be. We must be careful about comparing ourselves with others. This unwise practice has caused many unsaved folks to believe a lie! It’s very easy to view one’s self as being righteous if we COMPARE ourselves to our fellow mankind. Surely most people will look good in their own eyes if they watch the evening news. We hear of all the scandals and crimes being committed.
No doubt, there are some real sick people in this world. To be Scriptural, we’re all sick. All humans are born sinful and prone to wander into mischievousness. Even Believers sometimes can commit the most hideous of crimes if they wander out of fellowship with the Lord. All people need to trust Jesus Christ as personal Savior to be a Christian and then all Christians need to walk humbly with their God on a daily basis to stay out of trouble. Living the Christian life isn't hard—it's IMPOSSIBLE without the Lord's help. All the Bible knowledge in the world means nothing if you don’t WALK WITH GOD. You hear about all the crime and horrible things that people do and then conclude that your not so bad after all. However; if we will COMPARE ourselves to a Holy God and His perfect Word, we can only say as Isaiah the prophet, “Then said I, WOE IS ME! FOR I AM UNDONE; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
We read of a foolish man in the Bible who COMPARED himself to another man... “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as OTHER MEN are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:10-14). The Pharisee made the woeful mistake of comparing himself to “OTHER MEN.” The publican had his heart set on God alone.
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