I’ve heard it said that humans are born good, that our true nature is good because we are created in God’s image. Bad parenting or some other outside influence results in people turning bad. So when I read in Exodus this morning that God said the inclination of our hearts is evil from childhood, I started digging.
If people are naturally good but are influenced by their environments, why did Adam and Eve sin in the Garden where the environment was perfect and they walked with God? They had every opportunity to remain sinless. If indeed their natural instincts were good, we’d probably all still be living in Eden.
The Bible tells us we are created in the image of God, who is good. Does that mean we are created good? Or does the image of God indicate we were created with the ability to think and reason, with souls that will live eternally? Keep digging.
The psalmist, in 51:5 says he was “sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” That doesn’t sound like he was born naturally good. Psalm 58:3 speaks of wickedness from birth, waywardness from the womb. Paul says in Ephesians says all of us… were by nature objects of wrath.
Let’s think what life would really be like if we weren’t born with a sin nature. Can you picture it? Would it look like 2017? It seems to me if people were born good, the odds would have it that at least a few people would actually grow up sinless. Yet the Bible tells us all have sinned.
If you’ve ever been around infants, I doubt you’ve ever met one who isn’t totally selfish. Their only concerned is about their comfort, their wants. I doubt you can name one child who learned the meaning of the word “No” the first time it was taught them.
There are people and false religions that tell us we are gods, or equal to god, or are good in and of ourselves, that we can tap into that goodness and rise above the evil in the world by our own positivity. And that, my friend, is a belief that will lead you straight to hell. That’s a belief that Satan would love you to adopt for yourself.
Now my thinking may be faulty. But Scripture is not. And viewing humanity from Scripture’s point of view is eternally important.
Scripture tells us all have sinned. (Romans 3:23) There is no one righteous… not even one. (Romans 3:10) I’ve only scratched the surface of the verses that talk about our natural bent toward sin. We are sinners by nature. Our hearts are wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), our natural man doesn’t accept the things of God (I Corinthians 2:14).
So, my friend. You cannot be good enough to be holy. And holiness is what God demands of us. (Leviticus 20:26; I Peter 1:16) Nothing in you can equal God, or meet His standards. That sin nature in you prevents it. (Romans 7:18)
Enter Jesus. Even before Adam and Eve sinned, then bore children with a sinful nature, God had a plan. He wasn’t about to leave His creation to die without Him. So He voluntarily took on our sin nature, our individual sins, and paid the price Himself so we wouldn’t have to. (Romans 4:25)
It’s eternally important for you to recognize your position before a holy God. You might be a great friend, an honest person, a nice guy. But you still need to humble yourself and accept what Jesus did for you on the cross. Let His holiness be accredited to your account.
Don’t get caught up with trying to convince yourself you are good enough. You just aren’t. And you haven’t been from day one. You need Jesus. I need Him. And we need to let Him deal with our sin nature through His own precious blood.