The Bible knows the nature of mankind very well and it is put well in Paul’s epistle to the Romans:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom 3:10-18)
Our rebellious and wicked hearts are easily seen in this world and, if we have the courage, the mirror. This terrible state we are in, however, brings to my mind five important reflections, though nowhere near comprehensive.
- It Puts Us All in the Same State Before God
All humanity is locked away in sin, all lost and all under God’s Judgement. We are all sinners and no one is exempt. We all do terrible things to each other and think worse things in the depth of our hearts. All mankind stands guilty, therefore the answer for mankind’s problem must come from outside humanity.
- It Takes Away Hypocritical Judgement
If we are all under sin, then who are we to judge others. Christians are given this command in Matthew 7:1-3:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Mat 7:1-3)
Knowing your own heart, how can you look down on others? When we do much the same as others, who are we to lord it over them?
- It Should Create Humility When Dealing With Others
We should rather act in humility before others, knowing that we are not better than them. Universal sinfulness cuts down our pride. It breaks apart our trust in ourselves. As a Christian especially, knowing these things and knowing that salvation had no origin in you, should lead to love and gentleness and kindness to those around us.
- It Rightly Demands Judgement from a Just God
When someone does wrong, there needs to be justice. Everyone knows this. We feel it every time we hear of a murder or a rape, or someone breaks into our house, or hurts us. God is the ultimate judge and he will bring justice.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” (Rom 1:18)
God is good and God is just, therefore he must punish sin and sinners alike. He should rightly condemn all mankind for all eternity for its sins.
- It Makes the Love of God Unprecedented
And that leads us to the last point. The Bible makes it clear, the only thing we should expect from God is anger and judgement and condemnation, but instead he sends his Son. He loves the unlovable and makes a way to save his people from their sins and from his justice and holiness. Jesus dies and suffers our punishment for us.
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:6-8)
The love of God in Jesus Christ surpasses understanding and should be responded to with grateful and thankful hearts.
“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am”