Why Do People Suck? Part Two.

Posted: November 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

We all suck because we sin (i.e., rebel against God) but where did sin come from? Sin may well have existed even before the Garden of Eden thanks to Satan and His angels but it entered our realm with the sin of our great-great grandparents, Adam & Eve, and, like a bad birthmark, it is has been passed on to all of us. 

We have all inherited a sinful nature from Pappy Adam (Rom. 5:12).  Moreover, Adam stood as humanity’s representative, which means that we have all been pronounced guilty before our judge because of him.  That may not sound fair but, as Dr. Wayne Grudem points out in his Systematic Theology, there are a number of points to consider before stomping off in a huff.  (1) Everyone who protests this has voluntarily sinned against God anyway; (2) If our present behavior is any indication then we would have committed the same or similar sins had we been in Adam’s place; and (3) Although we may not like it that Adam represents us, we do like the idea that Jesus will represent us (Christians) on the day of judgment. 

So, we have both an inherited guilt and an inherited sinful nature.  Any honest parent would not object to this statement!

Scripture is very clear that “in our natures we totally lack spiritul good before God.”  See Rom. 7:18; Titus 1:15; Jer. 17:9; etc. It then follows that “in our actions we are totally unable to do spiritual good before God” (Rom. 8:8; John 15:5; Heb. 11:6; etc. It is only due to what theologians call “common grace” that non-Christians are able to perform any good deed.

“Does this mean that we don’t have free will?” Yes and no.  We still have freedom to choose but without the aid of God we do not have the ability to truly choose that which is pure and good.  This goes for everyone everywhere at anytime. Scripture is clear that all people are sinful (or rebellious).  For example, see Ps. 14:3; 143:2; 1 Kgs. 8:46; Prov. 20:9; Rom. 1:18-3:20; 1 John 1:8-10, etc.

“Shouldn’t this limit our responsibility?” Not according to the Bible.  Now, this is “difficult teaching” but let’s unpack it just a bit.  To quote Dr. Grudem, “if our responsibility before God were limited by our ability, then extremely hardened sinners, who are in great bondage to sin, could be less guilty before God than mature Christians who were striving to obey him.  And Satan himself, who is eternally able to do only evil, would have no guilt at all–surely an incorrect conclusion.”

Dr. Grudem goes on to write:

“The true measure of our responsibility and guilt is not our own ability to obey God, but rather the absolute perfection of God’s moral law and his own holiness (which is reflected in that law). ” For as the Bible asserts, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

Well then are infants “sinners”? Are there degrees of sin? What happens when a Christian sins? What is the punishment for sins? All that tomorrow.

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