“Since they (mankind) did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” Rom. 1:28
When God made us, He made something beautiful and perfect. Not only are we beautiful creatures made in His image, we are also broken. We are noble creatures, but also cruel creatures. There is also something dreadfully wrong with all of creation.
Famine, floods, and other natural disasters, combine with war, disease, starvation and death as an everyday reality of life on this planet. Incurable diseases, increasing incidents of divorce, rampant violence, rape, genocide, terrorism, sexual orientation confusion and perversions, and every kind of evil imaginable leave no doubt that something is not right – that this is not the way life should be, or that God designed it to be.
But to start with the problem of sin and the curse, is like starting to read a novel in the middle of the book. It won’t make sense because we have not been introduced to the main characters of the story and how the story began. That’s why we started this series with God and His creation, including how human beings are made in His image. But something went wrong, and it began with us.
In spite of the obvious examples of man’s true depravity we see on the news every day, there remain those who insist that people are mostly “good” at the core. The claim is made that if we would only learn to “focus our energy” on love and tolerance, provide more education, and remove all “religious bigotry”, the world would be a place of peace and harmony. But the truth is there is a heart problem. The heart, because of sin, is deceitfully wicked, so who can know what is in it and what it will produce? Actually, we do know – out of the heart comes all kinds of deceit and wickedness in our world.
When my wife and I were newly married (a long time ago, I might add), we attended a young couples’ Bible class in our church. I remember a discussion one Sunday morning about man’s sin nature, and the anger one young mother expressed at the suggestion that we are born with a sin nature.
“Children are born good,” she firmly declared. “Sinful behavior in children is learned from adults… it’s not innate.”
The Bible, however, makes this truth declaration: “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and “All of us also lived among them at one time [the disobedient] gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature, and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath…” (Ephesians 2:3)
In his book The Story of Reality, Gregory Koukl reminds us that badness, our badness, is the problem with the world in which we live. “And here we come to a critical point in the Story: The thing that went wrong with man caused what went wrong with the world. The world is broken because we are broken. Our badness made the world go bad.”
When sin entered the world because man rebelled against God, all creation came under a curse (read Genesis 3). The condition of our hearts and the world in which we live is not as it should be. The Curse of sin is a reality that cannot be hidden. Believers embrace this truth because we know that, only in doing so, can we grasp the significance of the rest of the story we will be discussing later.
TEACHING AND TELLING
- Don’t be afraid to discuss with your grandchildren the reality of our sinful natures and depravity of the world in which we live. This is why we need a Savior. We are dead in our sins, we cannot save ourselves (Ephesians 2:1-10).
- Share you own story and journey of faith when you knew you needed a Savior. Without an understanding of the desperate situation of our hearts and our world, we will never fear God or be able to grasp the wonder and depth of God’s love and grace to do what we cannot do for ourselves.
GRANDPAUSE: “To think we can BE good, that we can build a good and humane society without God, is pure folly.” — Charles Colson