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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We May All Be Sinners But We Are Not All the Same

I have heard it said so often in movies when some old guy is giving his final words, "I have found that people are basically good." For many years I thought that was a crock! The Bible says that we are all sinners. How can we be good and sinners at the same time? I forgot some things the Bible also says.

The Bible says that we were the crown of God's creation. He created us as good. That means that evil had to enter in for us to be corrupted. That corruption has been passed from parents to children since that day. It means that we have a propensity for sin. Sin is missing the glory of God we were intended for.

The fact that we are all sinners does not make us equally bad. That concept has permeated into the secular world. It is common to hear that we shouldn't judge each other. That comes from a concept that none of us is better than any other. That comes from the concept that we are all equally bad. That is not true.

We are not all equally bad. Before I continue,  this also does not give us a license to condemn each other. We are all God's creation. Condemning what He has made is condemning Him for what He has done. Yet, we must admit that those who read this blog are unlikely to be as bad as a serial killer. Most of you will not have done things so horrible that movies will be made about you..

Therefore, I can say to someone, "What you did was wrong." I should not condemn that person but I can discern whether or not it is wrong because I have a sense of right and wrong built within me that comes from my "good" creation. I know that I have the same capacity for selfishness but I may not come to the same level of wrong.

This, on the other hand does not make me totally good either. It means I may not be as bad and there are others who may be a lot better than me.

This, of course, does not change the concept of total depravity. Total depravity means that I don't have the ability (the goodness) within me to bring about my salvation. I am totally dependent upon the Lord for that. He is the grace that brings the goodness into my heart. The Holy Spirit is working around me to keep my heart His. It is here that I can boast of my goodness. It is Him working in me.

Yet, I cannot look down my nose at other sinners either. I can see their sins as evil. I cannot take credit for avoiding them. I cannot take comfort in my own sins as "not as bad." Each one was enough to send Jesus to the cross for me.

I am trying to say that people should not consider themselves as bad as the worst person they have read about. They need to see that God's grace has been around them. They need to see that they have been protected in some way against this evil. They need to see that we are not all the same.

While you cannot say that people are good; you also cannot say they are all equally bad.

We may all be sinners but we are not all the same.

Romans 3:23 NKJV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Galatians 3:26
For you are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

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