The Natural Inclination of the Heart of Man and The Power of Christ to Save 

"God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one." - Psalm 53:2-3

I read through this chapter today as a part of my Bible reading plan, thinking about how different the presuppositional statements within these verses are from what we hear coming from the world's various religions, which is essentially this: man is basically good and inclined to do good at any given moment. But then also I thought about how, unfortunately, we hear essentially the same thing coming from within the church many times: you are all basically good people because you give so generously and also God loves you. This message, in itself, is a disservice to the glory of God because it fails to deliver the entire message of His Gospel that He has so graciously declared to us in the pages of Scripture. Yes God loves His people. But how is that He has loved us? Why is His love so amazing?

Unless we understand what it is that we are being saved from, and understand the depth of our depravity, we will not understand how great is the love of Christ in sacrificing Himself in our place on the cross. The Scriptures are emphatically clear about our natural moral condition. We need to be honest about Scriptures' assessment of our condition before God, lest we miss the heart of Christianity: the Gospel. And even after our conversion, it is necessary to see ourselves as, "simul iustus et pecator," that is, simultaneously justified yet sinful, otherwise, to grow in Christ, we will trust ourselves instead of Christ for the power to progressively change (the only way to change in the way that glorifies God).

This chapter also made me think about this verse: "The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). Unless God moves in me by His Spirit, I do not properly feel and view myself like this and I can't stand it. My own heart is so inclined and prone toward evil, I cannot even begin to comprehend it. Jeremiah affirms this: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9-10). I certainly cannot. I am not supposing to know my heart exhaustively, but am proclaiming that we can know our hearts truthfully from God's Word. We need God's Spirit to show us, increasingly, the offense caused by our hearts in relation to the glory of God. These verses are a great place to start. Read More...
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