Friday, June 29

Christianity 101- Part 3: Man

Man is a sinner due to his fallen nature. Scripture points this out beginning in Genesis and continuing through Revelation. Paul paints the picture extensively from Romans 1:18 through Romans 3:20 and empirical evidence confirms biblical teaching on the sinfulness of human beings. The Bible reveals there is no one righteous and that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God’s standard of righteousness is perfection (Matthew 5:48) and not man’s erroneous worldly standard of being a basically good person. Perfection means that man cannot meet this standard and, as a result, man cannot save himself from the wrath of God by his good works (Romans 3:20 and Gal. 2:16). Since God does not grade on a curve, but on an absolute scale of perfection, being ‘basically good’ will not be sufficient on judgment day. Isaiah tells us that even man’s best works are like filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6).

In Luke 18:25-27 Jesus confirms that it is impossible for man to save himself, “For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." Those who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?" But he said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." In this passage Jesus not only states that it is impossible for men to save themselves, but also gives the fantastic news that God can solve the problem and save sinners. Romans 6:23 gives the bad news for sinners in the first part of the verse and the good news in the second half of the verse where it says, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This is the great fantastic news of the gospel. But what about man’s sin that God must punish? Does God simply reduce the penalty? Do all men universally receive the gift of eternal life? What does Jesus Christ have to do with solving this dilemma?

Next in Part 4 we will look at how God solved the problem that men are incapable of solving.

This series first appeared at Bluecollar Blog


donsands said...

"Isaiah tells us that even man’s best works are like filthy rags before God"

I was arguing this with a friend, and he noted that this is spoken specifically to the religious works of Israel, and not the basic good works of every man. For instance, if a fireman saves a child from a fire, would that be a filthy rag?

Any thoughts on that?

jazzycat said...

I was recently watching Dr. Sproul and he said that any unbeliever was essentially in rebellion and out of fellowship with God. Therefore, he said that anything such a person did would be tainted with that sinful rebellion nature and thus like filthy rags before God. Even a unbelieving fireman saving a little girl would not be doing it with a heart for Godly and righteous motives.

I don't know if I am repeating it exactly as he said, but that was about it.

donsands said...

That's true the fireman's motive is not for the glory of God, but does this good deed deserve commendation from us?
And it is a deed that was done according to Christ's charge, that he who would lay down his life for another has great love.

Let me throw this out: On the Judgement Day, would the Lord see this child saved by this man as filthy rags, or a good deed, that of course has no merit toward his eternal destiny?

Just looking for a little more insight. Thanks.

jazzycat said...

I would not think this deed would be like filthy rags. Perhaps the filthy rags passage is referring to works done with a motive toward earning salvation whereas this case would be a selfless act.

This is a good point you raise and one I have thought about myself but never really explored. What do you think?

donsands said...

I agree that this deed is not a filthy rag.

In fact, I believe it manifests the glory of God. Though the deed itself, is not going to be honored by the Lord. Only labor done in the Lord will be honored by the Lord.

The born again Christian is the only person whose works will be commended by God. And many of the Christians works will be hay and stubble.

I agree, the filthy rags are religious works done within the Church.
Many will come on that Day, and say "Lord Lord". Jesus will say depart from me.

Those who are within the church and who live a life of sin, and good deeds will not be acknowledged for any good works, but will give an account for every sin.

That's how I see it Wayne. And you actually helped me bring this together. Thanks for allowing me to ask, and for the interaction.

donsands said...

"Those who are within the church"

That should have read, "outside"

jazzycat said...

Thanks. I believe you are right in the view you have. This an interesting subject that I am going to study further.