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William

The Bible's Honest Assessment of the Human Condition

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by John Hendryx

 

One of the elements that makes the Bible have such a ring of truth about it is its brutally honest assessment of human nature. Your résumé has value in every other worldview because each focuses on a belief in human attainment ... on human progress. In other words, the natural tendency of mankind is to teach views which say if you do this, and if do that, you can progress and please your god and win brownie points. This idea is one we naturally gravitate to since it gives people a sense of their self-importance. Even in secular culture each generation thinks of themselves more enlightened than the last.

 

But from the beginning, the Bible has been more forthright and accurate about who we are. God sent the Prophets to Israel to testify against each generation, flatly exposing their wickedness. Even when God went after other nations, he continually reminded Israel that they deserved the same, and that it was God's mere unmerited favor that upheld them. And He kept sending His messengers up to the time of the Great Prophet, Jesus Christ who testified against His own generation. Not only did Jesus confront openly wicked people to repent of their evil, but Jesus spent even more time exposing the sin of the so-called good people, calling them to repent of their goodness. Of course, He was not calling them to repent of doing good, but of trusting in it, since our deeds fall so woefully short of any real good. In the Bible, it is strikingly clear that religious people have nothing over irreligious people - they are not more righteous or deserving of God's redemptive favor because of something they do better than others. Salvation is granted, rather, in spite of ourselves, by the sheer mercy of God and nothing else, for if our hope were based on what any of us deserved (even partly), then none of us would have any future to look forward to.

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