When God saved us from eternity past, His saving work was not finished when Christ lived, died, buried, and rose again, as though there is nothing for him for his people.
You see, every single person born of man since Adam and Eve were born inherently not in connection with God but being apart from God both infinitely and eternally. That separation is because we have no spirit of God because our hearts were not born of God.
Sin has devastating, tearing, ripping-in-half effects. Adam and Eve felt that to a large degree but I don’t think they could possibly fathom what it would be like for their children and their children’s children and for all of the world.
But we see the state of the world today and exponentially more than our forefathers because we have every kind of information at our fingertips.
School shootings, mass genocide, abortions in the thousands per day: there seems to be no end in depravity. And just when think that our way of life on its own is a little better, we found out that our way of life and privilege is most often at the expense of someone else’s well being. You just have to open your eyes and see.
And even seeing it all has gotten to be too much for most of us. Too much sin, death, disease, depravity, and tragedy for us to handle on top of our own lives.
That is the inheritance of Adam. That is what we are cursed with.
But can we for sure say “all humans” are born this way? Surely there are some who are born good? There has got to be some hope?
Back in the Old Testament, from the time of Adam, the wickedness of humankind spread throughout the earth.
Genesis 6:5-7 (CSB) When the LORD saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, 6 the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. 7 Then the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”
When God spoke of Man, what did he declared? They were greatly wicked and the thoughts of their hearts were only producing evil. And God regretted ever creating mankind, the very image-bearers of Himself.
Before we continue, was Noah a man? So would he have been evil or born good apart from these wicked people?
Genesis 6:8 (CSB) Noah, however, found favor with the LORD.
Does the Bible say, “But Noah was a good dude so God decided to spare him.” No, Noah was wicked just like everyone else. But the favor and grace came upon Noah for no other reason because God is good.
You might say, “But what about the next verse?” Let’s read that:
Genesis 6:9 (CSB) These are the family records of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God.
Now put verses 5 through 9 all together. Look at the order in relation to Noah. Noah was wicked. The thoughts of Noah’s heart produced evil continuously. God regretted ever creating Noah. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Because God gave him grace, it was then and only then Noah was declared righteous and blameless in his generation. We know it’s not that Noah was born righteous or even living a righteous life apart from God because Paul quotes a psalm of David in Romans 3:
Romans 3:9–31 (CSB)
9 What then? Are we any better off? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin,
10 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.
11 There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.
13 Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
17 and the path of peace they have not known.
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment.
20 For no one will be justified in his sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.
21 But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, attested by the Law and the Prophets.
22 The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
24 they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
25 God presented him as the mercy seat by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed.
26 God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith.
28 For we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,
30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
But then some would argue that God gave us laws in order for us to be holy. But that is not the purpose of the law. The law of God was simply put in place to get you to see all of your sin and wickedness in the presence of holy and just God. Paul goes on to declare that the law was weak. In other words, the law of God is a mirror for your soul and heart but that’s all it could do. The law of God was powerless and feeble to save your soul.
You know what the real kicker is: with our hearts far from him, we are not actually obeying the laws of God. I know because it is impossible for us to obey God’s law if our hearts are far from him.
Romans 8:7-8 (CSB) The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Isaiah 64:6 (CSB) All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.
Because of our wicked hearts, whatever “righteous” deeds we think we are doing are just dirty rags thrown before the feet of God thinking that will be good enough to be saved by Him.
Look at what Jesus says:
Matthew 7:21-23 (CSB) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers!’
Wait a minute here. These people were doing what Christ told us to do: prophesy, cast out demons, and do mighty works in his name. Christ would go on to say for us not to rejoice because we can do mighty works and the spirits are subject to us but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Don’t you see? We cannot know nor love God without taking this wicked heart out and replacing it with heart from God. Nothing good comes out of a heart that was born into sin and has been sinning continuously.
Some theologians teach that faith to believe in God comes from some tiny little deposit of good that was given to all human beings. Well, I would accept that explanation a hundred times over than we are all basically good and can believe and trust in God out of our own strength. Because the latter is simply not happening. Whatever you may think, that faith produces a new heart or it’s a new heart that produces faith, something absolutely good has to start the process of faith because faith (inherently good) does not come from a wicked and depraved heart. The Bible makes that clear.
Choosing God is not like what you choose for breakfast, whom you have chosen to marry or whom you voted for in the last election. For you to believe, trust, love, and choose God, something supernatural has to occur and this is by the work of the Spirit alone by giving us a brand new heart from the Father all made possible by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ alone. It is only then can we look upon Him with clear eyes, hear him with functioning ears, even taste him with new taste buds to know that he is good or even smell the aroma of Christ on each of us who are made fully alive by God.
When we have a new heart and His Spirit within us, it is then we can truthfully and fully be obedient to God. First, Christ fulfilled the law for each of us who believe and trust in him. Now, it’s not that we have to obey the laws of God, it is that we get to obey Him.
Don’t believe obedience requires a new heart? See what God says about it.
Ezekiel 36:24-28 (CSB) “‘For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
It is only then that God removes us from death and despair; takes the blood of Christ and washes us clean from all unrighteousness ; give us a brand new soften heart and a new spirit that causes you to walk in His statutes and being careful to obey His rules.
Because of what He has done, we now get to dwell in the house of the Lord forever because we are His people and He is our God!
Today’s episode at The Study