Posts Tagged ‘ contrition ’

We are all fallen sinners…

The diagnosis is not very good: we are ignorant, guilty, and corrupt. As a litany of biblical texts reveals, we find ourselves as fallen sinners ravaged by this threefold consequence of our sins. Our foolish hearts are darkened (Rom 1:21) and our thoughts are continually evil (Gn 6:5). Our minds are clouded by sin and ignorant of the things of God (Eph 4:17-18), though in our folly we glory in our great knowledge and wisdom. We have exchanged God’s truth for a lie (Rom 1:25), and our minds are’blinded by the god of this age’ (2 Cor 4:4). Like a blind man in a drunken stupor, pitifully groping his way through life, so our sin has blinded us to the truth of God. Intoxicated with our own self-righteousness, we stumble through life seeking to justify ourselves before God.

We labor under the tremendous weight of guilt-the penalty for our many infractions of the law of God. While many are quite adept at ignoring God’s just verdict against them, many others feel like they will buckle under the weight of God’s heavy hand. Not only are they guilty for their own individual violations of God’s law in thought, word, and deed, but they are also rendered guilty for their participation in the sin of Adam, whose own guilt has been imputed to all those who spring from his loins (Rom 5:12, 18-19). While we may delude ourselves into thinking that we have sinned against our neighbors only, David knew that this was not true.’Against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight’ (Ps 51:4), was his plaintive cry to his God. Because of our guilt, there is no way we can dare stand in the presence of God.’If you O Lord kept a record of sins, who could stand?’ (Ps 130:3).

But ignorance and the guilt of sin are not the only things in view as we survey the Scriptures. We also suffer from the destructive pollution of this inherited sinful condition, which infects every part of us from the moment of conception. Born in sin as the Psalmist declares (Ps 51:5), there is no good residing in us (Ps 14:1-3). Our bodies, which are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14), become instruments to act out the wickedness that would otherwise lie hidden in our hearts (Rom 6:13). It is the guilt and the pollution from this sin that renders us so miserable. Life apart from God’s forgiveness is described in the language of sickness-the trembling, sweaty weakness of a sick body trying to fight off a high fever (Ps 32:3-4). We have no peace with either God or neighbor (Rom 3:17), and we are’separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world’ (Eph 2:12). Thus sin leaves us ignorant, guilty, and polluted, and therefore utterly miserable. Indeed, while the diagnosis is bad, the prognosis is far worse, for this disease is always fatal and earthly doctors have no cure. There is, however, one account of a glorious and miraculous cure from this disease: The good news of the Gospel proclaims that while’this is impossible with men,’ nevertheless, with God,’all things are possible!’