New Believers Bible - Flipbook - Page 85
HOW YOU CAN KNOW GOD
naturally. That is why it is futile to think that the answer to all of life’s problems
comes from “within.” According to the Bible, the problem is within! Scripture
tells us, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately
wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
We are not basically good—we are basically sinful. This sinfulness spills out
into everything we do. Every problem we experience in our society today can be
traced back to our refusal to live God’s way. Clear back to the Garden of Eden,
Adam made his choice, and he suffered the consequences of it, setting the
pattern that all humanity would follow. The Bible explains, “When Adam sinned,
sin entered the entire world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to
everyone, for everyone sinned. . . . Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for
everyone” (Romans 5:12, 18).
“That’s not fair!” you may protest. Why should we suffer because of what
someone else has done? Yet, given the opportunity, each one of us would have
done the same thing as Adam. In fact, not a single day passes that we do not
face the same test that was set before Adam. God has given us the freedom to
choose between two separate paths: the path that leads to life and the path that
leads to death. The Bible says, “Today, I have given you the choice between life
and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to
witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and
your descendants might live!” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
w i t h o u t a l e g t o s t a n d o n Someone may say, “But I live a
good life. I try to be kind and considerate to others. I live by the Ten Commandments.” But the truth of the matter is that the Ten Commandments, or the law, as
they are called in the Bible, were not given to make us good but to show us how
bad we are. The Bible tells us, “No one can ever be made right with God by doing
what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are” (Romans
3:20). The purpose of the law is to make us realize how sinful we are. You might
say that God’s law was given to “shut our mouths” and show us that we desperately need his help and forgiveness for our terminal condition as sinners.
Look at the passages below to get a better understanding of the nature and
seriousness of sin.
1. We Have All Missed the Mark (see Romans 3:23, page 1006). Romans
3:23 says, we have all sinned. For those who would claim to be the sole
exception to this eternal truth, verse ten of this chapter plainly says, “No one
is righteous—not even one” (Romans 3:10). Another word for righteous is
good. The word righteous means, “One who is as he or she ought to be.”
When the Bible says that no one is righteous, or good, it is not so much
referring to behavior but to inner character.