Thursday, March 13, 2014
What is Our Problem?
Recently I read a discussion about what our basic human failure or sin is. One person thought it had to do with the fact that we're not as loving as we need to be. “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” There definitely needs to be more love. But is that the core, the root of our problem? I don't think so.
I believe the scriptures explain the basis of our problem in Romans 1. Verse 18 tells us that the wrath of God is currently being revealed from heaven. Why? God's wrath is against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Paul goes on to explain that much of God's nature has been revealed to us in the created world. What we have done is to take that truth and suppress it. We push it down and try to ignore it and live as though there is no God and as though we don't know anything about him. We act as though we are independent, not receiving anything from God. As a result we become ungodly, which means not having the character of God in us. And we become unrighteous, which means we do not behave in the right way.
The next part of the problem is explained in verse 21. Because of the suppression of the truth about God, we refuse to give him the glory he is due. Because we don't acknowledge his rightful reign, we refuse to give thanks to him, even though “he gives to all life, breath and all things” (Acts 17:25). So here is the core of the problem. We know God is there, but we ignore him and act like we are self-sufficient. Because of this he gets no credit for all he has done and we effectively deprive him of his glory.
The result of this behavior according to verse 21 is that we become empty in our thinking. We become fools and then go a step further by changing the glory that God has in himself and replace it with the characteristics of corruptible man. We worship and serve the creature rather than the creator.
So here is the crux. We effectively remove God from his place and put ourselves in his place on the throne of our own little world, and we are not up the task.
We need to be aware that God judges this behavior, and according to Romans 1, this judgment has begun. God has begun to give us up to all kinds of unclean and lustful behaviors. In our pride we believe we are making decisions in our own freedom and for our own pleasure, but in reality we are acting out the very judgment God is imposing. God has given us up to a downward spiral of lust and greed.
So, the biggest sin mankind is committing is not loving too little and it's not injustice or a lack of tolerance. The greatest sin is ignoring God, being unthankful and not giving God the glory that is his. All of the other evils flow from this greatest evil.