Sunday, 19 February 2006
Christians may have difficulty calling people sinners because many people are quite nice on the outside. Some of these good people may even sacrifice themselves for the greater good. There are many good people as long as we identify sin as external and behavioral instead of a matter of the heart, i.e. motivation, thoughts, desires, etc. When Paul said "all have sinned," (Romans 3:23) he was not overstating the spiritual condition of the world. He was stating the persistent reality of people in this world and the basis for human equality. We are equal not because we are all human beings; we are equal because we are equally liable to condemnation in our depravity. We can even argue non-believers necessarily and consistently sin because it is impossible for them to do things for God and according to His will. What motivate them are always something other than the triune God? One can also sin without an external act, e.g. "murder" used to be an action in the Old Testament; however, in the New Testament, as we approach the Sermon on the Mount, anger towards a brother and insults directed towards a brother are also murders (Matthew 5:21-22). Skillful sinners kill merely by a thought.
We are quite mistaken if we do believe there are really "good" people around us. Looking at the people through the lens of the Scripture narrow down a long list of "good" people to just One - Jesus Christ the Lord.