One of the basic tenets of modern society is that man is basically good. The conclusion from this belief is that problems in society will be solved with more education and more money! But this raises questions. Why do the more developed and sophisticated societies of the world—those with more money and education—have as much bad (God calls it sin) as many third-world countries? How can this be explained? What is the truth?
America has a huge industry of self-help books, recordings, and seminars built on pop psychology with the belief that people can “pull themselves up with their own bootstraps.” By the way, even the imagery is interesting—have you tried lifting yourself off the floor by pulling on your shoelaces?
Christians know that true hope is found not in good politics or good psychology but in good theology!
The Bible tells the truth about mankind. Adam and Eve enjoyed fellowship with God, their Creator. But they both sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). They have passed that sin nature on to each of their descendants making it impossible for any of us to live a sinless (good) life. If you doubt the truth of our inner sin nature, just ask any parent. Ask what they did to teach seemingly innocent and good infants to become selfish, to disobey, to throw a temper tantrum, to display their inner propensity toward bad (sinful) behavior.
According to the Word of God, even an infant is born with a sin nature. “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). The newborn baby already has a sin nature and begins to demonstrate that sin nature early in life. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Any parent can confirm this truth!
Because of our propensity towards sinning, God, because of His holy nature, cannot fellowship with us. But He provides a remedy. In mercy, love, and grace He provides us a way to have fellowship restored with Him. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth as a fully human being to live a perfect life and to die for our sins. By accepting this provision, our fellowship with God is restored and we receive eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).