Monday, March 2, 2009

Humanity’s Pretense of Goodness

Romans 8:7 “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.”

“Although most human beings give the appearance at times of being confused seekers for truth with a naive respect for God, says Edwards, the reality is that unless they are moved by the Spirit they have a natural distaste for the real God, an uncontrollable desire to break His laws and a constant tendency to sit in judgment on Him when they notice Him at all. They are at moral enmity with the God revealed in the Bible. Since His purpose crosses theirs at every juncture, they really hate Him more than any finite object, and this is clearly displayed in their treatment of His Son. They are largely unconscious of this enmity. It is usually repressed through their unbelief, their creation of agreeable false portraits of God, their sense of His distance from us, their fear of punishment or their lack of awareness of the magnitude of their guilt. They are conditioned to pay their respects to some vague image of the Deity, and this is reinforced by fear and self-interest.

Fortunately Gods common grace reaches down through unregenerate humanity like a hand through a glove, revealing us of our own evil through constant acts of love and mercy that seem to originate in man. But only in Christian believers is man’s willful ignorance disarmed and his goodness rotted in worship and love of God rather than covert self-interest or the service of idols such as the human race. When the scriptures say “God is angry at the wicked every day” (Ps 7:11 AV), it is because the unregenerate are constantly (if unconsciously) angry at God and are daily expressing this anger and contempt toward those who represent Him on earth, toward one another, and even toward inanimate nature because God has made it. Every day the crucifixion is re-enacted in innumerable attacks upon the purpose of Christ. Even creation, suggests Edwards in another famous sermon, groans under its subjection to human misrule and would spew us out if it were not restrained by God.

In light of this analysis, what is remarkable is not the intensity of Gods wrath against sin but the magnitude of His patience and compassion in sparing and redeeming those who are His enemies.” ~ Richard F. Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal pg. 86

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