Human Nature

 

You cannot slander human nature; it is worse than words can paint it. Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892)

 

Spurgeon was a British Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations. He is sometimes called, the "Prince of Preachers".

 

But isn’t Spurgeon being a bit harsh? Maybe not. Just consider a few categories of evil.

*   Ten Commandments

*   Sadism

*   Masochism

*   Witchcraft

*   Holocaust

*   Torture

*   Crucifixion

*   Scheming

*   Plotting evil

 

Within each of these there are endless variations and countless people involved. Take sexual perversions for example. Here are just a few mentioned in the Bible: homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10); bestiality (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 18:23); incest (Lev. 18:6-18; 1 Cor. 5); rape (Ex. 22:16-17; Deut. 22:23-29); adultery (Ex. 20:14; Deut. 22:22); prostitution (Prov. 7:1-27; 29:3); fornication (1 Cor. 6:9-10; compare Matt. 19:9). These are all declared to be outside of the will of God for man and woman who are called to live together in monogamous fidelity within the covenant of marriage. Is there anyone here today than can claim to have only sinned once? I think not, all have sinned and most of us have sinned repeatedly throughout our lives.

 

Let’s see what the Bible says about the natural man.

*   (1 Cor 2:14 KJV)  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

----- Or as NIV puts it -----

*   (1 Cor 2:14 NIV)  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

Human Nature is desperately wicked!

*   (Jer 17:9 KJV)  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

*    (Gal 5:19-21 NIV)  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; {20} idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions {21} and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

*   (2 Pet 2 NIV)  But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. {2} Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. {3} In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. {4} For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; {5} if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; {6} if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; {7} and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men {8} (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- {9} if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. {10} This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; {11} yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. {12} But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. {13} They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. {14} With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed--an accursed brood! {15} They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. {16} But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness. {17} These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. {18} For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. {19} They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. {20} If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. {21} It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. {22} Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

 

Even when we think we are righteous we are still not as good as we think we are.

*   (Isa 64:6 NIV)  All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

*   (Rom 3:9-18 NIV)  What shall we conclude then? Are we any better ? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. {10} As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; {11} there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. {12} All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." {13} "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." {14} "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." {15} "Their feet are swift to shed blood; {16} ruin and misery mark their ways, {17} and the way of peace they do not know." {18} "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

*   (Rom 1:26-32 NIV)  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. {27} In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. {28} Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. {29} They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, {30} slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; {31} they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. {32} Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

It is “Politically Correct” today to pass off all sorts of evil as normal just as that last verse said. We cannot afford to be politically correct. If we will not stand up for what God says is right then who will? We are not perfect but we should strive to be.

*   (Eph 5:1-20 NIV)  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children {2} and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. {3} But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. {4} Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. {5} For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. {6} Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. {7} Therefore do not be partners with them. {8} For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light {9} (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) {10} and find out what pleases the Lord. {11} Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. {12} For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. {13} But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, {14} for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." {15} Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, {16} making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. {17} Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. {18} Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. {19} Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, {20} always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

*    (Rom 7:18 NIV)  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

*   (Col 3:5-6 NIV)  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. {6} Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

 

I have said it before and I say it again, Pogo was right. “We have found the enemy and he is us.”

 

We must give our lives to the Lord or we will lose our lives. We must rely on the Lord because, by nature, we are not reliable. We need to understand our situation and not deny our nature. When we are honest with ourselves we will recognize our need for repentance and our need for a savior. We will be able to become more of the man we want to be and should be. It’s a choice and the wrong choice could kill you.

 

I started with a quote from Charles Spurgeon. Now I will end with another quote from him.

 

I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need. Charles Haddon Spurgeon