There are three very common beliefs that ruin Christianity. These are some very basic things that you hear almost daily. You might even believe them yourself. We want to believe them. They have a way of making us feel better about ourselves. The problem is, that if these things are true, then Christianity is ruined.
If these things are true then the Bible is false.
I introduce the three common beliefs in the first part of this series.
The second part discusses the common belief that God is a tolerant God. Spoiler alert: He’s not tolerant at all. He’s holy.
Now in part three I want to turn our attention to the second common belief.
In the video I’ve been sharing we asked some folks who were hanging out on Fountain Square in Cincinnati…
Listen to their answers beginning at about 2:31…
For the most part, except for that one smart-aleck guy, these folks think that people are basically good. We all want to believe that, don’t we? We would like to think that if you peel away all the bluster, pride, selfishness, violence, lust, and … well, um … evil … that at our core we are a good person.
But that doesn’t square with scripture, and, if we’re honest, it doesn’t square with our experience.
People are not basically good. People are sinful.
In Romans 3 Paul quotes two different places in the Psalms when he says “There is no one righteous, not even one, …they have all turned away, …there is no one who does good, not even one.” (vs. 11&12) Then he goes on to say “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (vs. 23)
Yes, there are likely people whose sins are more heinous than ours. It’s true that we’re not as bad as we could be. We all could probably sin more than we actually do, but that doesn’t mean we’re good. Just because we might not be as bad as someone else doesn’t mean we’re good enough to stand in the presence of the Holy God.
Remember that? He’s holy. Not tolerant. It all hangs together.
This doesn’t really sound beautiful for us, does it? In fact, so far it sounds pretty bleak. God is perfectly holy and cannot tolerate sin, and we’re perfectly sinful and are powerless to be holy. And yet, holiness is exactly what God expects from us, and wants for us.
How does this make the gospel more beautiful?
See, here’s the thing: You can’t truly appreciate the beauty of the gospel, God’s good news for humans, if you start with a less than holy image of God. And you can’t truly comprehend the amazing thing that has been done for us if you think you’re really not all that bad.
Trust me, you’re bad. And so am I.
This is why the gospel is beautifully good news.
But there’s one more common belief we need to address…
Go here for part 4.