Aren’t We Inherently Good?

This is the first part of an article I wrote on the “Satisfaction Through Christ” blog on October 4, 2016. To finish reading, click the link at the bottom of the post.

When you look into a sweet baby’s eyes it’s hard to think of that baby as a sinner. When you look at yourself, you know your good intentions and you know the justifications for your own sins. It’s tempting to think the baby is good. It’s tempting to think we are good; that we aren’t “bad” people, committing “those” sins. We think we would likely choose the “good” choice the majority of time.

It might be tempting to think that humankind is usually basically inherently “good.” I know people who believe this.

This belief, or partial belief, of the basic goodness of humanity is called Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism.

The problem is that it contradicts the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word which lays out the total depravity of humanity. We are imperfect, unholy, corrupt sinners from conception. (Psalm 51:5) We don’t even have to do anything or a specific “sin.” In this fallen world, we just are sinners. Sin is as much in our heart attitudes, such as our innate desire to put ourselves first, as it is in actions.

Even a cursory reading of the Old Testament will show over and over how humans – the Israelites, who were God’s chosen people – would try to “straighten up” for short times, usually due to God’s anger against them, but would inevitably drift back into rebellion. Many times they would even go beyond what was before, into worse treachery.

That pattern has played out in modern history, and has probably proved true in our own lives.

<Click here to finish reading this article.>

Keep reading your Bible!