About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Evil We Are
okay. I'm okay. We're all
okay, so the popular 1967 book entitled "I'm OK You're OK"
stated. (Thomas Harris MD
– New York Time best selling list from 1972 to 1974)
Are we all really okay?
Are some more okay than others?
Maybe President Obama is okay but Iran's President Ahmadinejad isn't okay. Or,
maybe Mitt Romney is okay and Barack Obama isn't okay.
How about, I'm okay and the rest of you aren't okay?
Okay, I admit, something doesn't sound okay about that one.
believe the general perception is that at the core of who we are, we're
really not all that bad. We're
actually better than okay.
We're good. We may do
some bad things from time to time, but doing bad things doesn't mean
if I told you that the heart of man, who we are at our core, is
deceitful above all things, and is beyond cure?
"Beyond cure" sounds pretty bad.
Most people these days would disagree with me in an instant.
Such a characterization would apply to people like President
Ahmadinejad, or a murderer, and other such people, but not to the
average person. Believe it
or not, this isn't my characterization.
God spoke this through His prophet Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 17:9)
in case you think Jeremiah heard God wrong, look at what Jesus told His
disciples in Matthew 7:11. "If
you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to
those who ask Him".
have often used, or should I say misused,
these words of Jesus to promote the so-called "prosperity
gospel". There's more
to what Jesus is saying here than merely satisfying our lusts for good
gifts. First of all, He was
speaking to His devoted disciples, not to murderers, not to Pharisees,
or, not even to the general public.
Part of what Jesus was saying is that His disciples were evil.
He specifically said, "if you, then, who are evil..."
Prosperity teachers tend to miss that evil people
ask for evil things, which puts a whole different slant to what kind of
things we should be asking from God. Jesus didn't say His devoted disciples
did evil things.
He said they were evil. According
to Jesus, you and I are evil, something that is seldom taught in church these days.
was also acknowledging the fact that, we being evil, can still do good
things, like giving good gifts. Therefore, just because we are capable
of doing good, doesn't mean we are good.
This is a fundamental truth of Scripture, a long standing, but
now seldom taught, doctrine of the church.
Greek word "poneros" is translated as "evil" in
Matthew 11:7. "Poneros"
means an active form of evil. It's
not a dormant evil hanging out somewhere deep in our souls doing
nothing. It's an evil that
is actively working its way out of our souls into our daily lives.
Compared to some people, you and I appear to be pretty good, but
compared to God and His standards of goodness, we are evil.
We just don't seem to get this. We're
so evil that we can't comprehend thinking we're not good. Thus, we think
we're better than what we really are.
wonder the Bible tells us to both recognize and admit to our sinful
nature, and then repent. Without
acknowledging who we really are, there can be no meaningful repentance.
Without any meaningful repentance, there is no meaningful faith.
Without any meaningful faith, there is no salvation.
With this in mind, I wonder just how many saved people there are
in what we call church these days.
of the most fundamental truths of Scripture is what theologians call the
"depravity of man". It's
the first issue to be considered when teaching the gospel of
at the core of who we are, are evil.
We're beyond any human cure.
This basic doctrine of Scripture needs to be reintroduced into
church. We're way too
influenced by the worldly philosophy of "you're okay, I'm
okay". Understanding who
we are in Biblical terms is not
as harmful to our self esteem as most think. It's
actually the first step in elevating our self esteem in a godly manor.
understanding the nature of sinful man, it's hard for me to think we can
nature of salvation, and the nature of God. Once
you begin to realize who you really are, you'll begin to appreciate Jesus more