About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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The Human Condition


Contrary to our thinking and in no uncertain words Jeremiah 17:9 portrays how God views the human condition, and it does not look pretty.  The verse reads:       


"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"


By virtue of the fact that God created humankind, He knows the human condition better than we do, and He says that at the core of who we are is deceitfulness.  We are so deceitful, so depraved, that there is no human cure.  Besides that, we are clueless to know how depraved we really are.    


The Hebrew word "aqob" that is translated as "deceitful" in Jeremiah 17:9 is rooted in a Hebrew word that is in reference to a hill, a knoll, or some kind of rising up.  In theological terms, you might say that deceit is the rising up of our sinful nature that creates our ever-present cultural conflicts.   


God's view of the human condition has not changed in these New Testament times.  The apostle Paul confirmed Jeremiah's words.  Paul, more than anyone reading this article, was a man of God.  Look at how he described himself in Romans 7:24.


"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?"


Paul viewed his very essence to be wretched, depraved beyond any human cure.  It's also how Jesus viewed the believers in Laodicea , as seen in Revelation 3:17.   Nothing has changed in this New Testament era.  We, Christians included, are so depraved that we have no clue to know how depraved we are.  This Biblical truth is the most fundamental fact we must know about our human condition.  Any theological or philosophical concept of the human condition not built upon this premise is Biblically faulty.  It will eventually produce a prideful arrogance that is destructive to all human relationships.     


This does not paint a pretty picture of humanity, and we certainly don't need a few Bible verses to paint that pathetic picture.  History, including present events, proves this portrayal to be our reality.  The good news in the midst of this mess is what Paul wrote in Romans 8:1, which reads:


"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,"


Those of us who are valid born-again-of-the-Spirit Christians will not suffer any form of condemnation by the Supreme Universal Judge.  For that, we are thankful.           


To the degree, then, we understand our individual depravity will be the degree to which we will appreciate God's grace, mature as Christians, and relinquish the destructive prideful arrogance from our lives that is presently causing much of our cultural conflicts. 



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