Human beings have to face each other every day. We seem to be made for relationship. Indeed the bible says that fellowship is an integral part of the ecclesia. But relationships are fraught with difficulties and problems. Philosophers have admitted that it is very difficult for human beings to get along. Thomas Hobbes is quoted as saying that the life is one of a war between men. And that the consequences are that life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short! Man is inherently a selfish creature, prone to choose evil.
A recent study by Prof. Paul Bloom of Yale University seems to confirm that the knowledge of good and evil is hardwired into babies from the time they are born. These are conclusions based on observable phenomena. Of course, our parents knew this form day one! And of course the Bible has been clear that man is born with a sinful nature.
No wonder man is always in rebellion against God. Yet God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son (John 3:16) to redeem us and give us eternal life. There is no other worldview or religious teaching that suggests that man is sinful from birth. Against all evidence, all other major religions believe in the basic goodness of man, and that the problems of this world are due to ignorance.
Hundreds of years before Christ, God revealed His heart for His people to Jeremiah – addressing Israel, God’s chosen people. The people of Israel were rebellious and disobedient. They had tasted so many blessings from God but as per human nature, could not acknowledge and submit to God. They had to run after things of their own heart. Like all men, selfishness was the order of the day.
- God is merciful. Despite all the rebellion and idolatry, He asserts that He is merciful. (v. 12). Do you know His mercy? Do you really His grace? That is the essence of John 3:16. The reality of the Cross – where God gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins – this is the reality that we should live in. Knowing what Jesus has done, frees us from the slavery of sin. A life under the Cross helps us know that we are forgiven and that is a liberating truth.
- It is a personal choice (v. 14). God takes us “one from a city, two from a family”. Have you decided to follow Jesus? If not, why not? Ask God to reveal Himself to you and be open to the truth of the Gospel. If you have made the choice, then live in the truth that you need to crucify your flesh daily and live your life by faith in Jesus (Gal 2:20).
- He superintends us. He calls Himself our “Father”. (v. 19). It immediately impacts our life and our actions. It impacts our response to circumstances – because we can bring anything to Him. This is the practical aspect of our faith. If you are not experiencing this reality to the fullest, talk to your pastor or godly friend.
Dr Joshua Thambiraj accepted Jesus as Saviour in medical school. He has a passion for preaching and teaching, and to share God’s word with those who do not know Christ. He holds a postgraduate theology degree and was ordained in 2002 and consecrated bishop in 2009 . He blogs at the Sword and Scalpel Reflections.