THE TRUE NATURE OF MAN
“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit,
and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.
They are in conflict with each other. . .”
In 1954 William Golding wrote “The Lord of the Flies.” It is a gripping tale about a group of English school boys who become stranded on a deserted island and have to fend for themselves. The book was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best books written in the last 80 years. It also made the American Library Association’s list of the most contested books.
Mr. Golding was a Christian writer who set out to demonstrate, in fictional form, the true character of man's heart. It was his intention to refute the prevailing wisdom that said: mankind is essentially good; the primitive is noble, it is our culture which corrupts. He believed that, at the heart of every man lays a rebellious sinful spirit. It is interesting that many Christian Schools have banned this book from their libraries because the Bible teaches us the very same thing. In the book of Genesis we read: “The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time” (Gen. 6:5). David wrote: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5) NLT. James writes of the temptation that leads to sin this way: “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. . .” (James 1:14-15). Jesus Himself said: “. . . Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man unclean . . .” (Matt. 15:19-20).
It is God’s Word, not contemporary culture, which reveals the true nature of man; man is not essentially good, in fact he is completely fallen. That seems harsh until we remember that God’s Word also reveals a loving Creator who remembers that we are dust, who is willing to seek and to save what has been lost, and who has provided a means for our sin to be covered. Friends, there is no hope to be found in the goodness of man, but an overflowing living hope can be found in the grace and the mercy of God.
Pastor Keith Andrews