Are humans good or evil?

Are humans:

  1. basically evil people who may do good things?
  2. basically good people who may do evil things?

The Bible really doesn’t leave any wiggle room on this.

Humans are born evil and sinful at our core, though we may do some relatively “good” things.

Consider:

  • Genesis 6:5 – “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”
  • Job 42:5-6 – “My ears had heard of you / but now my eyes have seen you. / Therefore I despise myself / and repent in dust and ashes.
  • Psalm 16:2 – “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; / apart from you I have no good thing.’
  • Psalm 51:5 – “Surely I was sinful at birth, / sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
  • Proverbs 22:15 – “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, / but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.
  • Isaiah 6:5 (after seeing God) – “‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’
  • Matt. 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!
  • Luke 5:8 – “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’
  • Luke 11:13 – “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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
  • Luke 13:1-5
  • Romans 3:10-20
  • Romans 7:14-25

After saying all this, consider Romans 5:8:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This is truly–truly–good news.

In fact, the more we see our sinfulness, and understand that God forgave it through Christ’s sacrifice, the more we will love God. And, on the flip side, those who think they are essentially good are not capable of loving God as He desires (Luke 7:47).

–Brian

 

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