“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12, ESV)
We do not use the word “wickedness” much anymore. Surprisingly, we do not even say much about it in church. We do talk about love a lot and the love of Christ is truly something worth talking about. I am afraid sometimes, however, that the love we are so glibly speaking of denies the genuine necessity of forgiveness and salvation from sin. Wickedness is a serious matter to God.
Roger R. Nicole speaks of Christ’s view of human evil in his lecture titled, “The Doctrines of Grace in Jesus’ Teaching.” This lecture may be read in the book, Our Sovereign God: Addresses Presented to the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, James M. Boice, editor.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, with all the concern, compassion and love which he showed to mankind, made some very vivid portrayals of man’s condition. He did not mince words about the gravity of human sin. He talked of man as salt that has lost its savor (Matt. 5:13) . . . as a corrupt tree which is bound to produce corrupt fruit (Matt. 7:7) . . . as being evil (Luke 11:13) . . . an “evil and adulterous generation (Matt. 12:39) . . . out of the heart proceed murders, adulteries, evil thoughts and things of that kind (Mark 7:21-23). . . .
He saw in man an unwillingness to respond to grace – “You will not come to God” (John 5:40), “You have not the love of God” (v. 42), “You receive me not” (v. 43), “You believe not” (v. 47) . . . “The world’s works are evil” (John 7:7); “None of you keeps the law” (v. 19). “You shall die in your sins,” he says (John 8:21). “You are from beneath” (v. 23); “Your father is the devil, who is a murderer and a liar” (vv. 38, 44); “You are not of God” (v. 47). . . .
The people who were most readily received by the Lord were those who . . . did not come to him with a sense of the sufficiency of their performance. The people he received were those who came broken-hearted and bruised with the sense of their inadequacy.
We preach and teach the love of Christ through the Word of God. The Holy Spirit uses preaching and teaching to save the wicked from their sins and sanctify the Christian believer. Without the grace of God, you and I are not OK. Without God’s grace, we are doomed to a life of selfish wickedness and an eternity in hell. Our need for forgiveness and grace should be admitted with humility. Repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ to escape the wrath to come.