Monday, January 2, 2012

Thoughts from The Plight of Man and the Power of God

Pages 113-114

Why is it that man, faced with good and evil, right and wrong, and knowing the consequences, the painful consequences, that follow wrongdoing, nevertheless chooses the wrong? And not merely ordinary or ignorant men, but all men, those who are most intellectual and cultured, those who spend their lives in considering these problems. Why is it? What explains it? Only one answer is satisfactory: that which is supplied by the gospel of Christ. Man's very nature is fallen.

Man is wrong at the centre of his being, and therefore everything is wrong. He cannot be improved, for, finally, nothing will suffice but a radical change, a new nature. Man loves the darkness and hates the light. What can be done for him? Can he change himself? Can he renew his nature? 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?' Can man change the whole bias of his life?

Give him new clothing, provide him with a new house in new surroundings, entertain him with all that is best and most elevating, educate him and train his mind, enrich his soul with frequent doses of the finest culture ever known, do all this and more, but still he will remain the same essential man, and his desires and innermost life will be unchanged. Were that not true, the world and individual man would long since have reached perfection.

Think of all the work of the philosophers and thinkers. Consider especially the titanic changes and social enactments of the past hundred years, with all the efforts at solving the problems of mankind. All these things are good and right in their way within their circumscribed limits. But the great problem is still left. Man needs a new nature. Whence can he obtain it? Again, there is but one answer, in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones