“There is none righteous, no, not one:” is a sentiment that is not felt by everyone in our modern, secular, humanistic culture. This unpopular view of mankind is seen by many as abrasive and unloving. But the fact of the matter is, there truly is no more loving view point. You see, this is a key ingredient of the gospel. Namely, man is desperate and without any hope. He must fully rely on the saving work of another, because there is nothing that he can do about his lost position. This lack of righteousness leaves us in an eternally dangerous position under the wrath and judgment of Holy God.
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.”-Gal. 4 “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Rom. 5 You see, the work of Jesus is completely of no effect if we don’t need His help. If we are all “pretty good,” then we would never need Jesus to die for us. But the prophet Isaiah corrects us our self-righteous misconception by indicating that even many of the good things that we accomplish are “as filthy rags.” We are not inherently good enough, and the majority of the best things that we can possibly come up with are like dirty old puss-filled rags. That is a pretty desperate situation. Of course we need Jesus.
Food for Thought: Read Romans 3:9-20. Pick one of the phrases that describe man’s depravity and explain it in your own words.