Summary: 5th in a Lenten Series on Psalm 51
Psalm 51:5 2/28/18 (Create in Me a Clean Heart #5) SINFUL AT BIRTH
A scorpion asked a beaver to take him across the river on his back. “Are you insane?” asked the beaver. “While I'm swimming you'll sting me and then I'll drown.”
“Oh, come now,” laughed the scorpion, “why would I sting you? Then I'd drown too. Come on, be logical.”
“That makes sense,” said the beaver. “Hop on and off we go.” The scorpion climbed on the beaver's back but halfway across the river he gave the poor trusting beaver a mighty sting. “Why did you do such a evil thing? You said yourself there would be no logic in your stinging me. Why did you do it?”
“Logic has nothing to do with it,” sighed the scorpion. “It's just my nature.”
Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to stay on the straight and narrow? To do good instead of evil? And on the other side, why there is such a constant pull to think or say or do something that you know you shouldn’t do? Well, if so, you’re not alone. Probably the greatest evangelist the world has ever known had the same problem. I’m not talking about Billy Graham, but the Apostle Paul. Listen again to what he said in Romans 7. We’ve looked at this many times, but look at it again with the connection to Psalm 51.
Slide: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:15–19 NIV)
Folks, those are words from somebody who had given serious thought to life and truth and the human condition, and reached the same conclusion reached by David in Psalm 51. We have a sinful nature.
Slide: Circle “Sinful Nature”
Logic has nothing to do with it. It’s not just our behavior that is sinful, it’s our nature – our sad inheritance from the rebellion of Adam and Eve. Again, as David goes deeper into his prayer of repentance, he put it this way:
Slide: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalms 51:5 NIV)
He wasn’t slandering his mother when he talked about being conceived in sin, but he is saying what the rest of Scripture also says: that he was a human being right from the moment of conception. And right from that moment he also inherited the sinful nature of our first parents. This is called “original sin”, that we inherit the sinful nature of our parents. It’s just like a genetic defect. They’ll never isolate it in the lab, but it’s there nonetheless. David is just being brutally honest about the human condition and the fact that he and we don’t just have a doing problem, we have a being problem. He’s saying, “God, forgive me, not only for my sins, but forgive me for being a sinner, for being born with a bent to sin.”
And folks, you need to understand how radical this teaching is and how important it is for how you decide to see the world. This is a huge world-view issue. For instance, this truth is denied by the very nature of evolutionary theory that teaches that human beings are just evolved animals. And every now and then, they’re honest enough to tell us about it. A number of years ago, Benn Stein in the movie “Expelled” did us all a favor by putting the evolutionist William Provine, on record for the logical conclusions of evolution. I’ve shown it before, but it bears repeating:
Slide: Will Provine clip from Expelled
It still sounds shocking today, doesn’t it? But as I said, at least he’s honest about what an evolutionary worldview means. If humans are just products of evolution, then we certainly are not sinful. In fact, nothing is sinful. Nothing is wrong – or right – “no ultimate foundation for ethics, no meaning to life and no freewill.” According to evolutionists, we don’t even really make choices. We’re just “dancing to our DNA” as Richard Dawkins likes to put it. And if we are nothing more than highly evolved animals, then what happens in our brains is nothing more than chemical reactions. You can’t hold somebody accountable for chemical reactions in their brains – after all, you don’t blame a lion for attacking and killing a zebra or an eagle for snatching up a trout. Why blame humans when they do something similar? And yet we do, don’t we, and we know instinctively that we should. We know that you can’t run a society without having a foundation for ethics. We know for instance, that you can’t let a Dr. Larry Nassar roam free to abuse our little girls, right? (more on that in Sunday’s message). But I hope that you can see how important it is that we duke it out with this worldview, and that we teach our children to do so. Because that’s the worldview that was adopted by Hitler, by Stalin, by Mao and many other dictators whose policies simply reflected their beliefs. That’s one of the reasons that we’re going to start the Answers Bible Curriculum for all grades and for the Adults starting this Sunday. We are determined to lay down a solid foundation for the next generation to stand strong on the word of God, our number one core value here at Grace.