Nearly 11 years ago, we adopted Parker the Wonderdog when he was just a three-month-old puppy. As it turns out, he is a natural-born hunter. If you’re a bug, mouse, possum or rabbit, I don’t recommend hanging out in our back yard, because Parker will chase you, and there’s a good chance that he’ll catch you. One time, I even saw him snatch a low-flying bird out of mid-air. (No joke. It was awesome.)
Nobody ever taught Parker to hunt. Before he ever saw his first prey, he had no idea he was a hunter. But the first time a rabbit crossed his path, his body and instincts — his flesh — took over, and the hunt was on.
As humans, we are also born with a certain nature. Unfortunately, it isn’t anything cool, like super-rad hunting skills. We are born with a nature of sinfulness.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
— Psalm 51:5 (NIV)
We are all natural-born sinners. We can’t help it any more than Parker the Wonderdog can help chasing after a trespassing rabbit. And, for each of us, our sinfulness has a consequence: death, in the form of eternal separation from God.
Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,
and His ear is not too deaf to hear.
But your iniquities have built barriers
between you and your God,
and your sins have made Him hide His face from you
so that He does not listen.
— Isaiah 59:1–2 (HCSB)
You were once dead because of your failures and sins.
— Ephesians 2:1 (GW)
From the get-go, we are all dead men (and women) walking. Some people may have read or heard passages from the Bible and know that they’re dead. Some may have a vague idea that something’s not right in their lives. But many people have no idea that they’re dead.
Even so, as clear as the Bible is about our sinful nature and its consequence, the Scriptures are equally clear that God has provided a rescue.
The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 6:23 (GW)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
— 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
— Romans 8:1–2 (NIV)
If you have accepted salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, take a moment to thank God for this profound gift. However, if you do not yet know Jesus, I pray that you come to understand that you were born with an eternal death sentence, but God loves you and has provided a pardon if you’ll take it.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
— John 3:16 (ESV)