“All flesh is as grass, and the glory of man as the flower of grass.” “Surely every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Humanism at its best is folly. When humanism creeps into the church the Body of Christ is weakened, and the glory of God declines to “the image of corruptible man”. Until we are able to see as in Psalm 119:18 & John 3:3, and realize the hopeless condition of man, our views concerning Jesus Christ and life itself will be distorted.
It is so easy to deceive ourselves and others. I’ve often wondered about the first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13. Unless a person has the gift of spiritual discernment, these loveless ‘talking tongues’, ‘mountain-movers’, and ‘generous
Martyrs’ would appear to be spiritual superstars. However, any Christ-less work or endeavor is no more than wood, hay, and stubble. Many today with ‘fair speeches’ are deceiving the hearts of the people by sprinkling the perfume of flattery upon man’s fallen nature. The Bible declares, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
Friend, do not be deceived. Every man is born once physically, and in that natural condition is outside of God’s family because of sin. (See Isaiah 59:1,2, 1 Kings 8:46, 2 Chron 6:36, Eccl 7:20, and Rom 3:10,23.)
How then does sinful man ‘get back’ to God? Does he start a religion? Reform his flesh by becoming a ‘good person’? No, God has provided a sacrificial Lamb to bridge the gap between fallen man and a Holy God. This Lamb, God Himself, became the mediator that Job cried out for. Christ’s perfect sacrifice has met the ransom price for fallen man, “especially of those that believe.” Oh, this wonderful Savior “is rich unto all that call upon Him”. That’s why John the apostle wrote, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
Admit it, life is not always a joy. There is tribulation, death, sorrow, crying, and pain. Thankfully, through rebirth – that is, the birth after the Spirit – Christ’s all-sufficient grace is with us. We must be careful as Christians to avoid the slip that I call “Christian Humanism”. The flesh of the believer is no better than the flesh of an unsaved person. This fallen nature is filthy and constantly opposed to the things of God, although it can appear extremely religious, and even holy and humble.
But the “Good News” is not that we must ‘do better’ or ‘try harder’, but simply believe in the finished work of Christ at Calvary.