This is a broad subject, & a glimpse at humanism could shed some light. That is a focus on the attitudes & interests of man or mankind; having the qualities of a man. And it can imply godless characteristics such as egotism, arrogance, irreverence, sacrilege, self-dignity, vanity, stateliness, etc. This Gospel-note seeks to present a few common Human Nature traits to ponder:
-- Human Nature says, “Me first.” At what age does this begin? How about 1 minute old . . .
-- H.N. says, “My dog (or anything of mine for that matter) is better than yours.”
-- H.N. is contrary & says, “Anything YOU like (or value, respect, cherish) I (or WE) DON’T.”
-- H.N. justifies itself & says, “I’m O.K., but YOU are NOT O.K.”
-- H.N. typically lies its way out of any kind of trouble from the beginning of time.
-- H.N. loves to complain & disagree. Thousands of years ago Moses ran into this with the early Israelites. He said to God something like this, “kill me at once, I can’t deal with these people . . .” Numbers 11:10 – 15
-- H.N. likes power for itself, & dominating others (the more the merrier) is just a bonus. The Book says, “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you . . .” Acts 1:8 This is a God approved kind of power.
-- H.N. typically has a weak (or dead) conscience. A Jewish Rabbi I admire wrote “Human Nature rarely condemns what we really want.” Daniel Lapin. Consider the religious Pharisees & Sadducees that condemned Christ, also things like the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazi Holocaust, then today we have Islamic fundamentalist murder & mayhem.
-- H.N. moves in on the benefactor or potential customer w/lots of charm & personality. But after getting what it wants there’s indifference, distance, & typically no reciprocation – see Amnon & Tamar 2 Samuel 13.
-- Philosophically H.N. says, “I AM”. I AM was a primary revelation of God’s character to Moses about 3500 years ago. Exodus 3:14 For man to go with “I AM” is a pride trip & amounts to horrible rebellion. See link 45.
Well, most theologians strongly agree that Human Nature (and humanism) clearly proved its darkness when man’s religious & political systems condemned & executed the Messiah Jesus Christ, who was God in the flesh visiting His planet. And it’s a sure thing that we are in trouble with God, & need the Divine ointments of regeneration, justification, grace, etc. (see link 119 “Meat In The Soup”). Now the Virgin Birth of J.C. is an essential doctrine of Biblical Christianity. It means that Christ can (and did) change humanity for the better precisely because He was 100% SHORT of man’s Nature. I was told recently by a liberal Catholic nun that “Jesus was just a man!” But how could He visit this planet & improve Human Nature (and the world) if He was “just a man”?? And how could he infuse into “whosoever will” the contrasting traits of meekness, modesty, courtesy, ambition, spirituality, healing, righteousness, faith, holiness, humility, etc. if He was “just a man”?? Here’s a few refs. from The Book on the NATURE of “the first man” Adam who represents our fallen race, & the NATURE of “the second man” Jesus Christ who represents HOPE:
-- Ecclesiastes 9:3b “The hearts of men are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead." (Adam)
-- Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” (Adam)
-- 1 Corinthians 15:47-49 “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall (let us) also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
-- Romans 12:2 “Be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Human Nature is truly a bucket of slime, & God clearly condemns it in Scripture. The things fallen human nature needs most to elevate it are BIBLICAL TRUTH and FAITH. We can choose to embrace H.N. – OR – we can choose God’s FAITH solution. That is accepting Christ’s free salvation, then cultivating that relationship. See “Serving God”, link 9. When we allow Christ to regenerate & transform us, a new life & nature truly begins. “O ye who would enter the glorious rest, And sing with the ransomed the song of the blest, The life everlasting, if ye would obtain, ye must be born again.” Anon. Choose Jesus & His Nature. They are alive and well, in spite of hell, and Human Nature. See also "Religious Human Nature" link 183.
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net – Link 1 is Index * * F. J. Stone * *