By Ernest O'Neill

The Central Problem of Mankind

Rev. Ernest O'Neill

The problem of mankind has always been the problem that is outlined in Romans 1:21: "for although they knew God" -- that wasn’t the problem, it wasn’t that they didn’t know God or know his standards -- "although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened."

The central problem of mankind has been that even though we knew what was truth we did not do it. Or the central problem is outlined even more if you look at it in Romans 7:14: "We know that the law is spiritual” -- we have no problem with that, we know it is right -- "but I am carnal, sold under sin."  I'm not like the law: "I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh.  I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it but sin which dwells within me."

Loved ones, that’s it: the central problem of mankind is that we know what is right to do but we can’t do it. And the answer to that is the Gospel. The Gospel is that God has done a work that has changed your selfish nature and has made it unselfish and that you are therefore able to obey what he has shown you to be right.