Counseling, mood-altering drugs, psychosurgery, and other forms of therapy are often needed and are helpful in curing people of emotional disorders. But these treatments can’t make them good. Charles Colson tells of a frustrated prison psychiatrist who exclaimed, “I can cure a person’s madness, but not his badness.” To do that calls for getting to the heart of the problem – sin.
The only way to make bad people good is to expose them to the gospel. Even Charles Darwin, the man who contributed so much to evolutionistic thinking, admitted this. He wrote to a minister: “Your services have done more for our village in a few months than all our efforts for many years. We have never been able to reclaim a single drunkard, but through your services I do not know that there is a drunkard in the village!” Later Darwin visited the island of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. What he found among the people was horrifying – savagery and bestiality almost beyond description. But when he returned after a missionary had worked among the people, he was amazed at the change in them. He acknowledged that the gospel does transform lives. In fact, he was so moved by what he saw that he contributed money to the mission until his death.
Today’s text reminds us that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross not only paid sin’s penalty but also broke its power. The apostle Paul, listing some terrible sins, wrote to the Christians in Corinth, “… such were some of you; but ye are washed.” Praise God! Jesus does make bad people good. – Herbert Vander Lugt
Heavy is the load of guilt
That sinners have to bear;
Light and easy is the yoke
That Jesus wants to share. – D. J. De Haan
God formed us; sin deformed us; Christ transforms us.
- January 25, 1985, Our Daily Bread