One more tree will fall
How strong the growing vine
Turn the earth to sand
And still commit no crime
How one thought will live
Provide the others die . . .
– John Lodge
Trying to make sense of the madness around us today, we should ask what is at the root of it all. Is the anarchy evil, or actually good at its core?
The Bible (Galatians 5:22-23) describes the fruits of the Spirit (godliness) as:
On the flip side, the fruits of the sinful nature, or wickedness (Galatians 5:19-21) are:
FITS OF RAGE
We can meditate on these things and figure out the answer to today’s problems for ourselves.
The fruits of the Spirit and the fruits of wickedness showcase the two wills in the universe — the will of God and the will of the self.
Satan was the first to set his own will against the will of God. He said:
I WILL ascend to Heaven;
I WILL raise my throne above the stars of God.
I WILL sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost
heights of the sacred mountain.
I WILL ascend above the top of the clouds;
I WILL make myself like the Most High!
– Isaiah 14:13-14
In contrast, Jesus said, in the garden on the night he was betrayed:
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; Yet not my will, but Thine be done.
– Luke 22:42
Satan, or Lucifer, beautiful cherub though he may once have been (see Ezekiel 28), is only a creature, made by the very Lord he wants to destroy. He is not God. He is a Creator of nothing. Yet he thinks he deserves to be God and wants to rule the universe. He cares for no one and nothing except himself.
Jesus IS God (John 1:1). He made us (John 1:3). He has the right to rule the universe and subjugate us to his will. Yet his attitude is the opposite of Satan’s:
[Jesus] Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but rather emptied himself, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:6-8
There are only two wills in the universe. All of us are on one side or the other. There is no neutral ground. Our nature without Christ is the sin nature — rage, jealousy, hatred, envy, lust, etc. Whatever goodness we might know comes not from ourselves, but from God, whether we are believers or not:
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights.” – James 1:17
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness.” – Matthew 5:45
Once we belong to Christ, the Holy Spirit begins His work in us and we can know the joy of living in the gifts of the Spirit — Love. Joy. Peace. Kindness. Goodness. In Jesus alone is everything that our aching and dying hearts are crying out for and everything that this ugly, unhappy, violent world sorely lacks.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved . . . For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. – Romans 10:9-13