(An excerpt taken from: “God’s Way of Peace”)
God’s testimony concerning man is, that he is a sinner. He bears witness against him, not for him, and testifies that “there is none righteous, no, not one;” that there is “none that doeth good;” none “that understandeth;” none that even seeketh after God, and still more none that love him. God speaks of man kindly, but severely; as one yearning over a lost child, yet as one who will make no terms with sin, and will “by no means clear the guilty.” He declares man to be a lost one, a stray one, a rebel, and a “hater of God;” not a sinner occasionally, but a sinner always; not a sinner in part, with many good things about him; but wholly a sinner, with no compensating goodness; evil in heart as well as in life, “dead in trespasses and sins;” an evil doer, and therefore under condemnation.
Man has fallen! Not this man or that man, but the whole race. In Adam all have sinned; in Adam all have died. It is not that a few leaves have faded or have been shaken down, but the tree has become corrupt both root and branch. Each man as he is born into this world, a son of man, a fragment of humanity, a unit in Adam’s fallen body, – is “corrupt.” He not only brings forth sin, but he carries it about with him, as his second self; yes, he is a “body” or mass of sin, a “body of death,” subject not to the law of God, but to “the law of sin.”
The outer life of a man is not the man, just as the paint on a piece of timber is not the timber, and as the green moss upon the hard rock is not the rock itself. The picture of a man is not the man; it is but a skillful arrangement of colors which look like the man. The man that loves God with all his heart is in a right state; the man that does not love him is in a wrong one. He is a sinner; because his heart is not right with God. He may think his life good, and others may think the same; but God counts him guilty, worthy of death and hell. His outward good cannot make up for the inward evil.