The common perception of society in the UK is that people are basically good, but that nobody is perfect and that being good only needs a bit more effort.
However, Christianity takes a very different view.
Psalm 53:3 says “Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no-one who does good, not even one” and in Psalm 51:5 David says “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Jesus, in Matthew 19:17 says “There is only One who is good”.
God’s standard is perfection, but we do not miss the mark by just a little bit, our whole lives are permeated with wrong thoughts, motives, attitudes, not to mention deeds.
The problem is that if you only sinned once, the sin spreads rapidly like an aggressive viral infection that you can never get rid of.
In a number of places in the Bible, yeast is used as a metaphor for sin, and Jesus talks about it spreading through the whole batch of dough. In Roman’s chapters 6 and 7, Paul talks about us being “slaves to sin”.
The amazing thing about Christianity, is that Jesus came to rescue us from this slavery, by making it possible for us to be forgiven.
As Paul points out, our earthly bodies (and hearts and minds) are still being pulled in the wrong direction, but because we have been forgiven, the Holy Spirit is within us, giving us a new desire to do what God wants.
The very first and hardest step is recognising that “I am bad”, that I am helpless to do anything about it, and humbling myself enough to start trusting Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.
This forgiveness is completely and utterly free, and you can depend on it with your life. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.