A letter to the editor of our local daily newspaper begins with this question: “What if God, creator of the universe and each individual in it, loves us just the way we are?”
Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Sounds loving and accepting doesn’t it? But if that is so then why reveal himself to us through prophets and apostles to tell us that we are in trouble. Why come in Jesus Christ to suffer and die on the cross for our sins? God doesn’t love us as we are. God loves us so much that he doesn’t leave us as we are but seeks to redeem us and transform us into his image. None of us should want to remain the way we are. Salvation is a process of becoming what we shall be in Christ. We don’t take the human condition seriously unless we face up to the fact that we are all sinners in need of salvation.
Emil Brunner wrote,
“A man who has not yet perceived that evil is entwined with the very roots of his personality is a superficial person….. Knowledge of sin – genuine horror of sin – is the presupposition of faith in the Mediator. So long as we do not notice this, so long as we think that we have no need of a Mediator, so long are we are embedded in the self-assurance of the pride of human reason. We still believe – however rent and seamed the surface of our life may be – that the underlying depths of our existence are untouched, that they are still united with God. So long as we do not see the need for divine intervention we reject every assertion of such an intervention…Only when a man finds all ways of escape barred does he believe. Knowledge of sin, in this universal sense, is the presupposition of faith.
(Emil Brunner, The Mediator pp.150-151)