We human beings have both a unique dignity as creatures made in God’s image and a unique depravity as sinners under his judgment.  The former gives us hope; the latter places a limit on our expectations.  Our Christian critique of the secular mind is that it tends to be either too naively optimistic or too negatively pessimistic in its estimates of the human condition, whereas the Christian mind, firmly rooted in biblical realism, both celebrates the glory and deplores the shame of our human being.  We can behave like God in whose image we are made, only to descend to the level of the beasts.  We are able to think, choose, create, love, and worship, but also to refuse to think, to choose evil, to destroy, to hate, and to worship ourselves.  We build churches and drop bombs.  We develop intensive care units for the critically ill and use the same technology to torture political enemies who presume to disagree with us.  This is ‘man,’ a strange bewildering paradox, dust of earth and breath of God, shame and glory.
We have two options: (1) We can choose to live as victims of our depravity, for “evil is present in me.” Or (2) We can choose to live as victors through the power of Jesus Christ. Let me encourage you to live as a victor through the power of Jesus Christ.  Start by coming to the cross, by faith.  Ask Christ to come into your life.  Then as you face evil, as you come across it, as it rears its head in temptation, claim the power of God that Christ offers, now that He’s living within you. You can say, “Lord, right now, at this moment, I am weak.  You’re strong.  By Your strength I’m stepping away from this evil, and Your power is going to give me the grace to get through it victoriously.  Take charge right now.”  And walk away. Stand firm!

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