14 Jun No Real Peace Unless Root Problem Is Solved
COVID-19 does not only bring health-related issues, but it has also greatly paralyzed many people’s livelihood, such that many are looking forward to reopen businesses, secure new jobs or just to maintain a steady source of income. The root problem to these livelihood issues is not so much because of social distancing policies, etc, but because there is no real solution to counter the threat of COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, multiple measures have been implemented to contain its spread. Yet, unless an antidote (in the form of vaccine or cure) is available, despite other measures showing some effect, the problem is never truly solved and life cannot really get back to pre-COVID normal days. Even if businesses or travel are allowed to resume again, there is never true peace of mind, due to fear of new waves of infection arising again. Even as the COVID situation starts to improve, the terror of sickness, deaths and strained healthcare systems relating to the initial waves of infection still makes countries wary of full resumption of activities. Yet, if such threats of the virus persist, the global economy will suffer badly, and the world cannot remain paralyzed endlessly. That is why many people are hoping for a vaccine to be developed soon. Why? Because it can tackle the coronavirus at its roots, such that the virus will no longer be a threat, even if it lingers around. Without a COVID-19 vaccine or cure, all other measures are merely scratching the surface of the problem. As with any other problem, it is not enough to only treat the symptoms, but we have to fix the problem at its root.
Similar to the pandemic, the human problem also has to be resolved at its root.
This is the same with the plight of mankind. We may have felt that our problems are marital, financial, health, psychological, interpersonal relationship issues, etc., because those are what we can feel, see and observe consciously.
The root of all human problems is sin.
<Romans 3:23> for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The sin that the Bible mentions is not just outward observable moral sins, but it is about the sinful nature that all men is born with. Since the fall of the first man, Adam, every human is born with a sinful nature. This is the inclination to deny that God is God, and claim that, “I want to be my own master, I know what is the best, I won’t submit to God, I have the power to fight for my own happiness.” Yet, the truth is, man is created to live in submission to God, just as fish is designed to live in water by nature. Only when man abides in God, can he be most blissful.
Consequences of sin.
But when man drifts from God and disobeys Him, man then becomes separated from God’s wisdom, guidance, protection; and that is the beginning of all other problems. When man cannot see or hear God, he lacks the assurance of God’s provision, and livelihood and finances will be a major burden to him; he will also naturally be swarmed by all kinds of worries; as worries multiply, it may lead to health issues. Moreover, when man is separated from God – the source of goodness, man no longer know how to do good works perfectly. He is also powerless to resist temptations and the work of the devil. And when man has no place for God in his heart, he will start to commit more moral sins as there is no fear for God and His punishment. As man continues to live in sin and feelings of accusations, his relationship with others will soon break down, due to mutual blaming. Most scary of all, sin will ultimately lead to death. <Romans 6:23> tells us, For the wages of sin is death.
If the root problem of sin is not dealt with…
Tackling other problems at the surface may provide relief, but not full remedy.
As mentioned, health, financial, emotional, social, family problems, etc., are merely outward expressions of the true inner problem, which is sin. While medicine, money, counselling, psychology, etc., may provide some form of relief to human problems, these are not the real solution to fix the root problem. Just as social distancing policies may help to ease the COVID-19 situation a bit, but they are not lasting solution to fix the root problem. Without an antidote for COVID-19, countries can resume some forms of activities, but not to its optimal level. Likewise, if the root problem of sin is not resolved, humans may still be able to function, go around their daily activities, enjoy temporal joys on earth, etc., but if human sin remains unforgiven, humans cannot enjoy the full joy God has in store for mankind. Instead, they will still need to face the consequences of sin one day. Fixing other superficial human problems cannot resolve the problem of having to face the consequences of sin, which is eternal death and punishment.
Man cannot resolve his root problem by himself.
No matter how much humans try, we cannot reach God’s standard of righteousness to be saved by our own merits. And because no human is without sin, the idea of using good works to save ourselves is a fallacy. Just as a person who keeps all other laws but violates only one still has to be punished by law, and a doctor may have saved 100 lives but if he kills even one person, he has to be punished for that, so we cannot say that because we have done ‘x’ number of good deeds, so we need not be punished for our sins. If there is even one sin remaining in us, we have to bear the consequences of sin. Furthermore, how much good works can we do to meet God’s standards? Sometimes, we may think we are considerably good in comparison to our fellow men. Yet, being better than others does not mean we are good enough. In fact, many a times, even if we know what is good, we are unable to carry it out, due to our sinful nature. For example, we know it is good to sacrifice, yet we tend to be selfish; we know it is good to be contented but we tend to be greedy, etc. Would any man be able to accumulate enough good deeds to qualify for salvation?
Jesus can solve the root problem of sin.
<Romans 3:24> and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
<Romans 6:23> For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The ultimate solution to sin is to be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. Since we ourselves cannot atone for our own sin, Jesus paid the penalty of death on our behalf, and He also conquered the death which all men fear. Thus, when a person is willing to humbly accept the love and redemption of Jesus, God will forgive all his sins. From then on, this person is given the privilege to be a child of God; he is born again and the Holy Spirit lives in him. With this new relationship and power from God, he can then have the ability to start living a holy and joyful life.
The gospel is the remedy to man’s problems. It’s a chain effect. When we are reconciled to God, our spirit finds peace, we receive love and learn how to love, thus our relationships with others can improve, our worries will also be better managed, and we can find healing in many areas of our lives. Even though we may still face real struggles in this world, our hope as a child of God is in the assurance of our future destination – our heavenly home, where all problems will truly end forever.
Dear friends, if we understand our root problem wrongly, we will miss the true solution, and go on a wild goose chase. No matter how capable man is, we cannot resolve our root problem on our own, Jesus is the only answer to our problem of sin. So let us all turn to Jesus today, and find the key to true peace, freedom, joy and meaning of life!