The Source of the Problem

In Daily Devotional by Greg Ogden

Theme of the Week: What’s Wrong With The World? I Am

Bible Verse: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” Romans 5:12

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:12-18

It has been said that the Christian faith makes no sense unless you start with the assumption that there is something drastically wrong. Can anyone deny that there is something insidious at work in this world? The Bible places the problem for the ills of humanity not on a societal flaw but in a character defect in the heart of every individual.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn spent eight years in a Soviet gulag following World War II. He entered prison a die-hard communist, believing that a new social order could create new people. But it was in prison that he discovered that the core issue was not the economic or government system. Solzhenitsyn writes:

It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually, it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes, not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.1

The first five verses of Genesis 3 reveal the core of the human problem—us. In this account, humans turn away from their Creator, giving up their idyllic state of innocence, their perfect fellowship with God in a lavish garden where all their needs and wants were abundantly supplied.

God had given these humans a risky gift—freedom of choice. Without the ability to choose, humans would be robots. Without choice, there is no love. Without freedom, love is a preprogrammed response. Love cannot be forced; it must be chosen.

God honored us by giving us the risky gift of freedom as a necessary condition for love.

1 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956 (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), p. 612.

From Discipleship Essentials (Revised and Expanded) by Greg Ogden. Copyright (c) 1998, 2007, 2018 by Greg Ogden. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. ivpress.com, ivpress.com/discipleship-essentials


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About
Greg Ogden
Greg Ogden is the author of several books such as Discipleship Essentials, Transforming Discipleship, Leadership Essentials, and The Essential Commandment. He is a principle partner in the Global Discipleship Initiative (GDI), which trains, coaches, and inspires pastors and Christian leaders to establish indigenous, multiplying, disciplemaking networks, both nationally and internationally.
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Greg Ogden
Greg Ogden is the author of several books such as Discipleship Essentials, Transforming Discipleship, Leadership Essentials, and The Essential Commandment. He is a principle partner in the Global Discipleship Initiative (GDI), which trains, coaches, and inspires pastors and Christian leaders to establish indigenous, multiplying, disciplemaking networks, both nationally and internationally.