“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” (Romans 3:10–11, KJV 1900)
Have you ever considered what happened in the Garden of Eden? In Genesis we read that “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27, KJV 1900). When Adam and Eve sinned against the command of God, something devastating happened. To understand it, we need to understand something about what it meant to be created in the likeness of God.
Here are three thoughts. First, man was created in a moral likeness, meaning that he was made like God in both holiness and righteousness. Second, man was created with a mental likeness, having the ability to comprehend truth and make correct choices. Third, God created man with a social likeness, to desire and enjoy a pure relationship with God and fellow man.
Then sin entered the world and corrupted man. His likeness to God was also corrupted in several ways. Paul describes this corruption in Romans chapter three. In verses ten through eleven, we see three things about this corruption. Sin corrupted man’s moral likeness so he lost holiness and righteousness, and became driven by fleshly and unrighteous desires. Sin corrupted man’s mental capacity so that he lost his ability to understand the truth of God and thus would not respond to it. Sin corrupted man’s relational capacity so that he would not seek for God.
The good news is that God, by His grace alone has moved to renew man, to change the effects of sin, changing the very nature of those who would believe. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, that is the new birth. In this work man is transformed, being counted as righteous and now having a desire for the righteousness of God, an ability to understand the truth of God, and a desire for a relationship with Him.
You and I who truly believe have been reborn by the Spirit and see things completely different than before. We should praise Him because He has begun this good work in us and he will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).