In my post Christians, Internet and Fruit of the Spirit I mentioned that there were some Christians that were distinguishing the wicked versus the righteous incorrectly. The position taken was that the wicked were those that were not deserving of prayers of salvation. The mistake is that the view is that the wicked are those that are committing acts of depravity or wickedness. It certainly is true that there are exceedingly wicked acts that we read and hear about in our society. Who are the wicked as opposed to the righteous?
The first instance in the Word of God that the word “wicked” is found is in Genesis 13:13 “Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.” Strong’s defines it as bad morally or naturally. We tend to look at wicked in a different sense in that a wicked person is one who commits exceedingly evil acts. We may look at a person who lies not really wicked but doing something wrong whereas a wicked person is one who commits a depraved act such as cold blooded murderer. The question really is this the view that God takes? Who does He see as wicked and who does He see as righteous.
The Hebrew word “rah” which is translated to “wicked” in Genesis 13:13 has several shades of meaning. It is also translated as evil, bad, hurt, pleased not, harm, sadly, ill favored, sorrow, etc.
Matthew 12:34 is speaks to this.
What comes out of the mouth of man is already in the heart. Acts of sin comes from the same evil heart.
Matthew 15:17-20 confirms this and it is very clear.
Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:17-20 (ESV)
A person is already defiled before committing any particular act. Changing an evil heart is impossible. Matthew 7:18 states that “a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Matthew 15:17-20 is not making a distinction to acts people commit. It is simply stating that mankind is defiled for the heart of man produces evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. It is because of the evil heart of man that man will commit evil acts.
There is no one that is good. (Psalm 14:3, Mark 10:18). There is no one that is righteous (Romans 3:10)
If mankind is categorized by God in such a light, who are the righteous? Noah was the first person that God declared righteous.
Noah walked with God.
Abraham believed the Lord.
The righteous are those that put their faith in God. The righteous are the Redeemed children of God whom the Father gave to Jesus. They are the saved. The saints of the Old Testament and the saints of the New Testament who put their faith in Christ.
There are two sets of people, the righteous and the wicked. Wicked has different shades in the Word of God but all of mankind is wicked. That is the nature of man’s heart. The righteous are not righteous because anything of themselves; the righteous are righteous because of the finished work of Christ. The righteous in the Old Testament looked towards the cross. It is all of God and not of ourselves.
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