Description: God destroyed our evil nature in Jesus' death
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
Destruction of the Evil Nature
by Ernest O’Neill
We’re talking on this program about the double nature that most of us have experienced in our present lives.
That is, we have a good side to our personalities, but we seem to have this evil side that seems to rise from
time to time. We like to think that it’s from time to time, except that as the years pass by it seems to
become more frequent.
You may say, “Oh, no. I’m getting more control of it!” We get clever at repressing it. Repression is, of
course, unconscious suppression. We get better at repressing it, but from time to time, it bursts out and we
find our temper and anger worse than ever it was before. Some of us find our unclean thoughts of lust stronger
than we ever experienced before. Some of us find our sarcasm and our caustic comments more vicious than we
ever knew them to be before.
So, that evil nature is something that, even though it appears to be tamed a little more, it’s simply
repressed a little more. But it still creates tremendous strain in us. It still makes us feel that we’re
really hypocrites underneath. What we have been saying is that that double nature comes from two attitudes to
the world. One attitude is that there is no Creator; there is no God. So we are on our own here and all we can
do is look out for ourselves in the best way possible and get all that we need by the strength of our own
The other attitude is that there is a Creator, someone who has made us and someone who really cares about us
and is a dear Father and knows you by name. We can trust Him. We don’t need to depend just on people, or
circumstances, or things for our security, and our significance and our happiness. We can actually depend on
Him and our friendship with Him. That brings, of course, a great relaxation and a great rest, a great trust.
Of course, it produces all the good motivations that form the good side of our nature.
What we have said, of course, is that understanding these two explanations doesn’t enable us to live always by
the good side of our natures. Indeed, it seems the more we understand about the evil side the stronger the
evil side becomes. The reason for that is that this evil nature has been bred into the human race since the
beginning of time. In other words, for generations many of us men and women have lived as if there is no
Creator, as if we’re utterly dependent on ourselves for getting whatever food, shelter and clothing that we
So, we have bred into our children and they have bred into their children and into their children’s children,
until it comes right down to you a tremendously insecure neurosis that lives as if it is a fiddler on the
roof, that lives as if there is nobody to look out for me but myself and that lives in constant fear that the
other guy will get the drop on you.
So, we have built into us that fearful anxiety, that angst, that makes us fear some imminent disaster is about
to fall upon us. Even when we seem to have plenty of money in the bank account, this evil, selfish nature
inside us causes us to wonder if we have enough in order to meet some imaginary problem that may come up. So,
we find ourselves incapable of controlling this evil, selfish nature. That’s because it has been bred into us
You remember that we have often talked about good breeding and about certain people’s breeding. We’ve talked
about a good strain in a certain family that creates certain attitudes to life. Well, whether that can be
defended psychologically all the way or not, the fact theologically and philosophically is that there is bred
into us certain tendencies. They’re tendencies. They are not certainly evil in themselves. They are strong
tendencies, which we, in fact, have to submit our wills to and align our wills with, in order to practice in
our own life. But they are there very strongly.
In other words, we find it easier to be selfish than unselfish, even though we all keep saying we should all
be unselfish. We find it easier to be selfish than unselfish. We find it easier to lose our temper, rather
than keep our temper — even though we all argue that we should keep our temper. We find it easier to be
impatient than to be patient, even though we all admire patience.
We find it so often easier to be unloving than to be loving, even though we all praise lovingkindness as
something we ought to possess. It’s because this sinful, or self-nature, this evil nature inside of us is
older than the race itself. It certainly is as old as the race itself. It is something that is much older than
you yourself. That is why you find it so impossible to do anything with it.
What we have said is, that’s why the only one that can do anything about it is the Maker Himself. It is so
radical and so inherent a flaw in the human race that the only one who can fix it is the one who made the
human race. It’s like a manufacturing process that develops a certain flaw in it, and that flaw continues to
grow and increase little bit by little bit until eventually it is so built into every product that the only
thing you can do with the product is to recall it (bring it back to the factory), destroy it completely and
remake it — without the flaw.
That’s what the Creator of the universe has done. That’s what all this talk about Jesus and his death, and
Calvary, and the cross, and all that stuff that we talk about as the Gospel, that’s why all that took place.
The Creator of the universe foresaw that you yourself would develop that flaw, that you would develop within
you a nature that you could not control. He foresaw that, from before the beginning of the world He foresaw
that. He recalled you and put you into His Son Jesus and destroyed you there.
His son bore all the pain of God’s wrath destroying that old self-nature of yours. He recreated you as He
raised His Son from being dead. You, actually, this moment, are able to live this moment, if you choose, in
the unselfish, pure and clean nature that God has given you in His Son. That is a fact! That is a cosmic fact.
In other words, the big issue is not so much Jesus’ death in 29 A.D. That is just the temporal expression in
space and time of the miraculous event that took place in timeless eternity before the world was. There’s no
problem, of course, in that when you consider that the infinite mind of the Creator is able to see time as one
great, present moment. That’s why you were really remade again before you ever appeared on this earth. Let’s
talk a little more tomorrow about that amazing fact.