The Psalm writer says, ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile:….’, and that these same ones are ‘evildoers who know nothing’. (Ps 14:1,4) We might be tempted to say to ourselves, “that’s about what we’d expect form atheists”!
But – get ready to choke on our words! – the Psalm writer goes on to say, ‘All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one’! (v3) The Psalmist is talking about everyone – including God’s people, the church, us! Saint Paul calls Himself, “the worst of sinners”! (1Tm 1:15)
This doesn’t mean that no one does anything that is good; many people do much good, and all people – even the worst – do some good. What it means is that, even so, every human being has a willful resistance to God and what He wants at their core; and even when we do good this willfulness is still at work in us (Is 64:6)
Martin Luther said that when Jesus Christ became our sin in His death on the cross, “He became just as though He were the worst sinner on earth”! Why?… to trade places with us and make us ‘the righteousness of God’ (2Cor 5:21). He became the worst human being, so that we can become the best!
This means that, for all your failings, by faith in Jesus Christ, nonetheless you are the son, the daughter, that God the Father has always wanted!
Grace and peace, Jonathan.