Man's Missing Ingredient

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Man's Missing Ingredient

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What is the cause of crime, violence and terror? Psychologists, sociologists and others place the blame on poverty, dysfunctional families, poor parenting and the like. Although these no doubt increase the likelihood of criminal activity, they are not the fundamental cause.

Our own human nature is a major contributor to the problem and to the suffering that inevitably results.

The root of the problem is that men and women are fundamentally incomplete. We are lacking a key ingredient.

According to God's Word, human beings are essentially selfish—concerned primarily with our own self-gratification. The Bible refers to this as being "carnally minded" or motivated by "the flesh."

The apostle Paul contrasts this selfish orientation with a mind that is motivated to live God's way: "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:5-8).

Paul then points out man's missing ingredient—the Spirit of God. "But you do not live like that. You live by the spirit, since God's Spirit dwells in you . . ." (verse 9, Revised English Bible).

Without access to God's Spirit, human beings are motivated primarily by their selfish desires. With God's Spirit, however, a remarkable change can take place.

God's transforming Spirit is available to those who are willing to surrender their lives to God. Peter tells us, "Repent, and be baptized . . . and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38, NRSV). This is the missing ingredient that empowers us to leave a life of sin and become a "new man" (Colossians 3:10).

Although God "commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30), only a tiny minority are willing to make that commitment now and receive His power to enable them to successfully resist their sinful nature and obey Him.

How, then, will this world ever see peace and an end to crime?

Bible prophecy promises us a very different world following the return of Jesus Christ. One major difference between today's crime-plagued world and the peaceful age to come is that under Christ's rule, the vast majority of people will submit to God and receive His Spirit.

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God says: "I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, "Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:33-34).

When God's law is written on the hearts of men and women—when humanity finally, humbly, willingly and cheerfully obeys God from the heart—we will at last see a world at peace, free from crime and the other destructive consequences of sin. Humanity will at last have its vital missing ingredient! GN