The Root of Man’s Enmity to the Bible

Romans 8:7
      Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

EDWARD PAYSON (1783-1827): From the manner in which we habitually treat the Bible, we may learn what are our feelings and dispositions towards God; for as we treat the Word of God, so should we treat God Himself, were He to come and reside among us, in a human form, as He once dwelt on earth in the form of His Son. The contents of Scripture are a perfect transcript of the divine mind.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Saint Gregory calls the Bible “the heart and soul of God.”

EDWARD PAYSON: If, then, God should come to dwell among us, He would teach the same things that the Scriptures teach, and pronounce upon us the same sentence which they pronounce. We should therefore feel towards Him as we now feel towards them. If we reverence, and love, and obey the Scriptures, then we should reverence, love, and obey God. But if we dislike or disbelieve the Scriptures, if we seldom study them, or read them only with indifference and neglect, we should treat God in the same manner.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): If you want the proof of that assertion, behold how God Himself came here among men, incarnate virtue robed in love! Did men love Him? Did they fall down before Him, and do Him homage? The homage of the world was, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” The world hates virtue; it cannot bear perfection; it might endure benevolence, but absolute purity and righteousness, it cannot [endure].

JOHN DAVIES (July 23, 1798): Man naturally hates God, and all who are like Him, and all that is calculated to make man like Him.

C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): Hence the enmity of the natural mind to that most precious and marvellous Book.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): The teachings of the Bible about man are unique. Unlike all other books in the world, the Bible condemns man and all his doings. It never eulogizes his wisdom, nor praises his achievements. On the contrary, it declares that every man at his best state is altogether vanity, Psalm 39:5. Instead of teaching that man is a noble character, evolving heavenwards, it tells him that all his righteousnesses—his best works—are as “filthy rags,” that he is a lost sinner, incapable of bettering his condition; that he is deserving only of hell.

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791): How widely different is this from the fair picture of human nature which men have drawn in all ages!

C. H. MACKINTOSH: If man is to judge Scripture, then Scripture is not the Word of God at all; but if Scripture is in very truth the Word of God, then it must judge man. And so it is, and so it does. Scripture is the Word of God, and it judges man thoroughly. It lays bare the very roots of his nature—it opens up the foundations of his moral being. It holds up before him the only faithful mirror in which he can see himself perfectly reflected. This is the reason why man does not like Scripture—cannot bear it—seeks to set it aside—delights to pick holes in it—dares to sit in judgment upon it.

BASIL WOODD (1760-1831): Enmity shows itself in the pains men take to find a flaw in the evidence.

C. H. MACKINTOSH: It is not so in reference to other books. Men do not trouble themselves so much to discover and point out flaws and discrepancies in Homer or Herodotus, Aristotle or Shakespeare. No; but Scripture judges them—judges their ways, their lusts.

ANDREW FULLER (1754-1815): The reason why men hate God is not because they consider Him, in every sense, as their enemy; if so, could you but persuade them that God loved them, and Christ died for them, their enmity would subside. But is that indeed the case? Do not the generality of men [already] consider God as their friend? Nor can you persuade them that they are under His displeasure. Yet this has no tendency to remove their enmity. What they hate in God is that from which their hearts are wholly averse, and that is, His true character.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): I do not want to be unfair, but I say that a gospel which merely says “Come to Jesus,” and offers Him as Friend, and offers a marvellous new life, without convicting of sin, is not New Testament evangelism…
       You know, there is only one answer to this question of what is wrong with men―and it is this: man was made in the image of God; hence his brilliance, hence his marvellous achievements. Well, then why is the world as it is? Oh, it is because man in his folly rebelled against his own Maker and Creator, his own greatest Benefactor. In his pride he lifted himself up, and he fell! And he became the slave of the devil, and of the world and the flesh, and of his own lusts and passions…It’s the only explanation―the fall of man.


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