“Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore.” – Psalm 37:27
These words set forth in briefest form the true order of spiritual growth and progress. The first thing for everyone to do in the work of his regeneration is to depart from evil. Then, and not till then, can he in any genuine sense do good. But the result of his departure from evil is that he is blessed with eternal happiness; in heaven he “dwells forevermore.”
Why is it that the shunning of evil must be the first step in a man’s progress toward heaven? It is because by nature he is inclined to evil. This is his inheritance from his ancestors of many generations. We all find ourselves disposed to be selfish rather than unselfish, and inclined to follow our own unbridled will rather than to listen to the wise counsel of others. Also we are inclined to be proud and self-confident and to ascribe to ourselves the merit of well-doing, rather than to be humble and to give to the Lord His proper place as the center and source of all goodness. We are not born into a state of actual evil or sin, but with tendencies to evil.