"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned - for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was the pattern of one to come." Romans 5:12-14
Many present day philosophies and worldviews claim that people are basically good and that bad or immoral behavior is the exception. The implication of the "people are good" worldview is that good people don't need a Savior.
History would call that notion into question.If you examine the atrocities perpetrated by people within the last century, you find a huge number of murders. Adolph Hitler killed 6 million Jews prior to and during the second World War. Joseph Stalin killed 20 million Soviet citizens between 1929 and 1939 because they were not politically correct. Mao Tse-tung killed 34 to 62 million Chinese during the Chinese civil war of the 1930s and 1940s. Pol Pot, the leader of the Marxist regime in Cambodia, Kampuchea, in the 1970's killed over 1.7 million of his own people. These do not include all the people killed in "legitimate" wars.
Some might object to this analysis, since they could claim that these atrocities were perpetrated by only a few individuals. However, these individuals could not have done anything if they were not backed by others, who agreed with their "values." The vast majority of Germans willingly followed Adolph Hitler and gave their consent to his policy to get rid of the "Jewish problem."
You may further object by saying that I have chosen extreme examples that in no way apply to you or anyone you know.
Let me ask you this, "Have you ever entertained hateful thoughts toward another person?" If so, Jesus said you are guilty of murder. "Have you ever allowed yourself to have lustful thoughts toward a member of the opposite sex?" Jesus says you are an adulterer.
Here in these few verses, St. Paul challenges any notion of people being basically good - "even those who did not sin by breaking a command".'
One of the basic doctrines taught in this great Book of Romans is that we are not sinners because we sin - but we sin because we are sinners by nature.
Fish swim. Dogs bark. Birds fly. People sin. We are all slaves to our nature. You can no longer change your sin nature than a dog can become a cat.
What can transform your nature? Only something - or Someone - supernatural. Someone like Jesus, the Son of God.
When you get tired of lying to yourself about your goodness or when you get sick of your badness, Jesus is patiently waiting to save you from yourself.