The topic at hand today, is total depravity. The inability of man to seek God. Man’s complete ruin condition before a thrice holy God.
Now, I will first of all demonstrate things that are not described in the definition of this term.
1. … that the image of God in man was totally lost in the fall. In Genesis 9:6, I Corinthians 11:7
and James 3:9, the Scripture still refers to man having been “made in the likeness of God,”
therefore there is a real sense in which the image of God remains in every man.
2. … that man has no knowledge of the person and will of God. The Scriptures teach us that men
know enough of the true God to hate Him, and enough of His truth to reject it and attempt to
restrain it (Romans 1:30; 1:18).
3. … that man does not possess a conscience or that he is totally insensible to good and evil. In
Romans 2:15, the Scriptures teach that all men possess a conscience. If not seared (I Timothy
4:2), such a conscience may lead men to admire virtuous character and actions.
4. … that man is incapable of demonstrating virtue. There are men who love their families,
sacrifice their own lives to save others, and perform great acts of generosity and heroism. It is
recognized that men are capable of the love of others, civic duty, and even external religious
5. … that all men are as immoral or depraved as they could be, that all men are equally immoral,
or that all men indulge in every form of evil that exists. Not all men are delinquents,
fornicators, or murderers, but all are capable of such. That which restrains them is the grace of
It does mean however
(1) … that the image of God in man has been seriously defaced, or disfigured and that moral
corruption has polluted the entire person – body (Romans 6:6,12; 7:24; 8:10,13), reason
(Romans 1:21; II Corinthians 3:1415; 4:4; Ephesians 4:1719), emotions (Romans 1:2627;
Galatians 5:24; II Timothy 3:24), and will (Romans 6:17; 7:1415).
(2) … that man is born with a great propensity or inclination towards sin. All men are capable of
the greatest evil, the most unspeakable crimes, and the most shameful perversions.
(3) … that all that men do is contaminated by their own moral corruption. Man’s moral corruption
and sin pervade his most commendable deeds (Isaiah 64:6).
(4) … that the deeds of man are not prompted by any love for God or any desire to obey his
commands. No man loves God in a worthy manner or as the law commands (Deuteronomy
6:4-5; Matthew 22:37), nor is there a man who glorifies God in every thought, word, and deed
(I Corinthians 10:31; Romans 1:21). All men prefer self to God (II Timothy 3:2-4). All the
acts of altruism, heroics, civic duty, and external religious good are prompted by the love of
self, but not the love of God.
(5) … that the mind of man is hostile toward God, cannot subject itself to the will of God, and
cannot please God (Romans 8:78).
(6) … that mankind is inclined to greater and greater moral corruption, and this deterioration
would be even more rapid than it is if it were not for the grace of God which restrains the evil
(7) … that man cannot free himself from his sinful and depraved condition. He is spiritually dead
(Ephesians 2:13), morally corrupt (Psalm 51:5), and cannot change himself (Jeremiah 13:23).
For reference on where I got this list, please see the ** below
Now that we have a good idea of what it is, and what it’s not. Let’s continue. Why do I see this as scriptural? Well, after working in the retail environment for about 15 yrs, you really get to see man at his best. I remember working in the service department for the same company I am with now.
When someone comes in and you tell him/her news they didn’t anticipate and didn’t want to hear. You hear their true, unchained emotions. Taking the Lord’s name in vain in a screaming manner, not caring about who hears them.
How about the man that kidnapped a young child on the corner, and when the child is found dead in a state that is disturbing even for the local investigators and police (these folks are use to seeing disgusting things). Things that were done to that child that only sick people could have the imagination to perform.
How about society as a whole that is completely degrading itself and less and less want anything to do with God. Men turn to their perversions, women the same.
The true human nature of man, wants NOTHING to do with God. Unless God first works in the human heart, and regenerates it. Man will not repent. Not of his own accord.
I have preached the gospel to many many people, both from the stage in a church to one on one, and the more I do, the more I see need for prayer for God to break down man’s pride and show him from His (God’s) stand point exactly where man stands before him.
Completely in ruin before God. Now please understand, I know there are many many great men and women on this planet that have given more to society than I could do in 10 lifetimes. But the thing to remember, is none of it will bring you even 1 inch closer to God or heaven.
Many people tell me they live as good a life as they can and they try to follow the 10 commandments. The problem is that the commandments were not designed to be followed and obeyed. They were put in place by God to show His standard, and to prove that man has no ability to attain His holy standard.
I like to illustrate the commandments to a mirror. When you look in the mirror first thing in the morning, it shows you all your features, your flaws, and it shows where you have no bodily defects. But notice one thing, the mirror can’t do one thing about it, it only shows you what is reflecting in it.
In this weak example, you have to brush your hair, you have to wash your face, you have to brush your teeth…….
Here’s the difference, with your sin, the commandments show you where you fall short, but you can’t fix it. That’s why Christ came to die on that cross for your sins or “defects”.
This post comes with prayer that you, will see your sin from the same perspective that God sees it. Completely despicable, evil, complete ignorance toward God and utterly selfishness.
See Christ on that cross 2000 yrs ago, repent of your sins and put your trust in Him….
** Bullet list was in reference to the book “The Truth about Man”, Written by Paul Washer.**