The Salvation of a Sinner is the Work of God #2


The Bible describes the state of a man without God in several ways. One of those is that a man without God is Dead.

Another picture the Bible paints of the man without God is that he is Depraved. Now, before you jump to a conclusion and assume you know what I am saying or what I believe, just hang in there a bit.

First, what I am not saying. By using the word “depraved” I do not mean that unregenerate man is as wicked as he can get. The Calvinist doctrine of “Total Depravity” usually doesn’t mean that either. There are some “hyper-Calvinists” who might believe that but most Calvinists do not.

What I am saying is exactly what the English word “depraved” means. It is an adjective and simply means, “morally bad; corrupt; perverted”. You would be hard pressed to read the early chapters of the book of Romans and not see this. I can think of no better word to describe the “natural” state of sinful men.

“As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.
The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Many other passages could be cited but these two are representative of others that teach the same thing.

So men are not all as evil and wicked as they can be but they are as alienated from God as they can be. They can not be any more lost. Way back in Genesis 6:5 God knew the human heart it is was only evil continually.

Not one person is inherently good according to God. ALL are sinners, ALL are wicked and ungodly. And, not one person can do anything to change his or her moral short comings. Only God, who is rich in mercy can take out the cold stony heart and give one that wants to please God and do good to others. Selfishness, greed, and deception are standard equipment when a person is born. Left alone to do his best, every person will fail.

There is but one cure for depravity, the love and mercy of God. That’s it! Unless natural men are rightly related to God through Jesus they will remain morally undone, corrupt through and through, and perverted.

Royce

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2 comments on “The Salvation of a Sinner is the Work of God #2

  1. I don’t know that I would call mankind “depraved.” I believe the Bible teaches that we are all PRONE to sinning by the nature of our human bodies, and, assuming we mature to the point of becoming morally accountable for our actions, we all sin.

    This is the weakness of the flesh. The flesh wants what the flesh wants, regardless of what is right or wrong. To use an analogy, look at food & exercise. In my mind, I know it is better to be healthy, so I want to be healthy. Being healthy is no secret – simply exercise & eat right. So I therefore always exercise & eat as I should, right? Unfortunately, no. Because it isn’t easy.

    In my mind, I know & want to exercise. But my flesh wants to sit on the couch. In my mind, I know broccoli is good for me & donuts are bad. But my body doesn’t care. It likes the taste of donuts, & it doesn’t like the taste of broccoli. The body wants what it wants, regardless of what is best. So there is a conflict between my body & my mind. Sometimes my mind wins, sometimes my body wins.

    The same is true with sin. I know the right thing, I want to do the right thing, & yet I do not always do the right thing because my spirit is in conflict with my fleshly desires (Romans 7:14-25). Jesus was the same as us, except in His case, He simply never yielded to the desires of the flesh. He always did the right thing. Jesus, in His earthly life, was just as prone to sinning as the rest of us, except He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus experienced the same weakness we all face.

    So how does Jesus set us free from “the body of this death?” Jesus does what the Law of Moses could never do – He #1. gives us spiritual life through His atoning death, & #2. gives us physical life, when in the resurrection He will transform our bodies, along with the appetites of our bodies. No longer will the appetites of our bodies be at war with the desires of our spirits, but our bodies’ appetites will be brought in line with the desires of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:44-49).

    At the resurrection, we will no longer be prone towards sinning, but we’ll be “prone” towards carrying out the desires of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies will no longer be at war with our spirit, but will be helping our spirits do the right thing. All because of the grace & power of Christ!

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