Depravity's Extent: Total
||Rev. Ronald Van Overloop
Lord's Day 3
||222, 80, 110, 142
- The meaning.
- “Depravity” (q.7) is inner wickedness, corruption within, the innate evil of fallen man.
- Depravity is the spiritual state of death within a man; our old man of sin.
- In theology depravity is the state of corruption of man according to the verdict of God.
- The proof is abundant.
- Death (not just sickness) was threatened to Adam upon disobedience (Gen. 2:17).
- All men are blind and deaf to spiritual truth, their minds are darkened, and their hearts evil.
- The reign of sin is universal: all men are under its power (Rom. 3:9-12; Ps. 130:3; 143:2; Eccl. 7:20.
- Man is unable to repent, to believe, to come to Christ or to prepare himself for salvation: Jer. 13:23; John 6:44,65.
- A part of man’s sinfulness is that he always wants to deny this truth (cf. “deceived” Titus 3:3).
- Pelagius: men sin because of imitation, because he is a victim of circumstances and environment.
- Arminianism teaches that man’s depravity is total except for man’s will.
- The adjective “total” reinforces the understanding of the depravity.
- The corruption of the fallen sinner is total - there is no element of goodness in man whatsoever.
- At any moment every unregenerated human is sinning - they are as bad as they could be at that moment.
- Why is it important to maintain and emphasize the truth of total depravity, man’s horrible sinfulness?
- This truth affects other truths.
- Man’s total inability to do good emphasizes the necessity of God’s saving work from beginning to end.
- God must begin (and end) the work of salvation.
- God’s first work is regeneration, the radical change from death to life, being born again from above.
- All of salvation is only and always by grace alone.
- Regeneration enables us to see that we are incapable of doing any good and are inclined to every evil there is.
- While before regeneration one cannot do anything good, after regeneration we not only must, but can.
- In the knowledge of your God-given ability, let us “be ready to every good work” (Titus 3:1).