Grace & Moral Depravity

September 14, 2021

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight - that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge (Psalm 51:1-4).

How sinful is sin? Do we really understand the power of sin and its effects? What exactly does sin affect in our being? Are we all equally sinful or are some more sinful than others? These questions have to do with the moral state of all human beings. (Romans 3:23) . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The word ‘all’ (pas) is inclusive - everyone.

Sin is far more devastating than we realize. The primary result of sin is human depravity. Our definition of depravity is ‘morally bad or evil; corrupt’. In Scripture the word means: ‘evil, perverse’ (Genesis 19:15); ‘wicked’ (Leviticus 19:29); ‘corrupt’ (Hosea 9:9; 2 Peter 2:19), and ‘depraved’ (Galatians 5:19). We are sinful and our sin has caused us to be evil, perverse, corrupt, and wicked. We want to believe we are good, and we are to some extent. But Scripture teaches that our sinful depravity is far greater than our moral good. Let me explain.

There is a difference between total depravity and utter depravity. Utter depravity means a person is as evil and wicked as he/she can possibly be. Hitler, Stalin, Himmler, Saddam Hussein, Chairman Mao, etc. were evil men but they were not unrestrained in their wickedness. Scripture teaches that God restrains the evil and wickedness of men, even of Satan (Job 1 & 2).

On the other hand, total depravity means that the whole person, every aspect of a person, is affected by sin. Sin is not accidental or incidental. It is inherent. We are morally fallen creatures because we are sinful creatures. We have a sin nature, and that sin nature manifests itself in every area and aspect of our lives - mind, body, emotions, will, spirit. This does not mean everyone acts out their sinfulness like those mentioned above, but it does mean there is no aspect of who we are that is not affected by or influence by sin.

How is that so bad? Scripture reveals the extent of our depravity. (Ephesians 2:1) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (Ephesians 2:5) . . . even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ; (Colossians 2:13) And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses. Dead people are dead. They can’t do anything but stay dead. However, read the verses again: . . . you He made alive . . . [He] made us alive together with Christ . . . He has made alive together with Him . . . . This is God’s great grace shown toward us.

“Thank You Father for the salvation You have given to us in Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your grace that has overcome our sinful depravity and has made us spiritually alive in every part of our being. Most certainly where sin abounded, Your grace did much more abound. I praise Your name. Amen”


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