Skip to comments.Does Being Totally Depraved Mean We're Always Sinning No Matter What?
Posted on 12/02/2009 8:09:01 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Does being totally depraved mean we're always sinning no matter what?
Romans 14:23 says, "Whatever is not from faith is sin." And so you don't even need total depravity. You just need unbelief in order to say that everything a person does who is not a believer is sin.
Maybe another word on that. Why is that the case?
If you have a son, and you want him to do something, and he does the thing-like unbelievers don't usually kill people, OK? So they're obeying that commandment, "Don't kill," but why are they doing that? Are they doing it for the Father's honor?
Is God being magnified in what they do? Are they saying, "I submit to God. I love God. I love the image of God in humans. And for all those reasons I don't kill people, and thus God gets glory"? No! They're doing it for reasons that have nothing to do with God, because they're not believing in God. And therefore God is being belittled, and therefore they're sinning in obeying him.
So that's the first thing.
When you become a Christian the depravity and the disinclination to do what is right, and to delight in what is holy and pure and good, and to be satisfied in God is not conquered perfectly. Which means that, at least for myself-and I think Paul would say this in Philippians 3:12-"Not that I am already perfect or have already obtained, but I press on to make it my own, because he has made me his own."
I think that's Paul's way of saying, "Romans 7-type experiences abound in my life. I know that I should love God with all my heart and all my soul and all my strength. And the all there is 100%. Have I ever done a deed-have I ever done one deed that I could honestly say was motivated by total love for God? Total love? That is, I was not being drawn in the least by a sinful dimension of it?"
I doubt that I have ever preached a sermon like that. I'm sure I haven't! I mean, no doubt about it!
My fallen human nature-redeemed and adopted and loved and forgiven as I am-my fallen human nature that remains and that must be put to death day after day inclines me to like the approval of man. It inclines me to wonder how I came across. It inclines me to be angry at the person who criticizes me.
It inclines me in all these ways, and I'm killing them, saying, "I'm not going to go there! I'm not going to go there!" But that I even have to fight shows that I'm not there yet.
And so, yeah, I think we're always sinning. And we mustn't let it paralyze us. Because it is the cross that is glorified in saying, "Sinner though I am, in his sight I'm perfect."
Total Depravity bump
I think what you mean is that:
When you are unregenerated you can either sin (negative) or not sin (neuteral)
When you are regenerated your choices move to sin (negative), not sin (neuteral), or please God (postive)
So, an unregenerated man when comfronted by an agressor can: Punch him in the nose (negative), run away (neuteral).
The regenerated man can: punch him in the nose (negative), run away (neuteral), or tell him about Jesus (positive).
Here's a novel thought - if you want to be a Christian, follow Solo Scriptura (i.e. use the Bible as your guide, not uninspired works of man).
If you want to be a Reformist, then study/believe Calvinism, Lutherism, etc.
The problem with Calvinism is that taken in all 5 points, it leads to
(1) the lessening of our free will and responsibility
(2) the lessening of enthusiastic mission (the Good News)
God is Sovereign, man has fallen, and can't “get up” without God's help (forgive the vernacular), but John 3:14 tells us all we need to know about the character of our Great Saviour and Redeemer.
“Greater love hath no man than he who lays down his life for his friends.”
Pagans and atheists and Roman Catholics have done that.
The greatest love is still a sin if not done in Calvinist belief?
So if one forfeits his life for the sake of others without faith in God, it is an act still tainted with unbelief, which is sin.
So how does one get faith? Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Neither is the Trinity, but is a major tenant of both Catholic and Protestant Christianity.
The problem with Calvinism is that taken in all 5 points, it leads to (1) the lessening of our free will and responsibility (2) the lessening of enthusiastic mission (the Good News)
Strawman arguments and neither is true. Point 1 is addressed in Romans 9:8-32 (please note, CAPS are used for OT references):
That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. For this is the word of promise: "AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON." And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH." So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?" On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. As He says also in Hosea, "I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, 'MY PEOPLE,' AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, 'BELOVED.' " "AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, 'YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,' THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD." Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED; FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY." And just as Isaiah foretold, "UNLESS THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT TO US A POSTERITY, WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH."
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written, "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
This passage says that God chooses, but man is responsible.
Point 2 can be discredited by looking at those Calvinist who have spread the Gospel worldwide. If the Calvinists you know seem to be less enthusiastic than your Arminian brothers, it is a problem with their spiritual life, and not the Calvinist doctrines.
Calvinists are sola scriptura.I do not follow Calvin or Luther etc, I follw scripture. It is the bible that made me a Calvinist
Now where is Total depravity or total inability found in the scripture? All throughout it. Total Depravity does not mean we are as bad as we can be, it means sin infiltrates every part of the unregenerate man. His heart, his mind and his will are all depraved, they all refuse God and His word until the Father draws him..gives him a new hear and a will to love God and follow Christ.John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Jer17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it? Ps 51; 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
1 Kings 8:46 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near...
Job 15:14-16 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
Ecclesiastes 7:29 - "See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes."
Romans 5:7-8 - For one will scarcely die for a righteous personthough perhaps for a good person one would dare even to diebut God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:12,19 - sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned... by the one mans disobedience the many were made sinners
Psalm 143:2 - Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you. Romans 11:32 - For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. (c.f. Galatians 3:22) Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God 2 Chronicles 6:36 - "there is no one who does not sin" Isaiah 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turnedevery oneto his own way Micah 7:2-4 - The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net. Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. Romans 3:9-12 - What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 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. (c.f. Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3) 1 John 1:8,10 - If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and his word is not in us. Mark 10:18/Luke 18:19 - And Jesus said to him, Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." c.f. 1 Kings 8:46; 116:11, 130:3, 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Jeremiah 2:29; Micah 7:2-4, Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19; Romans 5:12-14; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; James 3:2; etc., etc. Are people good deep down? Mark 7:21-23 - "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." (c.f. Matthew 15:19) Psalm 5:9 - For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Are men totally depraved? Is every faculty of the person corrupted? Heart/Mind (Deceitful) Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" Titus 1:15-16 - to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. Ecclesiastes 9:3 - Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. Romans 1:28-31 - And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were... foolish Ephesians 4:17-18 - you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. Jeremiah 10:7-8,14 - among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. They are both stupid and foolish... Every man is stupid and without knowledge Matthew 15:19 - "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander." (c.f. Mark 7:21-23) Genesis 6:5 & 8:21 - The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually... from his youth. Proverbs 10:20 - the heart of the wicked is of little worth. Proverbs 28:26 - Whoever trusts in his own [heart] is a fool c.f. Deuteronomy 29:2-4; Psalm 10:4, 36:1-2, 58:4-5, 94:11; Proverbs 10:20; Ecclesiastes 8:11; Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26; Matthew 13:14; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 4:17-18, 23 Will/Choosing (Enslaved) John 8:34 - Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin." 2 Peter 2:19 - They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. Titus 3:3 - For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. Galatians 4:8-9 - Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Romans 6:6,16,17,19,20 - We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey...? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed... For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Romans 7:14 - For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 - God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. c.f. Isaiah 42:6-7; Psalm 51:112; John 8:31-32,36; 2 Corinthians 3:17 Affections/Desires (Perverted) Romans 1:24-27 - Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. Ephesians 2:3 - we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Proverbs 21:10 - The soul of the wicked desires evil John 3:19 - And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. John 8:44 - "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your fathers desires." c.f. Genesis 3:16; Psalm 4:2, 52:3-4 140:8; Proverbs 10:23; 2 Timothy 3:2-4; 2 Peter 2:13 et al (Utter Ruin) Titus 1:15-16 - to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. Romans 7:18 - For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. Isaiah 1:5-6 - The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil. Can men change themselves or still do good when they want to? Jeremiah 13:23 - Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil. Job 11:12 - But a stupid man will get understanding when a wild donkeys colt is born a man! 1 Samuel 24:13 - "As the proverb of the ancients says, 'Out of the wicked comes wickedness.'" Matthew 7:18 - "A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit." (c.f. Luke 6:43) Matthew 12:34-35 - "How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil." Romans 8:7 - For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to Gods law; indeed, it cannot. Genesis 6:5 & 8:21 - The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually... from youth. Titus 1:15-16 - to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. c.f. Job 14:4; Matthew 12:34; John 15:5; Romans 14:23; Philippians 1:11; 1 John 5:18-19 Are men at least born pure? What about the "tabula rasa"? Psalm 51:5 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Genesis 8:21 - the Lord said in his heart, I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of mans heart is evil from his youth." Psalm 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies. John 3:6 - "That which is born of the flesh is flesh" c.f. Proverbs 22:15 What is the natural disposition of man toward God? John 3:20 - "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." Romans 8:7-8 - For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God Colossians 1:21 - And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds c.f. Romans 1:28-30; James 4:4 What is man's relationship to God? Psalm 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb; Ephesians 2:12-13 - remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:3 - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. c.f. Isaiah 59:2 Can man then do anything to please God? Proverbs 15:9 - The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord Proverbs 15:8 - The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord (c.f. Proverbs 21:27) Proverbs 28:9 - If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination. Isaiah 64:6 - We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please [God] Romans 8:7-8 - Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. c.f. Psalm 50:16; Proverbs 21:4; Isaiah 1:10-15; Amos 5:21-24 Are men at least seeking God? Psalm 10:4 - In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, There is no God. John 3:20 - "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." Isaiah 65:1 - "I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. Isaiah 64:7 - There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities. Romans 3:10-12 - "no one seeks for God."
The problem with Calvinism is that taken in all 5 points, it leads to (1) the lessening of our free will and responsibility
How? The saved have the ability to sin or not to sin,we bear the consequences both spiritual and temporal of our decision to sin.
(2) the lessening of enthusiastic mission (the Good News)
LOL As I said the greatest missionaries, preachers and teachers have been reformed believers. Remember it was reformed believers that led the march from Rome all the way to Sola Scriptura, Sola Christo, sola fide,solos gratia, and mostly Sola Deo gloria.
Without the reformed faith you would still be going to mass on Sundays.