Summary: Three reasons we must grasp an understanding of man’s depravity.
Woodlawn Missionary Baptist Church
February 12, 2006
Tonight as we take up our subject of depravity, remember that we are considering anchors of our faith. An anchor is something that will hold us in place when the winds of change and compromise come up and try to move us off our position. I have already spoken on the subjects of justification, propitiation and atonement, but what I have not spent much time on is the necessity of these works of God.
What do Missionary Baptists believe the Bible to teach concerning depravity? Notice I did not ask what Missionary Baptists believe about depravity, but what do we believe the Bible to teach about it? A subtle difference perhaps, but don’t ever forget that the anchors of our faith are not Missionary Baptist doctrine, but Bible doctrine. These are not our beliefs, but God’s truths as they are expressed in His Word.
In Romans 5:12, the apostle Paul wrote,
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
What do we mean by depravity, and more specifically, what do we mean by a position called total hereditary depravity? The word depravity means “corruption, immorality or sinful. In man’s natural condition, that is, the condition a man is in before the new birth, man is totally depraved. He is totally corrupt, immoral or sinful. Every part of his being, body, mind, spirit or soul: all that you can use to describe a man is sinful, it is corrupted by sin.
The word hereditary means that this total corruption is transmitted from the parents to the offspring in conception and birth. Each of us receives our sinful nature from our parents. It is because of this hereditary depravity that we can say that man has inherited guilt, or inherited sin. By one man sin entered into the world, and in God’s design that sin nature is passed from one set of parents to the next. When Adam sinned, God looked upon the human race as though all had sinned. In other words, He imputed Adam’s sin to us. But not only is our sin an inherited sin, we choose to sin.
You might be sitting there thinking, “Brother Kevin, why are you preaching this stuff? I’m not interested in depravity. What difference do you think this makes to me?” Those are legitimate questions. Why preach this stuff? There are three reasons you need to know what depravity is, and we’ll spend the most time on the first.
Because man is confused about his sin
Did you ever hear someone say, “Oh, she’s not all that bad.” I’m sure you have, and have probably said it yourself. I certainly have, and I know what we mean by that: he’s not all that bad when you compare him to some of the other people in the world. Some say that man is a victim of his environment and that changing your environment will solve your problems.
But what does the Bible say about a man’s sin? Let’s consider a few verses of Scripture. (Have congregation read these)
• Psalm 51:5 – We’re born sinners. The conception of a life takes place in a sin nature. Like begets like. Sinful parents produce sinful offspring.
• Psalm 58:3 – You do not have to teach a kid to lie. He is born a liar; born with a natural propensity to sin.
• Psalm 39:5 – David did not say that man at his worst was vanity. He did not say this was our worst condition before men; this is man at his very best! The very best character a man can develop is void of anything that is of value.
• Isaiah 64:6 – the leper’s rags
• Jeremiah 13:23 – Isaiah didn’t bother answering these questions because the answer is obvious. It is the nature and custom and practice of the sinner to sin.
• Jeremiah 17:9 – I know you have heard people trying to defend a man by saying, “Well, he’s a good person at heart.” But Jeremiah said that his heart is the trouble. It is the most deceitful thing you have!
We could go on and on! The Bible is full of evidence that says there is nothing good in man. We may clean up the outside and look good to everyone else, but God knows that within us all is a depraved sinful nature just waiting for the opportunity to express itself.
• Romans 3:9-19 – what an ugly picture of man’s nature!
In Romans 1 we find God turning man over to his reprobate mind. Did you know that the only thing that keeps you or me from chasing after debauchery is the grace of God? That’s right! God stands in our way, but there are many who are so headstrong and hellbent on chasing after sin that God gets out of the way and let’s them pursue it.