Summary: Our nature became corrupted through Adam. We are totally depraved and in need of a Savior!
WE NEED A NEW NATURE
THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS TRUTH IS BROKEN DOWN INTO TWO POINTS
1. OUR NATURE BECAME CORRUPTED THROUGH ADAM
When God made Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, he stated that all of His creation was “very good” (Gen 1:31), so how can humans now be considered corrupt? When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they sinned against God and corrupted their nature. Every human being from Adam on is corrupted in their nature. We have no desire to seek God, love Him, or obey Him. Our very nature is sinful which causes us to sin. Our corrupt and sinful nature produces death in us and harms others around us. 1 Corinthians 15:22 (NIV) 22 For as in Adam all die. Through Adam we have all become corrupted.
To be depraved is to be corrupted. To be totally depraved means that there is nothing good that lives in any man. As the apostle Paul states, “18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18 (NIV)
This is why Jesus, being born of a virgin, is an important truth of the church today. Christ was not born with the corrupted nature that we received from the beginning with Adam. Jesus was completely sinless, incapable of sin due to the fact that he did not inherit a corrupted nature. (Matt 1:18, 23)
So what is this corrupt nature that I have inherited? Romans 8:7 (NIV) 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Our very nature is to rebel against God. Without a new nature we are like apple trees trying to produce bananas. We cannot.
The understanding of this truth affects the way in which we educate, discipline, pray for the lost, witness, and understand salvation. It affects the way we look at ourselves and deal with the sin issues of our day. Why are there school shootings and other such tragedies in life? Is it mental illness or could it be our corrupted nature? We are all just as guilty as the next person; the only difference may be with the intensity of the evil that comes out of us. One man may physically murder or harm another, while another man hates someone in their hearts. In both cases, the Bible declares these men to be totally depraved before God, both deserving the just penalty of separation from God for eternity in hell. Matthew 5:21-22 (NIV) 21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Note: I am not saying there are no mental illnesses; but I am saying that many times we label corrupt nature as mental illness.)
A just God cannot overlook a lawbreaker. We understand this point from how we handle lawbreakers in our own society. If a man commits a terrible, senseless murder, we know that he needs to be brought to justice and then punished for his actions. God’s punishment for sin is death. Ezekiel 18:20 (NIV) 20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. James 2:10 (NIV) 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.