Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Total Depravity by Jeff Spry
The doctrine of total depravity understands the Bible to teach that all men, as a
consequence of the fall, are born dead in sin, morally corrupt, enslaved to sin, perverted in heart and mind, and unable of themselves to please God or even to come to God for salvation.
• Rom 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
• Rom 3:9-12 - . . . all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: "None
is righteous, no, not one.
• Mark 10:18 - Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good
except God alone.”
Because of the Fall
• Rom 5:12 - Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death
through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned
Born Dead in Sin
• Eph 2:1-3 - And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once
walked, . . . and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
• Col 2:13 - And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our
• John 3:5-7 - Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of
water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of
the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, “’You must be born again.’”
Born Morally Corrupt
• Psalm 51:5 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother
• Psalm 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth,
• Matt 7:18 - A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good
Enslaved to Sin
• John 8:32 - Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who
commits sin is a slave to sin.”
• 2 Tim 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.
• 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.
Perverted in Heart and Mind
• Jer 17:9 - The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can
• Eccl 9:3 - . . . 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.
• Gen 6:5 - 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.
• Mark 7:20-23 - And [Jesus] said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles
him. 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.”
Unable to Come to God
• Rom 3:10-11 - "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks
• John 3:27 - John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is
given him from heaven.”
• Is 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.
• Eph 2:12-13 - 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.
• 1 Cor 1:18-24 - For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but
to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . . For since, in the wisdom of
God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the
folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and
Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews
and folly to Gentiles,
• Eph 2:4-5 - But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he
loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with
Christ--by grace you have been saved--
• Rom 9:11-16 - . . . in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not
because of works but because of him who calls . . . 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 depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who
• John 6:44, 65 - No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.
. . . there are some of you who do not believe. . . . This is why I told you that no
one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.
So, What Does This Mean?
The bad news of unregenerate man’s spiritual condition points to several implications.
Because man is dead, he is in no position to do anything of spiritual merit before the Lord. Furthermore, because he is dead, he has no desire to do such things. He does not understand spiritual matters in such a way that he will accept them as truth and trust them for his eternal destiny. If we were to stop our lessons at this point, we would be hopeless.
The only possible solution for such a dead wretched creature is for something to be done for him, to him. He must be made alive! The revelation of God continues to tell us howGod alone overcomes this state of man.