Engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

How sinful am I?

There is an ongoing debate among professing Christians, and the crux of it is this: “Just how wicked am I?” I do not fully understand why, but men like to play word games with their doctrine. I was taught that “But for the grace of God, I would be a drunken vagabond.” This phraseology sounds so spiritually humble, yet those men who I have heard proclaim that would reject the idea (in my opinion biblical doctrine) of total inability (AKA total depravity). This doctrine teaches that man is so sinful that there is absolutely nothing he can do to save himself. That he, apart from the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit, can do nothing to merit God’s grace. That his heart is so overrun with wickedness, that apart from the grace of Almighty God, that man would commit the most heinous crimes imaginable for he is no better than the vilest of sinners. Yet men repudiate this teaching, declaring that it abolishes man’s responsibility to repent of his sin as God commands him to.

Their reasoning is that if God tells us to do a thing, then we must be able to do it. This is extremely faulty logic, as well as unscriptural. God commands us to uphold the 10 Commandments, yet it is an impossibility to keep them without blemish. Christ tells us to draw near to Him, to resist the devil, etc; yet also tells us that without Him we can do nothing.  Scripture clearly tells me that I was dead in sin. That I walked according to the prince of the power of the air. Scripture clearly teaches me that I was “willingly” living my life for Satan, bound by my wicked master, and in dire need of life and freedom. God’s Word makes no bones about my being unable to change my heart as much as a leopard could change his spots. By my very nature, I am sinful to the core. There is no possible way for saving, Christ-honoring faith to come from this deceitfully wicked heart! With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.

There are other areas which I desire to address, but I would like to begin with this one. Ask yourself, and search The Scriptures for the answer – “How wicked am I?” If you say you are a sinner, but not so much so as that you cannot on your own, choose to love and believe in God, then I would challenge you to take another look. Scripture says we are dead, bound in sin, incapable of understanding The Gospel in our unregenerate state. Sure we are commanded to repent, but responsibility does not denote ability. If God were to only tell us to do that which we could, then there would be no need for dependence on Him.

I do not believe Scripture teaches that Christ has done all to save us, save put the finishing touches on sealing our eternal security until we meet His blood with out faith. What Scripture does teach is that Christ ransomed us with His blood, that He reconciled us to God, and through His death, we are made righteous before God.

These are just a few thoughts… comments most welcome.

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One response

  1. Bryan Puleo

    I believe that the ultimate question is what you have said throughout this post. That is, “How wicked am I?” That is the million dollar question, for if we are as wicked as the Bible says, then there is nothing in and of ourselves that we can do to earn our salvation, or better yet just earn, or gain, any favor or merit with Almighty God. When we come to understand this face and at the same understand that it is God alone who has saved our poor, wretched souls, by His Mercy, and His Grace, all Glory and honor belongs to Him, and Him alone. Just as John Newton said, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!”

    April 19, 2008 at 11:02 pm

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