Daily Light – Oct 9, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

(Cont’d) How Lost is ‘Lost’?

It is my opinion that we need to understand just how lost and depraved the human condition ‘without’ God ‘is’ in order for us to fully delight in the wonder of our salvation and to be fully effective in seeing the imperative command of Jesus that we go out and share the ‘light of this glorious good news’.   

We will read an article by John Piper the next couple of days….today we continue/finish with points 3 and 4.

  1. Man’s inability to submit to God and do good is total.

Picking up on the term “flesh” above (man apart from the grace

of God), we find Paul declaring it to be totally enslaved to

rebellion. Romans 8:7-8 says, “The mind that is set on the flesh

is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it

cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

The “mind that is set on the flesh” (literally, “mind of the

flesh”) is the mind of man apart from the indwelling Spirit of

God (“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in

fact the Spirit of God dwells in you,” Romans 8:9). So natural

man has a mindset that does not and cannot submit to God. Man

cannot reform himself.

Ephesians 2:1 says that we Christians were all once “dead

in trespasses and sins.” The point of deadness is that we were

incapable of any spiritual life with God. We had physical

life, but our hearts were like a stone toward God (Eph. 4:18;

Ezek. 36:26). Our hearts were blind and incapable of seeing the

glory of God in Christ (2 Cor. 4:4-6). We were totally unable to

reform ourselves.

  1. Our rebellion is totally deserving of eternal punishment.

Ephesians 2:3 goes on to say that in our deadness we were

“children of wrath.” That is, we were under God’s wrath

because of the corruption of our hearts that made us as good as

dead before God.

The reality of hell is God’s clear indictment of the infiniteness

of our guilt. If our corruption were not deserving of an

eternal punishment, God would be unjust to threaten us with

a punishment so severe as eternal torment. But the Scriptures

teach that God is just in condemning unbelievers to eternal

hell (2 Thess. 1:6-9; Matt. 5:29-30; 10:28; 13:49-50; 18:8-9;

25:46; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:10). Therefore, to the extent that hell is

a sentence of total condemnation, to that extent must we think

of ourselves as totally blameworthy apart from the saving grace

of God.

This Terrible Truth of Total Depravity

In summary, total depravity means that our rebellion against

God is total, everything we do in this rebellion is sinful, our

inability to submit to God or reform ourselves is total, and we

are therefore totally deserving of eternal punishment.

It is hard to exaggerate the importance of admitting our

condition to be this bad. If we think of ourselves as basically

good or even less than totally at odds with God, our grasp of the

work of God in redemption will be defective. But if we humble

ourselves under this terrible truth of our total depravity, we will

be in a position to see and appreciate the glory and wonder of

the work of God.

The aim of this article is to deepen our experience of God’s

grace. The aim is not to depress or to discourage or to paralyze.

Knowing the seriousness of our disease will make us all the

more amazed at the greatness of our Physician. Knowing the

extent of our deep-seated rebellion will stun us at the longsuffering

grace and patience of God toward us. The way we

worship God and the way we treat other people, especially our

enemies, are profoundly and wonderfully affected by knowing our

depravity to the full.

Amen.

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