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.
- 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
- 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
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.
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