Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Human Ability vs. Total Depravity Rom. 8:6-8 teaches that the man who is spiritually minded has the ability to please God, which is knwn as spiritual good. Rom. 8:9 explains that spiritual goodness is only obtainable through the indwelling of the Spirit, via salvation. Rom. 5:12 speaks plainly; Adam sinned, and on that introductory note, sin entered the world. For man, that entailed inheriting a sin nature from conception. Even though we may be able to do good deeds on earth, we cannot say that because of that ability to do good deeds we have no sin nature. Without a sin nature at conception, it would be possible to live a life without sin; it would also be possible to go to heaven without being saved because of that absence of sin, rendering Christ's death as unnecessary. John 3:16 & Rom. 3:23 show that all of mankind has sin, and that all who are not saved will perish – go to hell. As all who are not saved do go to Hell, that leaves no room for the notion that we are born without a sin nature. We see, then, that we can only get Total depravity out of the equation, Total Depravity being explained in that when man fell in the Garden, he lost that state of original righteousness which he had enjoyed, including also the ability to do spiritual good from conception, which had been made natural to him by God from the beginning. We can therefore conclude that while man is as bad off as he could be, in that he has completely fallen away from God and into sin, he isn't as bad as he could be, in that each individual is not a full-fledged opponent of all that is good, nor is a perpetrator of all that is evil.