Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's Human Nature -- Part II

The Bible expresses the total depravity, or total spiritual helplessness of the natural human condition in a number of ways.  Ephesians 2: 1 and Colossians 2: 13 describe our pre-conversion state as spiritually "dead". Dead is pretty helpless. Romans 8 makes a number of statements about the unredeemed, or those who live "according to the flesh": verse 6 echoes Eph 2:1 and Col 2:13: "For to be carnally minded is death;" and verse 7 points out that the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God. Not ambivalent, not curious, not seeking, not hostile to God some of the time, but hostile to God period. It also points out that this hostile mind 1)does not, and 2) cannot subject itself to God's law.

 So all bases in the depravity spectrum are covered: the unbeliever does not serve God, does not want to serve God, and cannot serve God. In case you're still wondering, verse 8 adds that those in the flesh cannot please God. It's a matter of both volition and capacity. Earlier, in Romans 3: 9-18 a very complete description of the unregenerate sinner's condition is provided. The conclusion in verse 18 says, "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Not insufficient or intermittent fear of God. No fear of God. Because to fear God would please God and they cannot (Rom 8: 6) please God.

The good news is that God, in His mercy and grace, gives life and salvation through faith (Ephesians 2: 5-9) to those who believe. Those who don't believe remain in a helpless spiritual state.


No comments: