What Does the Record Show?
Let us briefly take a look at what is actually seen when we look deeply into man. Will we here find the worth, the ability, or the innate good that many insist is still part of the nature of man? If we look at man the way God does, notice what Romans 1:21-32 teaches about fallen mankind:
“… although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
It is difficult to interpret any of the above passage as depicting man’s inherent good or self-worth. In Romans 3:9-18, Paul describes again the unrighteousness of both the Jew and Gentile alike. Here he says:
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Unless we disregard the Bible completely, we cannot escape the deadly fact and nature of sin. The very truth that men are denying the full reality of sin is itself proof of the depravity that blinds the minds of men. The Holy Scriptures teach us that man was created in the image of God, in perfect holiness, righteousness, and with a knowledge of God. After the Fall, while the image of God in man remained (see Gen. 9:6 and I Cor. 11:7), each of these parts of the image of God is now totally corrupted, depraved, perverted, and twisted so the real inclination of fallen man is to flee from God and establish his own sovereign rule.
Blog post content is taken from Rev. Paul Treick’s book, Faith of Our Fathers, Living Still: A Study of the Five Points of Calvinism, available for purchase. It is posted with the gracious permission of the author.
If you’d like to read the blog series from the beginning, start here.