Total Depravity


Elder Truman Keel

At the close of this another day which the Lord has blessed my family and I to live and share our love with each other, I try to offer prayer and thank the Lord for the peace and love in our hearts. This leads my thoughts to how merciful the Lord has been and what we were before God shed His love abroad in our hearts.

As I reminisce on the events of the recent past my mind goes to article number two of our Articles of Faith at Little flock Primitive Baptist Church. We believe the doctrine of the total depravity of human nature and that a recovery from that condition is wholly and exclusively by the sovereign and unmerited grace of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I think we should begin by determining how much is included in the word total. The dictionary says, WHOLE-COMPLETE-ENTIRE-UTTER. The word depravity comes from the word depraved which means MORALLY-BAD-CORRUPT-PERVERTED-WICKED. Let’s put the words together now and see what we have. Total depravity then would be described as (Total) WHOLLY-COMPLETELY-ENTIRELY-UTTERLY (Depraved) MORALLY BAD-CORRUPT-PERVERTED-WICKED. These two words (total depravity) are describing the condition of human nature. I know these are words written by man, but will the doctrine of total depravity stand when exposed to the light of the scriptures? A definite yes. I am persuaded that a man in the condition described above is clothed in human nature only and is dead in trespasses and in sin and until God intervenes there is no hope of glory in him.

(Eph. 2:3) “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Did you notice we were children of wrath by nature?

(PS. 14:3) “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no not one.” Notice they are all together become filthy. Oh how vile we are. How deep man has sank himself into the pit of mire and filth. We see evidence everyday to what extent of wickedness the natural man is capable of. There seems to be no bottom or limit of depth to the pit in which he wallows.

At what age does man began to practice sin? This was David’s experience. (PS 51:5) “Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my Mother conceive me. We come here as an infant, with that nature to sin and if we live we will follow that nature. A tiny serpent comes here with a nature to bite. He will practice his nature if opportunity occurs. David is declaring he had a sinful nature about him when he was born.

(Rom. 3:23) “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God:” That left none without sin. (Rom.5:12) "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Notice that all men are dead (SPIRITUALLY) because of sin. Let’s sum up the natural man’s position. He is here upon the earth, without hope, spiritually dead, corrupt, with no thought of God, satisfying his greed and lust, and capable of the most heinous crime against law and nature, wallowing in the horrible pits of miry clay. Until regeneration, he is satisfied in this condition.

It is this man, described above that most modern religions spend enormous efforts endeavoring to convince this man, who is satisfied with his ways that he should change his will. (Jer. 13:23) "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jeremiah, the weeping Prophet, says it is not possible for you to change on your own.

(PS 104) “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” He has no desire for God or Godly things until he has been quickened and made alive spiritually. He is totally depraved (1st Cor. 2:14) "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness, unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Do you get the thought that there must be a spiritual man present to receive spiritual things? There is a law of science that makes this declaration; (LIFE PRECEDES ACTION.) The ability to receive the things of the spirit of God and is in a gracious state.

(Rom. 8:7) “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The carnal mind is all we have, brethren, until God regenerates us and gives us a spiritual mind to war against the carnal mind. (Eph. 2:1) “And you hath he quickened (made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins.” We were dead and therefore unable to perform any spiritual act until we are made alive by that quickening spirit of the Lord, and thereby making us completely passive in the work of God. The physically dead perform no physical action; likewise the spiritually dead perform no spiritual action. Any spiritual act you perform is evidence you are already born of the spirit and heaven will be your home.

(Eph. 2:8-9) “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (V 9) “Not of works lest any man should boast."

Brethren, remember what we were in the sight of God, reprobate, vile, wicked, full of corruption. Until we see ourselves in this light, we cannot fully appreciate God’s sweet mercy and grace (a free gift) which He, according to His mercy, bestowed upon an undeserving portion of the race of Adam: whom He made choice of, before the world was; and because of His rich mercy and grace alone, these vile sinners who could not recover themselves from the condition they were in, shall be delivered to the throne of God in a glorified body in which they shall be made fit to give Him a perfect praise which He justly deserves. May God bless you in your efforts to serve Him.