The Universal Corruption of Man
The narcissist needs self-evaluation, but the Christian knows that all men are condemned (Jn 3:18). God’s evaluation includes a number of universal realities that prove man’s corruption is total.
First, all men are conceived in sin (Ps 51:5). Their corruption is inherited from Adam, the first man, and organic head of all humanity. The original sin of Adam, coupled with ensuing guilt, manifests at conception, with an inherent sin nature.
Second, because all people are conceived in sin, they are born as children of wrath (Eph 2:3). God’s wrath against sin and sinners finds a ready application, with each human soul conceived in its mother’s womb. Thus, when a mother murders her child in her own womb, she has been turned over to a reprobate mind, to perform her heart’s desire (Rom 1:18–32). Her heart is wicked (Jer 17:9), and she serves as an agent of God’s wrath against her own flesh and blood. She, of course, is oblivious to what she is doing, being blinded by Satan to her blood-thirst — an evil product of her evil nature.
Third, the total corruption of all people renders each one utterly incapable of any saving good (Gen 6:5; Ps 14:1, 3; Rom 3:10–12). There is nothing in natural man to imitate or facilitate any will or action toward her salvation (Jn 1:13). When the Bible calls upon natural man to do anything: be born again; repent of sins; believe on the Lord Jesus; etc…there is nothing in the will, nor the natural ability to comply (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 8:7).
There is nothing cruel in God, in making His demands known to all creation. Man’s failure to comply should bring each soul to its humble and honest end, “I do not will, and I have no power to comply.” Man, in his sin nature and practice, has zero inclination toward spiritual things (1 Cor 2:14; Eph 2:12). He is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1), and by nature, a child of wrath from conception (Eph 2:3).
Fourth, all men are inclined to evil, in every way (Gen 6:5; Rom 3:23). Not all people sin in the same manner, but all are prone to evil of one kind or another. The irresistible allure, of particular sins, is found in every human heart. One is a repeat sex offender, while another cannot retire from the success of his sporting achievements and accolades. In pride and the quest for glory, he plays another year. The first may be in jail, while the other gets his picture on the cover of a famous magazine. Both are heinous in the evaluation of God (Gen 6:5).
Fifth, the natural man is dead to righteousness, being dead in sin (Eph 2:1). Adam sinned, and death overtook all souls of Adam’s posterity. The soul of every conceived child in the womb is stillborn…dead. Dead means: dead to good, dead to righteousness, dead to holiness, and dead to God.
Natural man, en masse, are dead men walking. They are zombies on the inside. These are animated in the flesh, like a dog or a hippo, but there is no spiritual spark at all. Sin killed Adam’s soul, and then it killed his body. This is the repeated course for the entire human race.
Sixth, when sin kills the soul of the conceived child in the womb, it enslaves the child until the day of death, whether that be in the womb or after one hundred years of zombie animation (Jn 8:34; Rom 6:6). The natural man is controlled by his sin nature. He is a slave to sin from the outset, at conception. He wills to sin under the reigning influence of sin (Rom 5:21). He loves sin and finds evil alluring (Jn 3:19). He is an obedient drone, at the service of his evil controller.
God calls all men to repent (Acts 17:30), to change their minds and their course on the wide way that leads to destruction (Mt 7:13). Man will never change his destructive trajectory. He does not want to change, and he cannot change because of his total corruption. This man is not alone. Humanity’s total corruption is universal, except for Jesus Christ, the unblemished Lamb of God (Jn 1:29; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 1:19).
Who can change man’s futile and fatal existence? Only God can radically and utterly transform the soul of a man. He does this by choosing the soul for salvation (Eph 1:4-5), then conjoins the person to Jesus Christ on the cross (Rom 6:8), so she might die to sin, with Christ (Rom 6:10). He then makes her a new creature in Christ (1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:17), giving her new life through regeneration (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13), by the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). God performs this grace of regeneration by His own free will (Rom 9:15–16; 11:5).
The changed man exclaims, “I have died with Christ! It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me!” This man’s corruption has been legally dealt with in its entirety, at the cross of Christ. He now lives by faith in the Son of God (Gal 2:20), who paid his ransom (Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45) and forgave his innumerable sins (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7). He gives him eternal life (1 Jn 5:12), and will raise him from the dead, at His second advent (Jn 5:28–29; 6:40).
This man still dwells in a corrupt world, and occasionally is stained by it, but his hope is in the world to come. In this, he will not be disappointed, for there is no corruption there at all (2 Pet 3:13). In Christ’s salvation, the unjust have become just (1 Pet 3:18), and the justified have the promise they will soon be glorified (Rom 8:30). This is the universal purity of Christ’s church at His second coming (1 Jn 3:2). The universal corruption of man will be no more, but righteousness will reign…forever.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 26, 2021