Total Corruption, Divine Conversion
Inheriting Adam’s corruption, all people are conceived in sin (Ps 51:5). All are born with a sin nature, and are by this nature, children of wrath (Eph 2:3). Sin is the inclination of every human heart (Gen 6:5), Christ being the exception (Heb 4:15).
Man practices what comes natural to him by nature. Evil thoughts, evil affections, evil words, lead to evil actions. A sinner sins because it is his nature, and because his environment is sinful, he has more incentive, even hearty approval from others (Rom 1:32). Because God is slow to anger and slow to wrath (Ex 34:6; Ps 86:15), people sin all the more, thinking there is no consequence to sins.
The sinful mind is futile (Eph 4:17). The heart is sick in wickedness (Jer 17:9). What is believed in the heart is heard, from the words mouthed by sinners (Prv 15:28; Mt 12:34). The days of man are evil (Eph 5:16). The hatred of God, toward sinners (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 11:5; Rom 9:13), is clearly seen in His wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Rom 1:18). All men are guilty from conception, deserving the just judgment of God, which is eternal punishment (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 1:7).
The consequence, of people being dead in sin (Eph 2:1), is that they are dead to God. They are incapable of accepting the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14). As slaves to sin (Rom 6:6), natural man must do the will of his father, Satan (Jn 8:44), who reigns as king of sin, being the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Sinners are children of the devil (1 Jn 3:10), bearing his image. He is the first and chief rebel against God.
It is the work of the Arminian deceiver to lessen man’s plight in sin. Denying total depravity, derived from inherited corruption, the Arminian teaches that man has it in him to reform himself with God’s help. Conversion from one’s sinful environment, to the realized place of God’s universal love for all humanity, is only one free will decision away.
The truth is that man is incapable of saving good. Dead men do not choose to better their state. This is true, in both the physical and spiritual realm. Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, was in no position to will nor to do what was required to raise him from the dead (Jn 11).
When one is dead, he is not merely sick, nor impaired. He is dead. Dead in sin means incapable of any saving good. Simply stated, man does nothing, in the will and work of his salvation. He neither wants to be saved, nor could he do anything to facilitate salvation. The fact is that people love sin, and they love sinning (Jn 3:19). They willingly enslave themselves to the pleasures of sin. Sinners wish to commit sins, and so they are enabled, encouraged, and immersed because they are enslaved (Rom 6:6).
How can a person then be saved? What is required for one to be converted from sin to Christ? First, it must be the will of God because the will of man, enslaved to sin, has no interest in conversion (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 3:10–12; 9:15–16).
Second, conversion must be in the power of God because not only is man’s will deficient, so is the ability to convert oneself (Rom 8:7). Man cannot overpower his slave master, whose own will is to retain the sinner in his servitude. Man is utterly helpless in his plight of sin. It is his nature, his slave master, his fellow slaves, his environment that comprises his domain of darkness. It is man’s unchangeable state, unless God changes it (Col 1:13).
In order to avoid deception in the biblical doctrines of man, the fall, sin, guilt, regeneration, and conversion, one must believe the Scriptural truth of the universal and total depravity of man. With his helpless, obdurate state, sound doctrine and the order of salvation make perfect sense (Rom 8:30).
A person is saved because God chose him for salvation (Rom 8:30; 11:5; Eph 1:4–5). Man’s plight is removed by Christ on the cross. This includes his inherited sin and practiced sins (Rom 3:23; 5:12). His guilty conscience is cleared (Heb 9:14), as the regeneration of the Holy Spirit illumines his conversion from sin to Christ (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13). He believes the Gospel of God saving him because he has been appointed to eternal life (Acts 13:48). He was given faith to believe (Rom 12:3; Gal 3:22; 5:22; Phil 1:29; Heb 12:2), and it must be stated that his conversion, as well as the rest of his salvation, is all by God’s grace (Eph 2:8–9). Salvation belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1), and it has never be forfeited by Him, to the totally depraved human race. It is God, who makes alive the elect sinner, to the things of God, by the Spirit of God. Glory be to God…alone.
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 12, 2022