What is Your View of Humanity?
The conflict between the Remonstrants and the Reformed (Synod of Dordt, A.D. 1618–19), demanded the proper assessment of man’s state before and after the fall. Man-centered theology (Arminianism) has a high view of man, while God-centered theology (Reformed) has a low view of man. One’s view of man determines one’s view of redemption and conversion.
Sinful men, blinded by their sin nature (Eph 2:3), resist God being all in all (Rom 11:36). In their pride, they dispute the doctrine of man’s total depravity. They study themselves (Anthropology), giving no mention to the Creator of man (Ps 100:3), who is the Creator of all things (Col 1:16; Rev 4:11).
Since Adam’s fall (Gen 3), man is conceived in sin (Ps 51:5), born spiritually dead in sin (Eph 2:1), a willing participant in sin’s rebellion (Rom 3:23), who receives the wages of sin in the death of his body (Jas 1:15), and suffers the second death (Rev 20:11, 14–15), resulting in eternal punishment in hell and the lake of fire (Mt 5:22; 18:9; 25:46; Mk 9:43), for his sins against the infinite majesty of God.
Man’s original state, in the garden paradise of Eden (Gen 1–2), has been lost. His pure affections, along with his beneficial knowledge of God have been forfeited. Man’s heart has been changed, from upright to wicked and deceitful (Jer 17:9). His holiness before God has been polluted with the filth of diverse sins, starting with Adam’s active rebellion, joining Satan’s mutiny (Gen 3).
Man, made in the image of God (Gen 5:1), has fully forsaken his status in mind, heart, affection, and deed. Man is the image bearer of the devil, in every respect (Jn 3:19). The twisted nature of the father of lies (Jn 8:44) is replicated again and again, in his children (1 Jn 3:10), the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2; 5:6; Col 3:6).
The deceiver, who ever poses as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), has blinded the minds of people (2 Cor 4:4). He has enslaved the progeny of Adam (Jn 8:34; Rom 6:6, 17–18), in his domain of darkness (Col 1:13). Lucifer promotes his world system, which is nothing but pride and vanity for his subjects (Ecclesiastes).
The prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2) incites man’s continued enmity and rebellion against God. Man is totally corrupt (1 Cor 2:14). Humanity is unwilling and unable to change its disposition (Rom 3:10–12).
The whole of humanity is under the curse of its federal head, Adam (Rom 5:12–21). God made man upright (Eccl 7:29), but the whole body of humanity is wholly corrupt in mind, will, heart, affection, and emotion. Every benefit of God bestowed on Adam, was removed; moreover, these benefits were replaced by perversity in his every faculty.
Light was made dark in the human mind (Rom 1:28; 8:6; 2 Cor 3:14; Eph 4:17). The truth of God was now actively suppressed by ungrateful men (Rom 1:18). Right judgment became distorted justice. What God called, “good,” man called, “evil,” and vice versa (Rom 7:19–21). The will of God was hated, and man exalted his own free will, in opposition to God, but unaware that his will was not free.
Man’s revolt against God was all-encompassing and not rectifiable by man’s wisdom, will, nor works (Jn 1:12–13; Eph 2:8–9; Gal 2:16). The fall of humanity was entirely the counsel and decree of God (Job 22:28; 23:14; Col 2:14), who has highlighted the doctrines of election and reprobation (Eph 1:4–5; Rom 9:22–23). Although man is fully responsible for his sin, God is fully responsible for the salvation of His elect people (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 19:1), created in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world (Eph 2:10).
In conclusion, the plight of man informs the necessity of conversion (Ps 51:3; Mt 18:3; Jn 12:40). Rebels must be converted from their responsible state of unwillingness and inability. Without the power of God and His irresistible grace (Rom 3:24; 1 Cor 15:10; 2 Tim 1:9), people remain dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1), in Adam. Thus, in Adam, all die, but in Christ, some live (Rom 5:15; 1 Cor 15:22).
Sin and death reign in humanity (Rom 5:14, 21; 6:12). Oblivious to their nature and spiritual disposition, people are the walking dead — true zombies, without the ghoulish exteriors. Our task, as the elect, redeemed, regenerate, believers in Jesus, is to promiscuously preach the Gospel of God’s salvation of His chosen people (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15; 1 Cor 1:23). We must be vigilant in our presentations, telling all people of God’s sovereign grace (Gen 17:7; Ps 115:3; 135:6) — that only God’s free will, displayed in God’s free grace, executed in Christ’s finished work, with His meritorious benefits fully applied by the Holy Spirit — saves His beloved saints.
The Bible’s view of humanity is dire, but the Bible’s view of the Savior is exclusively divine.
Spokane Valley, Washington
January 2, 2022