Is man a totally and thoroughly depraved creature by nature?

Medicine is unpleasant,

but there are times when all of us find it necessary and beneficial.

We will be thankful that, by Divine Grace,

we seek to Glorify God rather than please the flesh.

And surely that which most Glorifies God is to declare

“all His Counsel,”

to insist on that

which puts a man in his proper place before Him,

and to emphasize those portions

and aspects of the truth

which our generation is most in need of.

As we shall endeavor to show,

our theme is one of immense doctrinal importance

and of great practical value.

Since it is a subject which occupies

A Vital Contemporary Question:

It is our deep conviction that the vital question

most required to be raised today is this:

Is man a totally

and thoroughly depraved creature

by nature?

Does AN INDIVIDUAL enter the world

completely ruined and helpless,

spiritually blind and dead in trespasses and sins?

According to our answer to that question

so will be our views on many others.

It is on the basis of this dark background

that the whole Bible precedes.

Any attempt to modify or abate, repudiate

or tone down the teaching of Scripture

on the matter is fatal.

Put the question in another form:

Is man now in such a condition

that he cannot be saved

without the Special and Direct Intervention

of the Triune Godhead on his behalf?

In other words,

is there any hope for an individual lost soul

apart from that person’s

personal election by the Father,

 that same person’s

particular redemption by the Son,

and the supernatural operations of the Spirit

within their soul?

Or, putting it in still another way:

If man is a totally depraved being,

can he possibly take the first step

in the matter of his return to God?

The Scriptural Answer:

The scriptural answer to that question

makes evident

the utter futility of the schemes of:

social reformers

for “the moral elevation of the masses,”

the plans of politicians

for the peace of the nations,

and the ideologies of dreamers

to usher in a golden age for this world.

It is both pathetic and tragic

to see many of our greatest men

putting their faith in such chimeras.

Divisions and discords, hatred and bloodshed,

cannot be banished

while human nature is what it is.

But during the past century

the steady trend of a deteriorating Christendom

has been to underrate the evil of sin

and overrate the moral capabilities of men.

Instead of proclaiming the heinousness of sin,

there has been a dwelling more

upon its inconveniences,

and the abasing portrayal of the lost condition of man

as set forth in the Holy Bible

has been obscured if not obliterated

by flattering disquisitions on human advancement.

If the popular religion of the churches—

including nine-tenths

of what is termed “evangelical Christianity—

be tested at this point,

it will be found that it clashes directly with man’s fallen,

ruined and spiritually dead condition.

There is, therefore, a crying need today

for sin to be viewed in the light of God’s law and gospel,

so that its exceeding sinfulness may be demonstrated,

and the dark depths of human depravity exposed

by the teaching of the Holy Bible,

that we may learn

what is connoted by those fearful words:


in trespasses and sins.”

The grand object of the Bible

is to make God known to us,

to portray man as he appears in the eyes of his Maker,

and to show the relation of one to the other.

It is, therefore, the business of His servants

not only to declare

the Divine Character and Perfections,

but also to delineate

the original condition and apostasy of man,

as well as the Divine Remedy

for THE HUMAN RACE’S ruin.

Until we really behold the horror of the pit

in which by nature we lie,

we can never properly appreciate

JESUS Christ’s So-Great Salvation.

In man’s fallen condition we have the awful disease

for which divine redemption is the only cure,

and our estimation

and valuation of the provisions of Divine Grace

will necessarily be modified in proportion

as we modify the need it was meant to meet.

David Clarkson, one of the Puritans,

pointed out this fact in his sermon on Psalm 51:5:

The OBJECT of the ministry of the Gospel

is to bring sinners unto Christ.

Their way to this end

lies in the sense of their misery without Jesus Christ.

The ingredients of this misery are our sinfulness,

original sin and actual sin;

the wrath of God, where sin has exposed us;

and our impotency to free ourselves

either from sin or wrath.

That we may, therefore, promote this great end,

we shall endeavor, as the Lord will assist,

to lead you in this way, by the sense of misery,

to Him who alone can deliver from it.

Now the original of our misery

is the corruption of our nature

or original sin, we thought fit to begin here,

and therefore

have ceased upon these words

as very proper for our purpose:


I was shaped in iniquity;

and in sin

did my mother conceive me.”

exerts adapted from

The Total Depravity of Man

by A.W. Pink


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