Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Doctrine of Total Depravity
Currently, we are studying Paul's letter to the church at Rome during our midweek Bible Study, which feature both a noon and night session each week. The church has and is being revived, refreshed and renewed, as we appreciate God's unmerited favor towards us regardless of ethnic, religious or social standing.
Our lesson today finds us in Romans 3, where Paul has already emphatically and eloquently presented God's prior indictment against all mankind, not to exclude Heathens 1:18-32; Hypocrites 2:1-16; or Hebrews 2:17-3:8. He concludes that all are under sin and our in need of saving. There is none righteous, no, not one; no one understands, seek for God and all have turned aside; 3:10-12a.
In my prayerful preparation to teach this lesson, I was reading James Montgomery Boice's treatment of this passage and it blessed me immeasurably. He says:
"The doctrine of total depravity is hard for the human race to accept, of course, for one of the results of our being sinners is that we tend to treat sin lightly. Most people are willing to admit that they are not perfect. It takes an extraordinary supply of arrogance for any mere human being to pretend that he or she has no flaws. Generally we do not do that. But this is far different from admitting that we are utterly depraved so far as our having any natural ability to please God is concerned. We are willing to admit that we are not perfect, but not that we are not righteous. We are willing to admit that there are things not known to us, but not that we are devoid of all spiritual understanding. We are willing to admit that we wander off the true path at times, but not that we are not even on the right path. Instead of admitting that we are running away from God, we pretend that we are seeking Him." James Montgomery Boice, Romans ; page 289
I could not have said it better. Thank God for His amazing grace. Keep us in your prayers.