Turn in your Bibles to Ephesians 2:1-3. Today I will jump right into reading our text, we will pray, and then we will study the scriptures.
- Ephesians 2:1-3 - “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. “
Last week, I spent 45 minutes basically reading the Bible to you. If my counting is right, I quoted from 16 different books in the Bible, ten Old Testament and six New Testament. In one sense, it was one of the easiest sermons I had written, because it was just cut and paste. However, in another sense it was painstaking because the whole Bible points to the reality that God is sovereign over everything. I had to leave a lot of text on the cutting room floor. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God is in control of all things, from the dice in Vegas to the hearts the Kings. It is all under his command. The reason for this is that, once again, God has a purpose, His glory.
- Romans 11:36 – “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
With those two weeks under our belt, whether you are ready of not, we will step into the five points of the Doctrines of Grace: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. The easiest ways to remember these is the acronym TULIP. Today I am going to cover the doctrine of Total Depravity.
The Beginning of Sin
Total Depravity is about sin. So let us begin at the beginning of sin. Turn with me Genesis 3:1-6
- Genesis 3:1-6 – “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.“
After Satan’s fall, which Jesus speaks about in Luke 10:18, “"I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” Satan shows up in the Soverign Creator’s Garden and tempts Adam and Eve to disobey the Soverign God. Up until this point everything was, according to God, “very good.” The freedom of their will was a freedom from the slavery of sin. In that freedom, Satan tempted Eve and she took the bait. She then offered it to Adam, and he took the bait, and at that moment their eyes were open to good and evil, and they lost their freedom in God and exchanged it for slavery to sin.
The Global Spread of Sin
From that point on, everything changed. No longer was everything “very good.” Everything was very bad. Through the sin of Adam, sin spread everywhere.
- Romans 5:12 – “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—“
- Psalm 51:5 – “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
- Romans 3:10-20 – “as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." 13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." 14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”
- Mark 10:18 – “And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”
The Totality of Sin
If we turn back to Genesis and listen to God’s warning to Adam and Eve about disobeying him, what does he say?
- Genesis 2:16 – “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
- Ephesians 2:1-3 – “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
- Ephesians 4:18 – “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”
- Genesis 5:5 – “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. “
- Titus 1:15 – “to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”
- Romans 7:18 – “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”
- Matthew 7:18 – “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.“
- Romans 8:7-8 – “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.“
- Hebrews 11:6 – “And without faith it is impossible to please him,”
- Isaiah 64:6 – “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:14 – “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
- John 6:44 - “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
- John 3:3 - “ unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
- John 3:6 - “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “
The Desperation of Sin and the Praise of God's Glorious Grace
So where does this leave us? Exactly where God wants us, at a point of desperation. I believe that there is one word that sums up our total depravity, wretched. This is one of the most important revelations any person can have. And this is why Satan hates it. Satan does not want you to know that your heart is desperately sick. He wants to drug you with the world's morphine of self-worth. He wants to keep your from the Great Physician. Satan loves to whisper in your ear, you are awesome. Tickling your ears in his hospice for Hell. And I am here today saying, I will not side with Satan. I side with God's Word. I side with Paul who said:
- Romans 7:24-25 - “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! “
- Ezekiel 36:26 – “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”