Lesson 10 All Men Naturally Depraved
Reading: Isaiah 6:1Ė8.
I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived,
and I died.
6:5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was
great in the earth, and that
every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was
only evil continually.
8:21. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I
will not again curse the ground any more for manís sake; for the imagination
of manís heart is evil from
his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have
17:9. The heart is deceitful
above all things, and
desperately wicked: who can know it?
51:5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
58:3. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be
born, speaking lies.
7:9. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin
revived, and I died.
2:3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of
our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by
nature the children of wrath, even as others.
7:21Ė23. For from within, out of the
heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22Thefts,
covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride,
foolishness: 23All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
ON THE LESSON TEXT
6:5. The exceeding wickedness of the
antediluvians is attributed to an evil heart.
8:21. The evil heart is not the result of a sinful career, it exists from
youth. Nor did the flood remove this defect from the race.
17:9. Extreme wickedness, the extent of which is known only to God, is
located in the heart.
51:5. David admits that his depravity reaches to birth and implies that it
58:3. The results of inborn sin are very early seen in children.
7:9. Paul attributes his fall to the sinfulness of his nature. Sin revived
and he died.
2:3. Paul attributes the sinful life to depravity of the heart. This
depravity is found in manís nature.
7:21Ė23. Jesus points to the heart as the source of evil deeds, thus
implying its sinfulness.
TOPIC: MANíS DEPRAVITY
THE FACT OF DEPRAVITY
Taught in the Scriptures.
The lesson text clearly establishes the fact of depravity. The teachings of the
Scriptures throughout are uniform on the subject. B) Depravity is implied by
locating the cause of sin in the heart. Jesus so located it. In the case of both
Ananias and Simon, Peter locates the cause of sin in the heart. C) The doctrine
of regeneration takes for granted the impurity of the heart. If the heart is in
no sense depraved there is no need of regeneration.
Facts of experience.
The prevalence of sin can be accounted for only on the ground of natural
depravity. It is conceivable that some might sin though the nature were not
depraved, but where sin is the invariable rule the cause must lie in human
nature. B) The unyielding persistence of sin denotes depravity. Men persist in
sin against their reason and good judgment, against the entreaties and threats
of God, in defiance of civil laws, and in contempt of the laws of nature. Such
an unreasonable attitude indicates a depraved nature. C) The early tendencies of
youth show a natural inclination to sin. This cannot be the result of a
developed character but must find its cause in a depraved nature.
THEORIES OF DEPRAVITY
The Pelagian theory.
Pelagian theory is really not a theory of depravity, for it denies depravity of
the human nature except as may be contained in sinful habits acquired through
The Augustinian theory.
theory is associated with the doctrine of predestination.
Through his sin, Adam became depraved, and in him the whole race. This is true
if we allow that depravity is not received in Adam but inherited from him. We
did not possess individual existence in Adam. B) The guilt of Adamís sin is
shared by all his posterity. This makes every man born guilty as well as
depraved. But there can be no guilt without individual existence, hence we could
not be guilty in Adam. To make a man guilty for an act performed by another is
revolting to our sense of justice. Such a position is not supported by
Scripture. Too, if we are guilty of Adamís sin, being his descendants, we are
likewise guilty of an enormous amount of sin, and many men are guilty of the
same sins. C) This depravity is total. Man cannot even desire to do good. If he
is saved it is brought about through the grace of God which he is powerless to
resist. Thus a manís salvation is dependent entirely on the will of God and
not on his own volition. This is predestination.
The Arminian theory.
is the one we hold.
THE NATURE OF DEPRAVITY
A perversion of the moral nature.
The conscience is defiled. The improper workings of conscience show that it has
been deranged. Continued sin hardens the conscience. Such derangement is
inherited. B) The affections are perverted. Man should love God supremely and
his neighbor as himself. The perversion of his affections is shown in his
selfishness; he loves self most. This perversion effects natural feelings and
desires, pure in themselves degenerating them into vanity, jealousy, envy,
retaliation, covetousness, licentiousness, etc. C) The will enslaved, and has a
natural tendency to do wrong. God did not create man self-sufficient. When
depraved from the fellowship of God, man is left more fully to the temptations
THE RESULTS OF DEPRAVITY
Deprave means to make bad, or corrupt.
Some sin more than others. B) Greater depravity may be acquired. One
comparatively good in early life may become greatly depraved through persistent
sinning. Such degradation often comes rapidly. C) We know that some people are
inclined to more corruption than others. Doubtless this is due partly to the
sins of parents or ancestors.
Universality of sin.
prevails everywhere. Scripture declares that both Jews and Gentiles are all
under sin; that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. If we say
we have not sinned we make God a liar.
Regeneration made necessary.
an act of sin neither affected nor was caused by manís nature, the sin might
be forgiven; but not so.