2 Corinthians 5:14
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;

Depravity is a non-Biblical word like Trinity, which is a word that represents important Biblical truths that is personified by the reality of death.

The definition of depravity to me simply is: All people need a Savior.

In other words if you weren’t depraved, you wouldn’t need a Savior.

Depravity is how God sees man, not how man necessarily sees man.

Depravity, represented in the simplest terms, is how God looks upon man from conception, which is not positive or even neutral but negative, apart from Christ’s redemption.

If there was not an extremely serious problem with mankind, God would not have offered Himself as a living sacrifice for mankind.

Some disagree with the doctrine of man’s depravity. Many do not think it’s fair and attempt to show that man is not born with a sinful nature. For example in John 9:1-3, they try to make the point that a blind man’s blindness does not come from his parent’s sin. They also argue that a depraved nature does not come from parents.

Jesus makes the point that the blindness did not come from the parent’s sin. Yet the blind man was still born with a sinful nature and was going to physically die because of Adam. He was made blind for another reason that has nothing to do with the doctrine of depravity, other than if we were not depraved, there would be no need for this example.

John 9:1-3
And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2) And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” 3) Jesus answered, “[It was] neither [that] this man sinned, nor his parents; but [it was] in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Jesus explains that the person was made blind for a particular purpose that the works of God might be displayed in him. It does not set a precedent for all other cases of blindness, sickness or even the lack of a deprived nature.

[The Fourfold Gospel] (TFG 462) John 9:3
Neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. Jesus found a third alternative to their dilemma. The man’s parents were sinners, but neither their sin nor the beggar’s own sin had caused this calamity. It had come upon him as part of God’s plan for his life; it was part of the providential arrangement by which God governs the world.

Another miss-application against the doctrine of depravity is found in Ezekiel 18:20.

Ezekiel 18:20
The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

This verse is explaining that the sins of the father should not be held against the son or the sins of the son against the father. For example: if your father was a thief, rapist or murder and was thrown in jail, the son should not be thrown in jail also for what the father did or visa a versa.

In context, these examples are talking about earthly situations where the presupposition is that both father and son are subject to sin, substantiating the doctrine of man’s depravity.

Contrasting this point with Exodus 20:5, we need to understand that Ezekiel 18:20 is dealing with a human situation where humans are making judgments in regard to other humans. Exodus 20:5 is God’s judgment on his people for their sins from a divine point of view.

God’s decree in Exodus 20:5 is part of the Ten Commandments
You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me...

Attempting to interpret Ezekiel 18:20 or any other text to undermine original sin cannot be done. There are far too many passages that teach the effect of original sin.

For example, as a result of Eve’s sin all woman in the future will suffer.
Genesis 3:16 To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.

As a result of Adam’s sin, all men in the future will suffer and men and women alike will all experience physical death.

Genesis 3:17-19 Then to Adam He said, because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. 18) Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field; 19) By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

There are three different kinds of death referred to within the

1. Physical death: separation of material and immaterial parts of man, “for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
(This obviously is referring to physical death.)

2. Spiritual death: separation of the soul/spirit from God.
Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17) but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”
(This ended the relationship that was intended.)

3. Eternal death: “spiritual death made permanent.”

Note: Man ate, and did not physically die that day. Man ate and spiritually died that day.
(The result of spiritual death is a sinful nature that produces sin and eventual physical death.)


Examples of the effect of the Adamic spiritual death are spoken of by Paul, in referring to himself.

Note: thou Paul had been redeemed and is indwelt with the Holy Spirit yet he still suffers the effect of his old Adamic nature.

Romans 7:18
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good {is} not.

Romans 7:21
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.

As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, the world changed. Anger and jealousy are now possible as a result of the sinful nature. Eve’s sin effects all women, demonstrating the reality of a depraved nature.

1 Timothy 2:11-14
Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12) But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13) For it was Adam who was first created, [and] then Eve. 14) And [it was] not Adam [who] was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.

We clearly see the result of Adam and Eve’s sin in the hearts of all mankind.

Genesis 6:5-6
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6) And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Psalms 36:1-4
For the choir director. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD. Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2) For it flatters him in his own eyes, Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it. 3) The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. 4) He plans wickedness upon his bed; He sets himself on a path that is not good; He does not despise evil.

Psalms 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

Psalms 58:3
The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth.

Ecclesiastes 7:20
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:10-13
As it is written, There is none righteous, not even one; 11) There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; 12) All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one. 13) Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,” “The poison of asps is under their lips...

Ephesians 2:1
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

Ephesians 2:3
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable [body] it is raised an imperishable [body] 43) it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44) it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual [body.]
And the Bible often employs the word “flesh” to denote the corrupt nature of man. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not” (Romans 7:18)

When Paul describes men under a variety of wicked forms, the first link in the chain is: “lovers of their own selves” (2 Timothy 3:2). This exclusive love of self is the fountain of depravity from which all evil thoughts and actions flow; it is the womb from which all sinful expedients are born. It is the incubator in which all evil inventions are hatched.

Depravity is total, reaching to all the facilities of the soul; it is universal; taking in all men by nature; and it is inherent, by which we mean that it is the result of original sin, transmitted by natural generation or physical birth.
(Definitions of Doctrine C.D.COLE, Chapter 3)

Depravity does not mean we are as evil as we could be. Hitler, Stalin, mass murderers, etc. are worse, but it means none of us are worthy to be saved on our own merits!
(Dr. Duane Dunham, Professor NT Greek and Exegesis, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, 29 years)

John 3:6
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20) idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21) envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

It is important to understand that being born of sinful flesh always produces sinful fleshly deeds-sin. Jesus was born in the flesh, but without the sinful seed. That’s because He was born of a virgin and was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Men, not women, pass on the sinful flesh seed. A bad root produces bad fruit. Males pass on the seed of the sinful nature, not females. Man’s sin was far more serious than the woman’s. The woman was deceived; whereas, the man knowingly sinned against God.

1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.

I John 3:10
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious:

There are only two groups. Hence, everyone is in one group or the other. You are either a child of God or a child of the devil.
You are either spiritually alive or spiritually dead.


2 Samuel 12:23 is used by some to attempt to undermine original sin.

2 Samuel 12:23
But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.

David wants to believe that his child went to heaven, as all parents do.

But the only parents that have any hope of their
children going to heaven are believing parents.

1 Corinthians 7:14
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.

The fact that the children of the unbelieving are unclean supports the doctrine of depravity.

Job 14:3-4
Thou also dost open Thine eyes on him, and bring him into judgment with thyself. 4) “Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!

It is impossible for mankind to become clean and holy through their own efforts of good works or anything else other than God’s intervention by His grace.

In other words, horses bear horses, dogs bear dogs, Chinese parents bear Chinese children and unclean sinful parents bear unclean sinful children.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Romans 5:18-19
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19) For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

As a result of Jesus Christ dying on the cross for mankind’s sin and raising from the dead, now all people can be saved by trusting in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

John 3:18
He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Genesis 6:5
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Note: It is talking about everyone, even babies, the evidence of this is that all died in the flood, no one was innocent and free from guilt, judgment, and God’s wrath.

Genesis 7:21-23
And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; 22) of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. 23) Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.

Ephesians 2:12
[remember] that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Galatians 3:22
But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Romans 3:10-18
As it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; 11) There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; 12) All have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.” 13) “Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving,” “the poison of asps is under their lips”; 14) “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”; 15) “Their feet are swift to shed blood, 16) Destruction and misery are in their paths,v 17) And the path of peace have they not known.” 18) “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:9
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?

Note: The very nature of mankind is in opposition to God from the start. That’s why we do not have to teach children to lie, steal, or cheat; sinning comes naturally to them as a result of what they are, conceived in sin, enemies of God.

John 1:4-5
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for [God’s] own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light...

Colossians 1:13
For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son...

Verse 13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness. The power exerted over us in that dark kingdom to which we formerly belonged—the kingdom of Satan. The characteristic of this empire is darkness — the emblem of:
(1) sin;
(2) error;
(3) misery and death.

Over us, by nature, these things had uncontrollable power; but now we are delivered from them, and brought to the enjoyment of the privileges of those who are connected with the kingdom of light.
(BARNES - Barnes New Testament Notes, Colossians 1:13)

John 12:46
I have come [as] light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness.

Ephesians 4:18
Being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart...

Ephesians 5:8
For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light...

Here Paul enlarges on the contrast between darkness and light. As in Ephesians 2:1-3 and 3:17-24, he reminds his readers of what they once were. One word suffices by way of summary—”darkness.” Not only did they live in darkness: they were darkness (cf. 4:18). But now they have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and inherit the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:12, 13). They not only live in the light: they are light. This is possible only in union with Christ who is Himself the Light. (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Ephesians 5:8)

When a person’s nature is darkness, it will naturally produce deeds of darkness.
Romans 13:12
The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

John 8:42-44
Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 43) “Why do you not understand what I am saying? [It is] because you cannot hear My word. 44) “You are of [your] father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [nature;] for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

Verse 44. Ye are of your father the devil. Ye are the seed of the old serpent. [See ACC for John 8:37. The lusts of your father] Like father like son. What Satan desires ye desire because ye are filled with his nature. Awful state of unregenerate men! They have the nearest alliance to Satan; they partake of his nature and have in them the same principles and propensities which characterize the very nature and essence of the devil! Reader, canst thou rest in this state? Apply to God, through Christ, that thou mayest be born again. (Adam Clarke’s Commentary, John 8:44)

From what is here said, it is manifest, says Dr. Lightfoot, that the whole tendency of our Saviour’s discourse is to show the Jews, that they are the seed of that serpent which was to bruise the heel of the Messiah: else what could that mean, John 8:44: Ye are of your father the devil, i.e. ye are the seed of the serpent.
(Adam Clarke’s Commentary, John 8:37)

Apple seeds produce apples and the seed of the serpent (Adam) produces sinful deeds and eternal death.
The seed of the promise, “Christ” produces eternal life.

1 Peter 1:23
For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, [that is,] through the living and abiding word of God.

There are only two seeds:

1. The seed of the serpent, which is perishable = the depravity we are born with. (Spiritual Death)

2. The seed of the promise, “Christ,” which we are born again with = eternal life. (Spiritual Life)

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
And even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4) in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Note: People are veiled from the time of their conception and they are spiritually blinded from birth.

I John 5:19
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in [the power of] the evil one.

Matthew 8:22
But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me; and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

Follow me; and leave the dead to bury their own dead.
Let the spiritually dead bury the naturally dead.
(Four Fourfold Gospel, Matthew 8:22)

Note: Being spiritually dead will produce deeds of death, sin.

Romans 7:24
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Romans 5:10
For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Ephesians 2:1-3
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3) Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

Note: All are born in a state of condemnation and remain in it because they have not believed.

Acts 26:18
To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.

Jesus said: John 3:3
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

There is a chain link from Adam to every person.
As a result of Adam’s sin, we now have a universe that is running down; we have wars, crime, death, pollution, divorce, sickness, birth defects, greed, hatred, famines, insanity, earthquakes, riots, etc. etc.

To suggest that anyone or anything is exempt from the result of Adam’s sin undermines the importance of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and redemption.

Colossians 1:20-22
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21) And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22) yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —

1. Alienated, the state of existence.
2. Hostile in mind.
3. Evil deeds.

I think the reason some have problems with man’s depravity is that they think too highly of man and not highly enough of God.

Galatians 6:3
For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

Your identity before God is that God sees you by nature with the mark of sin and death on you. In addition every one of your sins attached to you as a wart. No sin is allowed in heaven. So you need your sins removed by the Blood of Jesus to go to heaven.

John 3:18
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 5:24
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

John 1:29
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”



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