Total Depravity CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Total Depravity is the doctrine that teaches that man is born with a nature that is alienated from God and is in rebellion against God. The total man is depraved and he will, therefore, never seek God or choose Jesus Christ, by his own free will, in order to be saved. Hence, he must be born again by the Lord before he can even believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
TULIP is the acrostic for the doctrine of Calvinism which says basically that Jesus died for only the saved and they have already been elected to salvation while the damned have no way to be saved. They couldn’t be saved if they wanted to because Christ didn’t die for them and they are too depraved to come to him on their own.
Perseverance of the saints
Verses used to support the doctrine on total depravity are the following:
Gen 6:5 – the imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Ps 51:5 – I was shapen in iniquity.
Jer 17:9 – the heart is deceitful above all things.
Mk 7:20-23 – this is the list of things in a man’s heart that defiles him.
Rom 3:10-18 – there is none that seeketh after God… there is no fear of God before their eyes.
1 Cor 2:14 – the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.
Eph 2:1-3 – we were dead in trespasses and sins … and were by nature the children of wrath.
These verses show you what is in man. However, the condition of his heart and the fact that he is dead in trespasses and sins does not preclude him from being saved. He can do things to indicate his desire to be saved. Or he can repent after being reproved by the Spirit of God. And he can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ once he has heard the gospel revealed to him by the words of God and the Spirit of God.
Look at these verses that are contrary to the doctrine of total depravity:
Acts 10:2-5, 22, 34-35, 43-44. Cornelius was doing things that are not the works of a totally depraved man. God had respect to Cornelius’s prayers, fear and alms. The Lord replied to him according to Rom 2:4-7, 10-11. He sent Peter to preach the gospel to him and saved his soul when he believed on the Lord Jesus Christ [Acts 11:15-17].
Eph 1:12-13 shows you the order in salvation. First, you hear the word of the gospel. Then you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ [trust in Christ]. After this, you are sealed by the Spirit. This is Rom 10:13-14 in reverse. Your heart is not so depraved that you cannot believe. Eph 2:8-9 says that God gives you the faith of Christ to believe.
Jn 3:14-16 shows you that believing in Jesus Christ is connected with the serpent in the wilderness [Num 21:7-9]. The Jews who had sinned recognized that they had sinned [repentance]. And when they looked at the serpent on the pole they lived. If they looked they lived and if they didn’t look they died. Likewise, if you believe on Jesus, you have everlasting life, and if you don’t believe you perish [Acts 28:23-24]. You perish, not because of your depravity, but because of your refusal to receive the cure. In Jn 16:8-9, Jesus said, “they believe not on me”. Heb 2:3 says, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation”?
Conclusion: it’s like things were in the gospels. The ones who believed Jesus and wanted to be healed came to him and they were healed. The ones who didn’t believe didn’t come to him. And, therefore, they were not healed [Mk 6]. In salvation, you decide. The Bible says, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. If you want Jesus you can have him, Jn 6:37-40.