Total Depravity - A Bible Doctrine ††††††††††

Genesis 6:5

Let me show you that the Scriptures plainly teach the doctrine of manís total depravity. We take our doctrine directly from the Word of God. As I keep reminding you, the basis of our faith is the Word of God alone. We do not build our doctrine upon human opinion, reason, and logic, church tradition, historic creeds, confessions, and catechisms, or denominational history and tradition, but upon Thus saith the Lord All that we believe we believe because it is plainly stated in the Word of God. Does the Bible clearly and plainly teach that all the human race is totally depraved? I appeal to no authority except the Word of God. I want you to read for yourself what God says in his Holy Word about this subject (Gen. 6:5; Job 15:16; Ps. 51:5; 58:3; Isa. 1:4-6; 53:6; Jer. 13:23; 17:9; Matt. 15:19-20; Rom. 3:9-12; 3:23; 5:12; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1-3; John 3:19).

††††††††††† These fifteen passages of Holy Scripture are but a very few of the many, many statements in Godís Word about the total depravity of the human race. Read each passage carefully in its context. They stand without comment, declaring that all men are by nature totally depraved. To deny what these texts declare is to deny the Word of God. To argue against the doctrine of Total Depravity is to be found fighting against God himself!

††††††††††† The Word of God plainly and universally teaches that all human beings are, since the fall of Adam, born in a state of total depravity: lost, corrupt at heart, condemned under the curse of Godís holy law, and utterly incapable of removing that curse or changing their condition. ††††††††† In fact, manís depravity is so thorough and complete that he cannot even make any contribution toward removing the curse of the law, or changing his condition. Fallen man cannot even make a move toward God, much less bring himself back to God!

Let me be crystal clear in stating what the Scriptures teach about the doctrine of Total Depravity. Unless we have a clear understanding about the depravity of man, we cannot have a clear understanding about any other gospel truth. Here are five things revealed in the Word of God about the total depravity of the entire human race.

1.      Man by nature is a fallen creature (Eccles. 7:29).

2.      We were all born with a decided bias toward evil, with an utter hatred of God (Mark 7:21-23; Rom. 8:7).

3.      No one has the ability to save himself by his own works (Gal 2:16).

4.      No one has the will or ability to come to Christ by faith (John 5:40; 6:44).

5.      The only hope for depraved sinners is the free and sovereign grace of God in Christ (Rom. 9:15-16).


Don Fortner