Read Psalm 14:1-3 carefully. You will see that God’s description of man and man’s notions about himself are not the same. God tells us here that all human beings are by nature corrupt, depraved fools. Be sure to observe the fact that the words “there is” are italicized. That indicates that the words were added by the translators to make the passage read more smoothly. However, in this case, the added words are a detriment rather than a help. The text should not read, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God,” but simply, “The fool hath said in his heart, No, God,” or “The fool hath said in his heart, No, to God.”
If David had said, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God,” that would be a direct contradiction of Paul’s teaching in Romans 1 and 2. Paul tells us plainly that there is no such thing as an atheist. There are many fools who would like to be atheists, and try to be. But all who claim to be atheists are liars. The Apostle Paul, writing by Divine inspiration, tells us that all men are born with a God consciousness from which they can never escape. So when David writes, “The fool hath said in his heart, No, God,” or “No, to God,” he is not suggesting that some men really are atheists. Not at all. David is telling us that all men are foolish rebels by nature, constantly shaking their fists in God’s face and saying, “No, God!”
In these three verses, the Holy Spirit describes the character and condition of all human beings by nature since the fall of Adam. Here are seven facts about the entire human race.
1. All human beings are, by nature, rebellious fools, fools for their rebellion, for man’s rebellion is against God Almighty!
2. The whole human race is corrupt, abominable, and filthy before God.
3. We all became corrupt, abominable, and filthy at one time, by Adam’s one act of rebellion and treason against God.
4. We all, at one time, turned away from God. - In the fall of our father Adam we willfully, deliberately turned away from our God.
5. Because of Adam’s sin and our sin in him, the entire human race has become totally ignorant of all things spiritual. - “There is none that understandeth!”
6. No one left to himself will ever truly seek the Lord. - “There is none that seeketh after God.”
7. And no one has the ability to do anything that is good and acceptable to God. - “There is none that doeth good…”There is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Thus the Spirit of God tells us that man is, by nature, a totally depraved, helpless, perishing creature.