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Three Gospel Truths
In this portion of Holy Scripture, the prophet Isaiah speaks as the representative of God’s elect. And in this one verse of Inspiration he plainly states three Gospel truths experienced, believed, and confessed by every person who is born again by God’s almighty grace. Here are three Gospel doctrines held in common by all true believers.
“All we like sheep have gone astray.” — That is the doctrine of original sin. It is called original sin, because it was the first sin. We all went astray from God in the sin and fall of our father Adam (Psalm 14:3; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). This is the doctrine of original sin as it is set forth in the Word of God. Adam was the federal head and representative of all men. Adam’s sin was imputed to all men, because we all sinned in Adam. God does not impute sin where there is no sin. Adam’s sin was imputed to us all because we all sinned in our father Adam. — “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Adam’s depraved nature is imparted to all men by natural generation.
In Adam we suffered a great fall and a great loss. We fell from God’s favor into condemnation. We fell from sinlessness into sinfulness. We lost original righteousness, fellowship with God, access to God, and all spiritual life. We fell from life into death, from liberty into bondage, from peace into enmity, and from light into darkness. But that is not all. We are sinners by birth, sinners by nature (Psalm 51:5; Matthew 15:19). And we are all sinners by personal choice too.
This is the doctrine of personal depravity. — “We have turned everyone to his own way.” Because the heart of man, at birth, “is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9; Genesis 6:5), we are all “estranged from the womb” and go astray as soon as we are born, speaking lies (Psalm 58:3). — “We have turned everyone to his own way.”
God’s elect are like all other people by nature, ever going astray from God. Like sheep, foolish and ignorant, we ever stray from the Good Shepherd and the fold of grace, and from the path of peace and the way of life. Until we were looked up, sought out, and brought back by the Shepherd, we would never have returned. We had neither the will nor the ability to return to our God. Rather, we “turned everyone to his own way,” the way of his own choosing. Yet, there is hope because of…
“And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” — The Triune Jehovah, the Lord God against whom we have sinned, from whom we have strayed, whose law we have broken, whose justice must be satisfied, has laid upon the Lord Jesus Christ, his own dear Son, all the sins of all his elect. The Son of God was made sin for us, so that he might be justly punished for sin in our stead, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).