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The Actual State of Sinful Man

 

If you have read Salvation Part I, you should understand what the Bible teaches about HOW we, as mankind, became sinners.  Most people who have spent any time at all in church have heard that they are a sinner.  From the time we first attend Sunday school we hear that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23).  But what does that actually mean?  How many of us have also heard HOW the Bible defines what it means to be a sinner.  What does God say about us as sinners?  To what extent are we sinful, and what is the exact nature of our sinfulness?  In most churches, you would never hear the answer to these questions.  I grew up in a church that preached from the Bible every Sunday and never once heard any of the answers to these questions.  WHY?  During the 1970s and early 1980s most “evangelical” churches that claimed to preach the gospel began to preach a different form of the gospel, one that claimed to be more “positive” than the gospel that had been preached prior to that time.  It claimed to be more positive because it downplayed the nature of man’s sinfulness as well as Gods righteous judgment against our sin.  Most fallen sinners do not naturally see themselves the way that God does.  This is because it is a part of our fallen nature to downplay our sinfulness and to try to find some measure of good within ourselves.  Yet, if we are to come to genuine repentance, we must see ourselves as God sees us.  We must believe what God says about us, not what we feel about ourselves.  

 

In this section we are going to examine several Bible verses that help to explain the nature of our sinfulness. We will examine several verses that prove that each and every human being born into this world has the same sinful nature, that we all inherited that sinful nature from Adam and Eve.  We are also going to discover what it actually means to be a sinner and how God describes our sinfulness.  This is VERY important because if we do not understand what God means when He tells us that we are sinners, we will not understand what God means when He tells us that we must repent of our sin.     

 

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me.  These are the words of David, who was a man “after God’s own heart”–this means that he was pleasing to God.  Yet, David tells us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that he was shapen (formed in the womb) in iniquity–already IN sin, and that he was a sinner from the moment he was first conceived.  Surely, his fallen condition could NOT be worse than our own. Surely it could not be any different from our own.  The fact is, the fallen, human nature of David is the same fallen nature of EVERY other fallen human being.  This verse tells us WHEN we, as sinners, inherit the sin nature. We see from this verse that we inherit the sin nature from the MOMENT we are first conceived. This means that we never have even a moment of innocence in this life.  All of the innocence of man passed from the scene the moment man fell in the garden, and EVERY sinner born into the world subsequent to that fateful event, inherits a fallen, sinful nature, from the moment of his conception.  This verse tells us WHEN we inherit the sin nature, and the following Bible verses tell us that all human beings DO inherit the sin nature:  “For as by one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19).  This verse tells us that Adam’s sin was passed on to us.   For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (I Corinthians 15:22).   This verse tells us that our spiritual death, our fallen state of sinfulness, is the RESULT of Adam’s sin.  We became sinners THROUGH Adam.         

 

Psalm 14:2-3 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are ALL gone aside, they are together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.   God is telling us what He actually sees when He looks upon us in our lost state.  He sees that we do NOT understand nor seek Him.  He sees that we ALL have turned aside (from following Him) and that we are FILTHY because of our sin.  God sees that not even ONE fallen sinner does good, NO, NOT ONE.  How different is God’s perspective of fallen man from our perspective of ourselves?  This is why God is so careful to explain to us the reality of things, lest we be tempted to listen to our own deceitful hearts, which are apt to tell us otherwise.

 

Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.  Who ARE the wicked? The Bible tells us that EVERY lost sinner (this is every person born into the world, prior to genuine salvation) is one of THE WICKED: So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked [the lost] from the just [the saved], and shall cast them  [the lost] into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:49-50).  

 

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. In this verse, Jesus is speaking to LOST sinners.  Every lost sinner has the SAME fallen nature; Jesus was not singling out some especially wicked group of lost sinners, that was somehow DIFFERENT from the rest of lost sinners.  No, EVERY lost sinner has the SAME wicked nature and EVERY lost sinner is a part of the “generation of vipers.”

 

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? Many times in this fallen world, we are given the advice to trust our heart, or when facing a major decision we’re told to just “go with your heart.”  We are often counselled to look within our hearts to figure out what to do in a particular situation or even to find out what profession to pursue.  Yet the Bible NEVER counsels us to trust our hearts.  As fallen sinners, our hearts are DESPERATELY wicked; they are DECEITFUL above all things.  Our hearts are so wicked that we cannot even “know” our own heart. Surely, then, the heart should NOT be trusted to lead us right.  For a picture of some of the wicked things that are actually present within our sinful hearts, please click here.

 

Matthew 15:18-19 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Here, again, we are reminded that our HEART is the source of evil speaking, evil thoughts, and evil deeds.  The root of all these evil things is an EVIL heart–this is the evil heart that we are born with, the evil heart that we inherited from our ancestor, Adam.

 

Luke 3:7 Then he said to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? These are the words that John the Baptist said to the ENTIRE MULTITUDE, to ALL of the people who came to him to be baptized of him.  If ALL of those lost sinners were a part of the generation of vipers, then surely ALL lost sinners on the earth now are in the SAME condition.  We share with those lost sinners the SAME fallen, sinful nature.  We ALL inherited this nature in equal measure when we were born, as fallen sinners, into this world. Therefore, this verse clearly teaches that EVERY lost sinner is a part of the “generation of vipers,” and EVERY lost sinner needs to FLEE from the wrath to come.

 

Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY EVIL continually. (emphasis added)  Again, we must ask, were those fallen sinners that God is referring to in this verse a special breed of fallen sinners, who were somehow MORE sinful than ALL other sinners?  Absolutely NOT.  There is ONLY one breed of fallen sinners– we ALL came from the same two fallen sinners–from Adam and Eve–and we all share the SAME fallen nature.  God is telling us the truth about ourselves, and the flood which came upon these unrepentant sinners is not only a reality of the just consequences of sin, but is also a WARNING to ALL of us, that we might come to genuine repentance and put our faith in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ, so that we will not have to face the ETERNAL punishment for our sins, in hell.

 

James 3:6,8 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. But the tongue can no man tame. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Jesus told us in Matthew 12:3-4 that what we speak with our mouths comes from what is within our hearts.   We have already seen how wicked our hearts are (Jeremiah 17:9), and here we find our wicked hearts providing the hellish fuel for our untamed tongues. It is iniquity UNTO iniquity. What a truly sad state we, as fallen man, are in.

 

Romans 3:10-18 As it is written, there is NONE righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes, emphasis added.  This passage is very clear.  We are all equally without goodness of ANY kind before God.  Not only does it tell us that we are without goodness, but it also tells us the extent to which we ARE wicked.

 

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. Please notice: The Bible gives ONLY two options: We are either a child of God (through salvation), or we are a child of the devil (through our natural birth into this world). This means that EVERY person who has not been truly saved is a child of the devil, and that every person who is now saved was, at one time, a child of the devil.

 

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  In this passage, Jesus is talking to the unbelieving Jews, to those who were yet lost.  He tells them that their father is the devil–this means that they are his children.  Again, Jesus is not referring here to a special class of sinners, separate from the rest.  No, He is telling us the state of EVERY lost sinner, of EVERY unregenerate soul.  This is the sad result of man’s rebellion against God, of man’s choice to follow Satan in the garden, rather than obey God.  It is not the state of a few men, but of EVERY fallen sinner  born into this world.

 

Continue to Salvation Part III: The Just Consequences of Our Sin