Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 1, 2016

“Total Depravity”: “There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; … There is none who does good, There is not even one.”

Today’s devotion comes from Psalm chapter 14.

“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.

4 Do all the workers of wickedness not know,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call upon the Lord?
5 There they are in great dread,
For God is with the righteous generation.
6 You would put to shame the counsel of the afflicted,
But the Lord is his refuge.

7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores His captive people,
Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad.  Psalm chapter 14.


“10 as it is written,

“There is none righteous, not even one;
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,”
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,
17 And the path of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  Romans 3:10-18.

“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”  Ephesians 2:1-3.

Reformed Doctrine summarizes these Scriptures and other similar Scriptures as “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

When we believe “Total Depravity” with our mind, then “Unconditional Election”, the next point of “TULIP” will make logical sense, because we will understand that because we are dead in sin, there is nothing that we can contribute that will obtain or secure our salvation and that our only chance for salvation is “Unconditional Election” by God.

But, when we really believe “Total Depravity” with our heart, then our heart will rejoice about “Unconditional Election”.  We will eagerly preach and teach it.  We will pound the pulpit and shout from the rooftops about these precious truths of the gospel.

I bring out this second point about believing with our heart, because there seems to be too many who belong to Reformed or Presbyterian churches who try so hard to avoid both “Total Depravity” and “Unconditional Election”.  They can’t refute the truth of that doctrine, but they certainly can and do bristle against it and avoid it and minimize it.  They may pay lip service and mention both points in passing, but it is only in passing on the way to the conclusion of their sermon or other teaching or concluding song which emphasizes man’s works, man’s wisdom, or man’s will (choices).  The totality of their words show that they really don’t believe “Total Depravity” or “Unconditional Election”.

But, what does the Heidelberg Catechism state about our comfort and happiness?
Q. 2.  How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?

A.  Three:  the first, how great my sins and miseries are;  the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries;  the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.  Heidelberg Catechism.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.


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