The total depravity, sinfulness and guilt of all men since the Fall, rendering them subject to God’s wrath and condemnation – Psalm 51:5; Job 14:4; Romans 3:23; 5:12-17; Mark 7:21-23; Ephesians 2:1.
The total depravity, sinfulness and guilt of all men since the Fall render all sinners subject to God’s wrath and condemnation (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-6; Romans 5:17,19; Psalm 51:1-5). Man was created in the image of God, and he was righteous and holy. Man was the crown of God’s creation (Genesis 1:26,27; Psalm 8:4-8). Through voluntary disobedience and transgression, man fell into the depths of sin. As a consequence, everyone born through our first parents (Adam and Eve) became sinners, shapened in iniquity and utterly void of the holiness of God. Every man became totally inclined to evil (Psalm 51:1-5; Romans 3:10-18,23; 7:14-21; 5:12-17; Job 14:4; Isaiah 48:8). As a result of the fall of man (Adam and Eve), all men born through man and woman became sinners through inheritance. By inheriting the nature of sin, man became depraved. There is nothing in the natural man that has not been affected by the power of sin.
The entire nature of man, mentally, physically, morally and spiritually, has been affected by sin. The testimony of the scriptures is that the image of God in man has been seriously marred by this great fall. As a result of the fall, and the nature of sin inherited, man became separated from God, totally alienated from the perfect, holy and pure God. This separation is the cause of man’s sorrow, shame, fear, heartaches and manifold problems, spiritually and mentally. Man became a transgressor (Romans 1:32; 6:23). All these have brought man under the wrath and condemnation of God, “for the soul that sinneth it shall die.” There is nothing we can do for ourselves to commend us to a righteous and holy God. There is nothing the natural man (fallen away from grace) can offer to appease God in order to escape His righteous judgement.
The Bible describes the fallen nature of man in various terms. Jesus Christ referred to sinners outside the Kingdom of God as swine and dogs. “Give not that which is holy unto dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:6). He also referred to them as goats (Matthew 25:33). Paul in his epistle to the Philippian church warned them to beware of evil workers as dogs (Philippians 3:2). Also, in his epistle to the Romans, he referred to the fallen nature of man as “there is none righteous, no, not one”, “they are together become unprofitable”, “their throat is an open sepulchre”, “whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10-18,23). Jesus and John the Baptist described men as vipers (Matthew 3:7;12:34). Variously, the unregenerate man is characterised with reprobate mind filled with all unrighteousness – immorality, covetousness, envy, murder; man is defiled and polluted (Romans 1:28-32; Mark 7:21-23), treacherous, violent and destructive (Isaiah 48:8; 59:5-8), cunning and crafty, full of wickedness, blind, foolish, with darkened understanding, children of wrath, (Ephesians 2:3; 4:14). The Bible says that the whole man is sick. The heart devises wicked imaginations, and has come far short of the glory of God. All men have become enslaved to sin: conceived in sin, born in sin, and lives in sin. By nature and habit, he is a sinner. The natural man cannot resist sin.
The consequence of the Fall is that man became totally depraved, and the immediate effect was his separation from the Holy God, and the coming into effect of a curse upon Adam and his descendants (Genesis 3:1-6,14-19,23,24; Romans 5:12; 8:22). God’s judgement also came upon all men: “The soul that sinneth it shall die,” “for the wages of sin is death” (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23). The human race has rebelled against God and broken His law, but the love of God constrained the holy God to plan for man’s redemption to fulfil the law that“without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Therefore, God undertook the redemption work for man by sending Jesus Christ to die for him. Jesus Christ became the divine provision of a Perfect Substitute and Sin-bearer (Genesis 22:7,8,14; Hebrews 9:22; Matthew 1:21). By the perfect sacrifice of His blood (I Corinthians 5:7) and through His blood, man has complete protection from the eternal consequence of the Fall, from the curse of the broken law (Exodus 12:13; Galatians 3:13); complete removal of the guilt and condemnation of sin, and full redemption by faith in Him (Isaiah 53:4-8; Acts 8:32-35; I Peter 1:18-21; 2:24).
The atonement is the reconciliation of sinful, fallen man to God made possible through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The vicarious death of Jesus Christ is the substitution of the sufferings of Christ for the punishment of all sinners in the world. The prime purpose of this is the full redemption of fallen mankind. Through this “mercy-seat”, sinners are reconciled to God. The power of sin over the natural man can only be broken by the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12; Romans 5:17-19): “For as by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man shall many be made righteous.”
God demands repentance from all sinners to avail themselves of the provision of redemption (Isaiah 53:5-7; Matthew 20:28; 26:28; John 3:14,15; I Corinthians 5:7; John 1:12; 3:18,36) made in Jesus Christ. Repentance is the change which takes place in the penitent’s attitude towards sin. It is turning away from sin to God. Sincere and total repentance and godly sorrow for sin through the agency of the Holy Spirit are important pre-requisites for salvation. Repentance is the deep inward experience which makes the sinner turn from sin to God. Therefore, God demands repentance from all men (Mark 1:15; Matthew 4:17; Luke 13:3,5; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30). When a sinner hears the gospel empowered by the Holy Spirit, the sinner will have deep, godly sorrow for his sins and acknowledge them by confessing all manner of sins. He goes before God on the merit of the atonement made by Jesus Christ through His vicarious death and accepts the sacrifice as a substitute for the punishment of his own personal sins. On the basis of this genuine repentance, the sinner asks for forgiveness and pardon based on the promises of God in the scriptures (Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 55:6,7; I John 1:9; Ezekiel 18:21,22). As the sinner repents genuinely through the agency of the Holy Spirit he receives pardon (Luke 24:47; John 2:23).