Just How Depraved Are We, Anyway?
Yesterday I heard a sermon that was really good. It was from New Covenant Baptist Church in Albertville. During the sermon, the pastor made the following statement: “You ought not to have to tell a person,’Don’t cheat with someone else’s wife. Don’t take what is not yours.’ The fact that God had to tell us this an indication that something is wrong.”
Often I have thought that some of the more “out there” laws are proof of humankind’s depravity. I always thought that God should not have to tell us not to touch dead bodies. That is gross. God should not have to tell us NOT to sacrifice our children to idols. That is heinous. There are many sickening, demented, perverted and just plain WRONG things listed in the Old Testament Law. I think is is easy to get bogged down in some of these and wonder how people could be so evil.
When you really start to think about it, though, why is it just the big things we get amazed about being told not to do. (Or do as in washing ourselves after touching something unclean.) God has poured out countless blessings to us, and yet we repay Him with telling lies, coveting, and hating people of different cultures. We justify ourselves with thinking that our coveting is ambition, our dislike of foreigners is somehow their fault (they need to act more American or go home) or thinking we only tell “little white lies“. We commit adultery because our spouse “isn’t treating me like he/she should”. We take advantage of those who are weaker than ourselves because it is a dog eat dog world.
How far we fall from what God deserves!! We fall short of what He requires. We are totally, completely, and wholly depraved. From our earliest days, we want what is wrong. We do what is wrong. I have never had to teach my children to lie. I have never taught them to hurt one another, steal, or hate. I clearly remember the first time Benjamin really shocked me with his behavior. He was the most beautiful blue-eyed angel of a baby. His temperament matched his look. He was calm, sweet, and precious. Then, one day, Nathaniel was playing cars in the living room floor. Benjamin was walking by. He toddled right up to Nathaniel… and kicked him right in the head!!!!! After which he took off running. It was such a surprise to me because he had never done anything like that. He had not been taught: Kick someone when they are lying down. He just did it.
We are like that, too. We do what is wrong, the opposite of good. God gave His very detailed law, to show us that very fact. He is showing us how depraved we are. We would be in such a desperate state if He left it there. Fortunately for us, He made a way for us to be justified. He sent Jesus to pay for our sinfulness. Without our Savior, we would be doomed. Titus 2: 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,