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June 4, 2008 / beidson

The Sin In Our Goodness: The Heart of Total Depravity

In a word, the doctrine of total depravity is about the sin in our goodness.  People do good things, to be sure, but our goodness is always stained by the sin of our hearts.  The sin in our goodness is the essence of what it means to be totally depraved.

“All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Is. 64:6).  Even in our goodness, we are not righteous.  “None is righteous; no, not one” (Romans 3:10).  Even in our most pure moments, we are covered by the blood of Abel, and stained by the smooth oil of Folly’s mouth (Proverbs 5:3).  We are master manipulators and double-minded schemers, with haughty eyes and duplicitous tongues.  Apart from Christ, we are wicked to the core.

But the goodness of God leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and his goodness knows no evil.  And in this we rejoice.  Husbands who know Christ can use their tongues to bless and not curse; wives may use their hands to help and not hurt; children may use their feet to seek peace with family and friends and not to run after evil.  The Spirit of Christ chops away at the sin which clings so closely to us and puts the “good” in our “goodness” as he produces the fruit which we naturally cannot yield.

Pastor/teacher/author John MacArthur speaks to the nature of our depravity.  Listen here to a message he recently delivered at Together For The Gospel in Louisville, KY.

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