Total Depravity (or Total Corruption) The current state of man

  • The progression of sin.

Sin and its effects only progressed from generation to generation- each showing the total corruption of the human nature. We know that Cain killed Abel one generation removed from the fall. Also, just ten generations from Adam we read the following in Genesis:

Gen 6:1-7

When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days — and also afterward — when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

5 The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.


Mankind had become so perverse that his heart was continually upon evil -so much so that God was grieved. Sin had its foul way and mankind was showing his total depravity.

God makes it very clear that the sin nature is in everyone from the moment they are born. Gen 8:20-21

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”

It’s not just in Genesis that we find the truth of the doctrine of total depravity. We find it throughout the entirety of the word of God. Let’s consider just a few verses.

Dead in sin.

Isa 64:6

6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,

and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;

we all shrivel up like a leaf,

and like the wind our sins sweep us away.


Ps 51:5

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,

sinful from the time my mother conceived me.


Ps 14:1-3

The fool says in his heart,

“There is no God.”

They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;

there is no one who does good.

2 The Lord looks down from heaven

on the sons of men

to see if there are any who understand,

any who seek God.

3 All have turned aside,

they have together become corrupt;

there is no one who does good,

not even one.


Jer 17:9, Matt 15:17-20, Rom 5:12, Rom 7:18-19, Eph 2:1-4, 

Those few verses of Scripture make it pretty clear that man is dead in sin, and that is the heart of the doctrine of total depravity. Because of this, man can in no way please God in his sinful state.


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