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Volume 1, Issue 4:

The Sin of Man

Oh, better were it for you to die in a jail, in a ditch, in a dungeon, than to die in your sins. If death, as it will take away all your comforts, would take away all your sins too, it were some mitigation; but your sins will follow you when your friends leave you, and all worldly enjoyments shake hands with you. Your sins will not die with you as a prisoner's other debts will; but they will go to judgement with you there to be your accusers; and they will go to hell with you there to be your tormentors.
- Joseph Alleine
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
- Rom. 8:7
Many a man has died from internal bleeding, and yet there has been no wound whatever to be seen by the eye. You may go to hell as well dressed in the garnishings of morality as in the rags of immorality. Unless the very center of your soul and the core of your being be made obedient to the living God, he will not accept you, for he looks not only to your outward condition, but to your heart's secret loyalty or treachery toward himself.
- Charles Spurgeon
We are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil.
- Westminster Confession
The ultimate proof of the sinner is that he does not know his own sin.
- Martin Luther
Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave to sin."
- John 8:34
He that hath slight thoughts of sin never had great thoughts of God.
- John Owen
There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who believe themselves sinners, and the rest, sinners who believe themselves righteous.
- Blaise Pascal
Sin is sovereign till sovereign grace dethrones it.
- Charles Spurgeon
There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who uncerstands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.
- Romans 3:10-12
Any man who declares children to be born perfect never was a father. Your child without evil? You without eyes, you mean!
- Charles Spurgeon
Even if you could straighten out your life and never get another blot on your record in heaven, like a mountain towering over you, your bad record would still cast its ominous shadow over you because of your past years of sin. Not adding more sin to the mountain of sin which you have already piled up would not keep you from sinking into hell. "Straighten up and live right" is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- A.N. Martin

The depravity of man is the one cardinal doctrine of Christianity which can be empirically demonstrated. The triune nature of the Godhead was revealed to us in Scripture. The incarnation of the Word of God in the person of Jesus was also revealed in the Bible. But the sin of man is revealed to us every day in the newspapers, every day at work, and every day in each sinner's heart and mind.

But even though the presence of sin may be demonstrated in this way, the nature of it had to be revealed in the Scripture. This is because, being sinners, we want to heal the wound lightly. We do not want to understand the gravity of our situation. But before we can understand the good news of God's complete salvation in Christ, we must first comprehend our complete ruin in Adam.

The Bible does not teach that men are sick in sin; it teaches that they are dead in sin. "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked. . ." (Eph. 2:1-2).

The minister of the gospel does not come into a hospital ward with the mission of persuading the patients to take the medicine. He has been brought by the Spirit of God to an impossible situation; he has been commissioned to preach in the graveyard. The result of Spirit-empowered preaching is not recovery from illness, but rather resurrection. "And He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' So I answered, 'O Lord God, you know.' Again He said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, "O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!"'" (Ez. 37:3-4).

One of our generation's principal heresies is the belief that deep down "I could decide for God." But the Bible teaches that ruin and misery mark our paths, and that we do not know the way of peace. In Adam we all died, and it is only through Christ we can be made alive. But mark it well: we do not help Christ raise us. When Lazarus was in the grave, he was not thinking about the miracle he and Jesus were about to do.

As dead men, we cannot do anything pleasing to God. We cannot contribute to our own salvation at all. We must repent, but we cannot. We must believe, but we cannot. We must hate our sin, but we love it. We must love God, but we hate Him. Wretched men!

Next issue we will begin a discussion of the Bible's solution to this desperate ruin. This good news began long before the creation, when the Father set aside His people for salvation. But it is only when we understand our sinfulness that this good news makes any sense. When we do, the good news is good news indeed.
- Douglas Wilson


Euagelio (that we cal gospel) is a greke worde, and signyfyth good, mery, glad and joyfull tydings, and maketh a mannes hert glad, and maketh hym synge, daunce and leepe for joye.
- William Tyndale

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