“As the salt flavors every drop in the Atlantic, so does sin affect every atom of our nature.” –Charles Spurgeon
Some call it Radical Depravity. Others describe it as Moral Inability. In short, Total Depravity refers to the effect of the fall in the garden. It describes how sin has corrupted the whole Man -heart, mind, will, and body. This is why it’s wdescribed as total. Within every human being is the ability to commit any sin, every sin, and all sin.
“The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds” (Isaiah 1:5-6).
Total Depravity does not mean that we are all violent criminals or serial killers. Yes, sin has corrupted the whole person, and anyone of us could become a serial killer if left to ourselves. However, in grace, God’s restrains us. He keeps us from the sin we are capable of. This intervention of God is called Restraining Grace.
How has sin affected our free-will?
The human Will is like your decision-making factory. What you desires to do, and consequently, what you choose to do is your Will. Just examine your pattern of choices and you will soon discover it. When Adam rebelled against the Lord, Sin became the owner of his Will. It was a hostile takeover. Like Adam, Sin now manages our every desire and decision. We have to sin and we want to sin.
We have free-will and we are free to choose what we want. Sadly, there is nothing inside a dead sinner that would want Christ. If left to ourselves, we would have stayed to ourselves; we would have never turned to Christ. But there came a day when God awakened us to His Son. We chose Christ because God first chose us. We love Him because He first loved us. And we now desire Him because He gave us a new heart capable of such desires.
Salvation doesn’t ultimately rest on the decision of a man; Salvation ultimately rests on the decision of God to seek and save the lost.
-by Jonathan Michael Dean