The above verse is one of many in the Bible that clearly show man’s inability to save himself in any fashion. In Reformed or Covenant Theology this is known as Total Depravity.
The doctrine of Total Depravity is often seen as a bad thing in evangelical circles. their reasoning is not based upon Biblical thinking but man’s thinking. If one assumes man is basically good, (an unbiblical fact if ever there was one) then it is easy to dismiss the doctrine of Total Depravity. They will argue things like God created and it was good, all true all pre-fall. They will use terms like we were created in God’s image and are only marred, implying an easy fix, you go hang on a cross at Calvary with the weight of mankind’s sin on your shoulders and tell me how easy a fix that is! Another popular response is ‘Christianity isn’t meant to be a downer’ really so we should avoid speaking on sin or hell, Jesus certainly didn’t.
If however, one takes in the Whole Counsel of God on the matter, there are a overwhelming number of verses declaring man is anything but good and we should never shy away from preaching, teaching and sharing that Whole Counsel in Spirit and Truth.
My favorite is:
- TULIP and Reformed Theology: An Introduction
- TULIP and Reformed Theology: Total Depravity
- TULIP and Reformed Theology: Unconditional Election
- TULIP and Reformed Theology: Limited Atonement
- TULIP and Reformed Theology: Irresistible Grace
- TULIP and Reformed Theology: Perseverance of the Saints