Depravity is defined as the innate corruption of human nature. His mind, will, emotions, and flesh, have been corrupted by sin, affecting all areas of what man is, does, and even what he thinks.
The origin of this corruption is found in the historical record of THE FALL OF MAN:
Genesis 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned (in Adam)
Scriptural testimony throughout, shows what man has become, as a result of the fall:
Man is a sinful being from conception: Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me
The heart is deceitful: Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?
Man's works are unclean: Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Loves the darkness: John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil
Hates the light:John 3:20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
Supresses the truth:Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Dead spiritually: Ephesians 2:1 And you ...... who were dead in trespasses and sins
Dominated by lust, children of wrathEphesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others
Unrighteous Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
Does not understand nor seek GodRomans 3:11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
Unprofitable and does no good: Romans 3:12 They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.
Corrupt in speech: Romans 3:13-14 Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; "The poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness
Murder & Destruction, No peace: Romans 3:15-17 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known.
No fear of God: Romans 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes
All sinned in Adam, death sentence is universal Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned
Essentials truths about human depravity
That man, even when doing good (according to his own measure), is really doing evil, because God sees both the act and the motive, and ever the motive of man is self exaltation, even when doing "good". (Romans 14:23 Whatever is not of faith, is sin) (Isaiah 64:6 All our righteous deeds are as filthy menstrual rags)
The man is in rebellion against God and enjoys it, and is enslaved to sin. Man wants to be his own master and lord, and will not have this man (Christ) to rule over him.
That although man was created in God's image, he is, since the fall, born in Adam's fallen image (Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.)
That man is ungodly (Romans 4)
That man is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1)
That man is completely incapable of rectifying his condition and needs help totally outside himself. Man needs Grace which speaks of God giving man what he does not have and cannot achieve or merit in whole or in part.
That man is called upon by God to repent and believe and that he must believe or perish. He can do nothing, but believe on Another-Christ, period. (Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent)
The world system rejects the doctrine that lowers man to his right place. It instead thinks that at worst man is both evil and good as said the old McCartney/Wonder song "Ebony and Ivory.. there is good and bad, in everyone."
Man sees himself (if the right conditions are present) as evolving into something better, and that by education along with environmental changes can improve himself and his progeny. The doctrine of depravity is therefore resisted, to the (eternal) detriment of its refusers.
What are the benefits of acknowledging the doctrine of man's depravity?
Most importantly, it shows each person his lost condition and need of a Savior outside himself. He ceases looking to himself for answers, when awakened by the convicting work of the Holy Ghost by the preaching of the Word of God
It supports the utter necessity of preaching the gospel to everyone, because faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
It glorifies God, instead of magnifying man, which is idolatry.
Even in a fallen world, the doctrine can (albeit temporally) help order a society based on checks and balances in government, recognizing the need for shared power due to the corruption of even the best of men. It recognizes sin in man, rather than assuming he is and seeks good, because he does not. WWII is a prime example where "peace in our time" failed due to refusal to face evil in the heart of man. Depraved men then reorder their behavior based on fear of government. Their depraved nature isn't gone or improved thereby, it is restrained.
It teaches that ere the end, God must and will set matters aright in judgment. All men could benefit by recognizing this sombre reality, as they order their behavior thus temporally (not meritoriously). But this truth is strongly suppressed and resisted, why? Because man is totally depraved and is enjoying sin. Sin is fun...for a season.
Is there no hope? no and yes
No: There is no hope in man, he is depraved and corrupt and ungodly. If hope is sought in man - in personal reformation or bettering himself... bitter and eternal disappointment will result. If the reader is awakened, learn the truth of your depravity and look to Christ, crucified for sins, and resurrected.
Yes: Keep reading other blogs on this site, and far better - read your Bible if you have been awakened: Matthew 19:25-26 says: When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”