Friday, November 26, 2010

Goodness separates many from God.

[This is a part repetition/part expansion of my previous post]

We have been led to believe that sin has separated mankind from God – but that is not always the case.
Man’s goodness can be a greater hindrance than his sin.

Acknowledgement of sin can lead to repentance and a desire for forgiveness, but a man’s good deeds often blind him to his need. Surely his good deeds will outweigh those times everyone goes through, where the rules are bent or where behaviour is known to fall short. A few sinful acts will be overlooked when more good deeds are done – won’t they?
Surely keeping more commandments than are broken would give a pass mark (6 out of the 10; or 307 out of the 613 of the Mosaic Law)?

One of the more widely held theological doctrines is that of man’s “Total Depravity” – describing the innate condition which separates man from God. It’s a term I don’t like because it conveys a false impression. The word “total” speaks of fullness, completion, an UTTER state that can't be increased. The term “total depravity”: therefore conveys and impression that ALL men are equally depraved to the full capacity: that ALL men could not be worse than they are.

That is clearly NOT the case. Some men ARE worse than others. Not all are Hitlers, Stalins or Pol Pots. To portray mankind as ALL being equally and fully depraved is a misrepresentation.
How would an unsaved person who is “good” in human terms respond to being putting in the same “TOTAL” category as Hitler? Could they accept that judgement?

NO, because they can see it is not true. Therefore, what is likely to be their response to the offer of cleansing and forgiveness through Jesus?
They won’t see the need!

The thing separating man from God is NOT “total depravity” – it is PARTIAL depravity or SUFFICIENT depravity. To a God who demands perfection, a person does not need to be TOTALLY depraved to miss the mark. The slightest blemish of character will be enough to spoil the perfection required. It doesn’t need the breaking of all commandments or even a majority of them for a person to fall short of God’s standard. Break one and you’ve broken the whole law.
ALL men are sufficiently sinful (depraved) to separate them from God.

There is NOTHING mankind can do to earn or deserve any favour from God. ALL of mankind has fallen short of His perfect standard, with the exception of one man – Jesus. And it is through HIM and HIS righteousness (not our own) through HIS fulfilment of the law (not our own) that relationship with God has been made possible.
It is through trusting HIM instead of ourselves, trusting what HE did instead of what we do, that we will be accepted by God


Gospel Of The Kingdom said...

I just did a message called "the wages of sin is death" on my blog, check it out when you have the time. The doctrine of 'original sin' is error, as far as us inheriting the sin that Adam and Eve committed, total depravity, being BORN IN SIN, ect..

Onesimus said...

Too many theologies are obsessed with ideas like "original sin" or "total depravity.

In reality these doctrines distance mankind from acountability - it is a viewpoint akin to "the devil made me do it".

We are sinners because we sin - we sin because we choose to sin. We choose to sin because of our distance from God.

Through Jesus that destructive path can be changed.

Toyin O. said...

This is so true, in him alone do we find our righteousness and strenght.