Total Depravity – What does it mean for us?

The Coffee: Today’s coffee hails from a roaster in North Carolina called Foster Hobbs. Foster Hobbs has a wide array of coffees, many of which I have had the privilege of trying. They have great customer service and I have even received a few handwritten notes with a number my orders. On top of their coffee, they do community outreach via “Fill the Gap Concerts” as a ministry. They coordinate and fund these events as a way to spread the gospel and provide support to groups who may not have the means to tour. Today’s selection is their “Fill The Gap” blend. This coffee is one of their more popular roasts and I enjoy the bold flavor they are able to bring out in it.

One of the keys to making a great cup of coffee starts before the brewing process begins. When grinding the coffee beans, it is important to be aware of the method of brewing being used. For the traditional auto drip coffee maker, medium ground coffee is ideal. For a french press, grind the coffee coarse. When using a pour over brewer, the best consistency is a fine to medium ground. The general rule of thumb should be that if your coffee tastes weak, try to grind the coffee beans finer and if the coffee tastes bitter, keep the grounds coarse.

The Theology: The Easter season is upon us. In only a matter of days, it will be time for many to gather and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are right to be celebrating, it is truly a great event that our Savior defeated death and rose again on the third day. However, it is important to reflect during this time of year on why the crucifixion was necessary; and why the Christian should look towards it with thanksgiving and great hope.

After the fall, man became corrupted to the core with sin. It is because of this sin, that we do not seek God and are in rebellion against him. It is now against our nature to do good for the glory of God. Romans 3:10-12 states: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” This is something that as unregenerate we cannot run away from. Jeremiah 17:9 describes the heart of man as “deceitful above all things, and desperately sick”. We do not strive to do good in God’s eyes because we do not want to. We want live life for our own personal gain. Our own personal happiness and glorification.

It is a fair point to raise that many unregenerate people do morally and civilly good things. The goal of this might be that the positive aspects outweigh the negative ramifications. For example, one may decide not to steal something they covet because the penalty for the crime outweighs the perceived benefit of acquiring that item. One may also give generously of their time and money because it makes them feel good and makes others around them feel good. The benefit of acts such as these is apparent. However, the motivation of self-gratification, or the benefiting of others, is still inward. The motivation is not coming from the love of God and striving to bring that to others. In our fallen state, we want to be apart from him.

With our hearts in open rebellion against God, we do not have the ability on our own to overcome this hurdle of our sin nature. The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith summarizes this as: ” From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions”. This is why the crucifixion and resurrection are vital. Jesus died on the cross to absolve the sin that we could not overcome ourselves, due to it being ingrained in our nature. He rose again to conquer death while we were still dead in sin and works to regenerate those whom he has called to follow him. That is what is to be celebrated when we reflect on Easter season.

If you feel like you have not done enough good works and sacrifice this Easter season, that is good. No good deeds and self-sacrifice will repay Jesus for paying the price for you. I urge you to put aside thoughts of some checklist of items that you believe you have done this season to earn God’s grace. Instead, reflect back on the fact that a gracious God sent his son to die for a corrupt people who were incapable of saving themselves. Show thanks for this gift. Then reflect on the joy that can be found while in fellowship with God; and in sharing this gift with others.

All scriptures from the ESV Bible

Sources:

  • What is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics R.C. Sproul-Baker Books-2016
  • Lansphere, L. (Director).(2017). Calvinist [Video File]. USA: Broken Stone Studio.
  • The Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689 Banner of Truth Trust-2012

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