Total hereditary depravity
(or Inherited Sin)
Bible Texts Calvinists
misuse to attempt to prove "Inherited Sin"
2 Pet 3:16
"as also in all Paul's letters, speaking in them of
these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which
the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the
rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."
We Speak truth in LOVE
- Was every thought and intent of every man's heart evil? v9
Noah was blameless
- Doesn't teach universal depravity, but that most men had corrupted
their way and rejected God.
- If all mankind had been born "depraved"
since the fall, then why would God suddenly destroy mankind at
- It was not that man was inherently wicked that prompted God's
condemnation, but the fact that they were actually engaged in
wicked deeds and acts, (God "saw" the evil).
- This verse does not say that He held the people guilty for
- In fact God said himself in V6, that he did not sin.
- Calvinists fail to distinguish between
spiritual & physical consequences of sin. Physical consequences
do exist: pain in childbirth, swear in the field, scars of abuse.
Spiritual do not.
- The closing of the wombs could have been a sign to all that
Abraham was to be protected.
Ex 20:5; 34:7; Deut 5:9
- Ezek 18:20 clearly teaches that God will not hold the son
guilty for the father's sin
- Exactly what do they believe this verse is teaching?
- Is the guilt of sin only transmitted 4
generations? How can we be guilty of Adams sin?
- Will God condemn you to hell because your grandfather never
repented of murder?
- Can anyone be saved if their father was a great sinner?
- Calvinists faith to distinguish between spiritual & physical
consequences of sin. This verse is speaking of the physical consequences
of sin not that the children are spiritually guilty of the father's
sin. Addictions, various forms of abuse and laziness, the "cycle
of poverty" are passed on from parent to child through a
learning process not instinct.
- Sin offering was made when a child was born, but it was not
for the child but the mother.
- This gives no support for infant Baptism to remove depravity.
Job 14:1-4; 15:14; 25:4
- Jesus was born of a woman: Gal 4:4 was He depraved?
- Doesn't say every women is inherently unclean or that man
is born depraved, this is assumed.
- If this verse teaches that a sinner cannot
beget the righteous, then can a Christian (one who has his original
depravity forgiven and removed as taught by most churches) beget
the righteous thereby avoiding inherited sin?
- Moses, Isaiah, Paul , Jesus, are proof that a man can be born
of a woman and be "clean"
- This verse teaches that all men "turn aside & become
corrupt" not that they are born that way.
- There have always been the "remnant"
of righteous in the midst of the wicked.
- The Psalmist is not classing himself among those who do not
seek after God.
- The NIV's Calvinistic pre-disposition causes them to completely
mistranslate this verse.
- David confesses his own sin which he committed, not Adams.
- There are three different acceptable ways of looking at this
- David refers to sin of mother not his
own: "In drunkenness did my husband beat me." David
was conceived in adultery or out of wedlock. Remember that David
had conceived a son while committing the sin of adultery. (Hyperbole/exaggeration
for the sake of poetry)
- That he was born into a world filled with sin where evil prevails.
Notice that Acts 2:8 says that men were "born in a language".
(They actually learned the language)
- That the reason he committed this sin is because, unlike all
other men and contrary to nature, David was born a sinner. (Hyperbole/exaggeration
for the sake of poetry)
- People often overstate things when they are in the midst of
grief for their sin.
- Paul used Hyperbole when he called himself the foremost sinner
in 1 Ti 1:15
- Notice the words, "go astray from birth" not that
they born that way.
- The whole implication of the Psalm, is that the righteous
do not go astray from birth. V10
- This verse says that all have "become unclean" indicating
that they were once pure.
- Notice "our iniquities" is the cause with no mention
- They were accustomed to doing evil, it doesn't say they were
born that way.
- A leopard is not held accountable for not being able to change
- If all men are evil, how can anyone be saved if they can't
change. Yet Ezek 33:13-16 teaches that each man has the freewill
to do good or evil and that he will be judged accordingly.
- Says nothing about how the heart became deceitful... the point
to be proved is assumed!
- V23 says they refused to listen and wouldn't take any instruction,
that is why they were "sick"
- 1 Ti 4:1-2 says that false teachers have their conscience
- Pharaoh hardened his own heart every time he refused to heed
Moses Ex 8:15,32.
- This verse is talking about the physical consequences of "slavery",
- Jesus tells us that men are defiled by what comes out of their
mouth, what they say. That is very different from saying that
men are born defiled. If man was born defiled, how could anything
he said or did make it any worse?
- Jas 3:1-12 says that the heart is capable of producing good
and bad, unlike a fountain, fig tree or vine. This is very different
from saying that the heart/tongue is totally depraved.
- Rom 1:21 says that their heart became darkened because they
"became futile" not because they were born that way.
- This section says the opposite of being totally depraved and
unable to comprehend spiritual things. These men knew about God
but rejected Him, they "became futile" and their "heart
was darkened". How could a totally depraved heart be darkened?
- These people rejected God by their own free will. They make
themselves sinners, don't blame it on God! They were "without
Rom 3:10-18 (v10-12 quoted in Ps
14:2-3 see above)
- "turned aside & become useless" not born that
- The verse also mentions "tongues deceiving and feet that
shed blood" Infants can do neither.
- The text doesn't say men inherited the depravity and guilt
of Adams sin.
- V 12 Spiritual death spread to all men because each and
every man sinned himself. If a man didn't sin, then he wouldn't
die spiritually. This is exactly what Paul said in the next chapter
(6:23) The wages of sin is (spiritual) death. Physical death is
not the result of our sin, for physical death was decreed when
- If Adam's sin automatically and universally causes all mankind
to receive condemnation for something they did not do or had any
choice in, then Christ's dying on the cross also automatically
and universally causes all mankind to be saved independent of
anything they had done or choose. Who will accept this? What proves
to much proves nothing at all. The truth is that all are condemned
when they commit sin (V12) and all are saved when they obey Jesus.
- The NIV mis-translates the Greek word "sarx" (flesh)
into "sinful nature" such is totally unwarranted and
unacceptable. If "sarx" refers to man's inherited sinful
depraved nature, then Christ also had it because the same word
describes Him in Heb 2:14; 1 Pe4:1; 3:18; 1 Jn 4:2.
- Notice the battle between the evil "flesh"
and the good "inner man/will/law of mind". If
this section teaches inherited total depravity, then why does
Paul, an apostle of Christ, still have it?
- Most churches teach that all depravity is removed when they
- Further, notice that if the "flesh" is depraved,
then the "inner man" is not, otherwise how could there
be a "war".
- same context as Rom 7
- The NIV mis-translates the Greek word "sarx" (flesh)
into "sinful nature". (see Rom 7 above)
- Notice v12-13 Paul says we are under obligation to not live
by the flesh but the spirit proving that we can choose and control
whether they do good or evil.
- A parallel to this is in Gal 5:16-23 where we are commanded
to walk by the spirit and not by the flesh again indicating freewill.
Paul forewarns the Christians not to "practice" the
"deeds of the flesh"
- Once a person chooses to live according to the flesh, and
let it dominate their being, permeate their every though and action,
they "are not able" to subject themselves to the law
of God. This does not at all mean that they are prevented from
choosing to live according to the spirit.
1 Cor 15:20-23
- It does not say "as in Adam all are dead or born dead"
- Yes all men die when they sin, just as Adam died when he sinned.
"die" implies former life
- Notice "as in Adam" all die proving that every man
is born pure like Adam was
- This section is parallel to what Paul said in Rom 5:12-21
(See above) If all men automatically die because of Adam's sin
then all men are automatically saved by the cross.
- The NIV mistranslates the Greek word "sarx"- (flesh)
"sinful nature". (see Rom 7 above)
- The verse speaks of a lifestyle of practicing sin, "walked
according to the world, living/indulging in lusts/desires of the
flesh" It does not say we were born that way, only that we
walked in sin. The sins mentioned were committed not inherited.
- The phrase, "by nature" does not refer some inherited
condition at conception, but a habitual lifestyle. Thayer, the
Greek scholar, defines the word "phusis" (nature), "the
nature of things, the force, laws, order of nature, a mode
of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature."
If someone says, "Driving is second nature to me" we
understand the meaning. The same Greek word refers to the Gentiles
when they "by nature do the things of the law"
- Two chapters later (4:17-19) Paul says the cause was a "hard
heart, callousness" and "giving themselves over"
to evil. No hint of inherited nature anywhere in Ephesians!
1 Jn 3:8
- says nothing about inherited sin rather we "practice"
our own sin!
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