Five Eternal Gifts from God - Grace 2
Dr. James Packer in his book Knowing God addresses the subject of God’s grace and mankind’s antagonism toward it. Antagonism or opposition towards God’s grace! How? God’s grace, as the Scriptures teach, is to be understood in light of the following four biblical truths:
First, the moral ill-desert of Man or the radical depravity of man. Man is a fallen creature and sin has invaded every part of his being. At heart, he/she is a rebel against God’s rule, guilty and unclean in God’s sight, deserving only for God’s condemnation.
Romans 3:10-18 states, “What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “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.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. ” (Romans 3:9-20, ESV).
Radical Depravity may be viewed both negatively and positively. Negatively, the doctrine does not mean (1) man is as bad as he possibly could be; (2) that sinners do not have a consciousness about God; (3) that every sinner indulges in every kind of sin; or (4) that the sinner does not do good things in the opinion of other people.
Positively, the doctrine does mean that man is radically corrupted by sin in every part of his being including his intellect, emotions and will; (2) and that there is nothing in sinful man that deserves praise and commendation before the righteous God: rather only judgment.