The Bible teaches about spiritual warfare and depravity. Both are important to keep in mind, but we tend to ignore depravity. Often we view that good things are blessing from God and bad things are from Satan. This puts us in a seemingly innocent place. Satan can “bless” (the Bible often speaks to the unrighteous prospering) and God can be the source of “bad” (the Bible also speaks of trials and testing that God allows in our lives). It is dangerous to ignore our depravity.
The path to sin
“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when list has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” ~ James 1:14-15
Lust is a desire that we have: hunger, thirst, sex, acknowledgment, etc. God designed us with certain appetites. He did not create us as unemotional beings. Being tempted is not a sin. Desiring is not a sin per se, but there are frequent times when our own lust carries us away to sin. This is not a spiritual battle, this is our own self we’re talking about. We often choose to sin because we want the sin that is before us.
The reality of sin
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” ~ 1 John 1:8-10
John’s letter was written to Christians. He gives us a reality check: we sin. While in Christ we are saints, the reality of our current condition is we will sin. To ignore this fact is to miss the mark. This is not a spiritual condition, it is a human one. We are depraved. But, in Christ we have forgiveness. While Christ covers all our sin, there are sins we need to scrub out of our lives. This is not a tragedy, it is a reality. Christ took the tragedy upon himself so you and I can be forgiven. We can be clean.
The choice to sin
“Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” ~ Romans 6:12-13
In Christ we have the freedom of choice. We can choose to be righteous. We can choose to sin. The power of being in Christ is that sin does not have power over us. Christ broke the bondage of sin. God does not describe this as an easy choice. He knows that we often desire the sins before us. When sin reigns in us, it’s because we let it. The power of Christ gives us the only way out.
The bottom line:
We avoid the fact that we are depraved as it leads to what we loath even more, responsibility. To ignore our depravity is to ignore the power of the Gospel. Christ on the cross broke the bondage of sin. Reality is we will struggle until we see Christ face to face. Depravity is the greatest equalizer we are all guilty, but in Christ everything changes; not making us better than others, but making us free.
In Christ we are: a new creation, saved, sanctified, cleansed, an heir, family, royalty, a crown, alive and righteous. In Christ we are saints. If we ignore our depravity we forget that we are nothing without the Gospel. If we ignore it, we can lose sight of the hope that is to come: a time when there will be no more sin. In Christ we are free. After all, He won!