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Guest William

Total Depravity Verse List

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Guest William




The doctrine of total depravity (or total inability) says that all men, as a consequence of the Fall, are born morally corrupt, enslaved to sin, at enmity with God, and unable to please Him or even of themselves to turn to Christ for salvation. (Thus the necessity of a gracious, unconditional election.) Here is a sweeping survey of the biblical support for the doctrine.


Is man basically good or basically evil?

  • Ecclesiastes 7:29 - "See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes."
  • Romans 5:7-8 - For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 5:12,19 - sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned... by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners


c.f. Job 15:14-16, 25:4-6; Ecclesiastes 9:3


All men? Are there any exceptions?

  • Psalm 143:2 - Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
  • Romans 11:32 - For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. (c.f. Galatians 3:22)
  • Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
  • 2 Chronicles 6:36 - "there is no one who does not sin"
  • Isaiah 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way
  • Micah 7:2-4 - The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net. Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge.
  • Romans 3:9-12 - 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.” (c.f. Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3)
  • 1 John 1:8,10 - If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and his word is not in us.
  • Mark 10:18/Luke 18:19 - And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone."


c.f. 1 Kings 8:46; 116:11, 130:3, 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Jeremiah 2:29; Micah 7:2-4, Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19; Romans 5:12-14; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; James 3:2; etc., etc.


Are people good deep down?

  • Mark 7:21-23 - "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." (c.f. Matthew 15:19)
  • Psalm 5:9 - For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.


Are men totally depraved? Is every faculty of the person corrupted?

Heart/Mind (Deceitful)

  • Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"
  • Titus 1:15-16 - to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
  • Ecclesiastes 9:3 - Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
  • Romans 1:28-31 - And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were... foolish
  • Ephesians 4:17-18 - you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.
  • Jeremiah 10:7-8,14 - among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. They are both stupid and foolish... Every man is stupid and without knowledge
  • Matthew 15:19 - "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander." (c.f. Mark 7:21-23)
  • Genesis 6:5 & 8:21 - The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually... from his youth.
  • Proverbs 10:20 - the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
  • Proverbs 28:26 - Whoever trusts in his own [heart] is a fool


c.f. Deuteronomy 29:2-4; Psalm 10:4, 36:1-2, 58:4-5, 94:11; Proverbs 10:20; Ecclesiastes 8:11; Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26; Matthew 13:14; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 4:17-18, 23


Will/Choosing (Enslaved)

  • John 8:34 - Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin."
  • 2 Peter 2:19 - They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
  • Titus 3:3 - For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
  • Galatians 4:8-9 - Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?
  • Romans 6:6,16,17,19,20 - We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey...? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed... For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
  • Romans 7:14 - For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
  • 2 Timothy 2:25-26 - God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.


c.f. Isaiah 42:6-7; Psalm 51:12; John 8:31-32,36; 2 Corinthians 3:17


Affections/Desires (Perverted)

  • Romans 1:24-27 - Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
  • Ephesians 2:3 - we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
  • Proverbs 21:10 - The soul of the wicked desires evil
  • John 3:19 - And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
  • John 8:44 - "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires."


c.f. Genesis 3:16; Psalm 4:2, 52:3-4 140:8; Proverbs 10:23; 2 Timothy 3:2-4; 2 Peter 2:13


et al (Utter Ruin)

  • Titus 1:15-16 - to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
  • Romans 7:18 - For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.
  • Isaiah 1:5-6 - The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.


Can men change themselves or still do good when they want to?

  • Jeremiah 13:23 - Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.
  • 1 Samuel 24:13 - "As the proverb of the ancients says, 'Out of the wicked comes wickedness.'"
  • Matthew 7:18 - "A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit." (c.f. Luke 6:43)
  • Matthew 12:34-35 - "How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil."
  • Romans 8:7 - For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
  • Genesis 6:5 & 8:21 - The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually... from youth.
  • Titus 1:15-16 - to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.


c.f. Job 14:4; Matthew 12:34; John 15:5; Romans 14:23; Philippians 1:11; 1 John 5:18-19


Are men at least born pure? What about the "tabula rasa"?

  • Psalm 51:5 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
  • Genesis 8:21 - the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth."
  • Psalm 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
  • John 3:6 - "That which is born of the flesh is flesh"


c.f. Proverbs 22:15


What is the natural disposition of man toward God?

  • John 3:20 - "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed."
  • Romans 8:7-8 - For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God
  • Colossians 1:21 - And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds


c.f. Romans 1:28-30; James 4:4


What is man's relationship to God?

  • Psalm 58:3 - The wicked are estranged from the womb;
  • Ephesians 2:12-13 - remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
  • Ephesians 2:3 - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.


c.f. Isaiah 59:2


Can man then do anything to please God?

  • Proverbs 15:9 - The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord
  • Proverbs 15:8 - The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord (c.f. Proverbs 21:27)
  • Proverbs 28:9 - If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
  • Isaiah 64:6 - We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
  • Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please [God]
  • Romans 8:7-8 - Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


c.f. Psalm 50:16; Proverbs 21:4; Isaiah 1:10-15; Amos 5:21-24


Are men at least seeking God?

  • Psalm 10:4 - In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
  • John 3:20 - "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed."
  • Isaiah 65:1 - "I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.
  • Isaiah 64:7 - There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.
  • Romans 3:10-12 - "no one seeks for God."


c.f. Romans 10:20


Can the natural man comprehend the gospel or come to saving knowledge of God on his own?

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 - The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 - our gospel is veiled... to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18,21-24 - For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles
  • Deuteronomy 29:2-4 - And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: "You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear."
  • Matthew 11:27 - "no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."


c.f. Psalm 119:18; Proverbs 4:19; Isaiah 42:6-7; Hosea 14:9; Matthew 16:17; John 8:43; Acts 22:14, 26:18; Ephesians 4:17-19; 2 Corinthians 2:15-16; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 John 5:20


Can men of themselves accept God's gift of salvation? Do men choose God or come to Him on their own?

  • John 3:27 - John answered, "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven."
  • John 14:16-17 - "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him."
  • John 1:12-13 - But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
  • John 6:44,65 - "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day." And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
  • Romans 9:16 - So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
  • Romans 11:35-36 - "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:30 - And because of him you are in Christ Jesus
  • Philippians 2:13 - for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.


c.f. Jonah 2:9; Zephaniah 3:9; John 15:16; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Philippians 1:6; James 1:18


Who supplies faith/belief/repentance?

  • Acts 16:14 - One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:6 - I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
  • Acts 5:31 - "God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins."
  • Acts 11:18 - When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life."
  • Philippians 1:29 - For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should... believe in him
  • Acts 18:27 - When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
  • Romans 12:3 - For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
  • 2 Timothy 2:24-25 - And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, [etc.]... God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth
  • 1 Corinthians 12:3 - no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.
  • 2 Peter 1:3 - His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence
  • Romans 11:36 - For from him and through him and to him are all things.
  • 1 Corinthians 4:7 - For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
  • John 3:6, 6:63 - "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all."


c.f. 1 Chronicles 29:14; John 5:44; Acts 3:16; Romans 1:8, 12:3; Ephesians 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:2


Can men do anything to help themselves?

  • Colossians 2:13 - And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses
  • Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5 - And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked... But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved


c.f. Psalm 49:7-9; Jeremiah 2:22; Ezekiel 16:6, 37:1-3; Romans 5:6


Then what becomes of our boasting?

  • Romans 3:27 - It is excluded.


c.f. 1 Corinthians 1:28-29, 4:7; Ephesians 2:9-9


source: http://traviscarden.com/total-depravity-verse-list

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Guest Stratcat

This is excellent work. Did you do this, William? It is really good work.

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Guest William
The original resource is the Total Depravity Verse List on my website. It has received a number of updates since it was copied here. I also have a Deity of Christ Verse List. Both are works in progress. Feedback on both is welcome.


Your site is an awesome resource Travis! Soli Deo Gloria!!!


God bless,


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Amen and amen! You can't go wrong when you put scripture together with scripture. There is a feast of heavenly widsom, wealth, and true spiritual rejoicing both up there and down here, when people quote and place the words of power. I rejoice seeing any type of a list of scripture verses at work, for they spread the Good News of Life!!!

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Good stuff. How some Christians stick to their unbiblical "man is basically good" stuff is beyond me.

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Feedback on both is welcome.


Unless I missed it in there, how about Psalm 16:2?

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Isaiah 1:18, scarlet is a red dye maid from bugs of some kind, it's impossible to wash out, so man is dyed with sin that. Only God can help such a hopeless creature as us.

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Men are sinful, evil for they have chosen to be that way.


Since men choose to be sinful, evil men can justly, rightly be held accountable for their choices they have made for themselves.


Yet if men were born with a 'sin nature' that causes men to sin against their will, then men are a victim of sin and cannot be rightly justly be held accountable for how they are born. If a man was born without legs he cannot rightly, justly be held accountable for not walking.


There are many verses that do speak to the evil and corruption of man but no verse says man was born spiritually dead therefore not able nor willing to understand or obey the word of God.  There are examples in the Bible of men who were lost, spiritually dead but still able to do good.



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Guest Becky

Psa 14:3  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 

Psa 53:3  Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one

Ecc 7:20  For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. 

Rom 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 
Rom 3:11  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 
Rom 3:12  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 
Rom 3:13  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 
Rom 3:14  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 
Rom 3:15  Their feet are swift to shed blood: 
Rom 3:16  Destruction and misery are in their ways: 
Rom 3:17  And the way of peace have they not known: 
Rom 3:18  There is no fear of God before their eyes. 
Rom 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 


We all live with the  thorns and thistles of Genesis

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Rom 3:12 "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."


This verse does NOT speak to how men are born.


--Men GO out of the way, not BORN out of the way.

--Men BECOME unprofitable, not BORN unprofitable.




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Guest Becky
Just now, seabass said:

Rom 3:12 "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."


This verse does NOT speak to how men are born.


--Men GO out of the way, not BORN out of the way.

--Men BECOME unprofitable, not BORN unprofitable.




That happened in the Garden.  We are welcome to believe as we wish. Who do you know that is saved with out the Blood of Christ? 


Joh_3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

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There is no such things as being born with original sin or being born with a sin nature and nothing in Romans 3 backs the ides of original sin.


1) in the context of Romans chapters 1-3 Paul is proving both GROUPS, Jews and Gentiles are sinners.  There would not be a better, more opportune place than Romans chapters 1-3 for Paul to say they are both sinners for having been born with original sin.  Yet the idea of original sin does not even remotely appear in Romans 1-3. Instead Paul mentions transgressions Jews and Gentiles committed as to why they are sinners.  As 1 John 4:3 says "sin is transgression of the law".  Since a transgression must talke place for sin to exist, that eliminates the idea of men inheriting sin from Adam.


Romans 5:14 "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."  Men died due to THEIR OWN sin and not because of sin inherited from Adam.  If all died as a result of inheriting the same sin Adam committed then all would have died after the similitude of Adam's sin.  Yet Paul says they died NOT after the similitude of Adam's sin.  So Paul is making a distinction between their sin and the sin Adam committed.  Again, there would be no need for this distinction of all died of the same exact sin as Adam. Men die as a result of their own sin they have committed.


2) in the context of Romans 3 the Jews thought they were better then the Gentiles, verse 9.  To refute that wrong idea Paul quotes several verses from the OT law that proves the Jews are under sin just as the Gentiles in verses 10-18.  And in verse 19 Paul says to these Jews "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law:"  The law of Moses was given to the Jews and Paul is essentially telling these Jews in verse 19 that your own law given to you says you are sinners.  So those OT verses Paul quoted in verses 10-18 is specifically directed to the group Jew and not to every person who has ever lived for not all have been 'under the law' as the Jews had been.  The Jew understood those quotes were being directed at them to close their mouth about being better than the Gentile.


3) as I noted already, the words Paul used in Rom 10-18 do NOT refer to how one is born, for again, one GOES astray not BORN astray, one BECOMES unprofitable not BORN unprofitable.


4) from the language used, Paul does not have infants in mind...." their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips....Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:....Their feet are swift to shed blood:...etc"  These words do not describe infants who are not capable of speaking, cursing nor have feet that are swift to shed blood.   In Romans 7:7-9 Paul shows infants are not accountable to God's law.

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If referring to the physical flesh it can be sinful and it can do what is right. 


---Christ was in the flesh, but He was not sinful but did perfectly.

---Paul, as an infant, was in the flesh but was not accountable to God's law therefore sin was dead to him, had no power over him, Rom 7:7-9



If you are thinking where Paul said there was 'no good thing in the flesh', (Rom 7:18) Paul is showing that the flesh does not know right from wrong therefore is not capable of making righteous choices.  In Rom 7, even though Paul was in the flesh, in his mind/conscience he still wanted to do that which was good, verses 15- 9.  Therefore in the context of Rom 7 Paul could not be totally, completely evil in his flesh nor is it that he could do no good at all. For even lost men are capable of doing good.  Paul is showing himself in Rom 7:15ff that as a Jew under the OT law was frustrating for that law required perfection, flawless law-keeping in order to be justified before God yet Paul sinned.  Paul knew the law, knew the law was good, wanted to keep the law but he at times gave in to temptations.  Nothing in the context is saying Paul was born totally depraved, unable to know good or unable do good but he was frustrated in not being perfectly sinless as the OT law required.  We find out in Rom 8 though that Paul being 'in Christ' there is no condemnation, he was able to be totally completely justified before God in Christ, something  which he was not able to do under the OT law.


Again, Rom 7:15ff Paul said he knew what good was, he wanted to do good, he knew the law was good and desired to keep the law and is therefore is NOT an example of 'total depravity'.

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Guest Becky

The question was is flesh sinful . Is flesh rightious?

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physical flesh is neither sinful or righteous

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Guest Becky
24 minutes ago, seabass said:

physical flesh is neither sinful or righteous

Now you are playing games to avoid a real answer.

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Guest William
3 hours ago, Becky said:

Is flesh sinful? 

No and Yes.


No: I think it is helpful to understand that there were three popular heresies circulating in the early centuries: Docetism, Marcionism, and Gnosticism. Gnosticism was built on Greek philosophy that taught matter was evil and the Spirit was good. They taught docetism, a dualism which promoted a clear separation between the material and spiritual world. Christian Gnostics said since matter was evil, God could not really incarnate in a human body, He only appeared in human form and only appeared to suffer, it was an illusion. It was stated when Jesus walked on the sand you could know by seeing his footprints that were left. In this Jesus could be a pure spiritual being in an evil world and not be contaminated by it.  


Many writers have concluded that Gnosticism (not identifiable historically until the 2nd cent. a.d.) was in the background of several NT books, such as Colossians, Ephesians, the pastoral epistles, the Petrine epistles and Jude, but esp. 1 John. The most advanced stage of Gnosticism that appeared in the background of the NT was reflected in the writing of 1 John. Gnosticism teaches (1) dualism, (2) illumination, (3) rejection of the Incarnation. Docetism is a one of many types of Gnosticism. It dates back to Apostolic times. The name comes from the Greek word dokesis, "appearance" or "semblance", because they taught that Christ only "appeared" or "seemed" to be a man, to have been born, to have lived and suffered. This particular type of Gnosticism taught that Christ's body was a phantom and that he did not have a real physical body. Some denied the reality of Christ’s human nature altogether, some only the reality of His human body or of His birth or death. The word Docetae which is best rendered by "Illusionists", first occurs in a letter of Serapion, Bishop of Antioch (190-203 A.D.) to the Church at Rhossos, where troubles had arisen about the public reading of the apocryphal Gospel of Peter. Serapion at first unsuspectingly allowed it to be read, but soon after forbade it, saying that he had borrowed a copy from the sect who used it, "whom we call Docetae."


4 hours ago, Becky said:

We all live with the  thorns and thistles of Genesis


Literally, no, figuratively yes. Not picking apart what you shared Becky, I'm only emphasizing what I think helps. Understanding these historical heresies helps avoid them, especially with their reappearing popularity today. Addressing them or at least being aware of them helps bring others to orthodoxy, and why such emphasis should be made in a distinction between the no and the yes.


Marcionism taught that Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, created the world, but that all created flesh was evil. As you probably now understand it was the argument of these early heresies that denied the incarnation because the Holy and Perfect could not come into contact with the flesh which was had the seeds of evil and was thus imperfect. Gnosticism influenced the widespread Christian community by the end of the first century.  There are some scriptures that refute Gnosticism. Look at 1 John 4:2-3: “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” Here John the apostle, writing 80-90 AD, denies Gnostic claims that a Divine Jesus could not have been human, or exist in flesh. They argued that all flesh, indeed the whole physical world is evil.


Yes: Ephesians 2:2-3 “You once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh”


“The passions of our flesh” and “desires of the body” Ephesians 2:3 refer not to our physical bodies, as if our corporeal form is in itself wicked. After all, God created all things good, including our bodies (Gen. 1:31). The apostle is speaking of our fallen nature, which Christ has subdued. In this sense the flesh is a foe, and the flesh remains until our glorification. We must therefore seek daily to mortify it and deny the sins that seem the most appealing to us Rom. 6:12–14.


God bless,


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Guest Becky

When asking the question 'is flesh sinful' i was not referring  to  the meat on my bones. Which totally agrees with your very last paragraph.


As for the 3 hereises none of them sound the least bit Christian to me.


The thorns and thisties we got blessed with in the Garden .

You said literally no .....yet there are thorns on the roses, and weeds in the lawn. Paul had some form of what he termed a thorn .  @William  .I see thorns and thisties as  both literal and figurtive.  I am happy to read more🤔


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