The Depravity of Man

On abc news there was a story about a young man who’s jet-ski broke down in the middle of the bay, he swam to the closest shoreline where he climbed the fence of an airport with a multi-million dollar security system in hope of being detected and rescued. However though the airport thought their security system was sound, he wasn't detected at all by the cameras or fence. This young man simply trying to be rescued from a three hour swim, brought to light the flaws in the security system, that was thought to be perfect. It's normal for us as humans, to think we're pretty good, until God's word sheds light on our sin, and we realize how imperfect we really are. The truth is wether you accept it or not...we are all flawed and totally depraved. The depravity of man means everyone is flawed and no one can save themselves. 

The depravity of man means that everyone is born a sinner. Psalm 51:1 "Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me." The depravity of man doesn't mean you can never do something good, but it means no man can ever do anything whatsoever that is completely acceptable in the sight of God. After all, the security system did some good, but it wasn't acceptable enough to keep everyone out. We too can do some good things as well, but nothing is completely acceptable to God. Even the good things we do are like filthy rags. Romans 8:8 "Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Nothing we do as sinners, wether good or bad, is acceptable to God, because nothing we do is for God. The only way we can truly please God is through faith. Now the security system cannot fix itself, and neither can we fix ourselves. We are so corrupted by sin that on our own we cannot even seek God. Romans 3:10-11 "As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God." God is so gracious He comes to us. Revelation 3:20a "Behold, I stand at the door and knock:" All we have to do is answer Him. 

Now that we've looked at what total depravity means, I would like to share the difference between total depravity and utter depravity. Total depravity means everyone is helpless in sin, utter depravity means you are the worst you can be. R.C. Sproul says "Obviously some people are far more wicked than others. Next to Saddam Hussein or Adolf Hitler the ordinary run-of-the-mill sinner looks like a saint. But if we lift our gaze to the ultimate standard for goodness - the holy character of God - we realize that what appears to be a basic goodness on an earthly level is corrupt to the core.” Total depravity is like comparing ourselves to God's law, everyone qualifies as a sinner, utter depravity is like comparing ourselves to others, such as killers, and thief's. 

Beyond the difference between total depravity and utter depravity, lets look at the significance of the depravity of man. The depravity of man shows us our need for a savior, and that we can't save ourselves, but salvation is completely the work of God. As I mentioned earlier, the only way we can please God is through faith. Ephesians 2:8 "for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;" Also we see through the depravity of man how much God loves us. For He sent is Son Jesus to die on the cross, while we were yet sinners. Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 

The depravity of man means everyone is flawed, and no one can save themselves. We are all flawed like that multi-million dollar security system, and we are in need of fixing. Jesus Christ is the perfect answer to our need, in that He took all our sins away when he died on the cross. Time is short, and you won't always have the chance to repent and be saved. Hebrews 3:15 "Today when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." 

The Deity Of Christ

"William Hordern tells a story about a woman touring in Europe, who cabled her husband: "Have found wonderful bracelet. Price seventy-five thousand dollars. May I buy it? The husband promptly cabled back, "No, price too high." The cable operator in transmitting the message, missed the signal for the comma. The woman received a message which read, "No price too high." She bought the bracelet; the husband sued the company and won." Just as this misunderstanding cost the company a lot of money. So it will cost us a lot if we don’t understand correctly that Christ is God. My topic is the deity of Christ. 

Today I will be defining and defending the Deity of Christ, talking about the significance of it, and how it effects our lives. 

The Deity of Christ is the fullness of God dwelling in bodily form. This is illustrated In Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. 

A. but how do we know that Christ was God? Well we can see it in scripture!
  • First He claims it John 10:30 "I and the Father are one." And others knew he claimed it. John 5:18 "This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own father, making himself equal with God." 
  • It says in the Bible that Jesus is the creator, which makes Him God. Colossians 1:16 "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth..." 
  • He clearly had power of miracles. John 11:43-44 when he brought Lazarus back to life. 
  • But most importantly we can see he had the ability to forgive sins, and only God can do that. Mark 2:5 "And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 
B. Now just as that comma was significant so is the Deity of Christ! But why does it matter who Jesus really is? Because if effects what we believe. Many people don't believe Christ was God, but simply say that Jesus was JUST a great teacher. Jesus said he was God...either we believe him or don't...their is no in-between alternatives as a great teacher.

C.S. Lewis said "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

Jesus's claims are wither false or true. If they're false there are only two alternatives. He either knew he was lying or he didn't. But let's look at this closer.
  • If He was a liar that would make him a Hypocrite because he told others not to lie; it would have meant he deceived his followers: and that he was a demon; Also would a Liar die for his lie? Could a Liar change lives for the better? Alcoholics to sober; thieves to hones; hateful to loving? Would a liar predict true historical events that happened, like the destruction of Jerusalem. Or of his betrayal, death, resurrection, and founding of the church? Someone who lived, taught, and died like Jesus, was no liar! 
  • So if he wasn't a liar is it possible he didn't know he was telling a lie...and that he was a lunatic? However claiming to be God in a society that only believed in on God and then telling them that their future depended on Him, is no light fantasy, but a big delusion of a lunatic. But again lets examine this a little closer...would a lunatic care for others deeply like Jesus did? Or would He always know what He was doing or where He was going. Not only that the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave was the key to mental health, contentment and a successful life. His words have often liberated people from mental bondage.
Philip Scahff says "Is such an intellect-clear as the sky, bracing as the mountain air, sharp and penetrating as a sword, thoroughly healthy and vigorous, always ready and always self-possessed-liable to a radical and most serious delusion concerning his own character and mission? Preposterous imagination."
  • If Jesus wasn't a liar or a lunatic than there is only one option left...He was Lord! The deity of Christ not only affects uc because of what we believe but because without the deity of Christ his teachings would mean nothing, His mission would be a flop, and His followers mislead. The deity of Christ is key to Christianity just like the comma was to the husband's sentence.
C. How does the Deity of Christ effect us? 
  • Well if Jesus is God we as sinners are accountable to Him. Romans 3:23 "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." 
  • Not only that is means He is worthy of our honor and worship. 
  • And it impacts us because it gives us a hope for eternity. John 20:31 "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name." 
Today we have looked at the definition and defense of the Deity of Christ. We have seen the significance of the Deity of Christ, and how it effects us!

Many Muslims and Jews like to avoid the deity of Christ. If you ask them, they don't think he was a liar or a lunatic, but most of all certainly don't think he was Lord. The key to Christianity is the deity of Christ, if Christ wasn't God there is no way he could take all our sins away. Just like that missing comma cost a lot...if we eliminate the truth of the deity of Christ, it will ruin the foundation of our faith, smash our hopes for eternity, and it will cost us our lives.

Thank you for reading...this is just an outline, and as you could tell, is not very polished. I could get so much deeper into this subject...but a six minutes apologetic's speech won't allow me to. In fact this it self is to long for an apologetic's speech. I hope you learned more about the Deity of Christ...and will be able to say something if someone asks you about it. I got my argument for Liar, Lunatic, or Lord from More Than a Carpenter.