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  • Alan Salwei

1 John 1:8-10 - Total Depravity

God's law is simple, but step one in salvation is confessing you can't keep it.

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Read 1 John 1:8-10

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Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 5

Q. Can you live up to all this (God's Law) perfectly?

A. No.

I have a natural tendency to hate God and my neighbor.



A sinful nature is part of the human condition, as part of our inheritance of original sin from the first human, Adam.

To say that we are without sin is a falsehood. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, has granted us forgiveness, and made us a new creation; yet we are not without sin.

God enables spiritual growth in the life of the believer, however none of us will reach a point of complete righteousness in this life. It is part of our condition to continually battle our fallen nature.

Those who deny their sinful nature do more than fool themselves. Not only would such a claim betray the truth, but it would also suggest a belief that you were not in need of the grace of Jesus. The truth is that we have all fallen short and are in desperate need for the grace of Christ. To claim otherwise is to disregard, or at minimum misunderstand, the Gospel.

Dig Deeper

While Jesus calls us to love our God and our neighbor, our natural tendency is to do the exact opposite. Respect, manners, and sharing are all things that are taught to children either in the home or at school. None of us teaches a child to be selfish, hit when angry, or throw a fit when you don’t get your way; yet these behaviors are still commonplace. These tendencies are ingrained in our very being.

Part of living as a Child of God is battling our fallen nature. While the Holy Spirit does empower believers to do good; the faithful remain locked in combat with our fallen nature. This battle will continue to rage on until the end of the age when our sanctification is complete.

As you acknowledge your natural state of sinfulness, lean on the Holy Spirit for the strength to do what you cannot do on your own, which is to love God and love others.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Father God, you are faithful and just to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Help me to recognize and confess my own sin, and strengthen me with the Spirit to trust in the righteousness of my Savior.



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Mark 10


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