3. MAN’S DEPRAVED NATURE
Affirmation : We believe that: “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and are subject to eternal punishment; and need repentance and regeneration (Gen. 3:1-19; Isaiah 53:6).
a) Who is man? – Man is a created being who possesses spirit, soul and body (Gen.1:26 -28; 1 Thess. 5:23; Heb 4:12). Scripture declares that God created man in conformity with His own image (Gen.1:27). Man is a dependent being in that he owes his existence to God. It is in God that “man lives, moves and has his being” (Acts 17:25-31). Man is also a moral being, created by God with a free-will, the ability to make responsible choices (Gen. 2:16 -17; Josh 24:15).
He was made to procreate and have dominion over the works of God’s hands on earth; all things were put under his feet (Gen. 1:26-28; Psalm 8:5-8). Man became disobedient and sinned against God (Gen. 3:16-19). Disobedience caused man to fall from the glory and the honour of God into shame and total depravity (Gen. 3:1-19; Isaiah 53:6; Rom 3:23).
b) What is depravity? Depravity denotes Corruption and death in all areas – spiritual, physical and subsequently eternal death (Rom.3:10–18; 8:7). By death is meant separation, and not either annihilation, state of sleep or non-existence. Spiritual death is thus separation from God in the spirit part of man, while physical death is separation of the soul and spirit from the body. Eternal death is thus eternal total separation of man from God.
Man has been in a corrupt state in his spirit, soul and body from birth and hence a sinner (Gen.2:16-17; 3:17-19; Psalm 51:5; 5:12-14; Rom 1:18-23; Eph 2:13).
Man’s behaviour expresses this depraved nature (Rom 1:18-23). He is thus subject to eternal punishment or requires eternal redemption (Matt 13:41, 42; Rom 6:23).