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October 26 – Very, very bad

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.Genesis 6:5

Scripture reading: Romans 3:9-20

As sinners, we are very, very bad. Sadly, the proof that we are by nature lost sinners is self-evident, even if everywhere disputed. God didn’t create us this way, but we have become this by our fall into sin with the first Adam. Created good, we are, untouched by grace, incapable of doing any good at all, of any kind. By nature, we hate both God and our neighbor.

In fact, we are so bad we are even unable to rescue ourselves from this self-inflicted mess. There is no spark of goodness in us that, given the right conditions, we could fan into flame and become Christians. We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). We are both unable and unwilling to come to Christ that we might have Life.

Won’t this teaching put off unbelievers from pursuing Christ? If you tell them they can’t believe, isn’t it more likely that they won’t? I don’t think so. It is actually the sense of our total depravity that spurs us to seek the mercy of God in Christ to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

We are very, very bad. But Christ is very, very good. Thanks be to God that in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, not only are our sins forgiven, but the devastating spiritual deadness is destroyed, so that by the Spirit of the ascended Christ we are made alive with Him. It is, after all, by grace that we have been saved.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Spirit of God might, through the preaching of his Word tomorrow, bring the dead to life for the praise of God’s glorious grace. Pray that God would give us a sense of our sinfulness that we might glory all the more in the gospel of free and sovereign grace.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. John van Eyk is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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