Total Depravity – John MacArthur

The following is a summary of a John MacArthur sermon and a link to the full audio.

“(Total Depravity) There are some historical implications to rejecting this view.

Denial of total depravity has been a staple of our religious culture for a while now. It is at the heart of old liberalism which rejected theology in favor of “living like Jesus in the world.” In so doing they destroyed the church. The emerging church is just the same thing and once again denies this doctrine. Inherent in church growth is the idea that the sinner will respond better if the methods change. We can never offer Jesus as if He is the one who will fulfill the sinner’s natural fallen desires. The fallen sinner hates God and loves Himself fatally. He wants a God who gives him what he wants but a biblical approach assaults the sinner’s self-confidence and attacks his confidence in his own religion and spirituality. You have to call the sinner to hate himself and to love God. Never appeal to that which enslaves the sinner to try to get the sinner to respond to God. You are appealing to the very thing that the sinner needs to be freed from. You need to call the sinner to flee from all that enslaves him and have him run to the cross to be saved from all of this. Soft preaching makes hard people. Preach the hard truth and it will break the hard hearts, leaving a soft people.

Another implication of this is that a pastor must be meek; he must be humble. No one should be as meek as those who preach the gospel. This is the only profession where a person can take absolutely no credit for what he does. He can only take credit for the failures.

The bottom line is this: be faithful to understand that the condition of the sinner is not one you can remedy with any kind of human manipulation. All hearts are the same and all hearts need the same message. The message cannot change and the message is what God uses to change sinners.”

Summary of John MacArthur’s sermon from Challies.com .

The whole sermon can be found here:

Session III – John MacArthur The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing: The Doctrine of Absolute Inability

 

 


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