Total Depravity of Man

Total Depravity: Although fallen persons are capable of externally good acts (acts that are good for society), they cannot do anything really good, i.e., pleasing to God (Rom. 8:8). God, however, looks on the heart. And from his ultimate standpoint, fallen man has no goodness, in thought, word, or deed. He is therefore incapable of contributing anything to his salvation.


John Frame

To know this God, who both condescends to share all that we are and makes us share in all that He is in Jesus Christ, is to be lifted up in His Spirit to share in God's own self-knowing and self-loving until we are enabled to apprehend Him in some real measure in Himself beyond anything that we are capable of in ourselves. It is to be lifted out of ourselves, as it were, into God, until we know Him and love Him and enjoy Him in His eternal Reality as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in such a way that the Trinity enters into the fundamental fabric of our thinking of Him and constitutes the basic grammar of our worship and knowledge of the One God.


Thomas F. Torrance from The Ground and Grammar of Theology (pg. 155)

Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God's majesty.

John Calvin

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