ESCAPE FROM DEPRAVITY
Eph. 2:1-2 ¶ And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Mankind is corrupt to the very core. For some, those words may sound a little strong, they are absolutely true. All of us are born in a state not only of badness but of blindness. We cannot see our own sinfulness. We wander through life thinking we have a handle on things and that we have a pretty good grasp on the whole concept of right and wrong. Not only Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, all of us have. We are hopelessly blinded to our own need of God. We are often intoxicated by our own accomplishments while we are clueless to the precarious position we are actually in. Augustine spoke volumes about the need of spiritual light to invade the blinded souls of fallen man. Here is something Augustine said in his classic book Confessions.
“I looked for pleasure, beauty, and truth not in Him but in myself and His other creatures, and the search led me instead to pain, confusion, and error. In your eyes my beauty vanished and I was foul to the core, yet I was pleased with my own condition and anxious to be pleasing in the eyes of men. I cared for nothing but to love and to be loved. I had been deafened by the clank of my chains, the fetters of the death which was my due to punish the pride of my soul. How long it was before I learned that You were my true joy. I was inflated with self esteem, which made me think myself a great man. O Lord my Helper and my Redeemer, I shall now tell and confess to the glory of Your Name how You released me from the fetters of lust which held me so tightly shackled and from slavery to the things of this world. We need to make plain that total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to beauty and deadness to joy.”
Augustine had it right, he said his search for pleasure and beauty in himself and in creation led to pain, confusion, and error. Sound familiar? All of us have been down that road. Not until Augustine (and all of us for that matter) tasted of the sweetness of God’s grace did he experience the beauty and the joy he was looking for. He discovered that our problem was more than badness, that was just a symptom of our dilemma. Our real problem was blindness. We could not see the beauty, mercy, compassion, joy, and life itself that is in Christ alone. It is only in the experience or the tasting of this amazing Lord that everything changes. Like Paul on the Damascus road and Augustine in his garden walk, when Jesus steps on the scene, our whole being is flooded with His light. In that place of light, our blinded eyes begin to see.