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  • Pastor Karl Hauser

“Total Depravity” (Doctrine of Sin)

The story of Adam and Eve, is about the “corruption” of all human-kind by sin. While this may sound fatalistic, not all was lost.

In fact, Presbyterians would argue, a good portion of what God created “good” in us still remains. Hooray! We are still created in the image of God, have the capacity to love, feel joy, enjoy fulfillment in work and leisure. Good things!

Sin is like a shoe that doesn’t fit but you can’t take off. It affects everything about you. How you walk, stand, see the world is forever off- balance, awkward, and even painful.

Even though you are good and whole, the shoe (sin), affects ALL of you. You cannot do anything without sin’s affects.

Presbyterians call this “total depravity.”

This does NOT mean we are entirely evil and contain no good (see above). The only way we are able to do Godly actions then, is by the Holy Spirit in us, helping us. When we accept Jesus into our lives and become aware of our sin, the Holy Spirit recalibrates our life.

Suddenly old behaviors are revealed to be selfish and self-centered (because of sin), and we endeavor to be more gracious and generous (because of the Spirit).

Because of sin’s pervasive influence, Presbyterians are quick to admit our sinful tendencies and give thanks for the grace of the Holy Spirit.

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