Total Depravity – Scriptural Support

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This is a list of Scripture passages that support the Calvinist doctrine of Total Depravity.

Our Heart, Mind, and Nature are Corrupt

Genesis 6:5, 8:21

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”’.

And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for ”’the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth”’. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

Psalm 5:8-9

8 Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. 9 For there is no truth in their mouth; ”’their inmost self is destruction”’; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.

Ecclesiastes 9:3

This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, ”’the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live”’, and after that they go to the dead.

Jeremiah 10:7-8, 14

7 Who would not fear you, O King of the nations? For this is your due; for ”’among all the wise ones”’ of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like you. 8 ”’They are both stupid and foolish”’; the instruction of idols is but wood! … 14 ”’Every man is stupid and without knowledge”’; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them.

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Matthew 15:19

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Mark 7:21-23

21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Romans 1:28-31

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to ”’a debased mind”’ to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

Ephesians 4:17-18

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in ”’the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding”’, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

Titus 1:15-16

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but ”’both their minds and their consciences are defiled”’. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

We Are “Slaves” to Sin

John 8:34

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a ”’slave to sin”’.

Romans 6:6, 16, 17, 19, 20

6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be ”’enslaved to sin”’. … 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are ”’slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin”’, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once ”’slaves of sin”’ have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, … 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as ”’slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness”’, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were ”’slaves of sin”’, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Romans 7:14

For we know that the law is spiritual, ”’but I am of the flesh, sold under sin”’.

Galatians 4:8-9

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, ”’you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods”’. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

2 Timothy 2:25-26

25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being ”’captured by him to do his will”’.

Titus 3:3

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, ”’slaves to various passions and pleasures”’, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

2 Peter 2:19

They promise them freedom, but they themselves are ”’slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.”’

We Desire Sin

Proverbs 21:10

”’The soul of the wicked desires evil”’; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.

John 3:19

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and ”’people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil”’.

John 8:44

”’You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires”’. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Romans 1:24-27

24 Therefore God gave them up in ”’the lusts of their hearts”’ to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to ”’dishonorable passions”’. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Ephesians 2:3

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Our Nature Is Completely Corrupt

Isaiah 1:5-6

5 Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? ”’The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it”’, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.

Romans 7:18

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

Ephesians 2:3

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were ”’by nature children of wrath”’, like the rest of mankind.

Titus 1:15-16

15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

We Do Not and Cannot Choose Good or Please God

Genesis 6:5, 8:21

6:5 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”’. … 8:21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for ”’the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth”’. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

1 Samuel 24:13

As the proverb of the ancients says, “”’Out of the wicked comes wickedness”’.” But my hand shall not be against you.

Psalm 10:4

In the pride of his face ”’the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.””’

Proverbs 15:89

”’The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord”’, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. ”’The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord”’, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.

Proverbs 28:9

If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, ”’even his prayer is an abomination”’.

Isaiah 64:6-7

6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and ”’all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment”’. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 ”’There is no one who calls upon your name”’, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.

Isaiah 65:1

I was ready to be sought by ”’those who did not ask for me”’; I was ready to be found by ”’those who did not seek me”’. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name.

Jeremiah 13:23

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.

Matthew 7:18

A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, ”’nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit”’.

Matthew 12:34-35

34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and ”’the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil”’.

John 3:20

For everyone who does wicked things ”’hates the light and does not come to the light”’, lest his works should be exposed.

Romans 3:10-12

10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Romans 8:7-8

7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for ”’it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”’

Romans 10:20

Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by ”’those who did not seek me”’; I have shown myself to ”’those who did not ask for me”’.”

Romans 14:23

But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For ”’whatever does not proceed from faith is sin”’.

Colossians 1:21

And you, who once were ”’alienated and hostile in mind”’, doing evil deeds

Titus 1:15-16

15 To the pure, all things are pure, but ”’to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled”’. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Hebrews 11:6

And ”’without faith it is impossible to please him”’, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

We Are Corrupt from Birth

Genesis 8:21

And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for ”’the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth”’. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

Psalm 51:5

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 58:3

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

Proverbs 22:15

”’Folly is bound up in the heart of a child”’, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

John 3:6

”’That which is born of the flesh is flesh”’, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

We Are Hopeless

Ephesians 2:1, 5

1 And ”’you were dead”’ in the trespasses and sins… 5 even when ”’we were dead in our trespasses”’, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

Ephesians 2:12-13

remember that you were at that time ”’separated”’ from Christ, ”’alienated”’ from the commonwealth of Israel and ”’strangers”’ to the covenants of promise, ”’having no hope”’ and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Colossians 2:13

And you, ”’who were dead in your trespasses”’ and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

We Cannot Understand the Truth

Deuteronomy 29:2-4

And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 3 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. 4 But to this day ”’the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear”’.

Psalm 119:18

”’Open my eyes”’, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

Proverbs 4:19

The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

Matthew 11:27

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and ”’no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him”’.

1 Corinthians 1:18, 21-24

18 For ”’the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing”’, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. … 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, ”’the world did not know God through wisdom”’, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, ”’a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles”’, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Ephesians 4:17-19

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in ”’the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God”’ because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

1 John 5:20

And we know that the Son of God has come and has ”’given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true”’; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

We Cannot Choose God

John 1:12-13

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh ”’nor of the will of man, but of God”’.

John 3:27

John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.

John 6:44, 65

44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. … 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

John 14:16-17

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom ”’the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him”’. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

John 15:16

”’You did not choose me, but I chose you”’ and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Romans 9:16

So then ”’it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God”’, who has mercy.

1 Corinthians 1:30

And ”’because of him you are in Christ Jesus”’, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

Philippians 2:13

for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Repentance and Faith Come Come from God

John 3:6, 6:63

6 ”’That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”’ … 63 ”’It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all”’. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Acts 5:31

God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, ”’to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins”’.

Acts 11:18

When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also ”’God has granted repentance”’ that leads to life.”

Acts 16:14

One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. ”’The Lord opened her heart”’ to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

Acts 18:27

And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped ”’those who through grace had believed”’,

Romans 11:36

For ”’from him and through him and to him are all things”’. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 12:3

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each ”’according to the measure of faith that God has assigned”’.

1 Corinthians 3:6

I planted, Apollos watered, but ”’God gave the growth”’.

1 Corinthians 12:3

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and ”’no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit”’.

Philippians 1:29

For ”’it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him”’ but also suffer for his sake,

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

1 Corinthians 4:7

For who sees anything different in you? ”’What do you have that you did not receive?”’ If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

2 Timothy 2:24-25

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. ”’God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth”’,

2 Peter 1:3

”’His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness”’, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

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