Monday, March 18, 2013

Depravity in Blue

Hey y'all! How are you doing today? As usual, my Lord's Day this week was filled with blessings and enjoyable times. The sermon yesterday was *so* powerful and I'm so thankful for a pastor who isn't worried about making someone feel bad when it comes to recognizing our sin. I took a front and back notebook page of notes (I usually only do half a page) so summarizing is going to be difficult! It was so, so, so convicting for me to hear and I hope you'll be encouraged by it too. :) 

Our passage was Romans 3:5-20, which is probably the most stinging indictment of human nature in all of Scripture. We. are. depraved. and we don't like to hear the truth about how sinful we are. We will fight it to the core but we must understand this first step of the gospel before we can truly be saved. Paul is answering the human-nature driven questions his readers may have from the previous passage about every man's falleness, Jew or Gentile.
Verses 5-6: "But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)"  In struggling against God's righteous judgment we ask how can God judge me if my life is being used to glorify Him? If I'm helping God out by furthering His purposes, albeit while sinning, how can he inflict His wrath on me, the instrument?  Vs 7-8: "For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?" Paul says, "Your logic is so skewed! You are always twisting and turning the guilt of the sin away from yourself and putting it on someone else!" He takes this argument to it's logical end and answers the fool according to his folly by saying(vs 6), "For then how will God judge the world?" If we apply this standard of "Someone else made me do it, I had  to because of such and such, it's my parents fault they didn't raise me right, if my environment had just been different (for philosophy students, Freudian thinking), etc" then we have to apply it to everyone in the world. But we all know someone (obviously ourselves, but we're thinking we're an exception to this right now) who is obviously very guilty and we know it was their fault they sinned. We aren't willing to say that person shouldn't be blamed and punished and that helps us understand we aren't any different from them.
Deception is making ourselves out to be an exception. The "yes, buts" and whitewashing of our sins is our whole problem. We are always thinking ourselves better than others (especially true for us good homeschooled kids).  Paul goes on to demonstrate from the Old Testament (so this ain't new stuff he's preachin') that sin reigns (Romans 6:12), has dominion (6:14), and that we are slaves to it (6:20) before we are saved.  

(I'm not going to paste the passage in here, but grab your Bible to follow along if you wish)
  • Verses 10-12 of chapter 3 reveal man's general character and conduct - there is none righteous, no not one. Human nature is so depraved we don't even seek God without Him first doing a work in us. No onetries to reach God in his fallen state. Sin reigns in our lives and we do nothing truely good.
  • Verse 13-14 addresses our speech. "Out of the heart the mouth speaks". Unregenerate, we are all influencing each other to not seek God. "Their throat is an open tomb"- a pit of death to fall into. 13b says the speech of the unbelieving is like venom, slowly poisoning it's listeners. We must be aware of how much the world is speaking to us and not allow it to influence us away from seeking God. 
  • Verses 15-17 discusses the philosophies of depraved man. There are thousands of false theologies and wrong thinkings, all bent against God. Until you beat. your. chest. and realize it is you in your very core who is guilty for your sins, not your environment, or someone else, you have not been to the foot of the Cross. We must know our guilt.
 We must have a fear of God, verse 18, and dread His displeasure. (Have a whole 'nother three  points on this, but I don't want to make this too long.)
There are basically three views to the problems humanity has- 1) Palaginism, nothing is really wrong because man is basically good- 2) Man is basically sick and can be cured from within. Whatever is wrong with him the right in him can cure- and 3) Man is dead. Not flopping in the ocean waiting to be saved, able to be thrown a life-preserver that he just has to grab, but sunk to the bottom of the ocean, lungs filled with water, all life gone and completely dead. This last one is total depravity. 
    Verse 19, "Now we know...that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." There are no exceptions, no cover-ups for guilt when it comes to transgressing the Word of God. Paul says to just stop talking and stand in guilty silence. Stop working to earn your salvation-- it won't do anything, even in a saved state. Stop trying to show how good you are-- there is no credit in you. We have no power in ourselves at all. And we continue to make excuse after excuse!  We must acknowledge the truth about ourselves if we are to begin to understand the grace that Christ has given us. I don't know about you, but I need to let that sink in for a good long while, and pray for mercy to get it.

    Yesterday after church we attended a beautiful Choral concert in town. Such a pleasant afternoon and these pictures were taken at nearly 6pm- gotta love day light savings time! I love this skirt and have worn it many times here on the blog before. Today I chose to pair it with light blue since that was the only tank I had clean. :P I wore super sparkly light blue and gold earrings to tie the light yellow of my skirt and blue together.
    Shirt: Gift from grandma (gotta love that!)
    Tank: JCP ($3)
    Skirt: Thrift store ($3?) 
    Earrings: Forever21 (1.80)
    Unseen silver sandles: Payless ($10)

    Well, I have a huge computer work project to help my dad with this week, so I'll see y'all sometime! Praying the power doesn't go out in this thunderstorm...

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    1. Great thoughts, Olivia. I've always thought it was "interesting" how we like to compare our sin to other people's sin! "Well, I'm not that and so did something MUCH worse!" When in reality, our sins are seen as equal in God's eyes! The blame game certainly doesn't help anyone (and yes, I've done it before...)

      Love your outfit! But you didn't wear green *pinch*-who was the dummy that came up with that anyway? (who was the dummy that just repeated it...)
      I've always wondered if people would wear that shirt you're wearing by itself? I could never see myself doing it, however I would never see myself wearing one of those super sheer shirts by itself either-but I've seen it done before! I like how the tank top breaks up the black and adds color!
      A Modest Fashion Blog:

    2. The storm has JUST hit my part of TN...Blech!!!! Our power goes out super easily, no fun! :P I love that skirt!!! I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one who didn't wear green...Hmmm...
      Kalin from

    3. Very cute, classy outfit! Love the open back shirt! In warm weather, I'd wear it without the tank underneath.

    4. I love your style! But what I love more that God speaks through you! Keep your faith strong!

    5. I LOVE this outfit! Especially the shirt... As soon as I get enough knit fabric I'm going to make one (Something I have wanted to do for over a year)... ;)

      I have a problem with wearing the only clean tank or shirt I have, at Church... At least you had one clean though!

    6. Wow, love that patterned skirt Olivia! :)

    7. These are probably the hardest truths in the Bible for us to realize and embrace. We'd so much rather DO something than be saved by grace alone. Thanks for sharing your sermon again.
      Beautiful outfit, by the way.

    8. Love it! Super cute! I really like your cardigan!

    9. Thanks so much for your edifying sermon notes! I know your pastor is blessed to have "echoes" sent forth to a wider audience!
      Your creative outfits are teaching this middle-aged woman to think outside the box as I pick through the rows of clothing at our a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Texas Goodwill stores (they are nearly as big as Target down here and about every 5 mi from each other!!). I would never have looked twice at a shirt that is all open in the back, but, hey, I CAN be taught new tricks! *hee* I am not trying to dress like a young person but I have learned to wear more of my "separates" together because you are such a good "ensemble" mentor. Thank you!

    10. I think that what you are saying about humans being depraved and sinful is very true.
      However I have to dissagre slightly about being so depraved that we dont even seek God
      without him first doing a work in us. Humans are sinful creatures that need God, but God is our creator he made us to need him and seek him. there might be some people who do not relize that it is God that they are seeking, and try to fill that hole with earthly treasures, but we are made to seek God and God will allow us to seek him no matter how sinful or depraved we are. God will not reject us becuse we are imperfect. And we were born with God working in us, soeven though we may not be saved we will continually try to seek him.though we might not know that God is the one we need. `

      ~ mikala

      1. JMJ
        That is an interesting point, Mikala.
        St. Augustine writes, "Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless untill they rest in Thee."
        He is saying that human nature is made by God for happiness with Him, and so is good.
        Fallen human nature is still made for God, so still seeks Him, though usually unknowingly, and in the wrong ways.
        In Christ,

    11. Thanks again Olivia for another encouraging post! ~ Sarah

    12. Love that close-up pic! You are gorgeous, girl!

      And the outline you gave of the sermon is on. Keep up the good work!

    13. I just came across your blog today and I have to say, I only read this one post and I love it already! :-) I also love your outfit! Its encouraging to know that there are other young ladies out there who know that they can look stylish (for lack of a better word...) and dress modestly too. Thanks for the good Word!

    14. We must think alike because I wore almost the exact same shirt combo Sunday. I posted it on my blog ( today and just now I got on your blog and saw this post.
      The outfit post is:

    15. Just browsing your outfits. CUTE!! So cute. You're doing an excellent job of making modesty look very fashionable. :)

    16. Thank you so much for this post! It is so nice to hear someone else believe in complete and total depravity. You don't hear that a lot...... at least I don't.
      God bless!!


    Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!