Total Hereditary Depravity
Moses recorded, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1.26-27).
When God said we are made in His image, He means, that He is the giver of each individual’s spirit (Zechariah 12.1; Ecclesiastes 12.7). Therefore, it cannot be true that we inherit the sins of one man or a sinful nature; else God gives each person a debauched spirit! This demolishes the claim that man is wholly depraved, having contracted a sinful nature from the sins of Adam!
Solomon said, “See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes” (Eccl. 7.29). This is consistent with God’s plan to create each individual holy, righteous and in His image.
When Solomon said, “…but they have sought out many schemes,” is consistent with James who taught, “…each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (1.14-15). Therefore, Adam and Eve tarnished the image of God when they sinned and we tarnish the image when we sin. Thus, we aren’t created sinners, we become sinners.
Paul said, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8.29). Desiring all those who have tarnished the image to be conformed back to the original image, that is, to the image of His Son, God has made salvation available to all men.
Have you been baptized in His name for the remission of your sins? It’s the only way to be conformed to the image you and I have tarnished. – Bryan Garlock