God Helps the Helpless
Jesus Goes To the Sick and Hurting
We are like this man when it comes to our spiritual condition
Two doctrines that deal with this problem are original sin and total depravity. Original sin is not an event but a condition. The Bible teaches that our first parents fell into sin and that as a result the human race was corrupted. One result is that men and women in their fallen state are not able to believe God’s Word. Paul explains, “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” (1 Cor. 2:14). What is true of our intellect is true also of our will. Romans 8:7–8 says, “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Note that the Scripture states not merely that sinful men and women will not or do not understand spiritual things, submit to God, or please God. More than that, the Bible asserts that in our fallen state we cannot do so. This is the state of original sin in which we were all born. Psalm 51:5 says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (NIV). Original sin means that we are sinners not because we have sinned, but because our first parents made us sinners, our nature having been corrupted by their rebellion.
This is the spiritual condition depicted by these people at the pool of Bethesda. Just as they were physically disabled, we are spiritually disabled. But, one might ask, how much are we affected by sin? What is the extent of our corruption? The answer is given by the doctrine of total depravity. The Bible teaches that sin has corrupted us thoroughly, comprehensively, and totally. This does not mean that there is nothing good about us, or that we are as bad as we might be. We could always be worse! Rather, it affirms the Bible’s teaching that there is no human faculty that is not fatally corrupted by sin.