John Calvin On The Depraved Nature of All Men

For, did the Lord let every mind loose to wanton in its lusts, doubtless there is not a man who would not show that his nature is capable of all the crimes with which Paul charges it (Rom. 3 compared with Ps. 14:3, &c).  What?  Can you exempt yourself from the number of those whose feet are swift to shed blood; whose hands are foul with rapine and murder; whose throats are like open sepulchres; whose tongues are deceitful; whose lips are venomous; whose actions are useless, unjust, rotten, deadly; whose soul is without God; whose inward parts are full of wickedness; whose eyes are on the watch for deception; whose minds are prepared for insult; whose every part, in short, is framed for endless deeds of wickedness? If every soul is capable of such abominations (and the Apostle declares this boldly), it is surely easy to see what the result would be, if the Lord were to permit human passion to follow its bent.……..In the elect, God cures these diseases in the mode which will shortly be explained; in others, he only lays them under such restraint as may prevent them from breaking forth to a degree incompatible with the preservation of the established order of things……Thus God, by his providence, curbs the perverseness of nature, preventing it from breaking forth into action, yet without rendering it inwardly pure. [1]

Bad things happen in our world everyday.  Bad people exist.  With that said, we must realize that it could be worse…much worse.  It is only God that stops it from being worse.

We don’t often think of God’s grace in this way.  We usually think of it in relation to what He has done for the elect.  This aspect of God’s grace is no less important.  We need to focus on this aspect of God’s grace from time to time.

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[1]  The Institutes Of The Christian Religion by John Calvin, translated by Henry Beveridge, Book Two, Chapter 3, Section 3

A.W. Pink On Man’s Ability To Come To God

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