Today as we resume or examination of the Articles of Faith of the Amarillo Primitive Baptist church, which set forth common beliefs among all Primitive Baptists, we turn our attention to an article that sets forth a basic tenet of the Doctrine of Grace.

“3.We believe that the whole of the human family were created in Adam, their seminal head and that all alike fell in him by his transgression of the law, and all partake of his sinful nature.”

Although the article as worded by the founding members of the Amarillo Primitive Baptist Church does not use the words directly this statement is a belief in the teaching of Total Depravity.  Total Depravity being defined as the belief that all of mankind is corrupt and sinful as a direct result of the fall of Adam in the garden of Eden.  Let us spend a few moments examining this belief.

By One Man Sin Entered the World

 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12)

In this particular verse we see the theological idea presented and then the evidence for the idea following it.  The theological idea being presented here is that sin entered the world because of Adam’s actions in the garden of Eden and eating of the forbidden tree.  The proof that we have that sin in the world is that from the time of Adam all of mankind has died a natural death with the exception of those that Christ took directly to heaven.  Should sin not have entered the world then death would not be on all mankind.

The secondary idea that must be understood in this verse is that it was by the actions of Adam that sin entered the world not due to any of the actions of Eve including her deception.   To further extend this truth we have the understanding that sin is passed down to each generation through the man’s seed.  This is vital to understand for it is the only way that Christ could have been born sinless for he was not formed of man and woman but rather just of woman.

Death and the Resurrection

 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:21)

Since the truth of our nature is that this body will experience death, then we must have an answer to that death in order to have hope.  The answer to the death this body will experience is the resurrection of the dead at the end of time.  This relationship makes death and the resurrection enemies of one another.  We see this stated clearly when the Apostle Paul writes

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)

The ultimate truth being that Christ and sin are enemies and because Christ has defeated sin he has also defeated death, hell, and the grave for his children.  Glory be to God that while these bodies are still sinful creatures sin no longer reigns over us.

Common Belief

It may seem at times that the Primitive Baptist are the only group left that believe in the idea of Total Depravity.  However, if you go to Google and ask for a definition of Total Depravity it will define it as a belief taught by Calvin.  While it is true that Calvinist also teach about Total Depravity it does not make the belief Calvinistic.  The belief is taught in scripture and thus is biblical and not belonging to one religion or the other.

At times it becomes more important what a religion does with the belief in Total Depravity than simply having the belief.  Many religions put forth some semblance of belief in Total Depravity but then put the responsibility on man to save himself by believing on Christ.  A true belief in Total Depravity should be the foundation for believing that man can do nothing to save himself.  We are dependent wholly upon Christ and his work and can do nothing to save ourselves.  This makes Total Depravity the foundation for a belief in the Grace of Jesus Christ.

May the Lord Bless you this Day!

Elder J.W.

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