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They Want to Sin


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Let men therefore acknowledge that since they are born of Adam, they are depraved creatures and therefore can conceive only sinful thoughts until they are transformed by Christ’s work and are remade by His Spirit into a new life. It should not be doubted that the Lord declares the very mind of man to be depraved and altogether infected with sin, so that all the thoughts that proceed from his mind are evil. If the foundation itself has such a defect, it follows that all man’s affections are evil, and his deeds covered with the same polution. . . . For since their mind is corrupted with contempt of God, pride, self-love, and ambitious hypocrisy, all their thoughts are contaminated with the same vices. . . . The very affections of nature, which in themselves are laudable, are vitiated by original sin . . . men are born evil. It shows that as soon as they are old enough to think, they already have radically corrupt minds . . . depravity pervades all our senses. . . . God is not to be blamed for this. The origin of this disease stems from the defection of the first man, because of whom the order of the creation was subverted. . . . although all rush to do evil acts, no one is forced into this except by the direct inclination of their own hearts. When they sin, they do so because they want to sin.

—John Calvin quoted in Steve Lawson’s Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 59.



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Posted  in: Foundations of Grace · John Calvin · Steve Lawson
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