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Radical Depravity in Romans (2)


Nothing is more fundamental to unregenerate depravity than the absence of a proper fear of God.

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The unsaved have no fear of God. They lack all due reverence for Him, choosing instead to trivialize and marginalize their thoughts of Him:

There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 3:18

The proper reverence that is due to Gods name is simply not present with the unconverted. They have no respect, no awe, and no humility toward Him. They have an inadequate concern about Him, no fear about the consequences of their sin. In short, they fail to take God seriously. Robert Haldane writes, It is astonishing that men, while they acknowledge that there is a God, should act without any fear of His displeasure. Yet this is their character. They fear a worm of the dust like themselves, but disregard the Most High. . . . They are more afraid of man than of Godof his anger, his contempt, or ridicule. The fear of man prevents them from doing many things from which they are not restrained by the fear of God. . . . They love not His character, nor rendering to it that veneration which is due; they respect not His authority. Such is the state of human nature while the heart is unchanged.

Assessing this complete lack of fear for God, Hodge adds, His sinfulness proves or reveals to me that he does not fear God. The life of wicked men is proof that they are destitute of the fear of God. And by the fear of God we may understand, according to its use in Scripture, reverence for God, piety towards him; or fear in the more restricted sense, dread of his wrath. Either way, the reckless wickedness of men proves that they are destitute of all proper respect for God. They act as if there were no God, no being to whom they are responsible for their behavior and who has the intention and power to punish them for their iniquity.16 Here is the rotten core of radical depravityunconverted men have no fear of God.

Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 349.



Posted 2012·11·08 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Charles Hodge · Foundations of Grace · Romans · Steve Lawson
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