Full text of preacher Paul Washer’s sermon titled “The Depravity of Man”.
Related Bible verses:
“Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.”
Ecclesiastes 7:20, NIV
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”Romans 3:23, NIV
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Paul Washer – Bible teacher and preacher
Let’s open up our Bibles to Romans Chapter One. I appreciate many of the things that have been said.
The fact of the matter is, if you hear from a speaker tonight, you wasted your time, especially from this one. There are no great men of God. It’s a preposterous language spoken by those who need to be a little bit more refined in their theology. There are only weak and pitiful and faithless men of a great and merciful God.
Anyone who has been used by God in any degree is almost ashamed of the fact that he or she has been used. It almost seems as though it’s not right.
When I look at my own life, and I look at many of the shortcomings that are there, I can only be amazed at the grace of a very very gracious and compassionate God.
You see, to preach to an auditorium like this or to one much larger or to stand out in the street and to share the gospel while people are throwing things, that does not take a great deal of godliness or Christ-likeness or purity of heart.
The way you know that a person is truly Christian is by the way that they live with those who have the closest relationship to them. The great discerning point or the great point of discernment regarding whether or not a man is a man of God is not his speaking. The devil speaks well.
It is his relationship to his wife, to his children, to his brothers and sisters in Christ, it is his personal piety in the secret place when no one is watching. And we all fail in those areas, and that is why we are all in need of the grace of God.
I remember when I first read of Peter, and Jesus told him to cast his net. And Peter obeyed, but then when the net was filled with fish, Peter collapsed. On the boat he just seemed to fall to pieces and he said, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” He saw Christ do something magnificent, and his response was “depart from me, get away from me, I’m a sinful man.”
And I think that what Peter was seeing is this: “Christ, I should not be allowed to see what I am seeing. Maybe you don’t understand, let me explain to you, I’m not the man maybe you think I am, Lord, it’s not even right that I should see something this great with my own eyes.”
Every man of God, every woman of God who has been used by God will have the same thought in their heart.
As I stand here today, or I preach in Nepal or India or Peru or anywhere else in America, I’m constantly amazed that God would have such mercy on a man like me. I hope that I’m not a hypocrite. I hope that I’m something of an honest man, but the best of men of sinners are sinners,
And we constantly need to be told that, because as John Calvin said,
“You and I, our heart is like an idol factory.”
We want to make someone, put someone in front of us that we can see, when in fact the one we need in front of us is the one at this moment we cannot see, and that is Jesus Christ.
If I say something fabulous here tonight, it’s just the pathetic words of a pathetic man. What we need is to hear the Word of God and we need the Word of God taught to us, not simply by a fallible man but we need God to speak to us through His Word. And the only hope this preacher has is that God is powerful enough to use the weakest among us to speak.
Whenever someone says, “Brother Paul, that was a good sermon”, my favorite line is this: “Well, then, there we have it, living proof that God still speaks through rocks and donkeys”, because that’s all it is, all it is.
I realize that when I stand up here to preach, that there are men and women in this audience who maybe you do not know but they have forgotten more about God than I know, and probably exceed me in their piety and their love for Christ.
You see, God doesn’t always put his best man forward. Often times He’ll put His weakest man forward just to demonstrate His power that He can take the most useless among us, that would be me, and still work.
Now if you are here tonight and you are kind of thinking: “What is this Christianity?” Well, it’s not what you think. I know that some of you are possibly here and you are thinking well, you know it’s all about these TV preachers and all this sort of stuff and all the noise and confusion and crazy ideas. No it’s not, it’s not about any of them.
It’s not about men and their crazy ideas. What you see on television and what you see in many churches – it’s much simpler to preach in the jungle, honestly, you don’t have to deal with these things.
But many of the things that you see, even in what’s called evangelical churches or Christian churches, it’s not biblical. It’s not true Christianity. It’s just noise and confusion.
I was speaking with a brother back there before I got up to preach, and it reminded me, I told him, sometimes Christianity in America reminds me of a poem about Jesus: He comes in after many many days in the wilderness, and he’s hungry to worship and then it says that “shock meets with the anger that burns on his face when he enters the wasteland of that barren place.”
That’s how sometimes I feel when I look at what’s called western or evangelical or American Christianity. It’s just a wasteland of confusion.
And then in the poem, Christ makes this whip and He drives all of them out, all of the so called ministers. He drives them out and it says this, “the noise and confusion gave way to his word; at last sacred silence so God could be heard.” It’s what we so need. It’s to return back to a biblical Christianity. A Christianity that is modeled by Jesus Christ. A Christianity that was proclaimed by the Apostles.
We have to cut through all our North American culture, all our secularism, all our psychology, all our ideas and return to what a Christianity is truly about and it is about the work of God in redeeming sinful man through the person of Jesus Christ.
That the greatest revelation of God and the greatest work of salvation from the hand of God comes from one singular person, the man Christ Jesus.
Now I want you to understand something that is very important here. I do not mind being mocked. I do not mind when people are extremely angry, but the greatest offense you can ever pour upon the head of any man is to patronize him. That is to listen to him and say, “oh that’s nice, that’s nice what you believe, I mean everybody needs their own belief. Just go on and have a wonderful with your little belief that’s unique to you, living the dream that you choose for yourself but I hope that it ends up happy in the end.”