If it is objectively true that we are as incapable of saving ourselves as is a dead person, then doesn’t it directly follow that only God’s intervention will suffice, by raising the dead to life? And, if you choose to live as if something of tremendous import is true when it is not, wouldn’t you expect terrible consequences? Would you expect that bad consequences would occur were you to decide that gravity will not cause you to fall?
So to, when we falsely assume that we are capable of generating our own righteousness, even to the point of making the decisive contribution to our own salvation, we are inviting terrible consequences. One of those consequences today is the utter collapse of Biblical morality and the ascendency of a human-based social morality. This human-based morality continually shifts this way and that, depending on current elite opinion. Our society is thus becoming increasingly unstable, as people realize that what they thought was moral yesterday can today be condemned, sometimes with very tangible consequences.
If this is all true, then just what is the Reformed Christian understanding of sin? The Scots Confession (3.13) provides an answer directly relevant to this discussion.
For as soon as the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, whom God’s chosen children receive by true faith, takes possession of the heart of any man, so soon does he regenerate and renew him, so that he begins to hate what before he loved, and to love what he hated before.
Thence comes that continual battle which is between the flesh and the Spirit in God’s children, while the flesh and the natural man, being corrupt, lust for things pleasant and delightful to themselves, are envious in adversity and proud in prosperity, and every moment prone and ready to offend the majesty of God. But the Spirit of God, who bears witness to our spirit that we are the sons of God, makes us resist filthy pleasures and groan in God’s presence for deliverance from this bondage of corruption, and finally to triumph over sin so that it does not reign in our mortal bodies.
Other men do not share this conflict since they do not have God’s Spirit, but they readily follow and obey sin and feel no regrets, since they act as the devil and their corrupt nature urge. But the sons of God fight against sin; sob and mourn when they find themselves tempted to do evil; and, if they fall, rise again with earnest and unfeigned repentance. They do these things, not by their own power, but by the power of the Lord Jesus, apart from whom they can do nothing.
Thus, though the redeemed continue to sin, their outlook, by the grace of Christ, changes from acceptance to opposition, sorrow and repentance. This outlook is completely different than that of postmodern Christianity, in which sin is both diminished and redefined so as to enable an attitude of moral superiority.