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Therefore all men are conceived in sin and are born as children of wrath, incapable of any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in sins, and slaves of sin.1 And without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit2 they neither will nor can return to God, reform their depraved nature, or prepare themselves for its reformation.

1 Eph 2:1, 3; Jn 8:34; Rom 6:16-17.

2 Jn 3:3-6; Tit 3:5.


ARTICLE 4

THE INADEQUACY OF THE LIGHT OF NATURE

To be sure, there is left in man after the fall, some light of nature, whereby he retains some notions about God,1 about natural things, and about the difference between what is honourable and shameful, and shows some regard for virtue and outward order.2 But so far is he from arriving at the saving knowledge of God and true conversion through this light of nature that he does not even use it properly in natural and civil matters. Rather, whatever this light may be, man wholly pollutes it in various ways and suppresses it by his wickedness. In doing so, he renders himself without excuse before God.3

1 Rom 1:19-20.;

2 Rom 2:14-15.