The following is from a message by Thomas Brooks entitled, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ. It is a bold and somewhat shocking declaration of our corrupt nature. It is very important that we remember the principle that he is expounding in this short excerpt.
"By the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Corin. 15:10
Whatever evil you behold in other men's practices, realize that you have the same evil in your own nature.
There is the seed of all sins, of the vilest and worst of sins--in the best of men. When you see a drunkard--you may see the seed of that sin in your own nature. When you see an immoral man--you may see the seeds of immorality in your own nature. If you are not as wicked as others--it is not because of the goodness of your nature--but from the riches of God's grace!
Remember this--there is not a worse nature in hell than that which is in you, and it would manifest itself accordingly--if the Lord did not restrain it!
There was one who was a long time tempted to three horrid sins: to be drunk, to lie with his mother, and to murder his father. Being a long time followed with these horrid temptations, at last he thought to get rid of them, by yielding to what he judged the least, and that was to be drunk; but when he was drunk, he did both lie with his mother and murdered his father.
Why, such a hellish nature is in every soul that breathes! And did God leave men to act according to their natures, all men would be incarnate devils, and this world a total hell. In your nature you have that that would lead you . . .
with the Pharisees--to oppose Christ;
and with Judas--to betray Christ;
and with Pilate--to condemn Christ;
and with the soldiers--to crucify Christ.
Oh, what a monster, what a devil you would be--should God but leave you to act suitable to that sinful and woeful nature of yours!"
By the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Corin. 15:10