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Featured Doctrine of total inability/total depravity or do we have a free will.

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Hobie, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie Member

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    The doctrine of total depravity (or total inability) says that all men, as a consequence of the Fall, are born morally corrupt, enslaved to sin, at enmity with God, and unable to please Him or even of themselves to turn to Christ for salvation. Thus God must elect us to salvation, basically we are predestined to be saved or lost before we are born and thus have no true free will.

    Now Arminius came after Calvin and seems to have more fuller picture of the cause of the wretchedness of sinners as taught in Scripture. Arminius writes:
    'In the state of Primitive Innocence, man had a mind endued with a clear understanding of heavenly light and truth concerning God, and his works and will, as far as was sufficient for the salvation of man and the glory of God; he had a heart imbued with "righteousness and true holiness," and with a true and saving love of good; and powers abundantly qualified or furnished perfectly to fulfill the law which God had imposed on him. This admits easily of proof from the description of the image of God, after which man is said to have been created (Gen. 1:26-27), from the law divinely imposed on him, which had a promise and a threat appended to it (Gen 2:17), and lastly from the analogous restoration of the same image in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:24; Col. 3:10).
    But man was not so confirmed in this state of innocence as to be incapable of being moved by the representation presented to him of some good (whether it was of an inferior kind and relating to this [natural] life, or of a superior kind and relating to spiritual life), inordinately and unlawfully to look upon it and to desire it, and of his own spontaneous as well as free motion, and through a preposterous desire for that good, to decline from the obedience which had been prescribed to him. Nay, having turned away from the light of his own mind and his Chief Good, which is God, or, at least, having turned towards that Chief Good not in the manner in which he ought to have done, and besides having turned in mind and heart towards an inferior good, he transgressed the command given to him for life. By this foul deed, he precipitated himself from that noble and elevated condition into a state of the deepest infelicity, which is under the Dominion of Sin. . . .

    In this state, the Free Will of man towards the True Good is not only wounded, maimed, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and lost: And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace. 'Twenty-Five Public Disputations: Disputation XI. On the Free Will of Man and its Powers," in The Works of Arminius, trans. James Nichols (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1986), 2:191-92.

    Scripture is clear that all have sinned, but then what.
    Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God ;

    Now they both held to the doctrine of total depravity of man, the major difference between the two concerning their doctrine of depravity is in the solution of God in overcoming the effects of the fall.

    Calvin basically drew a picture of man with no free will, all his abilities for good taken from him to the point that man just sits and waits for his execution or salvation with no input. Concerning the sinful state in which humanity exists, Calvin writes:

    'Therefore, since through man's fault a curse has extended above and below, over all the regions of the world, there is nothing unreasonable in it extending to all his offspring. After the heavenly image in man was effaced, he not only was himself punished by a withdrawal of the ornaments in which he had been arrayed, i.e., wisdom, virtue, justice, truth, and holiness, and by the substitution in their place of those dire pests, blindness, impotence, vanity, impurity, and unrighteousness, but he involved his posterity also, and plunged them in the same wretchedness.'

    It just seems wrong, as man from the beginning had free will that was the whole reason man was able to sin. If anything it was not God that takes it away but Satan, as evil plunges man into its grip and takes away his free will.

    For Arminius, a person must be graced by the Spirit of God in the overcoming of the depraved nature so that the person may be freed to believe in Christ Jesus. If such is accomplished and not resisted, then the person is justified and regenerated. But sinners must be enabled by the Spirit of God because they are totally and utterly depraved, captured and enslaved by sin, and completely undone.

    This seems to be with more understanding of grace, that anyone, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, can be saved. It is that God, (since He know the end from the beginning) knows who will respond to the workings of the Spirit, and out of freewill, man chooses what is extended to him, the gift of eternal life.
     
  2. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    the free will that has just been established he does not have?
    I must have read that wrong iow, maybe this Arminius guy rejected Calvin's pov there? ty
    seems not, as you say that Arm said that they, the depraved, are without free will too? "...must be enabled by the Spirit of God?"

    So, no offense, but I see a lot of mental effort going into this Free Will thing, and to me it always seemed like just a handy way to differentiate us, who can make choices of a certain type, supposedly anyway, from animals who cannot make those kinds of choices, at least consciously.

    I guess bearing "slave" in mind that is prolly a bit simplistic, slaves do not have free will, and I guess the possessed do not, but I'd treat theses separate anyway
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  3. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Dave L

    Dave L Guest

    = salvation only for the self-righteous............
     
  5. 101G

    101G Well-Known Member

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    Addressing the OP only on one point, which is at the beginning of the post. the rest is unnecessary to address.
    We will let God himself address this, 1 Timothy 2:1 "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
    1 Timothy 2:2 "For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
    1 Timothy 2:3 "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    1 Timothy 2:4 "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    God's will is to have "all" men saved. that's his will. but it's up to us to accept his salvation, hence the reason for the Gospel.

    2 Corinthians 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
    2 Corinthians 5:11 "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

    let's see it plainly, Galatians 1:9 "As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
    Galatians 1:10 "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
    Galatians 1:11 "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
    Galatians 1:12 "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    Galatians 1:13 "For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it".

    1 Corinthians 1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
    1 Corinthians 1:22 "For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
    1 Corinthians 1:23 "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
    1 Corinthians 1:24 "But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    1 Corinthians 1:25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    PICJAG.
     
  6. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    The answer is easy...but people prefer to complicate things. Both Calvin and Arminius are taking one extreme which can only hold up when both ends are held up from the middle. That is the truth.

    Holiness is impossible without God. It is a gift. So God provides the purity. This looks like Calvinism.

    Righteousness is expected by God from us. To do what is right. Repentance falls into that category. We provide the decisions and the maturity. This looks like Arminianism.

    The righteousness of God is when both of these are stacked onto each other. Otherwise WE can never be examples of the righteousness of God.
     
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  7. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    Slaves to sin in our unconverted state, absolutely. Does not mean however that everyone is enjoying that state, and not want something better. Wanting something better, even though they may not know what that is, does not mean they have the power to attain it. They don't. But they hear the gospel. They learn that there is a God in heaven who offers them that something "better". It is forgiveness, and it is the power to become children of God...to live a life free from sin and with strength to overcome. The holy Spirit convicts them that this is their only hope, and that without it there is no other way to life or happiness. They like the idea. They accept the offer. And God in His grace and mercy obliges them.
     
  8. Hobie

    Hobie Member

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    But to take away mans freewill at all points is not correct, once the Holy Spirit comes, we have a choice or we would be robots. Basically being forced to be saved with no say of our own.
     
  9. Dave L

    Dave L Guest

    But, you choose according to the reasons God uses to control you.
     
  10. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Please read what I posted. I think you responded too quickly and so you have not comprehended my position yet. :)
     
  11. Hobie

    Hobie Member

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    Would you say then, that the righteousness, "to do what is right" is by our "decisions and maturity", or does the Holy Spirit bring us to where we can make them without the interference man has from the corruption of sin?
     
  12. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member

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    If you have a coronary and collapse, unless someone steps in with CPR, you are gone. If they revive you, will you be mad at them for bringing you back? No, you’d thank them. That’s the way all the lost are, dead in trespasses and sin.[Ephesians 2:1] Dead in greek is nekros, which means a literally dead corpse. Once God brings them to life, they will praise Him, thank Him, for giving them life.
     
  13. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    The influence of the Spirit is always in the world in a subtle way. At first it begins by our conscience...the leftover hole that God fits into in us....

    After we willingly submit to the Spirit in a greater and greater way.

    It must be remembered that all men have this same consciousness of God...never mind the religious expression. To judge the error of another as something that condemns him does the same thing to us in our error. As we sow so shall we reap.
     
  14. Hobie

    Hobie Member

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    We must ask for the Holy Spirit and submit to its workings which then allows us to bear its fruit.
    The mighty power of the Holy Spirit works an entire transformation in the character of the human agent, making him a new creature in Christ Jesus.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  15. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member

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    No lost person seeks for God. They will not ask for the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:5-9 attests to this.
     
  16. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    This seems to me to be a hateful mockery.
     
  17. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Technically our position is based on the following scripture:

    Eph 5:14, Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

    Death is here likened unto sleeping; and regeneration likened unto being awakened from sleep. The command is given for the person to awake. The person then has the choice of whether he will remain in a state of slumber or else awake so that Christ can give him light.
     
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  18. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    The testimonies of many would tell us otherwise. How many people have seen the benefits of the Holy Spirit and have sought Him being in a lost state? I would say, many. They are pricked in their conscience by the Holy Spirit and then they seek Him.

    I am not saying that the Lord doesn't reach out to them first; but I am saying that when He does, they have a decision to make.
     
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  19. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    do skeletons float?
     
  20. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    The reason why this is a totally false doctrine is in the last phrase: "or even of themselves to turn to Christ for salvation".

    This blatantly denies two fundamental Bible doctrines, and therefore it is an expression of pure unbelief:

    1. The power of the Gospel itself to generate faith in Christ
    2. The power of the Holy Spirit to convict and convince sinners and draw them to Christ.


    God never expected sinners to come to the Savior "of themselves" without the preaching of the Gospel. So the Gospel was even preached to Israel in the wilderness. It was also preached to Abraham. And when Christ was on earth He invited sinners to Himself. And it is now certainly preached to the whole world. Indeed the Church is commanded to preach the Gospel to every creature. And after the Gospel is preached men must make a decision, a choice OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL to obey or disobey the Gospel.

    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mk 16:15,16)

    But they have not all obeyed the Gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (Romans 10:16)
     
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