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Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Phoneman777, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Active Member

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    I am still curious. If, as you say, man cannot change his spots, man has no good in him, man has total inability what do you call this? Calvinists call it total depravity, but what do you call it?
     
  2. Phoneman777

    Phoneman777 Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't the Bible say we're spotted leopards, devoid of good and unable to do anything about it apart from the Savior?
     
  3. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Active Member

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    No.

    But my question is what do you call being "spotted leopards, devoid of good and unable to do anything about it apart from the Savior"?

    Calvinists call it total depravity, but what do you call it since you said you do not believe in total depravity?
     
  4. Phoneman777

    Phoneman777 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  5. Phoneman777

    Phoneman777 Well-Known Member

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    The carnal mind cannot of it's own volition become spiritual any more than a leopard can change his spots. - Jeremiah 13:23 KJV
    Good works cannot spring forth from evil man any more than good fruit from an evil tree. - Romans 7:18 KJV
    We are as helpless to do God's will - obedience per Psalm 40:8 - apart from Christ as the branch can survive apart from the Vine. - John 15:5 KJV

    This is all elementary Bible teaching.
     
  6. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    Total depravity suggests that sinners do not even want to change, let alone have the power to do it. But slaves can desire freedom. Addicts can desire healing. Neither however have the power or the will to accomplish it. If anyone does overcome addictions... Alcoholism... It is by God's grace. Jesus is clear as phoneman said. Without Me ye can do nothing. This should be the very first lesson new Christians need to understand. They can NOT go it alone.
    Addicts may not like what they are. Alcoholics may hate the fact that they are hurting those they love... But total depravity teaches that addicts can never want anything other than what they are bound by.
    Slaves to sin... Or just your normal local neighbourhood unbeliever, according to extreme Calvinists are completely and utterly content with life and desire nothing better for themselves or their loved ones. Do you really believe that?
     
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  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    Awesome and well thought out post @Ernest T. Bass
    I will read it over again later. I saved it to a notepad on my desktop.
    Thank you and God Bless.
     
    Ernest T. Bass likes this.
  8. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Active Member

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    Didn't Nineveh change their spots"? Jonah 3.

    Also, can you prove the text can be used universally about all men when the context is specifically speaking bout Israel?

    In the context of Rom 7:18 Paul is describing what it was like as an unbelieving Jew living under the OT law outside of Christ. He contrasts that old life to 'now' being in Christ, Romans 8:1. So in the context of Romans 7, Paul is not describing a totally depraved person. For the Jew under the OT law, that law required the work of flawless law keeping in order to be justified before God and Paul is describing the frustration the Jew had in trying to keep that OT law flawlessly.

    Note some of the things he says about the unbelieving Jew under that OT law:
    v15 "but what I hate, that do I"
    v19 "For the good which I would I do not:"
    v22 "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man"

    He is NOT describing a totally depraved person (or whatever you call it). He is showing that he loves God's law, delights in it, knows what is right and what is wrong and strives to do that which is good but ends up not doing the good he strives to do.

    Paul's point in Romans 7:18 is that as a unbelieving Jew under the law and outside of Christ, that no good thing could continue to dwell in him. It does not mean he could do no good at all, from in Acts 9 Acts 22:16, etc in his conversion he was able to obey what he was told and became a Christian.

    One commentator who puts it more aptly than I says "No good thing" gives the impression that Paul is saying he is unable to accomplish even one good act or thought. That isn"t what he intends at all (the context reveals that). Of course he can do good things. The "good" that he speaks of in this section is "good" viewed in totality and in relation to Law." M. Dunagan.


    Jesus' point in this context is that no man, BY HIMSELF, can procure perfect righteousness where he can then stand before God completely justified. Man needs to be in Christ's perfect righteousness to be justified before God. So the idea here is no man can save himself by himself.

    Yet this is not saying man cannot do any good thing at all. Man has a role in his own salvation so he can be in Christ and His prefect righteousness. For a man to be in Christ requires a man to believe (john 8:240 repent (Luke 13:5) confess (Matthew 10:32-33) and be baptized (Acts 2:38) and those men that do their role in salvation are in that sense 'saving themselves' Acts of the Apostles 2:40; 1 Timothy 4:16. Again, a man is not saving himself by himself but is saving himself by choosing to obey Christ for Christ saves those that obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).

    Example, if you were on the 2nd story of a burning build and the fireman are hold a net and telling you to jump and save your life. You do as they instruct and jump in to the net and are saved.

    --you did not save yourself by yourself but you did have a role in your own salvation...jumping
    --the net provided your opportunity to be saved
    --when you jumped in the net it took both you and the fireman holding the net to save you
    --so when you jumped, you took advantage of the opportunity of salvation provided you and you, in that sense, saved yourself.


    God has provided an opportunity of salvation unto man. Those that follow His instructions (believe, repent, confess, be baptized) are taking advantage of that opportunity provided therefore are in that sense saving themselves. NOT saving themselves by themselves but saving themselves in the sense in choosing to do what is necessary to be saved. Choosing to not taking advantage of the salvation provided by God one is causing himself to be lost.
     
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  9. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Active Member

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    Yes, when it comes to salvation man cannot do anything to save himself by himself. Man needs Christ to save him and Christ saves those that obey him, Hebrews 5:9. So even though man cannot save himself by himself, man is able to obey Christ and thereby have Christ save him.
     
  10. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Active Member

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    Thank you for your kind words and have a nice day.
     
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  11. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Correct. Total Depravity is a totally depraved false doctrine since it blatantly ignores (1) the power of the Gospel and (2) the convicting and convincing power of the Holy Spirit to bring sinners to the Savior and to conversion.

    It also totally ignores the impact of the conscience which is embedded in every human being, and how the unconverted can actually do righteous deeds (Romans 2).
     
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  12. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    I think I disagree. Because I am not sure what you are actually saying. Sounds sort of contradictory to me. We need Christ to be saved... And He saves those that obey. Do we need Christ to obey?
     
  13. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    I do disagree with this. But I see this error repeated many times throughout the forums. Israel was never justified by law keeping. Since the garden of Eden, the means by which man is justified has always and will always be by the grace and mercy of God. Now that doesn't mean that some individuals and perhaps even at times the nation, didn't think that they could be justified by their scrupulous keeping of the law. Such as in Christ's day when they thought their religion was saving them.
    Law keeping EB was never intended as a means by which man could be justified or ultimately saved. The law was a reflection of God's character... His nature. In the beginning man was created in that image and likeness, but sin intervened and we were then born in the image and likeness of fallen Adam. The law was given as a reminder of what we once were, and what we could be again, by grace through faith after being born again. That law then is written again upon our hearts and once again we are not just declared righteous, but sanctified and made righteous... All by faith... All by grace.
    But in the final analysis... In the end... Only law keepers will be ultimately saved. Not because they worked their way to salvation through their obedience, but because such is what God made them after having justified them through the cross. Law keepers. By grace through faith. Obedient servants of the most high.
    "Here is the patience of the Saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus". Revelation 14:12

    At no stage has anyone been justified by law keeping . Israel in the OT was justified by grace. Thus the lamb. Abraham was justified by grace. Thus the lamb. Adam was justified by grace. Thus the lamb.
    We are justified by grace. Thus the Lamb.
     
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  14. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Active Member

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    Yes, Israel was not justified by law keeping. The OT law, without the shed blood of Christ, required perfect flawless law keeping for one to be totally justified before God under that law. Of course none could keep it perfect. But God tried to get Israel to understand that He was not looking for flawless law keeping from them, but just a simple, faithful obedience.

    Paul points out in Romans 3:28 it is not by deeds of the law (works of flawless law keeping) by which one is justified but one is justified by faith. Then in Romans 4, Paul uses two examples, Abraham and David, and shows neither was justified by the OT law. Both men were ungodly, that is, both men sinned hence neither could be justified by the OT law since it required perfect law keeping. So how were they justified? By a simple obedient faith.

    God has always had grace/mercy for those that strive to obey Him. God does not have mercy for those that choose to live in disobedience to Him. Romans 9:15 God says " I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy," yet this verse does not give us a basis as to why God has mercy upon one person but not another. But we know from other Bible passages as Jeremiah 18:7-10 that obedience to God is that basis. God did not have mercy for one disobedient King (Pharaoh) but He did have mercy for another King (Nineveh) that obediently repented. Jonah 10:8-10.

    As you point out, the Christian is saved by "grace through faith". It takes BOTH God's grace and man's faithful obedience to be saved. Note Paul's point in Romans 6. Since the Christian is saved by grace, does that give the Christian the right to sin (the right to not keep Christ's NT law)? No! - "God forbid". So how does the Christian strive to keep from sinning? By being obedient to Christ's NT law, the gospel. Paul points out in Romans 6:16 that each of us are serving one of two masters, we are either serving:

    1) sin unto death
    or
    2) obedience unto righteousness

    So if one is not serving "obedience unto righteousness" (not keeping Christ's NT law) then he is serving "sin unto death"...there is no other option. Just because the Christian is saved by grace does not give him the right not to keep Christ's NT law. For if he is not striving to keep and obey Christ's NT law then he is serving sin unto death. It takes "obedience unto righteousness" to keep one from serving "sin unto death". Hence it takes God's grace and man's faithful obedience to be saved.

    So no one will be saved by strict, flawless, perfect law keeping but one will be saved by a faithful obedience instead..."obedience UNTO righteousness".

    Ask people who have allowed themselves to follow Luther's idea of 'faith only" which master they serve, do they serve:

    "sin unto death"
    or
    "obedience unto righteousness"

    .....and watch the squirming begin.

    EDIT: I need to also point out that keeping, obeying Christ's NT law.... "obedience unto righteousness"...... that obedience does not earn, merit God's grace. God's grace is a free gift but not an UNconditional free gift. God has put the condition of obedience upon receiving His free gift. So even though God's grace has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11) all men will not be saved for all men will not conditionally obey (Hebrews 5:9).

    Example: Hebrews 11:7 Noah's house was saved by God's free gift of grace, but to procure that free gift, God required Noah to conditionally build an ark. Noah's obedience in working to build the ark therefore did not earn God's grace but a necessary condition God put upon His gift of grace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  15. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Active Member

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    Romans 6:16 we each are serving either:

    sin unto death
    or
    obedience unto righteousness

    So it is important, necessary, essential that we serve obedience unto righteousness to keep us from serving sin unto death. (These are the only two options...we each are serving one or the other.)

    "Obedience unto righteousness" does NOT mean flawless law keeping for the Christian. But it does require the Christian to repent for those times he fails to obey and do as Christ would have him do....."IF" (conditional word) we (Christians) keep on walking in the light (keep Christ's NT word) then Christ's blood keeps on cleansing away all sins..1 John 1:7.

    As I explained in my last post, this "walking" (obedience) does not earn, merit God's grace but is a necessary condtion God has chosen to put upon His free gift.
     
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