Does Romans 8 support Calvinism's Total Depravity?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    On this board I have continually questioned the doctrine of Total Depravity as it relates to men's inability to willingly believe the gospel.

    I have asked, "Where does the scripture ever teach that men are unable to willingly believe the powerful, Holy Spirit wrought message of the cross?"

    Every time the debate leads to Romans 8:7-8: 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    But I this passage NEVER answers the question I have presented. First, this verse is speaking of man's inability to subject himself to God's law, it says nothing about man's ability to believe in the one who fulfilled the law for us once confronted with His powerful words.

    Calvinists, such as Pastor Larry, continually argue that faith in God would be "pleasing" to him and thus he concludes that those in the flesh couldn't have faith in God. But he fails to show that those in the flesh would be unable to respond to God's powerful gospel message, which was clearly given for the purpose of bringing those in the flesh to faith.

    One must try hard to live right and to have faith. All who make themselves clean from evil will be useful, and thus, pleasing to God.
     
  2. Hamtramck_Mike

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    YOU SAID: "One must try hard to live right and to have faith. All who make themselves clean from evil will be useful, and thus, pleasing to God."


    Name one human who has EVER walked the face of this Earth who has ever even come remotely close to acheiving this besides the Lord Jesus Christ!

    You answer your own question about Total Depravity with this statement my friend!
     
  3. whatever

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    This is really disheartening. No one can make himself clean from evil. Our best efforts are like infected bandages wrapped over our sins as we stand before God. Only Christ can make us righteous.

    As for your question, those who are spiritually dead in sin cannot do anything spiritual. Their only hope is to be made alive.
     
  4. Wes Outwest

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    Seems to me Noah, Abraham, Elijah, Elisha, even that low down Jonah, and many more have met that criteria. Even though, unlike Jesus, they may have sinned, God counted to each of them's account their FAITH as if it is their RIGHTEOUSNESS!.
     
  5. Wes Outwest

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    This is really disheartening. No one can make himself clean from evil. Our best efforts are like infected bandages wrapped over our sins as we stand before God. Only Christ can make us righteous.

    As for your question, those who are spiritually dead in sin cannot do anything spiritual. Their only hope is to be made alive.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Do you still not understand ATONEMENT? By the atonement of Jesus, the Christ, SINS are no longer Charged against us! JESUS ALONE PAID THE PENALTY, the PRICE OF WHICH IS DEATH, ONCE, FOR ALL SIN! WE ARE NO LONGER DEAD IN SIN BECAUSE THE PENALTY HAS BEEN REMOVED BY JESUS' ATONEMENT FOR SIN!

    JESUS' ATONEMENT FOR SIN IS A FINISHED WORK OF GOD FOR MAN'S SALVATION. THE PENALTY OF DEATH HAS BEEN PAID!

    God's criteria for man's salvation is FAITH ALONE, nothing else just FAITH. He does not demand that we come to him "clean and holy" for no man can do that! We come to him through FAITH, the only thing that man can have, and while remaining in our sinful state, He through HIS Holy Spirit, convicts us of our sins, and empowers us to confess the sins we commit and repent from doing them, thus "cleansing us from all unrighteousness.
     
  6. GeneMBridges

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    First:

    Can God sin? No. Why? Because it is contrary to His holy nature.

    Why then do you believe man enjoys libertine free will since God does not enjoy it? Clearly, His attitudes, thoughts, actions, and motives are all limited by His own character and nature. How can man, who is a slave to sin, unable to understand spiritual things, a hater of God, by nature an object of wrath, do anything toward His own salvation? What exegetical evidence to you have that says that saving faith is intrinsic to man's intrinsic character or nature?

    Second: Has any Arminian on this board ever bothered to read the Remonstrance and the Opinions?

    I think I will quote for you:

    Man does not have saving faith of himself, nor out of the powers of his free will, since in the state of sin he is able of himself and by himself neither to think, will, or do any good (which would indeed to be saving good, the most prominent of which is saving faith). It is necessary therefore that by God in Christ through His Holy Spirit he be regenerated and renewed in intellect, affections, will, and in all his powers, so that he might be able t understand, reflect upon, will and carry out the good things which pertain to salvation.

    The will in the fallen state, before calling, does not have the power and the freedom to will any saving good. And therefore we deny that the freedom to will saving good as well as evil is present to the will in every state.

    I bring this out, because it occurs to me that true Arminians actually believe in total inability. However, by ultimately saying that the final arbiter is man's will and not God's grace, we Reformed persons object that this is inconsistent.

    Third:

    Why does anybody believe? What does John 6:44 mean?
     
  7. Skandelon

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    ...

    I thought that's what you guys might say. Actually you need to take it up with Paul because I was quoting him:

    2 Tim. 2:21 All who make themselves clean from evil will be used for special purposes. They will be made holy, useful to the Master, ready to do any good work.

    22 But run away from the evil young people like to do. Try hard to live right and to have faith, love, and peace, together with those who trust in the Lord from pure hearts.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    BTW, we agree with this. Only Christ can make us righteous, which is accomplished THROUGH FAITH.
     
  9. whatever

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  10. Wes Outwest

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    Well said whatever!

    With Calvin the "head of their church", they cannot see the truth in scripture.
     
  11. whatever

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    Umm ... I think you need to read it again. And Calvin is not the head of our church.
     
  12. Skandelon

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  13. whatever

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    Sorry for being unclear. Paul is discussing how Timothy, as a young Christian leader, should live. He is not discussing how unbelievers can become Christians. He is not addressing whether those still in the flesh can respond to the gospel.
     
  14. Skandelon

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    So who are the bowls that are used for special use and ordinary use? Are they all believers?

    Secondly, are believers responsible for purify themselves? If so, why do some fail to do so while others do purify themselves. If not, why does God only purify some of his children?
     
  15. whatever

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    First question - there are varying opinions about this, but I think the vessels in this passage are all believers.

    Second question - of course believers are responsible for purifying ourselves. That does not mean that we are able to. "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Hint - it won't be me.

    Now here's a question for you, one that relates to the original depravity question - can a person be held responsible to do something that he is unable to do?
     
  16. Skandelon

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    Do you believe the same about the similar illustration of Paul's in Romans 9 when he speaks of vessels used for honorable and dishonorable means?

    Or it might just mean that we can't deliver ourselves without His provision. It says nothing about the means of faith through which man receives grace. Nice try though.

    Responsible literally means the person is response-able, meaning able to respond, therefore it is an oxymoron to say that a man is responsible who is not response-able.

    Imagine saying to someone who you know is deaf and cripple, "Come here," and then rebuking, judging and condemning him for not responding. That is unjust by anyone's standard of justice. If you want to argue that God's measure of justice is different than ours, that is fine, but you will need to back up such a claim with scripture that actually teaches such a backward view of justice.
     
  17. whatever

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    Quick answers:

    1. No - completely different context.

    2. Paul says it will be Jesus delivering him, not Jesus helping Paul deliver himself.

    3. Being able to respond (or answer, or give account) is not the same as being able to perform the required action. So, that didn't really answer the question.

    4. If the deaf and crippled person is accountable to me, and if he is deaf and crippled on his own account and not mine, then my condemnation of him for not responding would certainly be just. We come into the world spiritually dead on our own account, and our condemnation for that would be just, even though we cannot undo our spiritual death.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    1. No - completely different context.

    How so? You dismissed me with an insult because 2 Tim is addressed to a believer. Isn't Romans addressed to the believers in Rome? I'm just trying to get you to admit that you were wrong to dismiss my argument so flipantly when you wrote: You're kidding, right? I mean, when you take what Paul says to Timothy, a fellow believer, and pretend that he is speaking of unbelievers, do you expect your argument to be taken seriously?

    2. Paul says it will be Jesus delivering him, not Jesus helping Paul deliver himself.

    I never suggested that Paul delivered himself. Do you think that I believe Paul could have fulfilled the demands of the law himself? Come on!

    Christ has reconciled the world to God and has given us the message of reconcilation. A message or invitation in which we must respond. That is hardly delivering myself.

    3. Being able to respond (or answer, or give account) is not the same as being able to perform the required action. So, that didn't really answer the question.

    Faith is a response and it is all that God requires. No work is required. Does that answer your question?
     
  19. Skandelon

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    4. If the deaf and crippled person is accountable to me, and if he is deaf and crippled on his own account and not mine, then my condemnation of him for not responding would certainly be just. We come into the world spiritually dead on our own account, and our condemnation for that would be just, even though we cannot undo our spiritual death.

    But we are not condemned in the end for being born under Adam, we are judged and condemned for our response to Christ's words.

    John 12:47 And if anyone hears My words and does not *believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

    Arminians don't reject the notion that God could justly condemn all of us to hell if he so chose. That is not what we find "unjust." What is unjust is the notion that we are judged for not responding to his words of redemption when were weren't ever given the ability to respond.
     
  20. GeneMBridges

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    Salvation is about mercy, not justice. By moving into the category of justice you beg the question that we deserve to be given the ability if we do not have it. God is unjust, therefore, because we deserve to be given this ability.

    Why does a person deserve this? What has the sinner in himself that can merit this?
     

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