Man's nature

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Winman, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Winman

    Winman
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    This is a question to those who believe man is Totally Depraved.

    Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

    Paul here speaks of Gentiles who do "by nature" the things contained in the law. If man is Totally Depraved, how can this statement be true?
     
  2. annsni

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    Is the law good and worthy of salvation? Of course man can follow the law even outside of Christ. We see it daily - the vast majority of men and women in this world do not murder because they feel it's wrong. They are still absolutely in sin. That means nothing in regards to being totally depraved. The Bible says "For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." Are they not killing because of faith in Jesus Christ? Nope - it is sin.
     
  3. Johnv

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    I accept the concept of total depravity based on scripture. The concept of total depravity is supported by:

    Genesis 6:5, 8:21; Numbers 15:37-39; 1 Kings 8:46; Job 15:14-16; Psalm 14:1-3, 51:5, 94:11, 130:3; Proverbs 4:23, 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20, 8:11; Isaiah 6:5, 53:6, 64:6; Jeremiah 10:14, 13:23, 17:9; Matthew 7:11, 15:19; Mark 10:18; Luke 17:10; John 2:24, 3:36, 6:44, 15:5, 16; Acts 3:16, 16:14; Romans 1:18-2:16, 3:9-20, 23, 5:12, 7:18-20, 8:7; 1 Corinthians 2:14, 12:3; 2 Corinthians 3:5, 4:3, 11:3; Ephesians 2:1-6, 4:17-19; Colossians 2:13; 1 Timothy 2:25, 6:5; 2 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:5; James 2:10, 3:2, 8; Revelation 9:20, 16:9.
     
  4. kyredneck

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    Wrong again Winman.

    [refer to this thread Winman: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=62651 ]

    The context in Ro. 2 is not about some sense of right or wrong in fallen man but about evidence of the Spiritual birth through their deeds:

    (for when Gentiles [NON-JEWS] that have not the law do by nature the things of the law......... they show the work of the law written in their hearts [I.E. AGAPE, which is the fruit of the Spirit and which is the fulfillment of the law,] ........ Ro 2:14,15

    If therefore the uncircumcision [NON JEWS] keep the ordinances of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision? Ro 2:26

    but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter;..... Ro 2:29

    So now the inevitable question. If all this time NON JEWS who had not the law could still be children of God.......... What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision? Ro 3:1

    The answer:

    Much every way: first of all, that they were intrusted with the oracles of God. Ro 3:2

    And:

    who are Israelites; whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ as concerning the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Ro 9:4,5


    Consider 2 Cor 1:12. Isn't the conscience doing the very same thing in this passage as it is in Ro 2:15?

    For our glorifying is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 2 Cor 1:12

    14 (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves;
    15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them); Ro 2

    It appears to me the conscience is bearing witness to the individual of the law written in their hearts in Ro 2:15 just as the testimony of the conscience assured of good behavior in the 2 Cor passage. Note, it's the mind (thoughts) that accuses or excuses, NOT the conscience (see Titus 1:15).

    Is there a synonymy or relationshiip with this passage?:

    The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: Ro 8:16

    Heheh, a good conscience is a very desirable thing to have:

    having a good conscience; that, wherein ye are spoken against, they may be put to shame who revile your good manner of life in Christ. 1 Pet 3:16

    Herein I also exercise myself to have a conscience void of offence toward God and men always. Acts 24:16

    which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; 1 Pet 3:21

    Wherefore ye must needs be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience sake. Ro 13:5

    Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 1 Tim 3:8,9

    I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers in a pure conscience, how unceasing is my remembrance of thee in my supplications, night and day 2 Tim 1:3

    And Paul, looking stedfastly on the council, said, Brethren, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day. Acts 23:1
     
  5. Winman

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    You are assuming these Gentiles are saved when that is not shown. In fact, Matthew Henry believed these Gentiles to be unbelievers.

    Need I remind you, Matthew Henry was a Calvinist. But he believed this passage spoke of unbelieving Gentiles.

    And what Matthew Henry said here is easily observable. Gentiles who were not saved had a sense of right and wrong, they had moral laws. An example is when Abimelech took Abraham's wife Sarah unknowingly.

    Gen 20:1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
    2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
    3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.
    4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
    5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
    6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.


    Before Abimelech could take Sarah, God warned him in a dream. Abimelech pleaded his innocency and integrity of heart.

    And look what God said:

    Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart;

    According to Calvinism, there is no such thing as an unsaved man having genuine intergrity, but God said Abimelech had integrity.
     
    #5 Winman, Jan 4, 2010
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  6. Winman

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    Problem is, Paul is saying a good thing about these Gentiles. Calvinists say that an unsaved man can do no good thing, Paul is saying the opposite.

    Cornelius was a man like this. He was not saved. He did not have the Holy Spirit. But the scriptures say he was a devout man who feared God. If he was saved, then why would Peter be sent to him to preach the gospel? And he did not have the Holy Spirit until after he heard and believed the gospel.

    Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
    2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
    3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
    4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
    5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:


    Calvinists say that no matter what an unsaved man does, it cannot be good. There will always be an evil motive behind it. But that is not what the scriptures show. God was pleased with Cornelius and sent Peter to preach him the gospel whereby he was saved and received the Holy Ghost.
     
    #6 Winman, Jan 4, 2010
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  7. annsni

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    Anything that does not come from faith is sin. So even "good" in this world is sinful if it does not come from faith. Of course there are many out there who are "good" and religious. My friend's dad is a staunch Catholic (and I mean STAUNCH) and he's always doing great things. He walks around all the time with this giant crucifix on his neck and serves God all the time with his ministry in the church and to his congregants. But his theology is quite wrong - enough so that I can mostly say that this man is most likely not saved. But he does everything "religiously" right.
     
  8. Winman

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    I agree with you completely. Being Catholic, he is taught he must maintain good works in hope of gaining salvation. These works are being done in self-righteousness.

    But that was not the case with Cornelius. God himself said "Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God" to him. God was pleased with Cornelius to a degree that he appeared to him in a vision and commanded he send for Peter who came and preached the gospel to him. And he couldn't have been regenerated, he did not receive the Holy Spirit until after he heard and believed the gospel.
     
  9. annsni

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    And who do you think drew him to God? Did he find God on his own or did God have to step in to get him saved?
     
  10. kyredneck

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    9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? And wherein have I sinned against thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? Thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done.
    10 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
    11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place. And they will slay me for my wife`s sake. Gen 20

    Abraham was wrong. Surely the fear of God WAS in that place!
     
  11. kyredneck

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    Winman, who endowed you with such great power to be able to ascertain such things?

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?p=1482525#post1482525

    Before Peter and his entourage arrived at his door and preached the gospel, was Cornelius any less devout? What was the cause, the source, of his devoutness? Was it hearing and belief of the gospel? I think not.

    What was the cause, the source, of these Gentiles 'doing by nature the things of the law'? Was it by the hearing of the law that put the law into their hearts? I think not.

    Was hearing and belief of the gospel the cause, the source, of these worthy sons of peace? I think not.

    Before Paul had gotten the Church at Corinth established, were these any less the Lord's people? I think not.

    Before Paul had ever preached the gospel at Antioch and the Gentiles heard and believed, were they any less ordained to eternal life? I think not.

    Is it the gospel that abolishes death? Does the gospel impart life and immortality, or does the gospel shed light upon life and immortality? The gospel sheds light on life and immortality.

    There is only one that abolished death.

    There is only one life giver.

    There is only one mediator.

    There is only one voice.
     
    #11 kyredneck, Jan 4, 2010
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  12. Winman

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    Would you agree then that Cornelius believed in God long before he received the Holy Spirit?

    You can go to Muslim countries who hate Christ. Do they have moral laws? So are Muslims regenerated?

    Elect according to foreknowledge. Why did he send Peter to Cornelius? Because he knew Cornelius would believe the gospel.

    This is also foreknowledge. When the apostles sought to ordain an apostle to replace Judas who fell, they chose Joseph called Barsabas, surnamed Justis, and Matthias. Then look what they prayed:

    Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
    23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
    24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
    25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
    26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


    The apostles said, "Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men", and then said, "shew whether of these two thou hast chosen"

    So, in the apostles minds anyway, they saw ordination as being conditional. They believed God would chose a replacement apostle according to what he knows about their hearts. And afterward Matthias was ordained to be the 12th apostle replacing Judas who was lost.

    Ah, so you don't believe the gospel saves?

    Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    And this is the error of Calvinism. In Calvinism it is not the gospel that saves, it is regeneration. But the scriptures say it is the gospel itself that is the "power of God" unto every one that believeth. And notice this power follows belief.

    This is what I have been saying for a long time, Calvinism makes regeneration primary in salvation and places the gospel second.
     
    #12 Winman, Jan 4, 2010
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  13. zrs6v4

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    There is a difference between total depravity and the totally depraved men and women doing good works. Total Depravity does not mean people dont do lawful things like go to church, give to the poor, love family, and so forth. It means that even though they might do good things they still arent doing them in faith or in honor of the greatest command. People who are totally depraved dont submit to God and never please God because even if they do good it isnt to God's glory which is our highest calling. This is why their entire lives are one consistent set of sins that never stop until converted.

    I think Paul in Romans 2 is showing that the Gentiles do good things and show that they have an internal concept of right and wrong. Even if they dont have God's Law they are condemned because it is written on their hearts. I think God has put this knowledge in our hearts. This is why morality exists and people feel guilty even when they dont know God.

    Even our best choice we have ever made is very dark. What I mean by this is that there is never a point that our hearts are perfect as we can agree. What I mean is when I am doing one thing right, say not stealing, then there are probably a hundred other things I am doing wrong. I may be giving something to the poor, but am I hating a friend, or am I jealous of a person's stuff, etc.. We cant beat this by trying to beat the Law, but by faith we do the things written in it as we are free from it.
     
    #13 zrs6v4, Jan 4, 2010
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  14. Winman

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    Paul is clearly saying something good about these Gentiles, in fact he is rebuking the Jews he is speaking to and contrasting them to Gentiles who without the law by their own nature keep the law.

    But you say they are doing wrong. Not one word of scripture to support this, it is simply what you believe.

    Rom 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?

    Paul is saying they keep the righteousness of the law, but you say they are doing wrong.

    I find it incredible if Calvinism is true that Paul would say these things. Surely he would be aware that no unsaved man can do good. But yet he does.

    Cornelius was not regenerated, yet he was very devout and pleased God. God appeared to him in a vision and commanded him to fetch Peter who came and told him the gospel. After hearing the gospel and believing he received the Holy Spirit.
     
    #14 Winman, Jan 4, 2010
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  15. saturneptune

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    Because, if you read Scripture, God requires perfection. It does not matter if you obey 99% of the law (which no one does), you still fall short. Also, if you break one law, you have broken them all. So, in the eyes of God, man is totally depraved. Is this something that really is a question in your mind? OK, since we now know man's nature is totally depraved, next thread.

    Here's your sign.
     
  16. pinoybaptist

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    Whoa, now, man.
    I believe I can speak for my Calvinist brethren when I say this. You are painting them very evil and saying things about what they believe which are absolutely wrong, and I hope it is all in the innocency of your heart.
    There is not one Calvinist on this board who said an unsaved man can do no good thing.
    What was said is that the unregenerate is totally depraved, and if that conjures up a vision for you of a man waking up in the morning thinking where he may murder or whom, or if he should rape that neighbor now or later, then you don't even have the slightest iota of an inkling of what total depravity is all about.

    And where did it say in those Scriptures that Cornelius was unsaved ? If at all, you can see from this Scripture that Cornelius was a regenerate soul, though a Gentile, and he is a prime example of why Paul wanted to get to the Jews, because like Cornelius, there were Jews who were regenerate and had a thirst for the living God in their hearts, but they were ignorant as to who He is, and how to worship Him in spirit and truth, and therefore were unbelievers in Christ, and so Paul asks: but how shall they hear without a preacher, and that, winman, answers your question on why Peter was sent. Cornelius was God's child just as much as Paul was and needed direction, which also touches on the purpose of why Jesus Christ sent out His apostles and that was to teach, not to get people saved, those whom He has redeemed.

    Again, that is a lie. That is not what Calvinists say.
     
  17. Winman

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    I am doing no such thing. Go back and read Ann's posts. She said this:

    According to Calvinism, the unregenerate man does not have the ability to exercise faith, so according to Ann man can do no good thing.

    And she is correct for this is what Calvin himself said:

    According to Calvin our nature is destitute of all good. He said everything in man, the understanding and will, the soul and body, is polluted and engrossed by the concupiscence. Then he says man himself is nothing else but concupiscence.

    So, I do not believe I am misrepresenting Calvinism at all. I am tired of being accused of this, so now I will go to Calvinist sources to prove these are the doctrines of Calvinism.

    Pink said:

    Pink said that even when men perform works that might appear good, they are not. Read that last line, Pink said every act of man is sinful.

    So, do not tell me I am misrpresenting Calvinism, I am not.

    Cornelius was not saved, else why would God send Peter to preach the gospel to him? Did he need to get saved twice?
     
  18. Winman

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    I am 100% in agreement with you that all men are sinners. No man is righteous in that he is sinless and pure. But that does not mean men can do no good. God said Cain could have given an acceptable sacrifice and been accepted with him.

    Cornelius, like almost all OT saints believed in God. He was a devout man who feared God and prayed always. But he did not have the Holy Spirit until Peter came and preached the gospel to him.

    Go back and read the Psalms, you will see a continual contrast of "the wicked" versus "the righteous". The righteous were those people who trusted and believed in the Lord. But they were not regenerated, they did not have the Holy Ghost except for a very few select men.

    The OT saints did not have the Holy Spirit. Yet, by the influence of the word of God they could believe.
     
  19. Winman

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    In the OT, the righteous were those who trusted in God, and therefore their sins were forgiven. Read Psalms 32 which Paul referred to in Romans 4.

    Psa 32:1 [A Psalm of David, Maschil.] Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
    2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
    3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
    4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
    5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
    6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
    7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
    8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
    9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
    10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
    11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.


    Here David contrasts again the wicked to the righteous. The righteous were not without sin, their sins were forgiven. But they did not have the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit was not given to all believers until Christ rose from the dead, ascended and was glorified.

    What I am trying to show here, though I know you will not accept it, is that unsaved man has the ability to believe and trust in God, and when they do their sins are forgiven and righteousness is imputed to them.
     
  20. psalms109:31

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    Total depraved

    We are totally depraved, until the words of Jesus come which is Spirit and life. Only through His words that the two roads is presented to believe in Jesus and be saved or not and be condemned. I would never disagree with scripture or the way out of our state which is presented to us by God through His glorious Son Jesus who deserves all the praise. Who can save me from this body of death praise be to Jesus. Anythings or ideas that come from man is incomplete there is something way beyond man and you can never learn by putting God in some kind of box. God and His word cannot be contained in a few sentences.
     
    #20 psalms109:31, Jan 5, 2010
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