Progression in sin and Isaiah 6:9-10

Discussion in 'Calvinism/Arminianism Debate' started by The Biblicist, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Isa. 6:9 ¶ And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
    10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

    Arminians use this text to argue against the doctrine of total depravity and total inability. Their argument goes something like this, "you can't shut closed eyes, so their eyes must be open, and therefore they are not totally depraved or totally unable to hear and see." Moreover, they argue that since they can be hardened against the truth, then, they must not be totally depraved or without ability to see and hear.

    However, their argument ignores verse 9 that introduces the disputed text. Their ability to hear and see is merely superficial and external rather than spiritual and internal. They can "hear" but can't understand what they hear. They can see, but they can't perceive what they see. Hence, spiritually they are totally depraved as there is NO ABILITY to understand or perceive. However, that does not mean they cannot further progress in their sinful condition or become more corrupted by sin.

    In regard to hardening, the doctrine of total inability and/or total depravity simply means that the entire nature of man is affected by sin and under the dominion of sin and he is without ability to overcome sin. It does not mean he cannot further progress in sinfulness or become more hardened in sin.

    Just because all sinners are equally spiritually dead, does not mean they cannot further deteriorate or become more corrupted in death. The three cases of resurrections by Christ illustrates this point. The maid that was raised by Christ was dead, but still in an visibly less corrupted state of death. The Young man raised by Christ was dead but was further corrupted by death. Lazerus was dead, but had developed in a greater state of corruption so that he "stinketh." Likewise, all sinners are equally dead spiritually but they are not all equal in the corruption of sin. There is a clear development in depravity that is seen in Psalm 1:1 where there is an advancement in progress in sin as first walking in the counsel of the ungodly, then standing in the way of sinners, and then climatically sitting in the seat of the scornful. Israel as a nation had come to the climatic point in sin as "sitteth in the seat of the ungodly" which called for judgment. Walking and standing was still IN SIN but there is a development IN SIN that reaches a climax before God brings judgment.

    In the historical context of Isaiah and in the gospel of John where this passage is quoted, the nation of Israel, as a people were spiritually dead, but they had developed into the state of corruption where they "stinketh" or were sitting in the seat of the scornful before God and were ripe for judgment. Hence, Babylon and Rome were sent to execute judgment upon them as a people.
     
  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    Good post.:applause::applause: it applies very much in our day.
     
  3. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace
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    One of the best. :thumbsup:
     

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