The Sinner's Viability

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Ray Berrian, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    In the narrative of Genesis 20:-18 we have the real life drama of Abraham who buckles under the pressure and threat of his own loss of life. He told King Abimelech that Sarah was his sister.

    Abimelech was more than entertaining the idea of a friendly date with Sarah. And God seeing this potential sin, created a dream in the being of the great king. God said in effect, "You are a dead man if you take another man's wife." Here was a pagan man who understood the gravity of the sin of adultery not only on himself but his kingdom. He had come to realize that if he committed adultery and or repeated his performance, his monarchy would be shrouded and would become a reproach toward the Lord God Almighty.

    Secondly, Abimelech understood his dream; the Author of it and that Producer was the Lord God.

    Some people think that a sinner cannot perform any good. Having understood all of the ramifications of his situation Abimelech gave Abraham many sheep, oxen, men servants and women servants. Abraham was given a portion of his land within Abimelech's realm. Other things were given such as one thousand pieces of silver.

    As a result of Abraham's prayer to God-God healed Abimelech, his wife and restored the young women of the dominion the ability to have little children.

    In summary, let me point out the ability of Abimelech, the sinner, in understanding spiritual matters. He understood the magnitude and the repercussions of the sin of adultery if he pursued his plan. Abimelech had come to understand the Author and the meaning of the spiritual dream. The Author was, of course, the Lord God. He comprehended the truth that if he committed this great sin his nation would be in jeopardy. Abimelech had been told that Abraham was a prophet and he probably knew that this man was a man of God. At least after the situation was remedied he understood this because it was the prayer of Abraham to God that Abimelech, his wife and young women were restored so as to enrich their people.

    This narrative makes "Total Depravity" little more than a bad misconception. And this is why people who are more Arminian believe that there are no impediments in sinners that would keep them away from understanding the simplicity and yet profound reality of the Christian Gospel. And we also might say that the 'corpse theory' is only putty to plug up the concept of "Total Inability."
     
  2. TheTravelingMinstrel

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    I suppose now that you are going to tell me that there is just a shred of goodness in man.

    I tell you this, that the only reason Abimelech did what he did because of God.

    There was nothing in Abimelech that allowed him to do as he did
     
  3. Yelsew

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    Sure, there's a lot of good in man. Nearly every human does good in one form or another. Jesus even speaks of the inate goodness of evil fathers toward their children.

    In discussions of good and evil, one must consider the definition of "good" as used in the bible to describe man's relationship with God. And for that, there is no question in my mind there is not one man that is "holy good", for all have sinned, and not one has the power to make one's self holy, which is the state of righteousness and of being "Justified" before the throne of God. All mankind is in need of a savior, and has one in Jesus if they believe in Him. That in no way means that man is totally depraved, but rather that man is not acceptable before Holy God, because man is unholy, or not holy because of sin.

    So now, what constitutes Total Depravity?
    Totally depraved must be a condition whereby any individual human or a human society is any one, or any combination of the following:
    Totally corrupt,
    Totally Wicked,
    Totally perverted,
    Totally evil,
    Totally sinful,
    Totally debased
    Totally reprobate,
    Totally degenerate
    Totally dissolute
    Totally profligate
    Totally Licentious
    Totally Lewd
    or Totally immoral.

    True, there are many men on the face of the earth that are of at least one of these conditions.

    However, one would be totally incorrect to claim that every man walking this earth is totally depraved. All are sinners, but not all are totally depraved. Even so, there were whole societies including the people of the world during Noah's days, then there was Sodom and Gomorrah, and there is evidence indicating such for, Rome, and perhaps, Corinth, where depravity was the norm instead of a deviation. But at the same time in other places, there was little or no depravity, and depravity was a significant deviation from the norm.
     
  4. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
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    Yelsew,

    I think I agree with each part of your post.

    It is true that our minds before regeneration are warped and tainted with a sinful nature, the Adamic nature. My point is that sinners are not so 'out of it' that they cannot understand the saving message of Jesus Christ, especially when the Holy Spirit actively ministers at their hearts door. A sinful man's mind, heart, and will is not totally unable to respond to the Gospel. In fact, his intellect is in tact, his conscience is, generally speaking, able to hear and understand that Jesus saves and can forgive their sins.

    Some act like man is so wicked that God can't do anything until He regenerates their lives. This is real error.
     
  5. Ray Berrian

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    Another vibrant narrative explaining the depth of a sinner's understanding and proof that the lost are not 'dead as a corpse' toward spiritual issues is found in Daniel chapter two.

    Nebuchadnezzar came to understand that his magicians and astrologers were inept at explaining his dreams that kept him sleepless.

    Nebuchadnezzar understood the witness and communication from Daniel the prophet.

    Nebuchadnezzar had some understanding of God in that he said, {only} ' . . . the gods whose dwelling is not in flesh' can understand the meaning behind the dream.

    Apparently, Nebuchadnezzar understood the witness of Daniel found in Daniel 2:28 which said, 'There is a God in Heaven who reveals secrets, and will make known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.' He perceived the concept of God in Heaven and that He only had the answers behind the meaning of his dreams.

    When Daniel uttered the words in verse 38 Nebuchadnezzar understood that the Lord God had placed him in authority over the Babylonians as in keeping with God's declaration in verse 21 which says, ' . . . He removeth kings, and setteth up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding.' Think of it, Nebuchadnezzar knew that God 'gives understanding to {even sinners}.

    One would also believe that Nebuchadnezzar knew that after periods of time, ' . . . the God of Heaven would set up a kingdom, which would never end.'

    Nebuchadnezzar comprehended all of this data because he rewarded Daniel by placing him second in command, after himself. The request was made to Nebuchadnezzar that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego become authorities under Daniel. The petition was granted.

    The 'dead corpse' of Calvinism is alive from the dead; something like Ezekiel's "Valley of dry bones." The only thing is the expired cadaver was never even near death.
     
  6. sturgman

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    Ray, prove that it is a real error.

    Yelsew, I know this has been explained many time to you, but you still act like it has not been explained. Let me do it once more for you.

    When we say that man is totally depraved, we are not saying that man cannot do anything that has the appearence of good. We are saying that there are always reasons he does it. What does scripture say regarding good things? Are they from above, or are they from man? God judges the motives as well as the action. Can man build a hospital? Yes, and good can result from it. That does not mean that man is good. It simply means that he did someting that good resulted in. But even that we must give credit to God. For EVERY GOOD AND PERFECT THING COMES FROM ABOVE. Man does good not because he wants to please God, but because he wants the applause of men, or because he wants to feel good or look good. Not because he loves the lord and wants to glorify him forever.

    There is what we mean by total depravity, it is that man's will is not that he wants to bring glory to the creator, but that he wants to bring glory to himself in some way shape or form. This is totally perverted in the order of things, that one wants to glorify the created instead of the creator.
     
  7. Hardsheller

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    (John 6:63 KJV) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

    (John 6:64 KJV) But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

    (John 6:65 KJV) And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
     
  8. Ray Berrian

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    Hardsheller,

    I read with interest your three verses. And sense you are from the "Show Me State" I will try to explain our understanding of His precious Word.

    John 6:63 does indicate that only the Spirit can quicken a soul and, if you will, birth it into new and everlasting life. The question comes back to this. Does God consider the human agent as to whether he accepts the plan of salvation? We believe He does and when He sees faith or belief in Himself, He regenerates that human being.

    In John 6:64 we understand that God always has known who would 'believe not.' Plus, He has always known who His betrayer would be in the darkness of the garden scene. If not He would not be God.

    In John 6:65 we realize that no human being can come to Jesus if he were not empowered to do so by the Triune Godhead. This verse does not suggest that the Father has made His officious choice without viewing the response of the individual sinner. In keeping with the entire Word, a person would not think that God limited His infinite love to only a limited gateway of Particular Election. [Isaiah 48:4; Ezekiel 33:11; John 5:40; Acts 7:51]

    God's elective choice is always via His 'foreknowledge,' even under the former covenant. [Isaiah 48:8 g,h] The Lord God knew before the birth of the Israelites, in this case, that they would continue in rebellion against Him. This does not hint that He ordained their eternal demise for and in Hell.
     
  9. Yelsew

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    Will you also ignore the context from which verses 63,64,and 65 are taken? Start with verse 22 and continue without break to vs 71. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. Speaking to the Religious leaders. After they had departed in a huff, he turned to his disciples and asked them if they were going to leave also. The priests were among God's elect, and they rejected God's own son. The parable of the workers (God's elect) who rejected the master's messengers seems to fit here. There were prophets and the Forerunner who were sent to prepare the way, and then finally there was the master's son who went, and the workers killed him. God's elect killed God's son. You could argue against that, but you'd be arguing against scripture! For He came unto his own (the elect) and his own received him not. Seems kind of like what you are doing!
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    Yelsew,

    Right again, in my opinion and view. Feb. 28---3:35 p.m. I have this explanation too!
     
  11. KenH

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    Yelsew,

    Jesus said that there is no one good except God.
     
  12. Yelsew

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    Jesus said, even the evil father gives his children bread and not stones to eat. Giving bread is a good thing. Even the evil provide a "safe" place for their own to live. Even the evil do good. A good that is done is a good regardless of who does it!

    You must define what you mean by "good"!
     
  13. KenH

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    How did Jesus define it when He said that only God is good?
     
  14. Yelsew

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    How do you define it?
     
  15. KenH

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    Jesus said that only God is good. Therefore, "good" as defined by Jesus is to be perfect as God is perfect. That is why Jesus' perfect life is imputed to His people so they can stand before holy God as His people have no righteousness of their own. As Isaiah said all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.

    This brief series of articles might be of interest:

    ~ gracEmail ~
    Edward Fudge
    ______________________________________

    JESUS PLEASED GOD FOR YOU (1)


    Did you ever stop to think, if you are a believer, that Jesus' perfectly obedient life was lived for you? That when God views you through Jesus your representative, he sees you as perfectly pleasing to himself? That is the astounding message of Hebrews 10:4-14.


    * * *


    The New Testament author of Hebrews says it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin (10:4). "Why is that?" we ask. Because animals, being amoral creatures, are incapable of offering God what he most desires from his human creatures -- an obedient human life, lived in right relationship to the Creator from first to last. If the Israelites had obeyed God in covenant loyalty, there would have been no sacrifices of bulls and goats. Animal sacrifices were remedial -- they were never God's first choice (1 Sam. 15:22; Psa. 51:16-17; Jer. 7:22-23).

    The stringent physical qualifications required of a sacrificial animal symbolized the pure life that God had wanted from the person bringing the animal (Lev. 17:11-12). The ritual sprinkling, pouring or smearing of the slain animal's blood reminded the guilty person bringing the animal of the "wages of sin" which he actually deserved to receive (Lev. 4:6, 8; Rom. 6:23). Because the sacrificial animal represented the person who brought it, that individual ritually placed his hands on the animal's head and confessed his sins -- symbolically transferring his guilt to the animal that would take his place (Lev. 4:4). The sacrificial system thus provided a preview of Jesus Christ, the coming "Lamb of God" who would carry away in his own body the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36; 1 Pet. 2:24).

    Jesus came into the world to give the Father his first choice, to provide what God had always wanted but had never received -- a life of perfect human obedience, a life lived fully in right relationship with God himself. So Hebrews 10:5-7 quotes Psalm 40:6-8 as if from the mouth of Jesus. "You do not prefer animal sacrifices," he says in effect to God, but "a BODY you prepared for me" -- a human body in which to live a fully obedient human life in right relationship with God. "I have come," says Jesus, "to DO YOUR WILL, O God." In verses 8-9, the author observes that the Psalm mentions two subjects. First he mentions animal sacrifices ("sacrifices and offerings"), then he mentions human obedience ("come to do your will"). Jesus "takes away the first" -- animal sacrifices -- "in order to establish the second" -- perfect human obedience, which was always God's first choice.


    ~ gracEmail ~
    Edward Fudge
    ______________________________________

    JESUS PLEASED GOD FOR YOU (2)


    Did you ever stop to think, if you are a believer, that Jesus' perfectly obedient life was lived for you? That when God views you through Jesus your representative, he sees you as perfectly pleasing to himself? That is the astounding message of Hebrews 10:4-14.


    * * *


    Hebrews 10:10 is a gospel gem! The author has already told us that Jesus came to do God's will in a human body -- to offer God the living sacrifice of a sinless and obedient human life. Now he tells us that Jesus' obedience was for our benefit. "By this will" -- this life of perfect human obedience, this life lived fully in right relationship with God according to God's own wishes and desires -- "we have been sanctified [this 'religious' word means to be counted as holy, to be made presentable to a holy God], through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all."

    The word "will" (Greek: thelema) in these verses means "desire" or pleasure." It is not the word (diatheke) for a "will and testament." The "first" and "second" things mentioned here do not refer to an old and a new law, system or covenant, but to the two subjects being discussed: "first" = animal sacrifices; "second" = faithful human obedience. Jesus lived completely according to God's desires, then offered his human body (in which he obeyed God) to God on the cross. And God accepted Jesus' perfect obedience as the present he had always wanted first from humanity but had never before received -- a human life lived wholly in right relationship with God, a faithful and obedient life from first to last.

    Because Jesus represented us in all that he did -- in his perfect doing and in his perfect dying -- God relates to all who trust in Jesus based on the life-record of Jesus' faithful and obedient life. In Jesus' own historical life, God sees everything he ever wanted in human performance and character. And because Jesus represented all who trust in him, God counts us "holy" based on his perfectly-fulfilled "will" as lived out by Jesus our substitute and Savior.


    ~ gracEmail ~
    Edward Fudge
    ______________________________________

    JESUS PLEASED GOD FOR YOU (3)


    Did you ever stop to think, if you are a believer, that Jesus' perfectly obedient life was lived for you? That when God views you through Jesus your representative, he sees you as perfectly pleasing to himself? That is the astounding message of Hebrews 10:4-14.


    * * *


    Above all else, in Hebrews (as in the Old Testament), a high priest is one who acts as a representative of all his people. God sees what the high priest does, and he regards it as done by all the people whom the high priest represents. The holy clothing or vestments of the Mosaic high priest from Aaron forward symbolize this truth. The high priest displayed 12 precious stones on his chest and shoulders, engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel (Ex. 28:9-12, 15-21, 28-29). Where he went, all Israel went -- in his person. What he did, his people did -- through his representation. When God accepted the high priest's offerings, he accepted the people whom the high priest represented.

    Aaron and his successors also wore a turban with a golden plate on the front, inscribed with the words "Holy to the LORD" (Ex. 28:36-38). Since Aaron and all his descendants were also sinners like us, this was a symbolic or ceremonial holiness pointing to something else. That symbolic holiness was a preview of Jesus Christ, the high priest who was to come. Unlike Aaron and his descendants, Jesus is actually holy in his own life and character. Because Jesus (as high priest) represents all his people, his own holy life counts for all those whom he represents (Heb. 4:15; 7:26-28).

    When we take Communion or Eucharist, we consume two elements, not one. These remind us that Jesus offered both his BODY (representing his faithful doing of God's wishes) and also his BLOOD (representing his perfect dying as the atonement for sin). When we eat the bread, we may thank God that Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience -- in our stead and to our account -- and that by it God sees us as holy. When we drink the wine, we may thank God that Jesus Christ died the sinners' death -- in our stead and to our account -- and that by it God forgives all our sins. By Christ's sacrifice offered one time, we are made perfect for all time and eternity (Heb. 10:14). Hallelujah! What a Savior!


    - from www.edwardfudge.com/gracemails/Jesus_pleased_God_for_you.html
     
  16. Frogman

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    So, we are to accept "among" to be equal to the same as that which an object is among? Can we see that used in a sentence? :D

    Sort of like: "The cattle are among the trees."

    Being interpreted, "The cattle are trees." :(

    The children of Israel {God's elect} were brought out of Egypt, with a mixed multitude.

    Paul said in Rom. 9, not all who are of Israel are of Israel, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. vs. 8.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  17. The Archangel

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    Yelsew,

    Oh Boy!

    I don't think you have a correct idea of what total depravity is speaking about. Total Depravity does NOT mean that everyone is as bad as bad can be! No. Total Depravity means that every part of humanity is tainted with sin. A better term might be "All-pervasive Depravity." However, that really throws a monkey-wrench into the "T-U-L-I-P" acrostic! [​IMG]

    Archangel
     
  18. Ray Berrian

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    We would not have as much a problem with Total Depravity, if Calvinists did not demand that people believe that a sinner cannot come to Christ apart from His alleged special calling called the Effectual Calling. All a sinner has to do is believe that Jesus died for their sins and trust in Him with all of their being.
     
  19. Yelsew

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    I don't think you have a correct idea of what total depravity is speaking about. Total Depravity does NOT mean that everyone is as bad as bad can be! No. Total Depravity means that every part of humanity is tainted with sin. A better term might be "All-pervasive Depravity." However, that really throws a monkey-wrench into the "T-U-L-I-P" acrostic! [​IMG]

    Archangel
    </font>[/QUOTE]Archangel Your definition does little to clear up the situation. Now instead of Total Depravity being the sin condition of the people Paul was writing about-the Romans, who were known world wide for their depravity, we have the situation where every human ever born is totally depraved, meaning that they have no socially redeemable value, even though God made man in His image.

    Are you saying then that man of his own power CAN hear the word, and Believe, and thus be regenerated and have eternal life? Keep in mind that the Word is the Living Word of God, and not some library book. If yes, then I guess I agree. If not, then you must keep trying.
     
  20. rufus

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    John 6: 44. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

    John 6: 65. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.


    rufus :)0)
     

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