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Featured There is No Natural Goodness in Me

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by KenH, May 11, 2024.

  1. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    "The transgressions of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes."—Psalms 36:1.

    How striking is this scripture, and how true! Yes, my soul; thou needest not to look abroad into another's heart to see iniquity; for at home, in thine own, a voice may be heard continually proclaiming it. Renewed as thou art by grace, still thou feelest the workings of corrupt nature: and though, as the apostle said, "with thy mind thou thyself servest the law of God, yet with thy flesh the law of sin," Romans 7:25. Pause over the solemn subject, and observe the working of a body of sin and death, which is virtually all sin: "the carnal mind, (the apostle saith) is enmity against God," Romans 8:7; not only an enemy, but in enmity: so that the very nature is so; it is averse, naturally averse to God, and is everlastingly rising in opposition to his holy law. And this not only (as some have supposed, but all men, if they would confess the truth, find to the contrary) before a work of grace hath passed upon the soul, but after. Else wherefore doth the apostle say, "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would?" Galatians 5:17. He saith this to the regenerate, to the church at large. And consequently this conflict is after grace hath been manifested to the soul, and not before. A sinner unawakened may indeed feel at times compunctions of conscience, and be alarmed at what will be the consequence of his sins: but these are only the alarms of conscience, not the workings of grace: and for the most part, these alarms are but momentary. His affections are all on the side of sin. His soul still remains "dead in trespasses and sins;" and he himself, like a dead fish, swims down the stream of sin uninterrupted, without resistance, and without concern. But when a child of God is renewed, and the soul, that was before dead in trespasses and sins, becomes quickened and regenerated; then it is that the conflict between the renewed part in grace, and the unrenewed part in nature, begins, and never ends but with life. My soul, hath the Lord taught thee this, made thee sensible of it, and caused thee to groan under it? Dost thou find this heart of thine rebelling against God; cold to divine things, but warm to natural enjoyments; framing excuses to keep thee from sweet communion with the Lord; and even in the moment of communion, running with a swarm of vain thoughts, that "like the flies in the ointment of the apothecary causeth it to send forth an ill savour?" Are these in thy daily, hourly, experience? Why then the transgressions of the wicked saith within thine heart, and not another's for thee, this solemn truth, there is no fear of God at such seasons before the eyes of thy sinful body: "for by the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil," Proverbs 16:6. Oh! precious, precious Jesus! how increasingly dear, under this view of a nature so totally corrupt, art thou to my poor soul! What but the eternal and unceasing efficacy of thy blood and righteousness could give my soul the smallest confidence, when I find that I still carry about with me such a body of sin and death? Let those who know not the plague of their own heart, talk of natural goodness; sure I am, there is nothing of the kind in me. "I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing." And were it not, dearest Lord, for the holiness of thy person, blood, and righteousness, the very sins which mingle up with all I say or do, yea, even in prayer, would seal my condemnation. Lamb of God! it is the everlasting merit of thy atonement and intercession, thy blood sprinkled upon my person and offering, by which alone the justice of God is restrained and satisfied, and that it breaks not forth in devouring fire, as upon the sacrifice of old, to consume me upon my very knees! Blessed, blessed for ever be God for Jesus Christ!

    - Robert Hawker, The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions, May 10, Evening
     
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  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Total Spiritual Inability is an obviously false doctrine, for everyone believing into Christ will be saved. And born anew believers were created for good works, so goodness is part of their very nature in Christ.
     
  3. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    I do not question that Robert Hawker was a nice man, but his theology was a mess. Indeed, if there is no natural goodness in men, there is no goodness in God because all men were created in His image. Moreover, his corrupted theology has the Apostle Paul living in a hugely worse spiritual state as a Christian than he did as an unregenerate Jew. Men who are unable to understand the Bible should leave it alone!
     
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  4. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Adam fell into sin and corrupted the entire human race.

    Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

    Only in the sense that God's elect really know nothing about warring with their own vile fleshly nature until after the Holy Spirit has regenerated them. I know that I have certainly found that to be the case in my own life.

    The Apostle Paul himself, in Romans chapter 7, described his war with his fleshly nature(God's elect have their souls redeemed while living on this earth, their bodies will be redeemed when Christ comes again and gets rid of this present heavens and earth and replaces them with the new heavens and earth wherein dwells righteousness). Yet even with his struggle, that all of God's elect have throughout their life on this earth after the Holy Spirit has regenerated them, Paul had this to proclaim:

    Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
     
    #4 KenH, May 14, 2024 at 9:07 PM
    Last edited: May 14, 2024 at 9:13 PM
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  5. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    Let’s not read aberrant Christian theology into the words of the Apostle Paul for he most certainly deserves a whole lot better than that! Paul never even suggested that any man was totally without goodness. He wrote that all men are guilty of Adam’s sin, but he did NOT write that all men inherited from Adam a “sin nature,” an exclusively human concept that is not so much as alluded to in the Greek New Testament!

    I do not know about you, but I never had a vile fleshly nature—and neither did Paul either as a Jew or as a Christian. Indeed, Paul himself wrote of his Jewish state before his saving encounter with Christ,

    Phil. 3:5. circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;
    6. as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

    Indeed, it was his own personal victory over sin that necessitated that he write Romans 5:12-14,

    12. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned--
    13. sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law.
    14. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.

    Paul knew that there were some other Jews like him who so sincerely and ardently loved the Law that that they kept it to the letter and he had to show even these Jews that they had sinned and needed to be saved. Therefore, he wrote that they had sinned in Adam, the proof being that “death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam.”

    The man in Romans 7:14-25 is struggling with every ounce of his being to keep the Law but failing miserably at it. Certainly, no Christian who has personally experienced the grace of God in his own life would place himself back under the Law and struggle to keep it! Struggling to keep the Law is NOT something that Christians do; it is not something that gentiles do; it is something that only Jews do! Therefore, the man in Romans 7:14-25 is a Jew! Paul is using in Romans 7:14-25 the very popular rhetorical devise known as speech-in-character or prosopopeia writing in the character of a Jew struggling with every ounce of his being to keep the Law but failing miserably at it.
     
  6. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea Active Member

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    My apology! The word “devise” should have been “device.”
     
  7. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Wrong.

    14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2
     
    #7 kyredneck, May 16, 2024 at 12:27 AM
    Last edited: May 16, 2024 at 12:41 AM
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  8. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. Ro 7
     
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  9. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Then you do not know yourself, or others, as you need to.

    Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    Philippians 3:20-21 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
     
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  10. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    As we are seeing in some of the comments on this thread, there are those who fail to see that that in Luke 18:9-14, their mindset is like that of the Pharisee, not the publican.
     
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  11. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.
     
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  12. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    And what did the apostle Paul conclude about all of that? Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
     
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  13. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    The apostle Paul, in Romans chapter 7, is describing that deep, inward personal struggle that all of God's elect, after the Holy Spirit regenerates them, deal with throughout the remainder of their time on this earth, be they Jew or Gentile. Paul is writing about a present struggle for him. For God's elect he concludes with:

    Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

    He wrote, "wretched man that I am", not "wretched man that I was". He asks "who shall deliver me", not "thank God I was delivered". He wrote, "I myself serve", not "did serve", the law of God with his mind and the law of sin with his flesh.
     
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  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    How many times does this need to be explained, the context teaches "the things" are not "all the things" but only the "spiritual solid food things" for Paul uses the "spiritual milk things" to speak to "men of flesh."
     
  15. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Where did you get the idea that "the things of the Spirit of God" should really have been written "the spiritual solid food things of the Spirit of God"?
     
  16. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    the context teaches "the things" are not "all the things" but only the "spiritual solid food things" for Paul uses the "spiritual milk things" to speak "as to men of flesh." (1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3)
     
  17. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    The natural man is referring to every person whom the Holy Spirit has not regenerated.
     
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  18. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Right, we agree. Every person who has not been regenerated can understand spiritual milk, that is why Paul spoke as to men of flesh using spiritual milk.
     
  19. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    Every unregenerated person must first be regenerated(born again, born from above) by the Holy Spirit in order to understand spiritual things correctly.
     
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  20. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Fiction disproved by 1 Corinthians 3:1. Paul spoke as to men of flesh using spiritual milk.
     
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