Drinking Deeply

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 11:34 AM

TULIP (6) - Whomsoever Wills?

To sum up what I've attempted to do so far:

I've given a definition of Total Depravity and pointed to Romans 8 and Ephesians 2 as a basic defense of the definition. Through a bit of discussion, I've clarified my definition of Total Depravity to mean that man does not do anything good (rather than there being nothing good of man). I've addressed the possibility (historically by followers of Arminius) that there are no longer people who live in the flesh due to prevenient grace, God's general grace given to all people which removes this deadness and gives people free will. I've also pointed out that free will is a misnomer, as the will flows from the heart, which (as already established) is evil.

Now, in an attempt to further clarify my view, I'm going to raise up an objection I hear a lot. This (general objection) was raised up by Erasmus against Luther a lot.
What about the "whomsoever will" passages and the divine commands to turn to God? John 3:16, Joshua 24:15, Acts 17:30 etc etc. How can you say that there is no ability (and instead, a hostile rebellion) towards God if there are so many passages that say we can choose Him?
My short response to these passages is yes, I agree with them but not with the assumption that "command implies ability". Just because God commands us to do something doesn't imply that we are able to do it. We see this in all other aspects of the law, "Love the Lord will all your heart, mind, soul, and strength." Instead, we see declaring that the law came so that sin may increase, and grace increase all the more (Romans 5:20). Rather than the law demonstrating our ability, it is meant (at least in part) to demonstrate our inability and highlight God's grace.

So yes, choose today. But if you're in the flesh, your choice will invariably be for Baal and not for God.

To sum it up, some biblical metaphors of total depravity.

We are:

Dead, we need to be raised to life (Ephesians 2:1-10)
Heart of stone, we need to be given a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:22-32)
Blind and Deaf, we need to be given eyes that see and ears that hear (Deuteronomy 29:2-9)
Born of the flesh, we need to be born of the spirit (Romans 8:1-8 + John 3:1-8)
Slaves to sin and free from righteousness, we need to be set free from sin and made slaves to righteousness (Roman 6:15-23)
Enemies to God, we need to be reconciled to God (Romans 5:10)

Next up: Irresistible Grace - Heart surgery.

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