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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • Rev. David Thommen (URC)
  • John Hendryx
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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « What to say when Mormons say that Jesus said "I say you are gods" (follow all that?) | Main | Does John 20:31 to prove that faith precedes regeneration? »

    Total Depravity & Man's Responsibility

    John 6:44 - Jesus said "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."

    John 3:19-21 "And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

    The Scripture teaches us clearly that man has an inability to come to Christ outside of God effectually drawing him (John 6:44) yet this does NOT remove man's responsibility to do so. How can this be the case? John Piper explains using a very helpful illustration in the short audio segment below:

    Posted by John Samson on September 18, 2009 05:28 PM

    Comments

    Doesn't the Bible also "clearly" teach (same book of the Bible, even) that God HAS drawn all people unto himself (John 12:32)? So if "all" have been drawn...would the logic not follow that "all" also have the "ability" of which you speak?

    Hmm... I agree with your question, Adam, although I have heard that the "all" in that verse and phrases like the "whole world" in 1 John 2:2 have meanings more along the lines of "all types of people without distinction, but not necessarily all people without exception," which might (??) explain a little of it...

    Adam and Kez,

    As we all know, when a teacher asks her class "are we all here?" she is not using the word "all" to refer to everyone on planet earth but to the students who signed up for the class. If someone replied to her "well, no, there are more than 6 billion people who are not here" she would feel that her question was very much misunderstood. That's because context determines meaning and that is how we operate in this world. All the words we use in communication have a context and we understand that.

    In the same way, the word "all" in John 12:32 has to be understood by its context and you are right Kez, for in this case, the word "all" refers to "all kinds of people without distinction." How do we know this for sure? Because of the context. I deal with this in question number 7 here: http://www.reformationstudycenter.com/ElectionQandA.html

    Hope that's a help.

    Ah, so you do. =) I hadn't gotten to question 7 yet - it's a lot to take in so the going is kinda slow...

    Thanks! =)

    J.I. Packer's book, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, is a great one on this subject.

    The "connector" is the "gift of Faith".

    This gift brings one to obedience to it as the Apostle so says and proclaims:

    He so says:
    Rom 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

    He so proclaims:
    Rom 16:26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith--


    That "mystery" spoken about by Piper in this short clip is no longer a mystery to the one who is being conformed to the substance of it and the evidence not seen by the obedience of faith. Now, passively, Christ takes the reigns of my total depravity and by His Grace, brings me before God, standing beside me and by His equitable deed receives my acquittal.

    In this vein, the nature of the O.J. Simpson trial years ago comes to my mind as an ever so slight an example.

    "Legally" he was acquitted and legally innocent because of the good work and word of his attorneys; not basis his deeds, however guilty he made himself by them!

    Our own deeds done already declare guilt to our conscience.

    It becomes a question of believing the Word of the Lord about the origins of this guilt and what the Triune did about it.

    Psa 130:3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
    Psa 130:4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
    Psa 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

    I would say, if you reject this message of Grace you are in league with Satan himself, who went about rejecting God by the sin of exalting himself as God Himself and continues to live the delusional life in this world until the end, "I will be like God"! His doom is sure.

    There is a lot packed into this short video clip of words!

    Psa 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
    Psa 130:8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

    John Samson, et al.,

    I realize that from time to time comments get stuck in moderation, but I'm wondering if you will be posting and/or responding to the inquiry I attempted to post (twice) in this thread on Saturday 9/19 regarding your public affirmations of Dr. John Piper considering the information provided in my moderated comments.

    In Christ,
    CD

    I wasn't planning on it CD. I posted John Piper's excellent comments on the subject of total depravity and do not have the time or inclination to spend hours posting a response to defend John Piper because of those he associates with. Doctrinally, I am very comfortable with Dr. Piper and all he teaches on the subject of justification by faith alone. Here is an excellent article discussing Piper's book "The Future of Justification": http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?1544

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