"...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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    Question Concerning Man's Inability

    Question from Visitor

    Concerning man's inability to come to God on his own, which statement is true:

    1. Man cannot come because he will not come.
    2. Man will not come because he cannot come.

    I was reading and came across those statements. What is at the heart of man's inability to come to Christ? Is it his depraved will? Is it his spiritual blindness/deadness/bondage?

    Kinda confused at what lies at the heart of man's inability.



    Hi and thanks. That is a great question.

    The natural man is unspiritual, that is, he is not regenerated or indwelt by the Holy Spirit, so he acts in accordance with his own nature. Left to himself he both cannot and will not come to Christ. But let's be clear. God does not stop him from coming, nor coerce him in any way. His innate corruption means that he rejects Christ of necessity. Water does not rise above its source and a thorn bush does not produce figs, as it were.

    Another way to consider this: If someone borrowed $100 million to fund a company and then immediately went and spent it all in a week of wild living in Las Vegas, his inability to repay the debt does not alleviate him of the responsibility to do so. So there is no contradiction between his responsibility and his inability. He created his own inability so he is responsible. Likewise Adam, our federal head, who represents the entire human race, fell and plunged all of us into a condition of debt which we cannot repay. Take note: this does not alleviate us of the responsibility to do so. We owe a debt we cannot repay. We are spiritually bankrupt and our heart needs to be renewed in the Holy Spirit who unites us the Christ. Only then do we have the mind and heart of Christ. ( See 1 Cor 2 ) Without the Spirit we are dead (even hostile) to spiritual things. But when the Spirit comes with the grace of regeneration, renewing our heart after the image of God, we both can and will come to Christ.

    Hope this helps. Peace be with you

    Posted by John on December 11, 2009 11:48 AM


    It is plain from Holy Writ that not only man's will was corrupted by his fall but his mind also. He is totally unable to come to Christ without God first enabling him. Romans chapter three and Ephesians chapter two make this plain. Man possesses a hostility towards God and finds Him and His ways repugnant.

    This is so true in my own life! I could not and would not though i found the way which i could and would - Christ crucified given me by God! The Jehovah Witnesses illustrate the opposite of this truth so well by their own lives and wishful beliefs to be without the horrible stain of sin! They effectively believe they can come and so claim to come though they clearly will not and cannot come! They emphasis "Free will" as the great gift of God and so claim they have used it and so now are gods people! Yet, they continue to blame Adam and Eve for their current sins and so choose (in great error) to believe that Jehovah has ransomed them from their responsibility of sin as it was caused by their parents, parents and not themselves. They inhereted it! They know half the truth and only that which justifies themselves apart from Christ! They desire to believe that Jesus took the curse from them which was given them by Adam and Eve! That they would not have sinned had it not been for adam and eve! Yet they sin and they tell me they do! I talk to 8 of them and they know it is true! But as I stated, they think they can come because they only sin because its another fault - their mother and daddies did this to them! So how can they come? They cannot not and will not for they love their own justification and own righteousness and so hate the truth! It hurts them to see it and so they run from it! Gods righteousness - not ours!! They hate God for taking it away from themselves!
    (I know this in truth in my self and so seek that the gospel come forth as i talk with them and show them the scripture)! It is really, really great and good news when it comes forth in power to see and know!! We are all depraved sinners hiding behind our own righteousness and blaming others - even God as did Adam our father! I love the truth, i love my God, I love Jesus and i know his hand is here in all things! If you could see what he did for me you would think he was so very unjust by not vomiting me out of his mouth! Yet he saved me and showed and gave me christ crucified! Wow, look at what he did!!!!

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