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#47768 - Saturday, February 25, 2012 8:33 PM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Tom]
Pilgrim Offline

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Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
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Originally Posted By: Tom
So my answering no based on how I am looking at the matter based on what I have learned on the matter; both on past and present study.
What I am not afraid of however, is changing my view on the matter if light is shed from Scripture that changes my mind.

Methinks you should be a little more certain of your "No" answer, given it isn't based upon a whim inclination but from doing some study and from reading some very reliable and recognized men. You can always recant if there is sufficient proof to show that you and all those you have consulted have been wrong. wink
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#47769 - Saturday, February 25, 2012 8:36 PM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Tom]
Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted By: Tom
I believe the answer you are looking for is "sin nature".

nope But thanks for taking a stab at it.

Here's a further hint: Total ___________ (fill in the blank). giggle
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#47770 - Saturday, February 25, 2012 9:07 PM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Pilgrim]
John_C Offline

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Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: Tom
I believe the answer you are looking for is "sin nature".

nope But thanks for taking a stab at it.

Here's a further hint: Total ___________ (fill in the blank). giggle


Total inability
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"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7

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#47782 - Sunday, February 26, 2012 6:34 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: John_C]
Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted By: John_C
Total inability

And what does it mean that the natural fallen man possesses a Total Inability?

And after that question is accurately answered, the next question must be, What is the cause of this "Total Inability"? evilgrin
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#47789 - Sunday, February 26, 2012 8:29 PM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Pilgrim]
John_C Offline

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Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Originally Posted By: John_C
Total inability

And what does it mean that the natural fallen man possesses a Total Inability?

And after that question is accurately answered, the next question must be, What is the cause of this "Total Inability"? evilgrin


It means we cannot, not even desiring, run to God. Our nature is one of total rebellion against God. We do not have the ability to seek God.

The cause it that we inherited this nature from Adam, our Federal Head.
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"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7

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#47790 - Monday, February 27, 2012 5:27 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Pilgrim]
AC. Offline
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Yeah, the textbook answer is no, I already voted yes.....

The tricky part is only a regenerate person would fully accept and attest that TD is legit.....
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#47791 - Monday, February 27, 2012 7:50 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: John_C]
Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted By: John_C
The cause it that we inherited this nature from Adam, our Federal Head.

Yes, we did inherit the sin nature from Adam as part of God's punishment for Adam's disobedience. Further, the cause of fallen man's inability is that he WILL NOT love God nor anything that is good, holy and righteous. The mind is at enmity with God (Rom 8:7,8) and the affections are darkened from the inherent hatred of God (Eph 4:17-19). Contrast this with Matt 22:3; Jh 3:19; 5:40; Rom 8:9,10; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10; et. al.

The "will" is subject to the intellect (what man knows and deems important) and the affections (what man deems desirable).

Thus the difficult yet undeniable truth is: Man will not because he cannot. And, he cannot because he will not.
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#47792 - Monday, February 27, 2012 8:21 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: AC.]
Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted By: AC.
Yeah, the textbook answer is no, I already voted yes.....

The tricky part is only a regenerate person would fully accept and attest that TD is legit.....

The "textbook" is, of course, the Scriptures which is where we find the correct answers to such questions.




Here's my response to the question in quasi-Socratic form. grin

  1. Total Depravity is a condition or state of spirituality which is inherited from Adam's fall. There are lots of texts that show this to be true as you readily know. The entire nature of man is inclined to sin and sin only; hating God and all that is holy, righteous and good.
  2. The corollary and term often used as a synonym (perhaps in an attempt to make the doctrine less offensive to people's ears? hehe) is "Total Inability". This is an accurate description of the expression of that depraved nature, especially in its effect. Man is wholly incapable of pleasing God or doing anything good.
  3. And why is this true? Because the very core, the nature, the soul of fallen man is predisposed to evil, i.e., his mind and affections love all that is evil and thus he only CAN do that which is evil (Gen 6:5; 8:21; Jer 13:23; et al). Thus, for example, in the matter of believing on Christ, there is no desire to do so. Likewise, there is no desire whatsoever to do that which is good, holy and pure out of a heart of grateful obedience to God.
  4. In summary, the natural fallen man is spiritually "DEAD...DEAD...DEAD"!
  5. Next, what is regeneration? What are some of the terms used as synonyms for regeneration; e.g., making alive, raising from the dead, born again, etc. What actually occurs when the Holy Spirit regenerates a dead sinner? Ans: A new nature is recreated.
  6. The next big question is: Is there an actual and radical change to the nature at regeneration? And if so, what change(s) take place? Ans: The regenerated person is no longer subject to the power of the old sin nature; albeit this is not a total release from it. A new holy disposition, inclination is formed whereby the person loves God and all that is good. Thus the person is no longer a bondservant of sin but rather a bondservant of Christ. (Rom 6:6f; Gal 2:20; 4:7,8; 5:24)
  7. Moving along, when a sinner is regenerated, who believes on Christ; the person or the Holy Spirit? When a regenerated person prays, who does the praying; the person or the Holy Spirit? When a regenerated person is encouraged, even commanded to live a holy life (good works), who does this; the person or the Holy Spirit? (Phil 2:12,13; and many more). And the ability to do so is because of the new nature wrought by the Holy Spirit.
  8. To sum up, is sanctification monergistic? or synergistic?
  9. Why is sanctification a logical necessity to justification? (hint: because a new nature has been created). The regenerated person knows (intellect) what is right, true and glorifying to God, he desires (affections) Christ and His righteousness and who is his only hope. He strives to rid himself of sin, and to conform himself to the holy law of God out of love for Christ.
  10. Quickly now... applying these biblical truths concerning the fallen nature of man, aka: Totally Depravity, it cannot be applied to a regenerated man because he is a "new creation". What is true is that there is a remnant of the old nature which remains and thus an inner "war" is waged through the Christian's life. The new nature is able to profess, for example Psalm 119:165-172 or Romans 7:14ff.
  11. What can be and must be affirmed, however, is that the regenerate man is NOT "Totally Depraved" and thus under the total dominion of sin but rather there is a remnant of the old man which remains and it effects the whole man; the mind, affections and will. In this sense, it is proper to speak of a depravity that is total, i.e., in its extent. But again, it is not true that the theological term used to describe the spiritually dead sinner, Total Depravity, is applicable to a regenerated person.
  12. Just a side note on the matter which A.C. brought up, i.e., Assurance. I believe he is incorrect to say that our assurance only comes from our faith in Christ. Doesn't this put the basis for assurance on ourselves, i.e., OUR faith? I think it is easy to show the error here, because all one needs to do is bring up the matter of those who make false professions. They have a false assurance based upon a false profession. I believe assurance comes from three sources, all which work together and cannot be disregarded, for they provide a 'check & balance' system: 1) The testimony of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:16), 2) Good works (Jam 2:18ff) and 3) The testimony of the Church which is given the keys of the kingdom (Matt 16:19; 18:18).
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#47793 - Monday, February 27, 2012 8:45 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Pilgrim]
AC. Offline
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Quote:
Just a side note on the matter which A.C. brought up, i.e., Assurance. I believe he is incorrect to say that our assurance only comes from our faith in Christ. Doesn't this put the basis for assurance on ourselves, i.e., OUR faith? I think it is easy to show the error here, because all one needs to do is bring up the matter of those who make false professions. They have a false assurance based upon a false profession. I believe assurance comes from three sources, all which work together and cannot be disregarded, for they provide a 'check & balance' system: 1) The testimony of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:16), 2) Good works (Jam 2:18ff) and 3) The testimony of the Church which is given the keys of the kingdom (Matt 16:19; 18:18).



Hey Pilgrim I wrote in a previous post....

Quote:
I always thought the P of tulip was always dead on, the regenerate persevere...they do not feel secure in assurance in themselves or their experiences....their rest, faith and hope is always in Christ...He is their assurance.....


and then in the next post I spoke of the difference between essence of faith and exercise of faith (I hope I didn't indicate that faith is of ourselves, I believe it is placed in us by the HS, but we are not immune to the trials, fears and even God-sanctioned afflictions that place us on unsteady ground for a while)....

maybe you can speak a little to the essence/exercise of faith if you feel it's relevant, thanks!

AC



Edited by AC. (Monday, February 27, 2012 8:46 AM)
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#47795 - Monday, February 27, 2012 8:56 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Pilgrim]
sojourner Offline

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Should not we include a fourth source as to how we obtain assurance? That being the scriptures,as in 1John 5:11-13 and others.
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#47796 - Monday, February 27, 2012 9:19 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: AC.]
Pilgrim Offline

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Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13323
Loc: NH, USA
Originally Posted By: AC.
Quote:
I always thought the P of tulip was always dead on, the regenerate persevere...they do not feel secure in assurance in themselves or their experiences....their rest, faith and hope is always in Christ...He is their assurance.....

and then in the next post I spoke of the difference between essence of faith and exercise of faith (I hope I didn't indicate that faith is of ourselves, I believe it is placed in us by the HS, but we are not immune to the trials, fears and even God-sanctioned afflictions that place us on unsteady ground for a while)....

Perhaps I am not grasping what you mean as you intended? shrug

What I am having trouble with is how one can have PERSONAL assurance, versus OBJECTIVE assurance, i.e., that Christ's substitutionary atonement infallibly secures the salvation of those whom He came to redeem. Put another way, a person can affirm that Christ's sacrifice is wholly sufficient to save all those who believe. But, was "I" included in that sacrifice? Perhaps my 'rest, faith and hope' is spurious, e.g., just my upbringing, or self-deception. Thus, there must be a connection between the object of faith and the individual's personal trust, faith and hope, yes?

That's why I made the comment I did and listed the three-fold elements which I believe bring assurance to a professing believer. For example, one should not look at their changed life and conclude that God is pleased with him and thus be assured that he is of Christ. That is antithetical to justification by grace through faith alone. However, one can and should examine themselves to see if the "marks of grace" are evident in their life and if they are, then they may have confidence that the Holy Spirit has done a work in them. The assurance in this case doesn't come from the works themselves (meritorious) but in the evidence of a supernatural work wrought by the Spirit. I do think that all three must be taken together and not be used separately. As I wrote, I see them as a "check & balance" which can expose a false assurance.

Lastly, I do not hold that anyone can have an "infallible" assurance in this life. Because of the remnants of sin that remain in us, there will always be some doubt, albeit variable depending upon our present state at any given moment. Thus, we must always keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as our sure hope to be sure but not in extract apart from Christ's Spirit working in us and the estimation of Christ's true Church. As you are more than aware, a morbid introspection which seeks to find evidence of salvation WITHIN only brings death and in the end is an indictment against God. There have been individuals with whom I have spoken with who suffered great anguish over the lack of assurance. Most common was their admission that they truly wanted to believe but they were yet to receive a 'new heart' so they could believe. I pointed out to them the dishonor they cast upon God and that they are casting blame for their probable damnation upon Him. For, at the judgment, what would they say?... "Oh LORD, I truly wanted to believe upon Christ, but YOU wouldn't grant me the ability to do so. Thus, it's YOUR fault I am facing eternal damnation!" There is no injunction for a sinner to seek regeneration and thereafter believe, but only "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved." It's an entirely different matter with an individual who admits they have no interest in God, Christ or the need for salvation in Him. To those, it would be appropriate to pray unto God to change their hearts and draw them to Christ.

Okay.... rambling now... enough! rolleyes2
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#47797 - Monday, February 27, 2012 9:24 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: sojourner]
Pilgrim Offline

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Originally Posted By: sojourner
Should not we include a fourth source as to how we obtain assurance? That being the scriptures,as in 1John 5:11-13 and others.

I think that I addressed this idea in my just posted reply to A.C.?? I referred to this as having "Objective Assurance" vs. "Personal Assurance". The latter rests squarely on the former but BOTH are necessary, in my view. grin
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#47799 - Monday, February 27, 2012 11:24 AM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Pilgrim]
AC. Offline
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I think you are 100% right in your analysis....

However,

This takes me back to the essence vs exercise of faith, do you buy into it? and can you talk about it a bit?


Edited by AC. (Monday, February 27, 2012 4:59 PM)
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#47800 - Monday, February 27, 2012 12:50 PM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: AC.]
Pilgrim Offline

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Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13323
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Originally Posted By: AC.
As a friend (at least on some level) or confidante, and I know it's none of my business, I think you need some closure with the FRC because I think you MAY harbor some animosity or resentment which may be detrimental to your soul(if I am out of line you can tell me, and I'm not questioning your standing before God!!!)

The examples I gave were actually with individuals who were members of the NRC, not the FRC, although some of the older members within the FRC who came out of the NRC had similar issues regarding faith and assurance.

I do have some resentment with one particular individual in the FRC who lied and sold me down the river and who assured me if I 'trusted' him and submitted to his counsel all would go well. The reality of things turned out to be opposite and I regret having trusted the man. Yet, looking back I can see God's hand in the entire matter (of course God's providence is behind ALL things) and thus I have peace in that regard. grin

Originally Posted By: AC
Now let me take it to a personal level regarding myself....

I suffer from OCD, it's a killer let me tell ya (but I'm coping)....

<major cut>

1. I am not familiar with "OCD". scratch1

2. Your personal struggles with sin and the world, which I have before discussed with you are typical of Christians in general. If I were to tell you I don't have struggles in my own particular things, albeit not the same, I would be a liar. Thus if I were to dwell on my down fallings, I would be most miserable and sink into deep depression. But the fact that you are not only aware of these sins and desire to be rid of them is a definite mark of grace, which an unregenerate person does not have. Paul certainly struggled with his past and present sins which he wrote in Romans 7. There should be a red flag go up IF you simply accepted those sins and had no remorse over them and never confessed them before the Lord and resolved new obedience with the Spirit's help. Let's be honest... we all are going to have reticent sins throughout our life and never even approach perfection. Our hope lies NOT in our conquering the old man but in the perfect righteousness of Christ which God in His infinite mercy and grace imputed to us when we first believed in Him.

As I tried to point out, ever so briefly, relying upon the "evidence" of grace for assurance is to fall back into a works salvation. This too Paul addressed in his letter to the Galatians and also to the Colossians. We may confess we know this to be true and even claim we aren't guilty of doing such, but in reality we do exactly that... e.g., if only I could finally rid myself of xxxx sin(s), God would be much more pleased with me and thus my assurance would be firm. The fact is no Christian is capable of meriting God's grace through a righteous life. For, 1) a perfect life whether absolute or relative can change our relationship with God. Either He has loved us from eternity as damnable sinners who are inseparably united with Christ and who have been clothed with His righteousness. Or, we are alienated from God and liable to judgment as detestable sinners who are slaves of sin. 2) Even our "good works" are marred with sin and thus have no value in themselves.

Our calling is to "fight the good fight", to "run the race", etc. It is that "war" that wages within that evidences are effectual calling and the existence of a new man which strives to be conformed to the image of Christ. This, as I have said before, is one of the marks of grace which contributes to assurance. Sometimes, sometimes, I say, it is simply a matter of saying "No!" in putting off the old man. There are other times when the war is so severe and our wounds so deep that it takes time to heal before getting back to the battle. In all these things we must therefore "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." and not look back nor rely upon the 'old ways of the world', that baggage that clings to us in the old man for comfort.
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#47801 - Monday, February 27, 2012 2:01 PM Re: On the matter of Total Depravity [Re: Pilgrim]
AC. Offline
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good, candid post.....thanks for giving it to me straight...




AC


Edited by AC. (Monday, February 27, 2012 4:49 PM)
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