Hi Marie. You asked, “So how can man receive Christ and place faith in Him without God overcoming His total depravity? Just what do you think total depravity is?”
A man cannot receive Christ and place faith in Him without God overcoming His total depravity. That’s what happens when a man is under the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit. You asked about my definition of total depravity. I agree with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message’s description:
“In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.”
Marie, do you agree with the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message? It says that Adam had free choice and was innocent before his first sin. Adam was not inclined toward sin. His descendants, however, are inclined toward sin (depraved). They are under condemnation as soon as they are capable of moral action. This hints at the age of accountability and the belief that all infants who die in infancy go to heaven. I agree with every word of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. How about you?
You said, “As a non-Christian, I sinned willfully and intentionally. I knew what God said in His Word, I just didn't want to do it. So I guess, in your theology, that's unforgiveable, then?”
As a non-Christian you sinned because you were driven to do so by your depraved nature. Thus, your sins were unintentional and forgivable. Jesus died on the cross to pay for such sins. At the time when you became a Christian, you were under the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit. Your depravity was at least temporarily counteracted during that time of tasting Jesus so that you could make an ultimate, final freewill choice. At that particular time you were an enlightened partaker of the Holy Spirit, and you were tasting the heavenly gift, the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come (Hebrews 6:4-6). If you had spit out Jesus at that time, it would have been impossible to renew you again to repentance. It would have been willful sin after you received knowledge of the truth, and there would no longer remain a sacrifice for your sins because you would have been trampling under foot the son of God, regarding His blood as unclean, and insulting the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:26-29). Fortunately, you did not commit such willful sin; rather, you swallowed Jesus (the Bread of Life) by surrendering to Him in repentance and faith.