Originally Posted by MikeL
"A person will always make choices according to their nature." This falls into the category of nonsense about not having free will, it's just stated a different way.

It's a great way to justify using force rather than persuasion, because if reason - the ability to think and make decisions - is subservient to this unconscious nature - then trying to persuade a group of people against their will (read: nature) is hopeless and illogical.
Once again you have erected or at least introduced the proverbial "Straw man" which has no relationship to what the Bible nor Calvinism teaches. No man is "forced" to do anything he does not desire to do. Man ALWAYS chooses that which is most important to him at any given moment. And God never forces a man's will either. In the case of a natural man, i.e., one who is unregenerate, all he ever desires to do is sin. There is no way you can force a man to do that which right in the sight of God in his natural state. His will is fixed on hating God and all that is good. Does that sound absurd to you? The Bible is far more explicit in describing man's natural state than what I just wrote. Take for example the following passages:

Genesis 6:5 (ASV) "And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (prediluvian)

Genesis 8:21 (ASV) "And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done." (postdiluvian)

Job 15:14-16 (ASV) "What is man, that he should be clean? And he that is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he putteth no trust in his holy ones; Yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight: How much less one that is abominable and corrupt, A man that drinketh iniquity like water!"

Ecclesiastes 9:3 (ASV) "This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that [they go] to the dead."

Jeremiah 13:23 (ASV) "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."

Matthew 7:16-18 (ASV) "By their fruits ye shall know them. Do [men] gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."

Matthew 12:33 (ASV) "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit."

Mark 7:21-23 (ASV) "For from within, out of the heart of men, evil thoughts proceed, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, covetings, wickednesses, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, railing, pride, foolishness: all these evil things proceed from within, and defile the man."

John 3:19 (ASV) "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil."

John 6:44 (ASV) "No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day."

John 8:44 (ASV) "Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof."

Romans 3:9-18 (ASV) "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we before laid to the charge both of Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one: Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit: The poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Ephesians 2:1-3 (ASV) "And you [did he make alive,] when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:--"

Ephesians 4:17-19 (ASV) "This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who being past feeling gave themselves up to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."

I would say that is clearly a grim picture of the nature of man. So, the answer to how it is that anyone is converted; to repent of their sin and believe on Christ is NOT that God forces men to do so against their wills but rather He recreates the will. A new disposition/nature is created which is inclined to love God and to yearn for holiness but first in embracing Christ as the only hope of being reconciled to God. There is no violation of man's will in taking that which is evil and creating that which is good. This is morally acceptable and glorifying to God as He only is good.


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simul iustus et peccator

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