Is “Calvinism” Biblical? (pt 2)

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT OUR SPIRITUAL STATE:

The Bible makes no bones about it; we are spiritually dead due to the sin of Adam, in whom we all sinned.

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Gen 2) (full treatment of this passage please see Faces of Death by Dr. Pipa)

Adam stood as our federal or covenant head before God so when he took of the fruit and sinned we sinned with him. God’s instructions to Adam were very simple, “do and live.” (For further explanation please see (The Proto-Evangelium)

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psa 51:5)

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psa 58:3)

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (Joh 3:5-7)

Christ explains “that which is born of flesh is flesh.” The flesh can do nothing spiritual.

All humanity was in Adam covenantally.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Rom 5:12)

Notice that “by nature,” that is in our nature (“flesh is flesh”) state we were “children of wrath.” We were in a sinful state and fulfilled our own “desires of the flesh.”

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Eph 2:1-3)

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (Col 2:13)

God does the “quickening” or makes us alive, the actions of God are not subject to the creature, for He is all knowing and all powerful.

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT OUR MINDS AND HEARTS:

Due to our sinful state described in the scriptures above, our minds and hearts are subject to the desires and lusts of the flesh.

And GOD 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. (Gen 6:5)

And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (Gen 8:21)

We find in the holy word of God that mankind’s “imagination and thoughts” are singularly evil. That is in opposition to good or spiritual.

Now, keep in mind what the New Covenant entails. It is a replacing of the stony heart with a living heart. (Jer. 31) Scripture is pretty clear that our heart is wickedly evil which is why we need a new heart and that heart is given when we are regenerated spiritually. This inherent wickedness means we must reply on Christ alone for every part of our salvation because Christ is “the author AND finisher of our faith.”

This is an evil among all things that are 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. (Ecc 9:3)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer 17:9)

We often like to kid ourselves by proclaiming that “I made a decision, I turned it around. Here I am Lord. Ain’t I something! You owe me Lord because I believed in you.” This is the pride of trusting in ones decision to believe and not believing upon Christ for salvation. The heart is wicked, Lord help us it is wicked! In us there is no good thing, that’s what the Bible teaches and because the Bible teaches we are not entitled to even the offer of salvation we must, we MUST trust in Christ alone for it all. That is what Calvin taught.

Jesus Christ our Lord and our only hope of salvation described our hearts so we could get a clear picture of what we are truly like.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mar 7:21-23)

If this is what we are truly like (“flesh is flesh”) how in the world do we get to a place where we can believe? We could come up with our own ideas but what does the Bible say? I’ll get to that. Keep in mind “flesh is flesh” and the words of Jesus Christ Himself about our nature and what we are capable or incapable of as we continue studying the word.

Jesus tells us why He is rejected, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (Joh 3:19) Folks, no one believes on their own steam. There is nothing in you that would allow you to choose on your own free will Jesus Christ.

Why is that?

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom 8:7-9)

Again, why can’t we who are in the flesh flesh choose Christ? Because spiritual things are “spiritually discerned.”

the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1Co 2:14)

The free will Arminian believes he can receive spiritual things before he is regenerated, that he can get by on his own and then, by his decision, will receive the new birth. (see also decisional regeneration)

Our lives after regeneration/being born again compared to what our lives were like in the flesh:

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Eph 4:17-19)

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Eph 5:8)

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (Tit 1:15)

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT OUR BONDAGE TO SIN & SATAN:

Due to our fallen nature we need Christ for salvation. Not just to make salvation possible but to actually save us from our sinful selves. We need Christ for everything, for salvation and holinesds. His propitiatory work on the cross accomplished that. In the flesh we remain in bondage to sin and Satan and only Christ and Christ alone can free us.

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. (Joh 8:34)

According to Strong’s the word servant means “a slave (literally or figuratively, involuntarily or voluntarily; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency): – bond (-man), servant.” Before we receive regeneration by the Holy Spirit we are slaves to sin and because our will is fall, not free, we sin wilfully. We want to sin. That is why Christ was rejected, “this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,”

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode 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 of it. (Joh 8:44)

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. (Rom 6:20)

The Bible clearly teaches that man is completely wicked, dead in sin and produces nothing good spiritually so God makes us alive even though we were “dead in trespasses and sins” and unable to see the error of our ways. That is the teaching of the Reformers.

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (Eph 2:1-2)

Our Triune God condescended to save us BECAUSE we have been taken captive by Satan and serve him willingly. We are sinners by nature and sinners by choice.

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2Ti 2:25-26)

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (Tit 3:3)

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1Jn 3:10)

And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (1Jn 5:19)

That’s right folks, the WHOLE WORLD LIETH IN WICKEDNESS. Sin and wickedness is not something we can avoid being tainted with, it affects everything about us.

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT THE UNIVERSAL SPREAD OF SIN:

The Bible teaches that each and everyone of us is in a state of total spiritual depravity making us unable to change.

If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; (1Ki 8:46 see also 2 Cor. 6:36)

What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water? (Job 15:14-16)

The total spiritual depravity of mankind is universal. No one, not one of us, is free from the bondage of sin until the Holy Spirit makes us free.

If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; (1Ki 8:46 see also 2 Chr. 6:36)

What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water? (Job 15:14-16)

If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? (Psa 130:3)

A rhetorical question is offered by the Psalmist and the answer is “no one.” The free will view teaches that anyone in the flesh can approach God by faith, without regeneration, and receive justification. This is simply untrue.

No one can seek to be justified while in the flesh. (“flesh is flesh”)

And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. (Psa 143:2)

Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? (Pro 20:9)

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Ecc 7:20)

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. (Ecc 7:29)

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isa 53:6)

Again, we find that in the flesh we “have not heard” the spiritual offer of the Gospel. In the flesh we cannot perceive the preaching of the Gospel!

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. (Isa 64:4)

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, 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 are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Rom 3:9-12)

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (Jas 3:2)

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (Jas 3:8)

The Bible describes sin in such a way that leaves us slaves to it and unable to even understand the Gospel, if we reject this biblical idea “we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” That’s how serious this biblical doctrine is. If you say, “I’m not as bad as the Bible teaches or he’s making me out to be” “we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Thank God most who believe in free will do so inconsistently.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1Jn 1:8)

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1Jn)

Yours in the Lord,

jm

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