"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
April 1, 2003
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THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16
WHY I PREACH THE DOCTRINE OF THE TOTAL HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY OF MAN
AMAZED AND SO VERY GRATEFUL
THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16
By Wayne Camp
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (Jn. 3:16).
The reader will note that emphasis has been placed on the WHOSOEVER found in our text. With this verse, the text of this study in mind, let us notice another that is very much like it in using the word whosoever.
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And WHOSOEVER will, let him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17).
What do you think when you see the word WHOSOEVER in a sentence? Do you not immediately look for a qualifying word to go with it? There is probably no word in the English language that is more incapable of standing alone than the word that we have under consideration. It always needs some help to convey any meaning whatsoever.
There are so many who look at it and feel that it is universal in its scope, that is if they are dealing with the Scriptures. They take an entirely different view if they see it in the newspaper or in a secular use. There is a hymn that is called: “WHOSOEVER MEANETH ME.”
Every time I hear it sung I find myself asking: “WHOSOEVER WHAT????” I do not want WHOSOEVER applied to Wayne Camp unless I know what the qualifying word, or words, that give it meaning are. There are some WHOSOEVERS found in Scripture that I do not want to have applied to me. I will show some of these in a little bit but I want to point out another thing or two by way of introduction before getting into the heart of the message.
There are at least three Greek words that are translated WHOSOEVER in the New Testament. They are:
1. El TIS which are actually two words in the Greek that are translated whosoever in the KJV. Their literal translation is “IF ANYONE.” See Rev. 14:11 for an example. Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
2. HOSTIS which translates as “whosoever.” See Gal. 5:4. Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
3. PAS which literally translates “every one that” or “everyone who.” See Matt. 5:22. Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. It is interesting to note that this word PAS is the word used in II Pet. 3:9 where it means “all of a particular group.”
THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16 IS NOT UNIVERSAL IN ITS SCOPE AS OTHER USES CLEARLY REVEAL
The word whosoever is clearly limited to those who are justified by the law in Gal. 5:4. “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Let it immediately be pointed out that those who are justified by the law are not children of God. Men who seek salvation by their own efforts are seeking law-justification. The child of God is justified by faith. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Those who mix works with grace and those who seek salvation by works are pursuing a justification that is law-justification. They are, therefore, fallen from, or standing off from, or standing out of the realm of grace. If what was said earlier about the hymn, “Whosoever Meaneth Me,” upsets you, perhaps you should apply the song to Gal. 5:4. Does whosoever mean you in this verse? Are you justified by the law?
Whosoever is justified by the law is fallen from grace.
Whosoever is justified by the law has no benefits from Christ for Christ is become of no effect to those who seek justification by good works, the works of law.
Does whosoever surely mean you in Gal 5:4? I pray that it doesn’t.
Then, notice the whosoever in Matt. 5:22. Does this whosoever surely mean you? “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Now, if whosoever is all inclusive in its scope, then you are included in this verse three times. By now, someone is probably saying: “But I am not angry with my brother without a cause. I would not say ‘Raca.’ to my brother. I would not call my brother a fool. That excludes me from this verse.”
Exactly! Absolutely! Most certainly! Unequivocally! Incontrovertibly! The whosoever in these verses is qualified. It includes only those who do the things stipulated. It is not all-inclusive in its scope. It is limited in its scope and application to the parties guilty of the specified sins.
Yet another verse should be cited. “But I say unto thee, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). Does that surely mean you? Are you included in that whosoever? Again, someone says: “That whosoever is limited to those who look upon a woman lustfully. They are the ones guilty of committing adultery in the heart. They are the ones included in the whosoever. It doesn’t include those who haven’t lusted after a woman.”
You are a winner again. The whosoever is limited to the ones who look lustfully upon a woman. It is these whom the whosoever means. If you have, the whosoever includes you! If you have not, the context of the word excludes you from the whosoever of Matt. 5:28.
In Jn. 16:2 we have another limited whosoever. If you want to have whosoever to always be universal in scope, try this verse to your case. “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” Here, again, the whosoever is limited and qualified. The context demands that it only include those who kill Christians. Does whosoever in this verse mean you? Surely, you don’t want it to mean you!
Now, briefly, notice a few more cases where whosoever is qualified and limited. The whosoever of I Jn. 2:23 is limited to those who deny Jesus Christ. 1 John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. They do not have the Father.
The whosoever of Rev. 14:11 is limited in scope to those who receive the mark of the beast during the tribulation that is to come on the earth. Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. It does not have any wider scope than the exact number who receive that mark. It is limited exactly to “whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Does whosoever surely mean you in this verse? One answers: “It means me if I am living at that time and if I receive the mark of the beast.” Exactly! That limits it. The whosoever of Rev. 14:11 is limited to a time and circumstance; it is far from being all-inclusive in its scope.
Finally, in this vein, notice one other verse containing one other whosoever. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Now sing: “Whosoever, surely meaneth me. Surely meaneth me. Surely meaneth me.” If you are a child of God there is no way that you could be included in this whosoever. Do you have the assurance that your name is written in heaven? Can you rejoice in that blessed assurance? Do you have the assurance that your name was engraved upon the heart of Christ from the foundation of the world? Are you saved? Have you been regenerated by the blessed Holy Spirit? Can you assuredly say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” If you have this blessed assurance through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then, Dear Reader, there is no way that you are included in the whosoever of Rev. 20:15!!!!! There are not enough demonic hounds in hell to cause you to ever be included in that whosoever. There are not enough cultists on earth to lead you into some error that would cause you to be included in that whosoever. If you are saved, you can rejoice that the whosoever of Rev. 20:15 surely does NOT mean you, can never mean you, totally excludes you.
Strangely, men go about insisting that the whosoever of Jn. 3:16 includes all men without exception. It is all-inclusive in its scope. There is not one exception. But, one never hears these same people insisting on being included and including all men in these verses that we have been considering. The point is simply this, If you limit the scope of the WHOSOEVER of these verses, you must also be willing to limit the scope of THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16. And I ask: “IF NOT, WHY NOT?” Give us just one Biblical injunction that in the verses of promise we must give an unlimited, universal scope to the whosoever of Jn. 3:16 and a limited scope to the whosoevers of the verses of warning such as we have studied.
THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16, AND THE WHOSOEVERS OF SIMILAR VERSES, ARE DEFINITELY LIMITED BY THEIR CONTEXT WHEREVER AND WHENEVER THEY ARE FOUND IN SCRIPTURE.
If the reader will look at both Jn. 3:15 & 16 with the same clear-headedness that he will look at the verses that we considered earlier, he will readily see that the whosoever of those two verses is limited to the persons who believe on Jesus Christ. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Please observe that it is not simply “whosoever,” it is “whosoever believeth.” The whosoever is clear qualified and limited. It is not universal. The whosoever of Jn. 3:16 is clearly limited to the believer.
WHOSOEVER IN LUKE 6:47-49
Consider the following declaration from the inspired writer, Luke: Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great (Lu. 6:47-49).
The whosoever of this passage is limited in its scope to those who come to Christ and hear his sayings. They include no one else. The key word in this passage is not whosoever. The key words are “whosoever cometh to me and heareth my sayings.” The word whosoever is meaningless and has no scope unless qualified by other words.
THE WHOSOEVER OF JN. 4:13-14
When Jesus met the harlot woman at the well of Samaria he spoke with her for some time. In his conversation he used our word, whosoever. He said: “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” As a matter of fact, he used the word two times and in both instances it is limited in its application. The first time it is used it is qualified by “drinketh of this water.” The second time it is qualified by “drinketh of this water that I shall give him.” Againwhosoever is meaningless with out scope-defining words. Left alone it has no meaning; it carries no message, it conveys no thought. It must have help. Once again, that word that is so often misapplied, or mis-defined in scope, has a limited scope that is revealed in the words that qualify it.
What if I were to say: “Whosoever shall never thirst?” The only way that the sentence would make any sense is if there was a particular person who was named Whosoever. If you heard a preacher preach: “That whosoever should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever should not perish, but have everlasting life,” would that tell you anything? If it told you anything it would tell you that the preacher had made an unintelligible declaration. If you read that out of the context in which you have just read it you would figure that the typist had left out words in both instances after the whosoever. It is once again clear that whosoever must be carried on the shoulders of other scope-defining words or it is meaningless.
The only persons who will never thirst, according to the verses under consideration, are those who drink of the water that Jesus gives. The whosoever does not mean everyone; it means only those who drink the water of life.
THE WHOSOEVER OF JN. 11:25-26
Lazarus is dead and Jesus says to his disciples, “I go, that I awake him out. of sleep.” When he comes to the home of Mary and Martha he first meets with Martha. She says: “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” Jesus answered her: “Thy brother shall rise again.” But Martha answered in somewhat of a protest: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
The answer to her statement contains another of those whosoevers such as is found in Jn. 3:16. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” A careful look reveals that this whosoever, like the whosoever of Jn. 3:16, is limited in its scope. It is not all-inclusive. It is confined to those who live and believe in Jesus Christ. It is not whosoever shall never die. It is “whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (To be Continued next issue)
RETURN TO TOP
WHY I PREACH THE DOCTRINE OF THE TOTAL HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY OF MAN
Series: In The Defense of the Doctrines of Grace Nicknamed Calvinism
Sermon 2, Part 2
By Wayne Camp
Editor’s Note: This message is continued from the last issue of the paper. If necessary, please refer back to it to refresh you minds on what was covered there.
I PREACH THE DOCTRINE OF THE TOTAL HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY OF MAN BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY EVIDENCES OF MAN'S DEPRAVITY IN THIS WORLD
Man's depravity is evident from the evil that has long been rampant in the world. Genesis 6:5 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. Genesis 6:12-13 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. What a sad case! The thoughts of men’s hearts are only evil continually until God gives them a new heart and a new spirit. One Hebrew scholar says, “The Hebrew word signifies not only the imagination, but also the purposes and desires.” John Gill wrote,
“The heart of man is evil and wicked, desperately wicked, yea, wickedness itself, a fountain of iniquity, out of which abundance of evil flows, by which it may be known in some measure what is in it, and how wicked it is; but God, that sees it, only knows perfectly all the wickedness of it, and the evil that is in it: the "thoughts" of his heart are evil; evil thoughts are formed in the heart, and proceed from it; they are vain, foolish, and sinful, and abominable in the sight of God, by whom they are seen, known, and understood afar off: the "imagination" of his thoughts is evil, the formation of them; they were evil while forming, the substratum of thought, the very beginning of it, the first motion to it, yea, "every" such one was evil, and "only" so; not one good among them, not one good thing in their hearts, no one good thought there, nor one good imagination of the thought; and so it was "continually" from their birth, from their youth upwards, throughout the whole of their lives, and all the days of their lives, night and day, and day after day, without intermission: this respects the original corruption of human nature, and shows it to be universal; for this was not only true of the men of the old world, but of all mankind; the same is said of men after the flood as before, and of all men in general without any exception.”
Man's depravity is evident in the way he goes after that which is sinful. Romans 3:9-17 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; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known. There is nothing in this passage that will lend validity to the claim that some men make for men. “They are all good at heart,” say many. How can that be in the light of Paul’s description of the natural man.
Man's depravity is evident in his lack of reverence toward God. Romans 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. This lack of fear is seen in Pharaoh's contempt for God. Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. It is seen in the attitude of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, when he wrote letters to rail against God. 2 Chronicles 32:17 He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand. It is seen in man's hatred of the knowledge of God. Proverbs 1:29-30 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. It is seen in Nebuchadnezzar's mockery of God. Daniel 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
This lack of fear of God is seen in man's hatred of God and his love of idolatry with all its evil companions. Romans 1:21-32 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
The only answer to why men would worship idols is the blindness, stupidity, and hardness of the heart. Psalm 115:4-8 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
Man can control such a god as David describes and rebels against the God who does as he wills. Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Man is so deceived in his depravity that he cannot see that he is feeding on ashes. Isaiah 44:14-20 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?
Man's depravity is evident from the lust that permeates this whole world system. 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Man's depravity is evident in the fact that men by nature go astray and never seek after God on their own. Isaiah 53:6 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.
Man's depravity is evident in that no matter how wise he becomes his wisdom never leads him to God. 1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
I PREACH THE DOCTRINE OF THE TOTAL HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY OF MAN BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A VALUABLE DOCTRINE
The doctrine of the total hereditary depravity of man is truth and truth is always valuable. Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Someone once said that we should sell all other things and buy truth and we should never sell truth for any price, no matter how high.
It is truth and truth is essential to true freedom. John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. There can be no real freedom without truth. Lies can never give one true freedom. I am thinking of the Iraqi official they called “Baghdad Bob.” At one point he was on Television telling the people that there was not an American service man within a hundred miles of Baghdad when our men were encircling the place from which he was broadcasting at the time. His lie gained freedom for no one. Truth makes you free. And, Dear Reader, the truth about total hereditary depravity will free you from many foolish ideas.
It is truth and truth is essential to our practical sanctification. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. No one can doubt the cleansing, sanctifying power of the Word of God. It is very effectual in that when applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit.
It brings man down into the dust and magnifies Christ as the essential and all-sufficient Saviour. Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
It magnifies God as the God of all grace. 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
It makes sense of the teaching of salvation that is wholly of grace from start to finish so that it will be sure to all the seed. Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. Anything else cheapens grace.
It shows the necessity of regeneration and gives God all the glory for that regeneration. John 3:5,7 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. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
It establishes the necessity of the effectual call to salvation. Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;).
It magnifies the atoning and cleansing power of the blood of Christ. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
It provokes gratitude in the hearts of the saved because they see how truly undeserving they were and are of God's great salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
It establishes the doctrine of unconditional election by showing how utterly unworthy all of us were and that there was nothing in us that provoked God to choose us. Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
It further establishes the doctrine of unconditional election by proving that anything seen or foreseen in us, such as foreseen repentance and faith, or gifts and graces of God and therefore no ground for his choosing us.
I am reminded of an ABA brother who vehemently opposed these doctrines with whom I was talking one day between sessions at a messenger meeting. In the conversation I asked him, “Where did you get the faith with which you trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour?”
He answered, after a little thought on the matter, “I conjured it up within myself.”
I said, “If all the faith you have in Christ is something you conjured up within yourself you will go to hell.”
Why did I say such a harsh thing? I said it because faith that saves is a gift of God, not something one conjures up within himself. Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. It is obvious from this verse that faith is a gift of God. In fact, the Confession of Faith of the American Baptist Association says,“We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls in regeneration (Mark 1:15; Acts 11 :18; Eph. 2:8; 1 John 5:1) . . . .” (Article VIII). According to this, faith is a grace that is wrought in the soul in regeneration. That is a far cry from being a faith that is conjured up within the heart of a sinner.
It is worth noting also that this ABA Confession also declares that repentance is a grace wrought in the soul in regeneration. This is in keeping with the word of God. Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. This verse shows that repentance, like faith, is a gift of God. God has highly exalted Christ “for to give repentance.” In Article VII of the same confession, it is set forth that the evidence of regeneration“appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.” There is not a smidgen of evidence in the Bible or in this confession that either faith or repentance are something that one can conjure up within himself. They are gifts and graces of God. Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
The doctrine of total hereditary depravity shows that foreseen faith could not be the grounds for our election. Faith is a gift of God that he determined and purposed to give to his elect. It is, therefore, called “the faith of God’s elect.” Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness.
The doctrine of total hereditary depravity magnifies the drawing and quickening power of the Holy Spirit by showing man's inability and unwillingness to come to Christ. John 5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. Because of man’s natural unwillingness to come to Christ and his consequent inability to come to Christ, the result of his depravity, he must be effectually drawn to Christ. John 6:44,65 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. Man’s depraved nature renders him incapable of coming to Christ unless it is given to him by God to come. This he does in the day of his power. Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Therefore the Psalmist exults in the fact that God has not only chosen to salvation those who will be saved but has caused and will cause all those chosen to salvation to approach unto him. Psalm 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
This doctrine that is hated by so many wonderfully shows the absolute necessity of the death of Christ. Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Were men not depraved by nature, some would surely never sin. However, since all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, the death of Christ is absolutely essential for the salvation of sinners. Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
It magnifies the wonderful, sovereign mercy of God showing that our salvation is not because we willed or we ran to obtain it but that God sovereignly bestowed it on hell-deserving sinners Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. The depraved, unregenerate sinner will not will to come to Christ of his own volition or inclination. Therefore it is not of him that he wills to come to Christ but it is of God who in mercy and grace draws him to Christ and gives him the faith and the willingness to lay hold of Christ.
It magnifies the great love of God by showing how unlovely and unloving we were until he called us by his grace. Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Because he set his love on his elect before the foundation of the world, he has drawn and will draw them unto Jesus Christ.
I PREACH THE DOCTRINE OF THE TOTAL HEREDITARY DEPRAVITY OF MAN BECAUSE THERE IS A WONDERFUL REMEDY FOR MAN'S DEPRAVITY
The remedy for man's depravity is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. There is not other remedy for depraved sinners. All are dead in trespasses and sins and it is only because God quickens his elect that they are enabled to come to Christ. His people are willing in the day of his power.
The remedy for man's depravity is the calling power of God. There is an interesting truth set forth in I Corinthians 1:23-24. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. In these verses there are three groups of people considered. The first group are composed of Jews who see Christ crucified as a stumbling block. The second group is composed of Greek intellectuals who consider the notion that Christ could save by dying to be foolishness. The third group is composed of both Jews and Greeks. These see Christ crucified as the power and wisdom of God. What is the difference in this last group? They are called to salvation while the others are not. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
The remedy for man's depravity is the cleansing, atoning, reconciling, sanctifying, propitiating power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Yes, Dear Reader, there is power in the blood of Christ. Only through his death, his shed blood, and his finished work can a sinner be saved. That is God’s remedy for sinners.
The remedy for man's depravity is the preserving power of God. Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called. If God did not graciously keep us secure we would surely fall and be lost. We cannot take credit for our perseverance and preservation. It, like the rest of our salvation is of the Lord.
The remedy for man's depravity is the glorifying power of God and his Christ. Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. One day our dear and precious Lord will return for us and will change our vile bodies and fashion them in his glorified likeness. What a day that will be. Then we will be free from every trace and stain of sin. Then we will have experienced God’s full and free remedy for our depravity inherited from our father Adam.
In conclusion let me say that the doctrine of Total Hereditary Depravity sets forth the necessity of
A Saviour who really saves,
A salvation that really saves,
An atonement that really atones,
An election that was really an election of God,
A calling that really calls,
A perseverance that really causes one to persevere,
A preservation that really preserves.
It shows that salvation must be of the Lord in its origination.
It shows that salvation must be of the Lord in its execution.
It shows that salvation must be of the Lord in its application.
It shows that salvation must be of the Lord in its demonstration.
It shows that salvation must be of the Lord in its consummation.
This doctrine should be preached. This doctrine must be preached. If we are to be pure from the blood of all men we must declare it for it is one of the vital ingredients in the whole counsel of God.
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AMAZED AND SO VERY GRATEFUL
I suppose by now that we should cease to be amazed at how God's people respond to the needs and support of Thailand Missions. I mentioned last month that the leaf-covered dining hall pictured to the right had suffered considerable damage in a recent storm. Though I pointed out that it had been temporarily repaired and is being used by the children for eating their meals that did not keep some of our readers and supporters from coming through with the funds for a steel structure for the roof.
As of this morning, May 27, 2003, we had received a total of $2100.00 designated for the repair of this structure. With that amount, we should have nearly enough special funds to do this work without touching the regular monthly support received for the work. We are thanking God for this and we want to thank you also. When I say "we" and "our" in this article, I especially speak for Bro. Anond, Bro. Bill Lee and Central Baptist Church and Bro. Wayne Camp and Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church.
As some of you were aware, Bro. Anond's mother has been very sick most of the time he has been here. She died on May 19 and we trust she is with the Lord now. We want to thank Central Baptist Church of Grenada, MS, for paying the cost of her funeral.
Bro. Anond could not have made it home for her funeral. We have delayed his departure until June 9, 2003, so that he can visit a church on Monday, June 2. It is amazing how God is working things out. With the airlines not being fully loaded we were able to reschedule his flight at no cost.
I would be remiss if I did express our appreciation to all the churches that have had Bro. Anond in your services while he is here. Bro. Bill Lee, and I, with help from Bro. Jack Duplechain, have shared the responsibility of getting him to these appointments. We have also been treated royally in these visits.
I think it important to say a word of appreciation to our respective churches also. They have graciously suffered our absence while we made these visits to your churches. I especially want to thank Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church who has graciously endured my absence for these trips even after my being in Thailand four months.
We must ever keep in mind that this is the Lord's work. Bro. Anond and I spent many hours preparing a PowerPoint Presentation of the Work and, if time allows, we want to spend some more. During that preparation, I learned better the step by step way in which this work has progressed. I confess I have a better appreciation of what has gone into it. I hope in future issues to try to share some of these things with you. One thing that truly amazed me was the way people have come to Bro. Anond or sent word through another person in the work and said, "Please come to our village and preach the gospel."
There is an open door in Northern Thailand and we pray that God will continue to bless the efforts being exerted there. It is a thrill and blessing to be a part of it.
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011