|Reformed Theology||The Holy Scriptures||
The Early Church &
Other Church Leaders
|On Free Will||On Free Will||On Free Will|
|Augustine said, “…free choice of the will was present in that man who was the first to be formed… But after he sinned by that free will, we who have descended from his progeny have been plunged into necessity.”
Augustine said, “By Adam’s transgression, the freedom of’ the human will has been completely lost.”
Augustine said, “By the greatness of the first sin, we have lost the freewill to love God.”
Augustine said, “…by subverting the rectitude in which he was created, he is followed with the punishment of not being able to do right…”
Augustine said, “…the freedom to abstain from sin has been lost as a punishment of sin.”
Martin Luther said, “…man has lost his freedom, and is forced to serve sin, and cannot will good… he sins and wills evil necessarily…”
Martin Luther said, “Sin in his nature and of himself he can do nothing but sin.”
John Calvin said, “…nature began to want liberty the moment the will was vanquished by the revolt into which it fell… by making a bad use of free will, lost both himself and his will… free will having been made a captive, can do nothing in the way of righteousness… man at his creation received a great degree of free will, but lost it by sinning.”
|“And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him” (Gen. 4:6-7).
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life” (Deut. 30:19).
“Behold I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God…. And a curse if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God”(Deut. 11:26-28).
“Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death” (Jer. 21:8).
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Josh. 24:15).
“…refuse the evil, and choose the good” (Isa. 7:15-16).
“…standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart” (1 Cor 7:37).
|Clement of Rome said, “It is therefore in the power of every one, since man has been made possessed of free-will, whether he shall hear us to life, or the demons to destruction.”
Ignatius said, “…and there is set before us life upon our observance [of God’s precepts], but death as the result of disobedience, and every one, according to the choice he makes, shall go to his own place, let us flee from death, and make choice of life.”
Tertullian said, “…you will find that when He sets before man good and evil, life and death, that the entire course of discipline is arranged in precepts by God’s calling men from sin, and threatening and exhorting them; and this on no other ground than that man is free, with a will either for obedience or resistance.”
Irenaeus said, “Men are possessed with free will, and endowed with the faculty of making a choice. It is not true, therefore, that some are by nature good, and others bad.”
Irenaeus said, “…man is possessed of free will from the beginning, and God is possessed of free will (in whom likeness man was created)…”
Irenaeus said, “This expression, ‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldst not,’ set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free agent from the beginning, possessing his own soul to obey the behests of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God.”
Irenaeus said, “God has always preserved freedom and the power of self-government in man.”
Origen said, “…the faculty of free will is never taken away…”
Cornelius Van Til said, “Sin did not take away from man any of the natural powers that God had given him.”
Dr. Twiss said, “…no faculty of our nature is taken away from us by original sin…”
Pelagius said, “We have first of all to discuss the position which is maintained, that our nature has been weakened and changed by sin. I think that before all other things we have to inquire what sin is, – some substance, or wholly a name without substance, whereby is expressed not a thing, not an existence, not some sort of a body, but the doing of a wrongful deed. I suppose that this is the case; and if so how could that which lacks all substance have possibly weakened or changed human nature?”
Pelagius said, “”No will can take away that which is proved to be inseparably implanted in nature.”
Julian of Eclanum said, “free will is in all by nature, and could not perish by the sin of Adam; which assertion is confirmed by the authority of all Scriptures.”
Julian of Eclanum said, “free will has not perished, since the Lord says by the prophets, ‘If you be willing and will hear me, you shall eat the good things of the land: if you are unwilling, and will not hear, the sword shall devour you.’”
Dennis Carroll said, “The Bible does not teach that free will was lost. The Bible assumes that God created man with free will in the first place. Man does not have the ability to change his nature and free will is part of his nature. God would not destroy man’s nature because He said he made it good. And the devil, he cannot change man’s nature… So there is no possible way that he can lose part of his nature. God wouldn’t do it. Man cannot do it. The devil cannot do it. So the way God created man is the same way man has continued to be. And God has held them responsible to obey His commandments from the beginning of the Garden of Eden, all the way through the Old Testament, into the New Testament.”
Beausobre said, “…those ancient writers, in general, say that Manichaeans denied free-will. The reason is, that the Fathers believed, and maintained, against the Manichaeans, that whatever state man is in he has the command over his own actions, and has equally power to do good or evil.”
Lyman Beecher said, “…the free will and natural ability of man were held by the whole church… natural inability was to that of the pagan philosophers, the Gnostic’s, and the Manichaeans.”
On Man’s Nature
On Man’s Nature
On Man’s Nature
|John Calvin said, “Augustine laboured to show, that we are not corrupted by acquired wickedness, but bringing an innate corruption from the very womb…”
Martin Luther said, God “ceases not to form and multiply that nature, which… is defiled by sin…”
Thomas Aquinas said, “…a human being begets descendants as in the human being’s nature…. And so a parent transmits to descendants the first sin that corrupted the nature…”
Wayne Grudem said, “…we also inherited a sinful nature because of Adam’s sin.”
Lewis Chafer said, “The Augustinian or realistic theory holds that the connection between Adam and his posterity was such, that by his individual transgression he vitiated human nature, and transmitted it in this corrupt and guilty state to his descendants by physical generation… Adam’s individual transgression resulted in a sinful nature…”
The volume “A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages” states, “Original sin, according to Anselm, is the sinfulness, or guiltiness, which each descendent of Adam incurs at his origin. For at his origin he inherits a sinful human nature. That is, when Adam sinned personally his personal sin corrupted his human nature, with the result that the nature inherited by his progeny was also a corrupt nature.”
Louis Berkhof explains how certain theologians have taught, “Adam suffered the loss of original righteousness, and thereby incurred the divine displeasure. As a result all his descendants are deprived of original righteousness, and as such the objects of divine wrath…”
S. Michael Houdmann said, “Because of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience, sin has been an ‘inheritance’ for all their descendants…. When Adam fell into sin, the result was every one of his descendants also being ‘infected’ with sin.”
John Rodman Williams said, “…we are all heirs of Adam, and thereby inherit his sinful nature. What Adam became through the Fall has been passed down to all his successors.”
John Calvin who said, “we all sinned before we were born…”
John Calvin said, “Even before we see the light of day, we are in God’s sight impure and sinful…”
John Calvin said, “infants themselves, as they bring their condemnation into the world with them, are rendered obnoxious to punishment by their own sinfulness…”
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works…” (Ps. 139:14).
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Ps. 127:3).
“And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have begotten a man from the Lord” (Gen. 4:1).
“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God” (Jas. 3:9).
“And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?” (Exo. 4:11).
“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God” (Acts 17:29).
“Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about… thou hast made me as the clay… Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews” (Job 10:8-9, 11).
“The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them” (Prov. 20:12).
“The great God formed all things” (Prov. 26:10).
“Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things” (Isa. 44:24).
“All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (Jn. 1:3).
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things” (Rom. 11:36).
“God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph 3:9).
“For by him were all things created… all things were created by him… by him all things consist” (Col. 1:16-17).
“God hath made men upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Ecc. 7:29).
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (Jas. 1:13).
“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:13).
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Rom. 2:14-15).
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the nature use into that which is against nature” (Rom. 1:26).
“…for as ye have yielded your members servants of uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (Rom. 6:19).
“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1).
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor” (1 Thes. 4:3-4).
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:23).
“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Tim. 2:8).
Paul said that whether we are absent or present in the body we are to be acceptable unto God (2 Cor. 5:9).
He also said, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Cor. 3:16-17).
“…Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body…. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid… Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Cor. 6:13, 15, 18-20)
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowed with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man… For as much than as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same: that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil…. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren…” (Heb. 2:9, 14, 16-17).
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 Jn. 4:3).
“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 Jn. 1:7).
“For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil…” (Rom. 9:11).
“Manasseh shed innocent blood very much…” (2 Kings 21:16).
“Moreover your little ones… your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil…” (Deut. 1:39).
“For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good…” (Isa. 7:16).
“Jesus said unto them, if ye were blind, ye should have no sin…” (Jn. 9:41).
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (Jas. 4:17).
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18).
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isa. 53:6).
“The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are all together become filthy, there is none that doeth good no, not one” (Ps. 53:2; 14:2).
|Eusebius said, “The Creator of all things has impressed a natural law upon the soul of every man, as an assistant and ally in his conduct, pointing out to him the right way by this law; but, by the free liberty with which he is endowed, making the choice of what is best worthy of praise and acceptance, because he has acted rightly, not by force, but from his own free-will, when he had it in his power to act otherwise, As, again, making him who chooses what is worst, deserving of blame and punishment, as having by his own motion neglected the natural law, and becoming the origin and fountain of wickedness, and misusing himself, not from any extraneous necessity, but from free will and judgment. The fault is in him who chooses, not in God. For God is has not made nature or the substance of the soul bad; for he who is good can make nothing but what is good. Everything is good which is according to nature. Every rational soul has naturally a good free-will, formed for the choice of what is good. But when a man acts wrongly, nature is not to be blamed; for what is wrong, takes place not according to nature, but contrary to nature, it being the work of choice, and not of nature!”
Methodius said, “…there is nothing evil by nature, but it is by use that evil things become such. So I say, says he, that man was made with free-will, not as if there were already evil in existence, which he had the power of choosing if he wished, but on account of his capacity of obeying or disobeying God. For this was the meaning of the gift of free will… and this alone is evil, namely, disobedience…”
Ignatius said, “If anyone is truly religious, he is a man of God; but if he is irreligious, he is a man of the devil, made such, not by nature, but by his own choice.”
Origen said, “The Scriptures…emphasize the freedom of the will. They condemn those who sin, and approve those who do right… We are responsible for being bad and worthy of being cast outside. For it is not the nature in us that is the cause of the evil; rather, it is the voluntary choice that works evil.”
Tatian said that because of “freedom of choice… the bad man can be justly punished, having become depraved through his own fault.”
Clement of Alexandria said about sinners, “…their estrangement is the result of free choice.”
Theodore of Mopsuestia denied the concept “that men sin by nature, not by choice.”
Gregory of Nyssa said, “For that any one should become wicked, depends solely upon choice.”
Tertullian said, “No reward can be justly bestowed, no punishment can be justly inflicted, upon him who is good or bad by necessity, and not by his own choice.”
Justin Martyr said, “If a man were created evil, he would not deserve punishment, since he was not evil of himself, being unable to do anything else than what he was made for.”
Origen said, “The Scriptures…emphasize the freedom of the will. They condemn those who sin, and approve those who do right… We are responsible for being bad and worthy of being cast outside. For it is not the nature in us that is the cause of the evil; rather, it is the voluntary choice that works evil.”
Irenaeus said, “Those who do not do it [good] will receive the just judgment of God, because they had not work good when they had it in their power to do so. But if some had been made by nature bad, and others good, these latter would not be deserving of praise for being good, for they were created that way. Nor would the former be reprehensible, for that is how they were made. However, all men are of the same nature. They are all able to hold fast and to go what is good. On the other hand, they have the power to cast good from them and not to do it.”
Pelagius said, “…sin reigns in the body, namely, by obedience and consent… Every single member is made a weapon of wickedness to defeat righteousness, if it turns its function to bad use. At the same time it should be noted that it is through freedom of choice that a person offers his members for whatever side he wishes…. We present our members to serve sin: it is not the case, as the Manichaeans say, that it was the nature of the body to have sin mixed in.”
A. W. Tozer said, “It is important that we realize the human body is simply an instrument, because there are those who have taught that Christ could not be God in the flesh because the body is evil and God would not thus come in contact with evil. The false premise there is the belief that the human body is evil. There is no evil within inert matter. There is nothing evil in matter itself. Evil lies in the spirit. Evils of the heart, of the mind, of the soul, of the spirit – these have to do with man’s sin, and the only reason the human body does evil is because the human spirit uses it to do evil…. No, sin does not lie in the human body. There is nothing in the human body that is bad. Sin lies in the will of man and when the man wills to sin, he uses his body as a harmless, helpless instrument to do his evil purpose.”
Dr. Zacharius Ursinus said, “The argument which is drawn from these declarations made in relation to the Messiah, is most convincing; for if the humanity which he assumed was from the seed of Abraham, and of David, then he had a real human nature… Christ took this upon himself, and not a nature created out of nothing, or bought down from heaven… The flesh of Christ is the flesh of Adam…”
Alfred T. Overstreet said, “But isn’t it a monstrous and a blasphemous dogma to say that God is angry with any of his creatures for possessing the nature which he created them? What? Can God be angry with his creatures for possessing the nature that he himself has given them? Never! God is not angry with men for possessing the nature he has given them, but only for the perversion of that nature. The Bible represents God as angry with men for their wicked deeds, and not for the nature with which they are born…”
Charles Finney said, “To represent the constitution as sinful, is to present God, who is the author of the constitution, as the author of sin.”
A writer in the Early Church, either Pelagius or one of his followers, said, “…it is impious to say that sin is inherent in nature, because in this way the author of nature is being judged at fault.”70 And he said, “…all sin is to be attributed to the free choice of the will, not to the defects of nature…”
Winkie Pratney said, “To equate humanity with sinfulness is to make God the Author of His own worst enemy; to make God responsible for the thing that has brought Him unhappiness.”
Julian of Eclanum said, “…the good God is the maker of those that are born, by whom all things were made, and that the children of men are His work.”
Julian of Eclanum said, “God is the Maker of all those that are born, and that the sons of men are God’s work; and that all sin descends not from nature, but from the will.”
Asa Mahan said, “If the above dogma is true, it is demonstrably evident, that this corrupt nature comes into existence without the knowledge, choice, or agency of the creature, who for its existence is pronounced deserving of, and ‘bound over to the wrath of God.’ Equally evident is it that this corrupt nature exists as the result of the direct agency of God. He proclaims himself the maker of ‘every soul of man.’ As its Maker, He must have imparted to that soul the constitution or nature which it actually possesses. It does not help the matter at all, to say, that this nature is derived from our progenitor: for the laws of generation, by which this corrupt nature is derived from that progenitor, are sustained and continued by God himself… If, then, the above dogma is true, man in the first place, is held as deserving of eternal punishment for that which exists wholly independent of his knowledge, choice or agency, in any sense, direct or indirect, He is also held responsible for the result, not of his own agency, but for that which results from the agency of God.”
Alfred T. Overstreet said, “God created all men with a good nature. All sin is a corruption of man’s nature, it is a perversion of man’s nature. It is rebellion against our nature – it is rebellion against the ‘law of God written in our hearts’ and against the God who has written his law in our hearts.”
Alfred T. Overstreet said, “The nature we are born with teaches us to reject evil and choose good… Men must go against their nature to sin.”
Winkie Pratney said, “God made human nature; God did not make sin! Sin is never natural. It is horribly un-natural. Sin is never ‘human’. It is horribly in-human. Sin creates remorse, guilt, and shame; every time a man feels these three witnesses in his soul, they tell him sin is not natural. Even the simple lie-detector can tell us this. The whole body reacts adversely when a man sins… God never planned sin for man. It is the most un-natural thing in the moral Universe… Do not dare say sin is ‘natural’! God hates sin with perfect hatred; He loves humanity.”
Jed Smock said, “Sin is unnatural. Whatever the sin might be, it is unnatural. It is contrary to our nature to have sex with the opposite sex outside of marriage. That’s contrary to our nature. It is contrary to our nature to lie, to steal. That is why when you first started lying or stealing, you had a guilty conscience…. A guilty conscience is to your soul what pain is to your body. You get pain around your heart especially, you think I better get a check up, that’s not normal, something is wrong… You get a guilty conscience, your conscience is trying to tell you your behavior is wrong. You weren’t designed to lie, steal, or cheat, or fornicate, whatever it is your doing that’s selfish.”
Charles Finney said, “The constitution of a moral being as a whole, when all the powers are developed, does not tend to sin, but strongly in an opposite direction…”
Dr. Emmons said, “Nor can we suppose that Adam made men sinners by conveying to them a morally corrupt nature. Moral corruption is essentially different from natural corruption. The latter belongs to the body, but the former belongs to the mind. Adam undoubtedly conveyed to his posterity a corrupt body, or a body subject to wounds, bruises and putrefying sores. But such a body could not corrupt the mind, or render it morally depraved. There is no morally corrupt nature distinct from free, voluntary, sinful exercises. Adam had no such nature, and consequently could convey no such nature to his posterity.
But even supposing he had a morally corrupt nature, distinct from his free, voluntary, sinful exercises, it must have belonged to his soul, and not to his body. And if it belonged to his soul, he could not convey it to his posterity, who derive their souls immediately from the fountain of being. God is the father of our spirits. The soul is not transmitted from father to son by natural generation. The soul is spiritual; and what is spiritual is indivisible, is incapable of propagation. Adam could not convey any part of his soul to his next immediate offspring, without conveying the whole. It is, therefore, as contrary to reason as to Scripture, to suppose that Adam’s posterity derived their souls from him. And if they did not derive their souls from him, they could not derive from him a morally corrupt nature, if he really possessed such a nature himself.”
Paris Reidhead said, “Are people in trouble spiritually because they inherit some spiritual defect from their parents or grandparents? No. They are in trouble because when they reach the age of accountability they deliberately turn their own way – they commit their will to the principle and practice of pleasing themselves as the end of their being. That is sin.”
Paris Reidhead said, “Now remember, sin is a crime. It is the committal of the will to the principle and practice of governing one’s life to please one’s self. In other words, when the Scripture says, ‘all have sinned,’ it is saying that upon reaching the age of accountability, every individual has chosen to govern and control his life to please himself… We know that upon reaching the age of accountability, each of us chose as the principle by which we would live: ‘I am going to govern and control my own life.”
|On Judgment & Damnation||On Judgment & Damnation||On Judgment & Damnation|
|John Calvin said, “Adam drew all his posterity with himself, by his fall, into eternal damnation…”
The New England Primer said, “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.”
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation sinned in him, and fell with him in the first transgression.”
The Catechism of Trent said, “Wherefore, the pastor should not omit to remind the faithful that the guilt and punishment of original sin were not confined to Adam, but justly descended from him, as from their source and cause, to all posterity.”
|“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25)
“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deut. 24:16; 2 Kng. 14:6; 2 Chron. 25:4).
“For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the soul that commit them shall be cut off from among their people” (Lev. 18:29).
“What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb… the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Eze. 18:2-6)
“…the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father…” (Eze. 18:20).
God will judge “every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer. 17:10).
“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matt. 16:27).
“…the righteous judgment of God: who will render every man according to his deeds” (Rom. 2:5-6).
“So then every one of us shall account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
“Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:15).
“…the Father, who without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man’s work” (1 Pet. 1:17).
“And I saw a great white throne… And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God. And the books were opened: and another book was opened which is the book of life: an the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Rev. 20:11-12).
“And, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev. 22:12).
|Justin Martyr said, “We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishment, chastisement, and rewards are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions.”
Albert Barnes said, “Christianity does not charge on men crimes of which they are not guilty. It does not say, as I suppose, that the sinner is held to be personally answerable for the transgression of Adam, or of any other man; or that God has given a law which man has no power to obey.”
A. W. Tozer said, “…men are not lost because of what someone did thousands of years ago; they are lost because they sin individually and in person. We will never be judged for Adam’s sin, but for our own. For our own sins we are and must remain fully responsible.”
John Fletcher said, “All our damnation is of ourselves, through our avoidable unfaithfulness . . . everyone shall die for his own avoidable iniquity.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “God will not penalize me for Adam’s sin. God will not penalize Adam for my sin; but He will penalize each of us for our own sin.”17 Lord Coke said, “…no one is punished for the sin of another…”
L. D. McCabe said, “The Scriptures nowhere teach that we are guilty of the sin of Adam, or that we are punished therefore.”
Dr. Richards said, “Sin guilt, ill-desert, are, in the very nature of things, personal; and punishment pre-supposes guilt, and guilt in the subject: neither the one nor the other is properly transferable…”
Magee said, “Guilt and punishment cannot be conceived but with reference to consciousness which cannot be transferred…”
Andrew Fuller said, “Real and proper punishment, if I understand the terms, is not only the infliction of natural evil for the commission of moral evil, but the infliction of the one upon the person who committed the other, and in displeasure against him. It not only supposes criminality, but that the party punished as literally the criminal. Criminality committed by one party, and imputed to another, is not a ground for real and proper punishment…”
Barnabas said, “He who chooses” to break the commandments “will be destroyed with his works…”
Hermas said, “All who therefore despise Him and do not follow His commands deliver themselves to death, and each will be guilty of his own blood.”
Origen said, “…we have freedom of will and we ourselves are the cause of our own ruin.”
Titian said, “We die by our own fault. Our free will has destroyed us.”
Irenaeus said, “Man, a reasonable being, and in that respect like God, is made free in his will; and being endued with power to conduct himself, he is the cause of his own becoming sometimes wheat and sometimes chaff; therefore will he be justly condemned.”
Baruch said, “For though Adam first sinned and brought ultimately death upon all, yet of those who were born from him, each one of them has prepared for his own soul torment to come, and again each one of them has chosen for himself glories to come. For assuredly he who believeth will receive reward. But now, as for you, you wicked that now are, turn you to destruction, because you shall speedily be visited, in that formerly you rejected the understanding of the Most High. For His works have not taught you, nor has the skill of His creation which is at all times persuaded you. Adam is therefore not the cause, save only of his own soul, but each of us has been the Adam of his own soul.”
|On The Fall||On The Fall||On The Fall|
|John Calvin said, “God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it…”
John Calvin said, “I freely acknowledge my doctrine to be this: that Adam fell, not only by the permission of God, but by His very secret council and decree…”
John Calvin said, “The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should.”
Piscator said, “God made Adam and Eve to this very purpose, that they might be tempted and lead into sin. And by the force of this decree it could not be otherwise but that they must sin.”
Dr. John Edwards said, “He might have hindered the fall, but he would not. The reason was because he had decreed their fall, as we may gather from God’s creating the tree of good and evil before their creation…”
Cornelius Van Til said, “…it was God’s will that sin should come into the world. He wished to enhance his glory by means of its punishment and removal.”
|“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” (Gen. 2:17).
“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. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth…” (Gen. 6:5-7).
“…to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22; Mk. 12:33).
“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Prov. 21:3).
|Justin Martyr said, “We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishment, chastisement, and rewards are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Otherwise, if all things happen by fate, then nothing is our own power. For if it is predestined that one man be good and another man evil, then the first is not deserving of praise and the other to be blamed. Unless humans have the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions – whatever they may be … for neither would a man be worthy of praise if he did not himself choose the good, but was merely created for that end. Likewise, if a man were created evil, he would not deserve punishment, since he was not evil of himself, being unable to do anything else than what he was made for.”
James Arminius said, “The efficient cause of that transgression was man, determining his will to that forbidden object and applying his powers or capability to do it… Man therefore sinned by his free will…”
|On The Will of God||On The Will of God||On The Will of God|
|Martin Luther said, “Since, therefore, God moves and does all in all, He necessarily moves and does all in Satan and the wicked man…”
Martin Luther said, “God worketh all things in all men even wickedness in the wicked…”
Martin Luther said, “God… effects, and moves and impels all things in a necessary, infallible course…”
Martin Luther said, “This is the highest degree of faith – to believe that He is merciful, the very One who saves so few and damns so many. To believe that He is just, the One who according to His own will, makes us necessarily damnable.“
Tucker said, “What God does not will to be done, cannot be done: and what he wills, must be done.”
John Piper said, “God is sovereign over Satan, and therefore Satan’s will does not move without God’s permission. And therefore every move of Satan is part of God’s overall purpose and plan.”
The Westminster Confession says that God decreed “whatsoever cometh to pass.”
Dr. John Edwards said, “If God by his decree did force men’s wills, and so necessitate them to be vicious and wicked, then he might justly be called the Author of Sin.”
Dr. Edwards said, “The eternal decree is the cause of the necessary futurition of evil acts, for the acts inevitably follow on the decree.”
Dr. Edwards said, “God did from all eternity will or decree the commission of all the sins of the world, because his permissive will is his true and real will.”
Toplady said, “Hence, we find every matter resolved, ultimately, into the mere sovereign pleasure of God, as the spring and occasion of whatsoever is done in heaven and earth.”
Dr. Twiss said, “It is impossible that any thing should be done, but that to which God impels the will of man.”25 He also said, “God is the author of that action, which is sinful, by his irresistible will…”
Zuinglius said that “God makes angels” and “men sin…”
Tucker said, “It is certain then, that the existence of sin was the ordination of the divine will… Sin could not have existence, without, or contrary to the divine will: its being, must be the consequent of the divine purpose… Sin is the wise and holy ordination of God…”
Tucker said, “As nothing exists contrary to the will of Him who says I will do all my pleasure. It certainly was his will that sin should have being…”
Tucker said, “If God had not determined its existence, it could not have had being; unless we suppose sin to be greater than God.”
Piscator said, “We neither can do more good than we do, nor less evil than we do; because God from eternity has precisely decreed that both the good and the evil be so done.”
“God necessitates man unto sin.”
“God does holily drive and thrust men on unto wickedness.”
“God procures adultery, cursing, lyings.”
Peter Martyr said, “God…. is the cause of those actions which are sins…”
Vincent Cheung said, “God controls everything that is and everything that happens. There is not one thing that happens that he has not actively decreed – not even a single thought in the mind of man. Since this is true, it follows that God has decreed the existence of evil, he has not merely permitted it, as if anything can originate and happen apart from his will and power.”
|“…is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid” (Gal. 2:17).
We are to pray “Thy will be done in earth” (Matt. 6:10).
“But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Lk. 7:30).
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:33).
“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” (Isa. 5:3-4).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37).
The Bible speaks of those who “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord” (Num. 32:13; Deut. 4:25; 31:39; Jdg. 2:11; 3:7; 3:12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6; 13:1; 1 Sam. 15:19; 2 Sam. 12:9; 1 Kin. 11:6; 14:22; 15:26; 15:34; 16:7; 16:19; 16:30; 21:20; 22:52; 2 Kin. 3:2; 8:18; 8:27; 13:2; 13:11; 14:24; 15:9; 15:18; 15:24; 15:28; 17:2; 17:17; 21:2; 21:16; 21:20; 23:32; 23:37; 24:9; 24:19; 1 Chron. 2:3; 22:4; 33:2; 33:6; 33:22; 36:5; 36:9; 36:12; Jer. 7:30; ).
The Bible talks about those who did “that which was right in his own eyes” (Jdg. 17:6; 21:25), as opposed to doing “that which is right in the sight of the Lord” (Deut. 6:18; 12:25; 12:28; 21:9; 2 Kin. 12:2; 14:4; 15:3; 15:34; 16:2; 18:3; 22:2; 20:32; 24:2; 25:2; 26:4; 27:2; 28:1; 29:2; 34:2).
Regarding those who “would not hearken” to the Lord, God said “I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels” (Ps. 81:11).
“Yea, they have chosen their own ways” (Isa. 66:3).
Jesus said, “If any man will do his will” (Jn. 7:17).
God said, “neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination…” (Jer. 32:35).
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works” (Ps. 145:17).
“To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him” (Ps. 92:15).
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (Jas. 1:17).
“The just Lord… will not do iniquity” (Zep. 3:5).
“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deut. 32:4).
“Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity” (Job. 34:10).
“Yea, surely God will not do wickedly” (Job 34:12).
“Who… can say, Thou hast wrought iniquity?” (Job 36:23)
|Julian of Eclanum said, “We maintain that men are the work of God, and that no one is forced unwillingly by His power either into evil or good, but that man does either good or ill of his own will; but that in a good work he is always assisted by God’s grace, while in evil he is incited by the suggestions of the devil.”
Clement of Alexandria said, “In no respect is God the author of evil. But since free choice… originates sins… punishments are justly inflicted.”
Tatian said, “Nothing evil has been created by God. We ourselves have manifested wickedness. But we, who have manifested it, are able again to reject it.”
|On The Possibility of Avoiding Sin||On The Possibility of Avoiding Sin||On The Possibility of Avoiding Sin|
|The Westminster Catechism says, “No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but does daily break them in word, thought, and deed.”||“ Let your heart therefore be perfect” (1 Kin. 8:61).
“Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Gen. 6:22).
“And the Lord said unto Satan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? (Job 1:8).
“Zacharias…. And his wife… Elisabeth… were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:5-6).
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy…” (Jude 1:24)
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Tit. 2:11-12).
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13).
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Pet. 2:21-22).
“Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temble, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (Jn. 5:14).
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father whichi s in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
“Be ye angry, and sin not…” (Eph. 4:26).
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not..” (1 Cor. 15:34).
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin…” (1 Jn. 2:1).
|Irenaeus said, “Man is endowed with the faculty of distinguishing good and evil; so that, without compulsion, he has the power, by his own will and choice, to perform God’s commandments.”
Ben Sirach said, “Say not: ‘It was God’s doing that I fell away’; for what he hates he does not do. Say not: ‘He has caused me to err’; for he has no need of wicked man. The Lord hates all abominations; and they that fear God love it not. When God, in the beginning, created man, he made him subject to his own free choice. If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice. He has set fire and water before you, stretch forth your hand to whichever you choose. Before man is life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him.”
Archelaeus said, “All the creatures that God made, He made very good. And He gave to every individual the sense of free will, by which standard He also instituted the law of judgment… our will is constituted to choose either to sin or not to sin… And certainly whoever will, may keep the commandments. Whoever despises them and turns aside to what is contrary to them, shall yet without doubt have to face this law of judgment… There can be no doubt that every individual, in using his own proper power of will, may shape his course in whatever direction he pleases.”
Clement said, “Neither praise nor condemnation, neither rewards nor punishments, are right if the soul does not have the power of choice and avoidance, if evil is involuntary.”
John Fletcher asked, “…if you take away free will, how does he [God] judge the world?”
Justin Martyr said, “Unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions.”
Justin Martyr said, “We [Christians] maintain that each man acts rightly or sins by free choice… Since God in the beginning made the race of angels and men with free will, they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed.”
Origen said, “The Savior…declares that it lies with us to keep what is commanded and that we will reasonably be liable to condemnation if we transgress.”
Lactantius said, “And he [God] can give a punishment for those who do not obey – for it was in their power to obey if they so wished.”
Clement of Alexandria said, “Each one of us who sins with his own free will, chooses punishment. So the blame lies with him who chooses.”
Clement of Alexandria said, “It is by one’s own fault that he does not choose what is best.”
Clement of Alexandria said, “If one chooses to continue in pleasures and to sin perpetually,… let him no longer blame either God, riches, or his having fallen. Rather, let him blame his own soul, which voluntarily perishes.”
Henry P. Tappan said, “That which he has no power to do, he cannot be commanded nor bound to do.”
One writer in the Early Church, possibly Pelagius or one of his disciples, said, “Is it possible then for a man not to sin? Such a claim is indeed a hard one and a bitter pill for sinners to swallow; it pains the ears of all who desire to live unrighteously. Who will find it easy now to fulfill the demands of righteousness, when there are some who find it hard even to listen to them?”
Pelagius said, Nothing impossible has been commanded by the God of justice and majesty… Why do we indulge in pointless evasions, advancing the frailty of our own nature as an objection to the one who commands us? No one knows better the true measure of our strength than he who has given it to us nor does anyone understand better how much we are able to do than he who has given us this very capacity of ours to be able; nor has he who is just wished to command anything impossible or he who is good intended to condemn a man for doing what he could not avoid doing.”75 He also said, “In the manner of good-for-nothing and haughty servants, we cry out against the face of God and say, ‘It is hard, it is difficult, we cannot do it, we are but men, we are encompassed by frail flesh!’ What blind madness! What unholy foolhardiness! We accuse God of a twofold lack of knowledge, so that he appears not to know what he has done, and not to know what he has commanded; as if, forgetful of the human frailty of which he is himself the author, he has imposed on man commands which he cannot bear. And, at the same time, oh horror!, we ascribe iniquity to the righteous and cruelty to the holy, while complaining, first, that he has commanded something impossible, secondly, that man is to be damned by him for doing things which he was unable to avoid, so that God – and this is something which even to suspect is sacrilege – seems to have sought not so much our salvation as our punishment!”
E. M. Bounds asked, “Does God give commandments which men cannot obey? Is He so arbitrary, so severe, so unloving, as to issue commandments which cannot be obeyed? The answer is that in all of annals of Holy Scripture, not a single instance is recorded of God having commanded any man to do a thing, which was beyond his power. Is God so unjust and so inconsiderate as to require of man that which he is unable to render? To infer is to slander the character of God.”
Jed Smock said, “Does God command the impossible? If He did, that would make Him a despot, a tyrant. But God is the Benevolent Moral Governor of the universe. When He gives us a command, He provides a promise or the means to enable us to fulfill the command.”
Charles Finney said, “…every excuse for sin charges blame upon God, and virtually accuses Him of tyranny. Whoever pleads an excuse for sin, therefore, charges God with blame… INABILITY. No excuse is more common. It is echoed and re-echoed over every Christian land, and handed down age after age, never to be forgotten. With unblushing face it is proclaimed that men cannot do what God requires of them… Hence, those who plant themselves upon these grounds charge God with infinite tyranny… And you, Christian, who make this dogma of inability a part of your “orthodox” creed, may have little noticed its blasphemous bearings against the character of God… ”
Winkie Pratney said, “Many sincere men are saying, ‘God gave us good laws to keep,’ and in the next breath saying, ‘we are actually unable to keep them!’ If this is true, then God’s laws are not good! No law is good that asks the impossible of its subjects. If God demands obedience to impossible laws then God is not just . . . If God demands such obedience under penalty of death, then God is not only unfair, but monstrous. What kind of being would pass laws upon his subjects they are unable to keep, and then condemn them to death for their failure to obey? This is a blasphemy on God’s character.”
Charles Finney said, “It has long been maintained by orthodox divines, that a person is not a Christian who does not aim at living without sin – that unless he aims at perfection, he manifestly consents to live in sin; and is therefore impenitent. It has been said, and I think truly, that if a man does not, in the fixed purpose of his heart, aim at total abstinence from sin and at being wholly conformed to the will of God, he is not yet regenerated, and does not so much as mean to cease from abusing God.”
Clement of Alexandria said that the call of “the Divine word… requireth but that which is according to the ability and strength of every one.”
Clement of Alexandria said, “What the commandments direct are in our own power…”
Gordon C. Olson said, “The words ‘all thy’ express our obligation. It is the exertion of ‘thy’ personality and ability that is required – ‘all’ this ability.”
Asa Mahan said, “…the law, addressing men…requires them to love God with all their ‘mind and strength,’ that is…with the power they now actually possess.”
James B. Walker said, “Men can do what they can do, in the circumstances, and God requires no more.”
Charles Finney said, “Entire obedience is the entire consecration of the powers, as they are, to God. It does not imply any change in them, but simply the right use of them.”
Charles Finney said that the law “simply requires us to use what strength we have. The very wording of the law is proof conclusive, that it extends its demands only to the full amount of what strength we have. And this is true of every moral being, however great or small.”
Charles Finney said, “…entire obedience to God’s law is possible on the ground of natural ability. To deny this is to deny that man is able to do as well as he can. The very language of the law is such as to level its claims to the capacity of the subject, however great or small that capacity may be. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Deut 6:5). Here then it is plain, that all the law demands, is the exercise of whatever strength we have, in the service of God. Now, as entire sanctification is nothing more than the right use of whatever strength we have, it is, of course, forever settled, that a state of entire sanctification is attainable in this life, on the ground of natural ability.”
|Is Grace A License to Sin?||Is Grace A License to Sin?||Is Grace A License to Sin?|
|Martin Luther said, “Be a sinner and sin boldly… No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day.”
Bray said, “A Christian who commits sin certainly does not lose his salvation…”
|“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4).
“But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 24:49-51).
“And the Lord said unto Moses, whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book” (Exo. 32:33). “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Rev. 3:5).
“What shall we say then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid!” (Rom. 6:15).
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungoldiness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom. 1:18), and the Bible says, “indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil” (Rom. 2:8-9). Paul even warned believers, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath” (Rom. 2:5).
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children f disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them” (Eph. 5:6-7).
“…we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:32).
“And he that doubteth si damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23).
“He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die” (Prov. 19:16).
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21).
“…he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 Jn. 2:17).
“The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 13:41-42).
Jesus said, “if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:17).
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived…” (1 Cor. 6:9).
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things…” (Rev. 21:7)
“And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie…” (Rev. 21:27)
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:14-15).
|Pelagius said, “If you sin, you will not be under grace… If you wish to be in the service of sins, you will begin to subject yourself to the judgment of the law, which exacts punishment against sinners: but if you obey righteousness, you are not under the law, but under grace.”
Charles Finney said, “There can scarcely be a more dangerous error than to say, that while we are conscious of present sin, we are or can be in a state of acceptance with God.”
Charles Finney said, “…if Christians are not condemned when they sin, they cannot be forgiven, for forgiveness is nothing else than setting aside the penalty. And therefore, if they are not condemned, they cannot properly pray for forgiveness. In fact, it is unbelief in them to do so.”
Gordon C. Olson said that “man must repent and stop the flow of sin in order to be brought to the point where he is not under condemnation… If God forgave sin apart from repentance, man would be in the predicament of continuing ‘in sin that grace might increase’ (Rom. 6:1)… The Bible says nothing about the forgiveness of present or future sins, and everywhere implies, what our common sense affirms, that all sin brings condemnation and must be repented of and confessed before forgiveness can take place through faith in the atonement. We must repent, then, to be free from guilt and condemnation.”
|Martin Luther said, “I say that man… when he is re-created does and endeavors nothing towards his perseverance in that kingdom; but the Spirit alone works both blessings in us, regenerating us, and preserving us when regenerate, without ourselves”
A. W. Pink said, “The new birth is solely the work of God the Spirit and man has no part in it.”
|“Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked” (Deut. 10:16).
“I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged” (Eze. 24:13).
God said, “make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die…” (Eze. 18:31).
“Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved” (Jer. 4:14).
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (Jas. 4:8).
Paul said about believers, “ye have put off the old man with his deeds” (Col. 3:9; Eph. 4:22).
Paul also said that believers “have put on the new man” (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10).
|Gordon C. Olson said, “The early church leaders before Augustine had always affirmed that salvation was a synergetic activity of God and man, whereas Augustine sought to make it a Divine monergism…”
Charles Finney said, “…the sinner has all the faculties and natural attributes requisite to render perfect obedience to God. All he needs is to be induced to use these powers and attributes as he ought.”
Charles Finney said, “Truth; this must, from the nature of regeneration, be employed in effecting it, for regeneration is nothing else than the will being duly influenced by truth.”
Catherine Booth said, “God did not require to make any change in the make of us. A scheme of theology has been thrust upon mankind which implies that God must alter human nature in order to save it. I do not mean altering it in its moral quality – making it righteous instead of sinful – but altering its constitution, saving us not as men and women, having all the capacities, propensities, and affections of humanity; that we must, so to speak, be reorganized before God can save us. If I understand the gospel, it makes no such assumptions, and comes to us with no such requirements.”
H. O. Wiley said, “Regeneration is a moral change wrought in the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit. This change is neither physical nor intellectual, although both the body and the mind may be affected by it. It is not a change in the substance of the soul, nor is it the addition of any new powers. Regeneration is not a metamorphosis of human nature. Man does not receive a new ego. His personal identity is the same in essence after regeneration as before. He has the same power of intellect, feeling and will, but these are given a new direction. God does not undue in the new creation what He did in the first creation. The change is, therefore, not in the natural constitution of man, but in his moral and spiritual nature. Furthermore, it is important to believe that the whole man, and not merely certain powers of his being, is the subject of this spiritual renewal.”
|Is Faith A Choice?||Is Faith A Choice?||Is Faith A Choice?|
|Augustine said, “Faith then, as well in its beginning as in its completion, is God’s gift… this gift is given to some, while to some it is not given.”
Martin Luther said, “For as no one can give himself faith, neither can he take away his own unbelief.”
A. W. Pink said “faith is God’s gift, and the purpose to give it only to some, involves the purpose not to give it to others. Without faith there is no salvation… hence if there were some of Adam’s descendants to whom He purposes not to give faith, it must because He ordained that they should be damned.”
|Jesus commanded men to “repent and believe” (Mk. 1:15).
“Jesus answering saith unto them, have faith in God” (Mk. 11:22).
Jesus charged his audience to “believe the works” that he performed so that they might believe in his relationship with the Father (Jn. 10:38; 14:11).
Jesus told his hearers to “believe on the light” or the illumination which he had given them (Jn. 12:36).
Paul told the jailer in Philippi to “believe on the Lord Jesus” (Acts 16:31).
Paul said, “… let us hold fast our profession” (Heb. 4:14).
“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” (Heb. 10:23).
“What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (Jn. 6:28-29).
|Irenaeus said, “all such expressions shew that man is in his own power with respect to faith”
Gordon C. Olson said, “Saving faith is not merely an intellectual state… Saving faith is an act of the will in total commitment… Saving faith is always our own act…”
Catherine Booth said, “Faith is a voluntary thing. It is a thing you can do or leave undone, or God must have been unjust to have made a man’s everlasting salvation or damnation to depend on what he has no power to do. You have not absolute power over your intellect, but you have power over your will.”
A. W. Tozer said, “The day when it is once more understood that God will not be responsible for our sin and unbelief will be a glad one for the Church of Christ. The realization that we are personally responsible for our individual sins may be a shock to our hearts, but it will clear the air and remove the uncertainty. Returning sinners waste their time begging God to perform the very acts He has sternly commanded them to do.”