God. Romans 3:23 tells us the truth: "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." We have come short of God's glory as revealed in Christ, short of His holiness, short of all that He is in His perfection and therefore abide beneath the curse of His Law. For we read in Galatians 3:10: "Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." And what says the whole Law of God? "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and with all thy strength and to love thy neighbor as thyself.'" (Mark 12:30-31) (L. R. Shelton, Jr)
· · A person can learn that there is no hope for without divine grace.
· · A person can call on God to do the work that cannot be done oneself. The soul can plead with David: “Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psa. 51:10)
· · A person can receive the love of God by grace through faith and say in the day of salvation:
Loved, when a wretch defiled with sin,
At war with heaven, in league with hell,
A slave to every lust obscene,
Who, living, lived but to rebel.
¨ ¨ Argument. “If man does not have a free will, then he is not under any moral obligation to keep God’s Law.”
q q Answer. That depends on how the inability arose. If it is a created inability then there can be no obligation. But if the inability is acquired, the obligation remains. The Bible teaches in Genesis 2 that man acquired the inability to please God through the sinful act of deliberate disobedience. Therefore, man is still responsible despite the fact that his will is no longer free. The will became enslaved to sin and needs to be set free from the power and pollution of sin's bondage..
¨ ¨ Argument. “If man is unable to obey the divine law then he is not free.”
q q Answer. This objection grows out of a confused idea of freedom. A man is a slave to sin, but acts out of his own inherent proclivities and so is free.
If the question is asked, “Can a sinner repent if he will?” the response is, “That depends on the meaning of 'will.' If by “will” it is meant that thee is an inclination or being willing on the whole, then the answer is, “Yes.” But that is itself repentance and so all that is meant is, ”Can a sinner repent if he repents?” Pharaoh seemed willing to repent each time the hand of Divine discipline fell on him. However, he could not change his nature and close with the Lord in genuine conversion. If by “will” volition is meant, the answer is, “No!,” for a man cannot change his nature by a mere volition.
¨ ¨ Argument. “If there is no ability, then there is nothing for man to do.”
q q Answer. While a person cannot heal himself, he can apply to the physician. Man can go to the Savior and ask for salvation.
¨ ¨ Argument. “If man has ability to repent in and of himself, then God will wait upon him.”
q q Answer. God’s time is now. If man feels his own ability is the issue, then man will take his own time.
¨ ¨ Argument. “Why would God command a man to do what he cannot do?”
q q Answer. Because God bids us to do so. And further God supplies the needed grace, “My grace is sufficient.”
Agape Chapel Ministries
PO Box 59084
Norwalk, CA 90652