It is my desire to magnify the free and sovereign grace of God in the salvation of sinners; especially moreso, because if it hadn't been for "the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7), there would have been no hope for me. But as the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:10, "But by the grace of God I am what I am," is also true of myself, the "chief of sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). Even now as I consider, not only my past life, but even my present life, I have to give ALL GLORY to "the God of all grace" (1 Peter 5:10) for His magnificent and glorious "grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Timothy 1:9); and truly, "of his fulness have all we received, and grace for (or upon) grace" (John 1:16). Oh, ALL praise and honor and adoration be to Him who "delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18), and who would "take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously", loving us "freely" (Hosea 14:2,4)! Hallelujah!!!
Also, it is my desire to proclaim that this grace in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only hope for me, and for you. Apart from His grace, there is no way that the Most Holy and Righteous Triune God could ever save any one of us. But oh, my dear friend, "the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11), showing us that there is hope for the vilest and most despicable sinner that would ever be born into this world. Didn't He save me? Yes___, oh yes; HALLELUJAH!!! So, whoever you are that might read these pages, I can tell YOU that no matter what you have been, or even are now, the Bible promises that "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound" (Romans 5:20). In other words, it makes no difference how wide, how long, how deep, and how high your sins are, the grace of God can reach you; for "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all (every, any, or the whole of) sin" (1 John 1:7). Would you like for that to be true of you? Oh, may "the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29) draw you to Him who "is altogether lovely" (Solomon's Song 5:16); for the Lord Jesus promises in John 6:37 - "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh I will in no wise cast out".
Now, Ephesians 2:8,9 makes it very clear that salvation is "by grace", i.e. ALL OF GRACE; and solely "through faith". That means that God will not accept anything from us in order for Him to save us; or to put it in another way, any "works" that we presume we can do, no matter what they might be. Note that it states that "by grace are ye saved through faith", and not "faith" plus something else; and even "grace", "saved", and "faith", is "not of yourselves"; for "it is the gift of God". We can say it like this to show what it means: God does us the favor of saving us even when we don't deserve to be saved; and not only that, but He even provides ALL that we need by freely giving us grace, faith and of course, salvation. Oh, what a precious word we read in Romans 8:32 - "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things", i.e. ALL that we need in order to be saved by His grace! Yes, God's "so great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3) is ALL OF GRACE, from the beginning to the end, from the first to the last; and it does not depend on absolutely anything that we have done, or are doing, or will ever do! AMEN!!!
But the sad thing is that many reject, and will reject, this most wonderful doctrine of grace because it is too much for their spiritual pride. They just can't stand the truth that they have to be totally dependent upon God to save them without their help. In other words, they just won't put themselves in the position of the leper that when he saw "Jesus", he "fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean" (Luke 5:12); or as "the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a (the) sinner" (18:13). Yes, within the professing Christianity of today, multitudes are deceived, and being deceived, to think that they can help God to save them, either by doing this or doing that, or by not doing this or doing that; and so they won't be humbled and cast themselves upon the grace of God to be saved from their sins through faith only in the Lord Jesus Christ, who "came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). Praise His most holy Name! Amen!!!
Having said that, let me say that it will be my joy to tell you of Him who is most "precious" (1 Peter 2:7) to me, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; for "this is my beloved, and this is my friend" (Solomon's Song 5:16). He is the One "who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20), even though "I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth" (Genesis 32:10), which He has shown to me in His grace. Oh, to think that He, the sinless and holy Son of God, would consider to take ALL my filthiness and wickedness upon Himself, to pay for ALL of my sins by dying for them, and then through His Word and Spirit inviting me to believe on Him, and He would save me "with an everlasting salvation" (Isaiah 45:17). But oh, you know what is so wonderful about this? It is that He by His grace made me willing to come to Him for salvation; otherwise, I would still be lost in my sins! I can tell you, I'm so glad salvation is ALL OF GRACE!!! And the wonderful thing of this Good News is that because the Lord Jesus Christ is ALIVE!!! in that He rosed from the dead, "he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing that he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). Hallelujah!!!
Perhaps someone might ask, "Why do I need to be saved?"; or maybe you might say, "I'm not that bad of a person; in fact, I try my best to live according to the Ten Commandments"; or whatever other reason you have, you might say that what I have said with respect to the grace of God for the salvation of sinners does not apply to you. Well, my friend, my prayer is that God will be pleased to bless what I share with you through this webpage; and perhaps He will convict you that truly God's salvation (Psalm 3:8; Jonah 2:9) is ALL OF GRACE! To Him be ALL the glory!!!
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!" Throughout all eternity I could sing this precious song to "the God of all grace" (1 Peter 5:10) "to the praise of the glory of his grace" (Ephesians 1:5) in saving such a wretched sinner as I, "for once I was lost, but now I am found, was blind but now I see". And why? Because I deserved it? Or, I was trying my best to obey God's commandments? Or, because I made the right "decision for Christ?" Or maybe because I got baptized and join the "right" (?) church? NO! NO! NO! A thousand times NO!!! It wasn't me doing anything; it was God doing it ALL through, and in, and by His Beloved Son, in whom He has "made me accepted" ((v.5), or "graced me"; for I have received "grace for (upon) grace" (John 1:17) from Him. Hallelujah!!!
The grace of God in Christ Jesus is the ONLY hope for sinners; for apart from grace, God cannot deal with us for our eternal good and welfare. You see, there is absolutely nothing in us to recommend us, or to make us attractive to Him. It is sad to see so many today trying to convince God to save them from their sins, either by doing this, or doing that, or not doing this, or not doing that, when all they have to do is hear "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24), and see that it is all FREE! In this glorious Gospel we are told that God has done everything, and provided everything, that sinners need in order to be saved from the love of sin, the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and the presence of sin. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things" (Romans 8:32)? Yes, my dear friend, salvation is ALL free because Somebody else has paid ALL the cost, namely the Lord Jesus Christ, "who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (4:25). All praise be to Him, who is worthy to be adored! Amen.
In this study I would like to share with you, my dear friends, five precious doctrines of "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24) that magnify the free and sovereign grace of God "to the praise of the glory of his grace" (Ephesians 1:6). You'll find that these doctrines are much to the humbling of the pride of man, who thinks they can obligate God to save them from their sins, or make Him indebted to them because they "let" (?) Him save them. Also, you'll find that these doctrines go much against what is generally preached or taught today, that perhaps to many of you it will be "new doctrine" and "strange things" (Acts 17:19,20) that I'll be teaching. But above all, you'll find that these doctrines will give ALL THE GLORY to God for His "so great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3), and nothing to man; that they will lift up JEHOVAH, the Most High God and exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, His Beloved Son, and bring man to the dust in worship and praise of "the God of all grace" (1 Peter 5:10), singing, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! That saved a wretch like me!" HALLELUJAH!!!
But first, I ask you, to not reject everything simply because it goes against what you already "believe"; in other words, "prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21); be like those of Berea, "in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether (these) things (are) so" (Acts 17:11). Secondly, PRAY! Ask "the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, (to) give unto you the spirit of wisdom and relevation in the knowledge of him", and that "the eyes of your understanding (be) enlightened; that ye may know..." (Ephesians 1:17,18); for it is only "the Spirit of truth" who can "guide you into all truth" (John 16:13), and "teach you all things" (14:26). Thirdly, receive only that that glorifies God in ALL of that He is, exalts the Lord Jesus Christ and His Redemptive Work, magnifies His glorious Grace, and "the doctrine which is according to godliness" (1Timothy 6:3). So, without further ado, we start with...
THE DOCTRINE OF THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN
Generally, everybody will agree that man is a sinner; or at least, that there is something definitely wrong with mankind. But of course, we don't have to accept the concepts, i.e. "the commandments and doctrines of men" (Colossians 2:22) to tell us what is wrong with man. All we have to do is listen to God as He speaks to us through His Word; and from there we'll get the truth, not only who man is, but also what man is. The Bible makes it very clear that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). Man is not descended from "monkeys", as some would have us to believe; and neither are we placed here on this planet by extraterrestrial beings, as others think; or whatever their idea might be.
But what man became after God created him is the tragic history of what we read from the past, and what we see in the present, and what we know from God's Word. Again, all we have to do is listen to God as He reveals to us what man is. There we shouldn't go wrong. Yet, we have to confess that man has taken God's Word and twisted it around to accomodate their whims, or their philosophies. In fact, the apostle Peter makes reference to this when writing about the apostle Paul's epistles, "in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16). Even the apostle Paul says that within Christianity "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:3,4); and this has been true of The Doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man, which has been "twisted" to accomodate "itching ears".
Now, what is the Total Depravity of Man? Well, it simply means that mankind has been poisoned and infected by SIN so that the whole of every human being that comes into this world, except the Lord Jesus Christ, has been corrupted and, is "under sin" (Romans 3:9; 7:14). In other words, all that man is and every faculty of his is NOW totally depraved because man is a sinner___, EVERY ONE OF US!!! There are no exemptions! From the moment of conception until the moment of death, we will be totally depraved sinners unless something radically takes place in our lives to change that; and beloved, the free and sovereign grace of God is our only hope. The reason is that because in our total depravity, not only we "will not come to (Christ), that (we) might have life" (John 5:40), but we also cannot come! The Lord Jesus says, "No man can come to me, except the Father...draw him" (John 6:44) and, "no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father" (v.65). That's why salvation has to be ALL OFGRACE!!!
But let me say this: The Total Depravity of Man does not mean that sinful man is incapable of doing "good" to one another; it's only with respect to God that "there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Romans 3:12c). Also, it does not mean that every person is equally wicked to the same degree; for we know that there are people worse than others. Furthermore, it does not mean that man is as wicked and evil as demons and evil spirits, though we can be save in saying that throughout history there have been those pretty close to it; especially if they are demon-possessed. We can add that Total Depravity does not keep sinful man from being "religious"; in fact, "churches" are made up of totally depraved sinners, with the exception of those members that are now "totally justified saints" due to the grace of God in their lives. Lastly, it does not mean that we are not responsible for what we are as totally depraved sinners before God; for every thought, every word, and every act of our totally depraved lives will have to be accounted for, unless the glorious Free and Sovereign Grace of God steps in to make "us accepted (or graced) in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6b) Son of God, for it is only "of his fulness have all we received, and grace for (upon) grace" (John 1:16). Praise the Lamb of glory! Hallelujah!!!
As I said, the Total Depravity of Man means that the whole of man has been corrupted by, and is under the power of, sin. By this is meant that physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc., sin has so infected man that now he has a "sinful nature"; and because of this all he can do is "add sin to sin" (Isaiah 30:1). Not only "God is not in all his thoughts" (Psalm 10:4), but also "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart (is) only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). Take a vulture and a dove, and put before them the other's food. Will the vulture eat the seed? Or, will the dove eat the stinking rotted meat? Of course not, it's not their nature. You can bathed and perfumed a hog as much all you want, but as soon as it sees the mud, that hog will head straight for it. Why? Because that is its nature! So, "how much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water"? (Job 15:16); for "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one" (14:4).
Now, let us look at three things of man that show why salvation has to be ALL OF GRACE; and this because, if sinners are left to themselves, not only they will not come to Christ for salvation, but they also cannot! These three things, of course, are the heart, the mind, and the will. If it can be established by the infallible Word of God, that all three are under the power of sin and controlled by it, then it will be established that man has been rendered "totally depraved" in all that he is! Futhermore, it will also be proven that if God doesn't intervene on man's behalf for his salvation, (and this because He wills to do so freely and sovereignly), then there's no hope at all for anyone of us if left to our "opening our heart to Jesus", or "making a decision for Christ", or to "be willing to be saved", as you all know that this is what sinners are being told to do. What is tragic about this is that sinners are being pointed to look at what they supposedly "can do" to be saved, instead of looking to Him, who only is "mighty to save" (Isaiah 63:1). But oh, praise God; "for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
But, first, let us look at man's heart: Sometimes we hear people saying that somebody did something out of the "goodness" of their heart; but according to Jeremiah 17:9 "the heart is deceitful above all things; and desperately wicked", if the heart is so, how can anyone have any "goodness" in their heart? Well, they don't; so that is why "there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (Romans 3:12). What is true of pre-Flood man "that every imagination of the thoughts of the heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5) is also true of today's man; for the Lord Jesus says that "from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness" (Mark 7:21,22). Therefore, man in his un-regenerate state is incapable of doing "good", but only "evil", according to what God says in HIs Word, the Bible; and as far as God is concerned!
Then, secondly, what about the mind of man? Well, considering that "God is not in all his thoughts" (Psalm 10:4), "and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart is only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5), what do you expect for un-regenerate man to think? A computer can only put out what it is programmed with; so can sinners only "think" what is in their mind. Otherwise, what Paul tells believers in Romans 12:2 in being "transformed by the renewing of (their) mind" would be ridiculous if our minds were free from our totally depraved natures. In Ephesians 2:3, we are told how we used to conduct ourselves when we were without Christ in our lives, and it was "in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind", and "were sometime alienated and enemies (of God) in your mind by wicked works" (Colossians 1:21). That's why it is said that "if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world (i.e. Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). So you can see, with these few Scriptures, that the mind of un-regenerated man, and all that his mind consists of, is capable of thinking only of those things "that are of the flesh" (Romans 8:5), and so it's "carnal mind is enmity against God" (v.7); but on the other hand, it is not capable of thinking of God "spiritually" as having "the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16), which ALL born-again believers have!
But now, thirdly, consider the "will" of man. As you probably know, there is much said of the so-called "free-will of man". In fact, very much of today's preaching of the Gospel revolves around the free-will of man, instead of the free grace of God. Basically, what is meant is that sinners that are lost and spiritually dead in their sins, whose heart and mind has been described, have a "free-will" that enables them to make a "choice" of either accepting, or rejecting, the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, anytime they want to. Or, to put it in some of the language that is commonly used today: "Make a decision for Christ"; "open up your heart and let Him in"; "God already has done His part, it's up to you to do yours"; "It's up to you to get saved"; etc.etc. Simply put, beloved, is what they are saying is that because man has a so-called "free-will", then the lost sinner has the right to be the Determiner of his eternal salvation; and that God has to respect that decision. Probably some will object to what I've just said, but if you consider seriously what is taught of the "free-will", I believe you'll come to the same conclusions. The Lord Jesus Himself makes it very clear that man's will is enslaved by sin so that He can justly say to every individual sinner, "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:40). That is natural for a sinner to do! If left to their choice, sinners "normally" will not come to Christ for salvation, unless God "worketh in (them) both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
Therefore, because man's Heart, Mind, and Will, and everything else, is so "totally depraved", not only will he sin with a gusto because of his sinful nature, but he is also "totally unable" to do anything about it! In other words, sin has so corrupted man in all of his constitution that all he can do is to keep on sinning, sinning, and sinning, and at the same time is like the parachutist, whose parachute doesn't open, will continue falling unless he grows wings, which he can't do, or someone intervenes and catches him before hitting the ground and getting killed. This is the picture that the Scriptures paints of man, which is so contrary to what proud and sinful man thinks of himself; and another thing, this is true of each and every one of us; there are no exemptions, except for our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God. Hallelujah! This being the case, then, what can sinful man do? If man is so in love with sin, and in bondage to it, what hope is there for a sinner? Well, if God were to leave man to his choice, there would absolutely be no hope at all! And you know, God would have every right, and would be just, if He were to leave every one of us in our sin and to perish eternally in the fires of hell, but.........
THE DOCTRINE OF UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION
Now, as we deal with this particular doctrine, we have to keep mind that the doctrine of the Total Depravity of Man refers to each, and every, individual person that comes into this world, with the exception of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, all of mankind, from the moment they are born until they die, are totally depraved sinners in their human nature. So, as God looks down from heaven upon mankind, it is said by the Psalmist: "The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one" (14:2,3). This is, of course, confirmed by the New Testament in Romans 3:9ff. There is no difference between individuals as far as their sinful nature is concerned; and they are all in the same sea of corruption. It is true that there are varying degrees in the practice of their sinfulness; but as God looks down from heaven on each one of us, all He sees is sinners that are worthy of being cast into hell for sinning against Him: ALL OF US!!! Therefore, if He doesn't intervene, then, ALL OF US will remain under the sentence of judgment to condemnation for Adam's sin (Read Romans 5:12-21). In that case, what hope can any one of us have?
It follows, then, that because of his Total Depravity, man not only can not save himself, but also does not want to be saved, we ask the question: "Who then can be saved?" Of course, the Lord Jesus answers by telling us that "with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:26,27). Therefore, due to the undesirability, inability, and impossiblity of sinful man saving himself in any way, shape, or form, GOD of His Free and Sovereign Will determined to save sinners "according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace" (Ephesians 1:5,6). In that case, God has unconditionally elected, i.e. chosen without any condition whatsoever from the sinner's part, to save them from their Total Depravity, that consists not only of their nature, but also their practice, (as a result of Adam's fall in the Garden of Eden; cp. Genesis 3 with Romans 5:12ff.,) which consequently has placed them in a condemned state that will result in spending eternity in the Lake of Fire for their sins, unless "God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14). Therefore, the truth of The Doctrine of the Unconditional Election of sinners for salvation in Christ Jesus is the only hope for any one of us to be saved: If God, because it pleases Him, doesn't choose any one of us to be saved, then we will not choose God for our Good. In other words, if God were to leave us to our own so-called 'free will' to 'make a decision for Christ', etc., then none of us"will come to (him), that (we) might have life" (John 5:40): THAT'S WHAT WE WILL DO BECAUSE WE ARE TOTALLY DEPRAVED SINNERS!!!
Now, I know that many reject the doctrine of Unconditional Election for various reasons, but because there are those that do reject it and will use the Scriptures to prove it, doesn't mean that it isn't true. Basically what they deny is, not so much the doctrine of Election itself, because for that they would have to deny that the doctrine is in the Bible; but what they reject is the concept of it being UNCONDITIONAL! You see, in saying that Election is Unconditional, it means that God simply chooses anyone He wants to save without imposing any conditions for them to fulfill in order for God to choose them for salvation. On the other hand, those that claim that Election is CONDITIONAL mean that the sinner has to do something from their part in order to be chosen for salvation. In other words, they believe that Election is based on God's Foreknowledge of those sinners, i.e. He 'foresees' that they will 'repent of their sins' and 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ'; and so therefore, God will choose them for salvation because they chose Him first; or to put it in another way, their salvation is of their FREE WILL, and not of God's FREE GRACE!
The question is, then, how can salvation be ALL OF GRACE, if any part of it depends on the sinner? Especially moreso, when the Scriptures makes it very clear that a lost, unregenerated sinner is dead spiritually, i.e. "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). What is true of the physically dead person is also true of the spiritually dead one. Remember Lazarus in John 11? He could no longer give himself life as we can create the universe!