The inevitability and irreversability...

The inevitability and irreversability of sin without Christ

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“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#1 Jul 12, 2013
Jeremiah 13:23 says:
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Can you change your skin or the outside appearance? Very difficult in bleaching skin but the fact is we are talking about the heart here. This is impossible! Without Christ, sin is inevitable and irreversible! Why? Because of our very nature.

Even if an Ethiopian could change his skin, that would be a far smaller difficulty than the one with which a sinner has to deal, for it is not his skin, but his heart which has to be changed. There are some creatures in which, if they lose a limb, it will grow again, or another will come in its place, but there is no creature living
that could lose its heart and then grow another. There is a tree of a certain sort and you
can, if you wish, graft upon it and it will produce a different kind of fruit. Or you can take off one limb of a tree and another branch may grow—but you cannot change the tree’s heart. Even
if it were possible for the Ethiopian to change his skin, that would be a change, as we say, only skin-deep, and that is no parallel to the sinner and his sin—the leprosy lies deep within. It is the heart that is “deceitful above all things and
desperately wicked.” It is the center and
source of thought and action which is polluted and a change must be worked there.
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin?” No, but if he could do so, could a sinner change his heart? Assuredly not!

Here's the proposal:an Ethiopian changing his skin
himself. For an evil heart to make its own self
good is inconceivable. Darkness never did beget light. You may sit as long as you like in the sepulcher amid the dry bones, but life will never be born of death—life must come from quite a different source. A superior power must come to intervene to work the miraculous inner change.

“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#2 Jul 13, 2013
It is not just our nature, but our will that prevents the inner change from happening.

To be saved means to be saved from loving evil, from seeking after it and living in it. Do you want to be saved from that? Do you want to be saved from falsehood, saved from the indulgence
of your passions, saved from destructive drink/drugs/addictions, saved from pride, saved from covetousness? The mass of people have not a heart inclined to that—there is
some sweet sin of theirs which they would
like to sip, at least now and then in secret. That is to say, evil, as evil, is not
abhorrent to the natural will, but the natural will of man goes after that which is evil as surely as ever children seek after that which is sweet! Sin is sweet to man and he will have it
if he can. How, then, can his nature be changed while he has no will to it? The will is, as it were, the rudder of the ship.

He will have this and he will have
that—and he will not have the other—and he is the master of the man. Till the will is changed, till what is called,“free will,” is made, in truth, to be FREE will—FREE from the chains of evil and the love of sin—the man cannot rise to victory and divine salvation any more than the Ethiopian can change his skin!
Punisher

Eastchester, NY

#3 Jul 13, 2013
You really shouldn't attempt such profundities...unless you edit and rewrite, or cite the source of this grammatical mess so I can slap him/her instead...

BTW, I do not need to be saved from falsehood, indulgence, etc...but perhaps YOU do?! This post is nothing but you indulging in displaying your moral superiority (which is only you making the claim of it), and its chock full of falsehood. Its typically proselytizing Believers and their falsehoods that I need to be saved from - not myself. I got myself under control a long time ago. I did it!

Plus the skin changing and heart analogy is a stupid one. And it appears that you think no one can actually change their behaviors, and/or POV.

Oh right, unless they believe in imaginary beings and fabricated stories...which means people acting (yes like actors) a certain way for the benefit of the Super-Being they think is watching them, and scribbling down their movements. Sort of like people acting proper when the authorities are around, but then like the mice when the cats away...

Believers act good because they think they're being watched - others with an actual moral-ethical compass do so without the threat of being spied upon.

Sorry, but that's where you go off the rails...

Roland_Deschain

“Naturalism - Nature is Enough”

Since: Nov 07

UK

#4 Jul 13, 2013
true liberty wrote:
It is not just our nature, but our will that prevents the inner change from happening.
To be saved means to be saved from loving evil, from seeking after it and living in it. Do you want to be saved from that? Do you want to be saved from falsehood, saved from the indulgence
of your passions, saved from destructive drink/drugs/addictions, saved from pride, saved from covetousness? The mass of people have not a heart inclined to that—there is
some sweet sin of theirs which they would
like to sip, at least now and then in secret. That is to say, evil, as evil, is not
abhorrent to the natural will, but the natural will of man goes after that which is evil as surely as ever children seek after that which is sweet! Sin is sweet to man and he will have it
if he can. How, then, can his nature be changed while he has no will to it? The will is, as it were, the rudder of the ship.
He will have this and he will have
that—and he will not have the other—and he is the master of the man. Till the will is changed, till what is called,“free will,” is made, in truth, to be FREE will—FREE from the chains of evil and the love of sin—the man cannot rise to victory and divine salvation any more than the Ethiopian can change his skin!
A catholic preaching about morality, the irony.

“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#5 Jul 14, 2013
Punisher wrote:
You really shouldn't attempt such profundities...unless you edit and rewrite, or cite the source of this grammatical mess so I can slap him/her instead...
BTW, I do not need to be saved from falsehood, indulgence, etc...but perhaps YOU do?! This post is nothing but you indulging in displaying your moral superiority (which is only you making the claim of it), and its chock full of falsehood. Its typically proselytizing Believers and their falsehoods that I need to be saved from - not myself. I got myself under control a long time ago. I did it!
Plus the skin changing and heart analogy is a stupid one. And it appears that you think no one can actually change their behaviors, and/or POV.
Oh right, unless they believe in imaginary beings and fabricated stories...which means people acting (yes like actors) a certain way for the benefit of the Super-Being they think is watching them, and scribbling down their movements. Sort of like people acting proper when the authorities are around, but then like the mice when the cats away...
Believers act good because they think they're being watched - others with an actual moral-ethical compass do so without the threat of being spied upon.
Sorry, but that's where you go off the rails...
Can you specify please why you think the skin changing and the heart analogy is stupid?
Also in regards to pride and coveteousness I'll submit that these and some others are hard to overcome. You say you did it! Every sin, every imperfection is under control! Wow! But if that's not what you truly meant then you still have sin. Of course I'm sure you don't believe in my terminology.

Yes, man-made reformation efforts can be admirable, but can't change the heart.

“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#6 Jul 14, 2013
It's not just our nature, and our will, but the very power of habit itself that is the great problem.

It begins at first only like a cobweb—he can break it when he pleases. It grows into a thread and he is somewhat restrained by it. It changes to a cord and he is in a net. It hardens into iron and the iron becomes further hardened into steel—and the man is shut up in it. He becomes like
the starling that cried,“I cannot get out! I cannot get out!” The sad thing is that the man is
in a cage of his own making!
It is a sort of living cage which has grown up all around him and he cannot escape from it!

This is the insidious way our habits become hardened into tendencies that are second-nature to us. Chances are you know what they are. Without the Spirit of Christ within us given when we trusted Christ, we can change from the inside to reverse this. I have habits like everyone that are sinful but with His help I can overcome.

“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#7 Jul 14, 2013
correction: without the Spirit of Christ within us given when we trusted Christ, we CANNOT change from the inside to reverse this.

“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#8 Jul 21, 2013
Because of the power of habit I mention in post #6, it is inevitable that the force of sin becomes greater and greater.

If a stone falls from a tower, it multiplies the pace of its fall in a mathematical ratio. It drops much much faster the last part of its descent than it did at the first. Set anything rolling down a hill and see how the momentum increases. A railway truck is on a decline—it is running down. It starts
slowly enough at first, you might easily stop it. But let it go on and see how it accumulates force as it rushes along till it breaks through every obstacle. Well, just such is the power of
sin in men—they seem as if they cannot sin enough. Having once given themselves up to the power, it comes upon them stronger and yet stronger till the appetite grows within them into a passion and a fury—and a fire that cannot be slowed or
quenched. I know what they think at first—that they will go just so far and then stop. Well, try it—no, do NOT try it!
It would be an awful experiment to set a house on fire, intending to let it burn just so much and no more. Can you say to the fire,“You shall come this far, but no farther”? Even if you could say it
to fire among standing corn, blown by the
wind, yet you would say it in vain to sin! Sin swiftly grows from a pigmy to a giant and, ever increasing in its awful power, it crushes down the man who is in its grip and holds him under its dreadful sway.
There are many drunks who now have within them a compulsion to drink.
They seem as if they could not pass by the
door of the bar. There is many an adulterer who cannot glance without a lascivious thought. As for the gambler,having once begun with his dollars, he will plunge till he has lost his
all! There is an awful infatuation about this evil—it is a stream that catches the boat and
bears it swiftly along, noiselessly, but with irresistible force, till it
comes to the cataract of endless ruin! Oh, that you could escape! But there are so
me who never can and never will—and there is not one of us who can escape unless He who is mighty to save shall come
in with His own right hand and His holy arm and provide the victory that we simply cannot do on our own!!

“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#9 Jul 26, 2013
Since we need to see the despair of someone without Christ in this condition, I'm bringing this to the top. Read the quotes I share and think about this.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#10 Jul 26, 2013
true liberty wrote:
Jeremiah 13:23 says:
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
Did the Ethiopian choose his skin or did the leopard choose his spots? Would your "God" hold the Ethiopian accountable for his skin or the leopard accountable for his spots? If all people are born sinners that is certainly not their fault. To be held accountable for something you had no control over would be unjust would it not?
Apologetics

Van Nuys, CA

#11 Jul 26, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
Did the Ethiopian choose his skin or did the leopard choose his spots? Would your "God" hold the Ethiopian accountable for his skin or the leopard accountable for his spots? If all people are born sinners that is certainly not their fault. To be held accountable for something you had no control over would be unjust would it not?
The age old argument to Calvinism. It just so happens I have an answer, or better yet Paul does.

I'll paraphrase:

The potter has control over the clay. If He wishes He can make vessels of wrath prepared for destruction in order to show His power to the vessels He made for glory He can.

Who are we to question or give counsel to God?

It is a hard truth to grasp and I struggled with it a long time. God predestined his elect before the foundation of the world to serve His will and purpose.

If salvation is by grace and not by works then faith is a gift that comes after the calling and after salvation. If faith came before salvation it would be a work done by the man to earn his salvation therefore taking the sovereignty away from God.

Man is incapable of choosing God over sin without direct intercession from God. Therefore God chooses who He wills unto salvation.

You may call it unfair but it fair us what you want then everyone goes to He'll. Election is 100% grace and humbling mercy.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#12 Jul 27, 2013
Apologetics wrote:
<quoted text>
The age old argument to Calvinism. It just so happens I have an answer, or better yet Paul does.
I'll paraphrase:
The potter has control over the clay. If He wishes He can make vessels of wrath prepared for destruction in order to show His power to the vessels He made for glory He can.
Who are we to question or give counsel to God?
It is a hard truth to grasp and I struggled with it a long time. God predestined his elect before the foundation of the world to serve His will and purpose.
If salvation is by grace and not by works then faith is a gift that comes after the calling and after salvation. If faith came before salvation it would be a work done by the man to earn his salvation therefore taking the sovereignty away from God.
Man is incapable of choosing God over sin without direct intercession from God. Therefore God chooses who He wills unto salvation.
You may call it unfair but it fair us what you want then everyone goes to He'll. Election is 100% grace and humbling mercy.
How do you reconcile that with the idea that your "God" is an all loving being, or do you simply believe that your "God" is all-powerfull and can do whatever "He" wants and it's just tough luck for those who are not predestined?
Apologetics

Van Nuys, CA

#13 Jul 27, 2013
I reconcile it like this; The scripture teaches it so its true. I don't question Gods logic or reason. For one thing I have a fallen sense of reason that is tainted by sin just as every human being. Therefore no human is capable of understanding God's pure and Holy logic.
Romans 8:30

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Romans 9:16
So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
17
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
18
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19-23
19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-

Sorry the post was so long, but there is a myriad of scripture to back up predestination and I just chose a little of it.
Apologetics

Van Nuys, CA

#14 Jul 27, 2013
It also comes down to total depravity, which is what the original poster was implying. Man is incapable of turning from sin without God.

The far extreme of that would be anything done that is good with any Intent other than glorifying God is a sin.

I have reconciled with this biblical doctrine through study and prayer. My Southern Baptist background made it hard to wrap my mind around because these scriptures were always ignored in sermons. I do still attend a Southern Baptist church, but there is a good solid group of reformed people in the church.

Evangelizing is still very important to a reformed person because we do not know who the elect are and God has commanded every Christian to spread the gospel.

“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#15 Jul 27, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>
Did the Ethiopian choose his skin or did the leopard choose his spots? Would your "God" hold the Ethiopian accountable for his skin or the leopard accountable for his spots? If all people are born sinners that is certainly not their fault. To be held accountable for something you had no control over would be unjust would it not?
Since the Ethiopian and leopard cannot overcome what they were born with, it is a sign that Divine intervention is needed. Man chose this on himself in the very beginning with Adam and our depraved condition from birth is because of this. We are not accountable for our nature per se but what comes out of man, as Jesus said that is what defiles him. Our actions and thoughts and what we have become by our choices is what God will judge.

Yes we are powerless to avoid sin in our choices also - we will inevitably "fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
But Big Al, you have a choice to trust Jesus for the only remedy that will overcome all this. I happen to believe based on Scripture that God's Sovereignty has actually allowed you to have the choice to trust in Jesus. Does God know if you will choose Jesus or not? Sure he does! But the ball is truly in your court and you are truly accountable for the choice you make. Else God is unjust.

“be free indeed”

Since: Jul 09

massachusetts

#16 Jul 27, 2013
Apologetics wrote:
<quoted text>
The age old argument to Calvinism. It just so happens I have an answer, or better yet Paul does.
I'll paraphrase:
The potter has control over the clay. If He wishes He can make vessels of wrath prepared for destruction in order to show His power to the vessels He made for glory He can.
Who are we to question or give counsel to God?
It is a hard truth to grasp and I struggled with it a long time. God predestined his elect before the foundation of the world to serve His will and purpose.
If salvation is by grace and not by works then faith is a gift that comes after the calling and after salvation. If faith came before salvation it would be a work done by the man to earn his salvation therefore taking the sovereignty away from God.
Man is incapable of choosing God over sin without direct intercession from God. Therefore God chooses who He wills unto salvation.
You may call it unfair but it fair us what you want then everyone goes to He'll. Election is 100% grace and humbling mercy.
You may have noticed my thoughts and quotes are chiefly from Spurgeon in this thread. You are my brother in Christ and I rejoice in your salvation and your seeking after truth.

I would only say that though I love Spurgeon and of course believe in human depravity, I believe God has given everyone the ability to believe in Christ if he decides to follow the drawing of the Holy Spirit of which we all share. Of himself of course this is impossible as no one seeks after God according to Romans 3. That's why God must intervene. If Christ is lifted up, He says he will draw all men to me. Since we know most are not saved, this drawing is not to inevitable salvation. It must be then for the chance to follow God's working and the chance to seek salvation.

Its a discussion among God's family though and I do rejoice that you are sharing the Good News in Topix.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#17 Jul 27, 2013
Apologetics wrote:
I reconcile it like this; The scripture teaches it so its true. I don't question Gods logic or reason. For one thing I have a fallen sense of reason that is tainted by sin just as every human being. Therefore no human is capable of understanding God's pure and Holy logic.
Romans 8:30
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 9:16
So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
17
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
18
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19-23
19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-
Sorry the post was so long, but there is a myriad of scripture to back up predestination and I just chose a little of it.
So you don't believe that your "God" is loving and just by the ordinary human understanding of loving and just.
Punisher

Yonkers, NY

#18 Jul 27, 2013
Apologetics wrote:
I reconcile it like this; The scripture teaches it so its true. I don't question Gods logic or reason. For one thing I have a fallen sense of reason that is tainted by sin just as every human being. Therefore no human is capable of understanding God's pure and Holy logic.

Romans 8:30
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 9:16
So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
17
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
18
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19-23
19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-

Sorry the post was so long, but there is a myriad of scripture to back up predestination and I just chose a little of it.
ah, there is no free-will...another supporter from the ranks of the Believers. Always refreshing...that a Believer disagrees with one of the most important tenets of their own Religion.

Oh the irony that your screen name is Apologetics. And that you go on and try to be rational in your advocacy of a Xtian POV.

The potters analogy is a truly bad one. The pots are not animate...and if a potter gets angry at a badly turned pot...is he really taking it out on the pot? Does the pot know its malformed, that its being punished, will it lament its passing?

This would be your better position. You; I reconcile it like this, I simply dont look too deeply at anything, take other Believers words for everything...and spend little time contemplating much of of anything...in a sense I have subjugated my POV, and my intellect to the opinions of others who I need to guide me...
Punisher

Yonkers, NY

#19 Jul 27, 2013
true liberty wrote:
<quoted text>
Since the Ethiopian and leopard cannot overcome what they were born with, it is a sign that Divine intervention is needed. Man chose this on himself in the very beginning with Adam and our depraved condition from birth is because of this. We are not accountable for our nature per se but what comes out of man, as Jesus said that is what defiles him. Our actions and thoughts and what we have become by our choices is what God will judge.
Yes we are powerless to avoid sin in our choices also - we will inevitably "fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
But Big Al, you have a choice to trust Jesus for the only remedy that will overcome all this. I happen to believe based on Scripture that God's Sovereignty has actually allowed you to have the choice to trust in Jesus. Does God know if you will choose Jesus or not? Sure he does! But the ball is truly in your court and you are truly accountable for the choice you make. Else God is unjust.
Yet where is this intervention for the ones seeking not to be harmed by the "leopards" (predators) of the world?

Where is this intervention for the children cowering in corners praying to be protected from the abuses and onslaughts of adults...who use this same God as justification of their behaviors..?

When will this God ever intervene on behalf of the innocents?

Oh right, when he returns to throw down some smoting...
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#20 Jul 27, 2013
true liberty wrote:
<quoted text>
Since the Ethiopian and leopard cannot overcome what they were born with, it is a sign that Divine intervention is needed. Man chose this on himself in the very beginning with Adam and our depraved condition from birth is because of this. We are not accountable for our nature per se but what comes out of man, as Jesus said that is what defiles him. Our actions and thoughts and what we have become by our choices is what God will judge.
Yes we are powerless to avoid sin in our choices also - we will inevitably "fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
But Big Al, you have a choice to trust Jesus for the only remedy that will overcome all this. I happen to believe based on Scripture that God's Sovereignty has actually allowed you to have the choice to trust in Jesus. Does God know if you will choose Jesus or not? Sure he does! But the ball is truly in your court and you are truly accountable for the choice you make. Else God is unjust.
So you apparently believe that Adam and Eve were not created with a sinful nature by your "God" because if they were it would certainly be unjust to hold them responsible for their sin. Then, for some strange reason, "He" must have decided that all future human beings would be born with a sinful nature and that "He" would hold them responsible for their sins unless they murderd "His" son and then belived in him.

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