The following is Part 1 of a 6-part series I hope to present, Lord willing, on the doctrines of grace, commonly known as Calvinism. Each article will be titled as:
- 10 Reasons Man Needs a Sovereign Savior
- 10 Reasons God Sovereignly Elects
- 14 Reasons Christ Sovereignly Redeems (a)
- 14 Reasons Christ Sovereignly Redeems (b)
- 10 Reasons the Holy Spirit Sovereignly Draws Men to Salvation
- 10 Reasons Believers Are Sovereignly Sealed
If you desire to grow in the knowledge of God’s marvelous grace, I invite you to participate in each of these posts. You are welcomed to post your comments, even if you disagree, as long as you are respectful and back your arguments up with Scripture. You may want to see the Posting Rules before commenting.
May the Lord be glorified through these efforts to edify the Body of Christ.
Part 1 – 10 Reasons We Need a Sovereign Savior
Contrary to popular opinion, even within the church, man is not basically good or morally neutral. The Bible makes absolute truth claims that man is inherently evil and his mind, will, and affections are corrupted by sin. This does not mean man is absolutely evil – meaning he can do no good thing – but that even the good things that he does do is tainted by sin because they are not done for the glory of God and by faith in Him (Romans 14:23, Hebrews 11:6, 1 Corinthians 10:31). Moreover, some are more evil than others (Hitler versus Mother Teresa for example), but all are evil nevertheless.
In short, humans can only choose sin. We have no free will – in fact, our will is enslaved to sin. Scripture says nothing of humans being partially depraved or corrupted. Rather, it is clear that we are radically or totally depraved. In other words, we are totally unable (Total Inability) to choose God because our enslaved sinful nature inhibits us from doing so.
With this brief introduction to the “T” of TULIP (the acronym used to succinctly describe the biblical doctrines of grace), let’s take a deeper look at Scripture.
1. Natural man has been corrupted by sin since the fall in the Garden of Eden
Genesis 3:6-7 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Romans 5:12-19 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 … For if by the one man’s offense many died…16 … For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation…17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one…18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation…19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…
2. All natural men are unclean, there is no one good, there is no one righteous. There are none who seek God.
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.
Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one. 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
3. No one has a good heart – all hearts are evil, continuously evil.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
4. Natural man is born into sin – we sin because we are sinners.
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.
5. Natural man is dead in sin. Dead means dead.
Ephesians 2:1, 5 …who were dead in trespasses and sins…5 even when we were dead in trespasses
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh…
6. Natural man is a slave to his sin, which means he must do what his master commands him. Sin reigns and controls us from birth.
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
Romans 6:15-23 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey…20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness…
7. Natural man is blinded and controlled by Satan.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Ephesians 2:1-2 …who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…
Ephesians 4:18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God…
8. By nature, men are children of wrath and sons of disobedience who do nothing but fulfill the desires and pleasures of their lusts in the flesh.
Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.
Colossians 3:5-7 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness…
1 Peter 4:3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
9. Natural man loves darkness and suppresses the truth.
John 3:19-20 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
Romans 1:18-32 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…
10. Natural man does not understand God and it is impossible for man to please Him.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Romans 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
John 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
It becomes clear having examined these Scriptures that the will of natural man is corrupt, he is blinded and controlled by Satan, he is absolutely dead in his trespasses, having no ability to please God or understand the things of God, being incapable of seeking God, and able to do nothing but fulfill his own sinful desires.
The catch-22 of it all is that God demands perfection. He declares only the righteous will inherit His Kingdom. What can we say, then, when no one is righteous – how can any enter heaven?
If no one can choose, no one can seek, no one can obtain righteousness on his own merit, is it not impossible for man to enter heaven? By no means!
With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26
And that is why we need a Sovereign Savior.
Please continue to Part 2 as we examine the Scriptures giving us 10 Reasons God Sovereignly Elects.