Engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Total Inability

My Three Sons (Grace Alone)

If first period class was the depravity of the human heart, then second period was Sola Gratia (grace alone). In the previous two posts there are two things that should be apparent: 1. My own inability to adequately parent due to me being finite as well as possessing a sin nature; and 2. My boys have the very same issue I do – depravity. It’s essentially the blind leading the blind.

Much to my dismay, my children did not come equipped with child raising software. There was no “Daddy-ing for Dummies” at my doorstep when we returned home from the hospital. And to add insult to injury, I quickly found out that even had there been it would not have helped; for the things I knew to do from God’s Word I failed to implement. I quickly realized that I can not be the father God requires me to be. If my kids are the result of my parenting then they are doomed!

Then there’s the second problem – my kid’s depravity. Not only are they being raised by a man who constantly fails and is anything but the father he should be, but they are just as sinful! Talk about a hopeless plight! It’s like one leper trying to apply balm on the flesh of another leper – futile! All that happens is my dead flesh rubs off on them.

Hopeless? NO! Why? GRACE! God showing me the predicament of me and my boys is a blessing, for in truly seeing it as it is causes me to see Him as He is all the more and my need for Him. I know that if God doesn’t grant grace in changing my boys hearts, and if He doesn’t graciously keep me stayed on Him, then all is lost. I need Him! If my boys are to become men of God then it will be 100% by the grace of God.

So… lesson #3 concerning my three sons? Sola Gratia – Grace Alone!


Grace –

More on the will:

I realize that I have a link to monergism.com listed here on my blog, but some don’t check out the links.

Each month they have a column on the home page; this month’s is on the will, and since it falls withing the realm of my previous post, I thought I would post it here.


Bondage of the Will

“Many today build a theology around the idea which assumes that God’s commands to us in the Bible somehow imply our moral ability to keep them … but we soon forget that Romans 3:20 declares that “…through the law comes knowledge of sin.” In other words, the commands exist to reveal our moral inability, not our ability. This inability also includes God’s command of all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel, an impossible act of natural will apart from a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit uniting us to Christ. Only the quicking grace of Jesus Christ applied by the Spirit can turn our heart of stone to flesh and illumine the Text in such a way (to open blind eyes and deaf ears) wherein we and able to see Christ’s beauty and excellency. Those who are unregenerate cannot see Christ’s excellency and thus have no capacity to love what is spiritual and so are not partly but wholly dependent on God to translate them from darkness to light. This means that man’s affections are in complete bondage to sin until Christ sets them free … and if the will is in bondage, it is not free. It chooses, not by coersion but by necessity to sin.”

The Fall:

This is a point of Scripture that we cannot afford to demote in any way.

I was speaking with a friend, and he gave assent to the the biblical doctrine that in Adam we all sinned, but it seemed that the depth of  his recognition of that truth was not at the level that Scripture speaks of it.

What does God mean when He says we all died in Adam? Yes, we all fell in Adam, but what were the ramifications of this fall?

Watch and may God be pleased to bless it.

Man’s Radical Fallenness

The wonder of grace irresistable:

Read these words tonight and thank God for His sovereign grace!

“Why was I made to hear His voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?
‘Twas the same love that spread the feast,
That sweetly forced us in;
Else we had still refused to taste
And perished in our sin.”

How do I know if I’m chosen???

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For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”

(1 Thessalonians 1:4-5)

This is a question that has been asked me, in some shape or form, plenty of times. I am sure that anyone who has given much thought to the truths this blog attempts to proclaim (regardless of which side you fall on at the end) has asked themselves this very question. This question is also often used to dissuade people from considering the verity of the doctrines of grace.

I find that most who struggle with this question do not yet have a biblical understanding of election, nor the gracious gifts of repentance and faith. I won’t bore you for long, as I believe the Scripture is very clear on this; but simply point you to the Holy Spirit inspired words of Paul, and give a brief explanation.

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.”

(1 Thessalonians 1:4-5) [emphasis added]

Let’s play this out between the questioner and the apostle Paul:

Questioner: “Paul, you speak of the electing work of God – that He has mercy on whom He will and harden’s whom He will. You say that salvation is not a thing I can attain by my works, or even my own willing to be saved. If my salvation is completely up to God, and His unconditional election, how do I know if I am elected?”

Paul: “Has God so moved in your heart that the sin you once loved you now hate? Are you resting on the Person and work of Jesus Christ alone for your salvation? Then the gospel did not come to you in word only but also in power and the Holy Spirit, and with full conviction, and know that God has chosen you.

Grant it, this is not a translation of I Thessalonians 1:4-5. But then you would not be asking Paul this question face to face either. =) It is rather an application of the truth stated here.

Paul said he new God had chosen those at Thessalonica who believed because of the effect the gospel had on them. Faith and repentance are gifts of grace, purchased with the blood of Christ for His children. We were dead in sin, walking according to the will of Satan, and God made us alive to Himself. (Eph. 2:1-10) It is of God that we are saved. Even our belief is not of our own doing, so we can only boast in the cross! (Galatians 6:14)

So, my friend, if The Holy Spirit testifies that you are truly repenting of your sins and believing in The LORD Jesus Christ, then election is something you can claim.

If you have no repentance and true faith in The LORD Jesus Christ, then do not be decieved by a prayer you prayed, a baptism you endured, a church role you’re on, or a humanitarian act you performed. You must repent and believe the gospel! May The LORD, in His grace,make the gospel hit you like a ton of bricks granting you a hatred for, and a longing to be free of, your sin making Himself glorious to you and causing you to flee to Him.

And if He has done these things to you already, let’s thankfully worship Him for His amazing grace!

May He make the cry of our hearts be –

Soli Deo Gloria!!!

Inability to Repent – Ephesians 2:1-3

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”
(Ephesians 2:1-3)

My wife told me that she saw a segment on tv about a little girl who could not feel pain, like Roberto in the clip above. The parents were speaking of how they had to watch her every move, as she could touch a hot stove and literally watch her flesh burn off her hand and fell nothing – that there is not a single sensation that tells her she should pull her hand back; nothing to tell her that she is damaging herself! She has the capacity to kill herself and enjoy the entire process!

By now the spiritual, and even more dreadful, parallel should be apparent.  God’s Word tells us that we are dead in sin,  just as  Roberto is dead to pain.  He has no capacity to feel pain. The damage is there, and  is actually being done, yet he has no impetus to cause him to repent from his course of self destruction. He is actually missing the pain receptors, so there is a communication breakdown from his hand, or any body part, to his brain .  Even so the natural, or unregenerate man, cannot understand the things of God as he thinks them foolish, nor does he have the ability to understand them. (I Cor. 2:14)

Roberto could play with a broken leg, and not even slow down. We have a world full of men who have the wrath of God on them, and they don’t even slow their play. They continue in their God-hating sin, enjoying  the sinful pleasures of this world, yet heaping up wrath. They have spiritual CIPA (it’s even congenital as they were born in sin). They are commanded to repent, yet they are not able to, for there is no repentance in them.

Such were some of you!

Praise The LORD that there is a verse 4, and following, in Ephesians 2!

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
(Ephesians 2:4-7)
May The LORD use Roberto’s situation to glorify Himself! May He cause the truth of our depravity to be ever increasingly beautiful as we see the ever increasing depths of it!

Titus 3:5

A Soliloquy on Grace:

I was lost and unconscious of my state. Dead to all God is and all He loves. I was told, occasionally, of my deadness, yet this truth fell on deaf ears and a cold, beatless, heart – For i was dead. I was accustomed to living without Him, for I had never known anything but life without Him – at least what I thought was life.

So lost was I that I sought, not to be found, but to find. I sought fulfillment. Fulfillment in the very things that starved me. Yet the more I devoured these sinful delicacies, the more they devoured me. I sought Him not. How could I seek Him? I was dead to Him and He was death to me!

I was lost, and a slave to my lostness; obeying my God-hating master’s every whim. Yet not feeling to be a slave, but rather a free man. For the commands of my master fell on my ears as if they were spoken from my own lips. Never a command given that did not please my dead heart to fulfill. I loved my lostness! And if I ever began to become disgruntled in the least I quickly found that delving deeper in the darkness satisfied.

I even found a cloak, seemingly tailored just for me – religion. I knew not that it was ragged and filthy, and no one else seemed to care. Woven from my own works of morality, the very best I had, it served as a kind of security. A guarantee that all the pleasure I indulged in here would be transported and maximized in the here after.

I was lost.

But one day a Light shined on me, yet in me, for it penetrated to my soul. i know It shined on me, for I never would have stepped into It. My master had warned me of this, and I swore to run from It’s rays if I were to ever see It.

My heart began to beat, and heard a Voice. He spoke wrath to me, and as the words of condemnation were falling in my ears a stench reached my nostrils that made me sick. As if knowing what it was that sickened me and my inability to find it’s source, The Light said, “All your righteousness are as filthy raggs.” Instantly my eyes saw my prized cloak and despised every fiber of it. I ripped it from my body only to find myself nakedly exposed in The Light, and none the better for shedding it, for The Voice still spoke wrath to me.

The light bore down on me, showing me all I was; or rather all I wasn’t compared to It’s Holiness. It was no more just my cloak i hated, but loathed myself. The words of wrath The Voice had spoken to me were justly done so, and I knew it. Yet, strangely, I did not desire to run from this condemning Light; nor could I for It had found me. I curled up like a child in the womb, naked and absolutely destitute; knowing wrath was earned, yet wishing somehow to escape it.

Then The Voice spoke again, “Come.” I looked up, expecting to see The Voice calling me to the instrument of death prepared for wretches such as I. But my eyes beheld a Lamb that had been slain! He said to me, “I, Who knew no sin, became sin for you. Come.” As He spoke these words He drew me to Himself, yet without ropes. Like my old master, the words The Lamb spoke were parallel to the desires of my own heart. I could not resist, for I did not want to.

He took His own cloak of righteousness and placed it on my back and said to me, “You are Mine, for I have purchased you with My blood!”

I fell at His feet, and worshiped The Lamb. He had made this dead man live!


AMAZING GRACE (My Chains are Gone)

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
Was blind, but now I see

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine

A Soliloquy on Depravity

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
(Jeremiah 17:9)


My hands are dirty – polluting all they touch. My eyes feed on filth and never, never have enough. All that passes over my hellish tongue, and through my vile lips, is not just tainted with evil but wicked to the core; as the kernel of thought was concieved in the rotted womb of my own dead heart.

Wickedness is not something I do, it is what I am.

All I offer, if anything at all, I corrupt. Even my most “sincere sacrifices” are in reality nothing but hypocritical bribes, aimed at attaining a thing for the pleasure of my own consumption and falling [or rather purposefully stopping] short of even attempting to aim at Your glory. And to even further manifest the stone cold state of this chunk of granite – I do these things, am told of Your worth, and give no regard.

Wickedness is not something I do, it is what I am.

Your command is to repent; yet there is no shadow of turning within this stalwart of self-sufficiency. Your command is to believe; yet I dare not trust You as You are vehemently opposed to all I am, and I to You. I cannot trust You, as this bedrock of self-sufficency is the foundation which I came from the womb building my empire upon. To lose this is to lose my life. Not only that, but this bedrock is my very core. It is bound to me and I to it.

Wickedness is not something I do, it is what I am.

Command repentance – I cannot give it, for there is none within me. I will not seek it, loving all I am and gladly being bound to it. You say, “REPENT!”, yet my master says, “No!” – and gleefully obey his wishes.

Wickedness is not something I do, it is what I am.


Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
(Jeremiah 13:23)

How sinful am I?

There is an ongoing debate among professing Christians, and the crux of it is this: “Just how wicked am I?” I do not fully understand why, but men like to play word games with their doctrine. I was taught that “But for the grace of God, I would be a drunken vagabond.” This phraseology sounds so spiritually humble, yet those men who I have heard proclaim that would reject the idea (in my opinion biblical doctrine) of total inability (AKA total depravity). This doctrine teaches that man is so sinful that there is absolutely nothing he can do to save himself. That he, apart from the supernatural working of the Holy Spirit, can do nothing to merit God’s grace. That his heart is so overrun with wickedness, that apart from the grace of Almighty God, that man would commit the most heinous crimes imaginable for he is no better than the vilest of sinners. Yet men repudiate this teaching, declaring that it abolishes man’s responsibility to repent of his sin as God commands him to.

Their reasoning is that if God tells us to do a thing, then we must be able to do it. This is extremely faulty logic, as well as unscriptural. God commands us to uphold the 10 Commandments, yet it is an impossibility to keep them without blemish. Christ tells us to draw near to Him, to resist the devil, etc; yet also tells us that without Him we can do nothing.  Scripture clearly tells me that I was dead in sin. That I walked according to the prince of the power of the air. Scripture clearly teaches me that I was “willingly” living my life for Satan, bound by my wicked master, and in dire need of life and freedom. God’s Word makes no bones about my being unable to change my heart as much as a leopard could change his spots. By my very nature, I am sinful to the core. There is no possible way for saving, Christ-honoring faith to come from this deceitfully wicked heart! With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.

There are other areas which I desire to address, but I would like to begin with this one. Ask yourself, and search The Scriptures for the answer – “How wicked am I?” If you say you are a sinner, but not so much so as that you cannot on your own, choose to love and believe in God, then I would challenge you to take another look. Scripture says we are dead, bound in sin, incapable of understanding The Gospel in our unregenerate state. Sure we are commanded to repent, but responsibility does not denote ability. If God were to only tell us to do that which we could, then there would be no need for dependence on Him.

I do not believe Scripture teaches that Christ has done all to save us, save put the finishing touches on sealing our eternal security until we meet His blood with out faith. What Scripture does teach is that Christ ransomed us with His blood, that He reconciled us to God, and through His death, we are made righteous before God.

These are just a few thoughts… comments most welcome.