Total Hereditary Depravity --
by Wayne Camp
Why It Is the Real
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him., If ye continue in
my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the
truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were
never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free" (Jn.
When Jesus told these professors that the truth would make them free they
immediately rebelled against the idea that they had ever been in bondage. "We
were never in bondage," they cried. In this angry response they manifest the
fact that the real battle ground in the doctrine of grace is not election, the
effectual call, or the extent of the atonement; the real battle ground is the
doctrine of total depravity. It is not pleasant to the natural man to expose his
true and total corruption in heart, mind, and body. That our hearts are
"deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" is repugnant to our
pride and high estimation that we have of ourselves.
Sadly, much of the most fierce opposition to this Biblical doctrine comes
from within the ranks of "Christendom." All kinds of objections are raised by
preachers because they see that if they ever admit that man is as depraved as
the Bible says that he is, they must also admit the necessity of the other
doctrines which they hate. One great enemy of the doctrines of grace, Evangelist
Jimmy Swaggart, confessed in his magazine that, if one accepts as true the
doctrine of total depravity, he must also accept the doctrines of election,
effectual call, limited atonement, and preservation and perseverance of the
saints. He declared that one who rejects any of the others must reject total
depravity also. He argues correctly that total depravity requires an effectual
call, etc. Therefore, this arch enemy of truth declares his rejection of all
five doctrines mentioned.
Why is total depravity the real arena of controversy? There are several
reasons that will be considered in this article.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY MORTALLY WOUNDS THE PRIDE AND SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MAN
There is nothing that is more repugnant to the pride and self-righteousness
of man than the doctrine of total depravity. To confront men with the fact of
their total ruin in the fall is to sound a war-cry and those who preach and
teach this Biblical doctrine must be prepared to face heated and hateful
opposition from within the ranks of Baptists as well as other sources. To tell
man that he is morally incapable of elevating himself from the pit of his
depravity is an affront to his self-righteousness and self-sufficient nature.
Total depravity teaches that men are dead spiritually. "And you hath he
quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins ... even when we were dead in
sins, (God) hath quickened us together with Christ" (Eph. 2:1,5). "And
you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh hath he
quickened together with him" (Col. 2:13). Man may admit to some spiritual
infirmity and confess that he needs some slight assistance to elevate himself
spiritually but to admit that he is dead spiritually is repugnant to his pride.
To tell the proud that they are as bad off spiritually as dead, stinking Lazarus
was bad off physically, is devastating to their self-esteem. Until Jesus Christ
imparted physical life to Lazarus he could not flick an eye lash, wiggle a toe,
or make any move toward the door of his imprisoning tomb.
Unless God quickens the dead sinner he will never leave his dead spiritual
state. He is as helpless to raise himself spiritually as was Lazarus to raise
himself physically. "But" cries the objector (as one baptist preacher once said
to this writer) "Man is not so dead spiritually that he cannot at least take the
first step in coming to Christ. "Are there degrees of death, physical or
spiritual? can one be dead, deader, or deadest? One walks into a cemetery and
can he say correctly: "The fellow in that grave is deader than the one in yonder
grave?" To be dead is to be dead. The same is true in the spiritual realm. It is
therefore declared in the scripture: "For as the Father raiseth up the dead,
and quickeneth them: even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." James attests
to the same truth: "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth"
(James 1:18). John writes of those who received Christ that they were enabled to
do so because they "were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor
of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:13). As before seen Paul declares
that God "hath quickened us together with Christ" (Eph., 2:1, 5; Col.
2:13). The natural man can no more contribute to giving himself spiritual life
than he can to giving himself physical life. This hurts his pride; therefore he
objects to being told he is "so dead."
Total depravity contradicts the theory and false notion that many
unregenerate people are really good at heart. Over the years this editor has
preached the funeral of a number of unsaved people. In at least 90% of those
situations some family member was sure to tell him; "Bro. Camp, she (or he) was
not a professing Christian but she was really a good person at heart." Can one
believe that any unregenerate person is "really good at heart" when the
testimony of God is diametrically opposed to such an idea. The Holy One of
heaven tells us that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and
DESPERATELY WICKED: who can know it" (Jer. 17:9). "The imagination of
man's heart is evil from his youth" (Gen 8:21). "The heart of the sons of
men is fully set in them to do evil" (Eccl. 8:11). "The heart of the sons
of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live" (Ecc.
"Out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications,
murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye,
blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these things come from within, and defile the
man" (Mk. 7:21-23). God certainly does not present a pretty picture and
comforting picture of the hearts of men. None are "good at heart" in their
unregenerate state. To declare this to most people is offensive and repulsive
for they have been deceived by their deceitful heart into thinking more highly
Total depravity denies that those born of the flesh have any natural
goodness in them. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh," declared
Jesus. Paul declares that in the flesh, "dwelleth no good thing" (Rom.
7:18). In view of this total absence of good in the flesh he declares: "So
then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom. 8:8). The
unregenerate man has no good in him because he is only born of the flesh. Tell
him that and he rebels.
Total depravity declares man incapable of performing spiritually meritorious
acts and deeds. It should be pointed out at this point that total inability is
not a separate doctrine from total depravity. Total inability is one of the
fruits and effects of man's total depravity.
The scriptures clearly teach that man is incapable of doing for himself and
of his own motivation those things necessary to and involved in his salvation.
Salvation includes a radical change in nature which produces a great change in
practice. man cannot effect such a change for himself. "Can the Ethiopian
change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are
accustomed to do evil" (Jer. 13:23). If the Ethiopian could change his skin
by his own will, or if the leopard could will a change in his spots we might
have grounds to believe that a man can will a change in his nature. But man is
no more capable of changing his nature than is a leopard capable of changing his
spots. To tell him of his terrible inability is very distasteful to man.
Man cannot will his regeneration. We have before pointed out that the new
birth is not of man but is a work of God. He wills regeneration and effects it
or it does not happen. "Of his own will begat he us" (James 1:18). God
"quickens" those whom he will quicken (John 1:13; Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13).
Man is so blind spiritually that he is incapable of seeing or entering the
kingdom of God "except" he is born again. Therefore, Jesus said: "Except a
man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:3). "The
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually
discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). To comprehend, understand, and act upon spiritual
truth one must be born of God. The natural man with his exalted opinion of his
intellectual abilities is prone to rebel when he is told he is incapable of
perceiving spiritual truths.
In his unregenerate condition man does not have the ability to come to
Christ. There is no power on earth that can bring him to the Saviour. The
preacher may preach, plead, brow beat, and do what he will but he cannot bring
one to Christ. A mother may pray, and weepingly plead but she cannot bring her
son to Christ. Not one, will ever come of his own inclination. "No man,"
declared Jesus, "can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw
him" (Jn. 6:44). He further said: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the
flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and
they are life ... therefore said I unto you, that NO MAN CAN COME UNTO ME,
except it were given unto him of my Father" (Jn. 6:63, 65). Now, Dear
Reader, the question is not one of willingness to come in these verses. The
matter with which the Lord deals in these verses is the ability to come, an
ability which must be given by the Father or none can come. Man was so
debilitated in the fall that he simply cannot come to Christ unless God gives
him the ability to come. In his natural state man imagines: "I can come to
Christ whenever I please. I will decide the time and the place. It will be at my
own choosing." Tell him that he cannot come, ever, unless the Father enables him
to, is too much for his pride and ego and he rebels. Preachers rebel because it
takes away much of the punch of their invitations. it is a rebuke to their
sermons on "easy- believism" and their high-pressure "altar calls." No man will
come, no man can come to Christ until the Father gives him the ability to come!
The depraved sinner, apart from the regenerating grace of God, cannot hear
the word of God. Oh, Yes! He can hear the audible sound and know what the words
are. Some men, lost men, even pride themselves in being able to quote many
verses of Scripture. I once knew an atheist who could quote more verses of
Scripture than many preachers. He had a good head knowledge, a historical,
factual knowledge of the Old Testament and New Testament. He had searched the
Scriptures for seeming contradictions. He knew every passage where our "God of
love" had ordered the death of someone. He loved to call a Christian's attention
to those supposed blots on the character of God. He tried to find flaws in the
Word, so he studied the Bible but never "heard" it. Like those Jews to whom
Jesus preached in the temple. "Why do ye not understand my speech?" he
asked them. Then he answered his own question with these words: "Even because
ye cannot hear my word" (Jn. 8:43). Jeremiah wrote: "To whom shall I
speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised,
and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach;
they have no delight in it." (Jer. 6:10). Physically, these people may have
the sharpest of ears. They may hear sounds that escape most of us. Their problem
is spiritual deafness, a problem for which God has the answer. "The hearing
ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them" (Prov.
20:12). Much of modern-day evangelism is predicated upon the idea that all men,
without exception, have the ability to hear and act upon the preached word. It
angers the "soul winner" to tell him that his efforts will be totally a failure
(as he judges success and failure) unless God gives his listeners a hearing ear.
The unregenerate are dead and DEAD MEN CAN'T COME. This was previously
discussed. Men resent this. Much of what is preached today to lost men is done
in a way that totally ignores this dead condition. One preacher said to me: "If
lost men are that dead, we are powerless to help them. Why even preach to them
if they are so dead that they can't come." My answer was and is: "We preach
because we are commanded to preach. We preach because it pleased God by the
foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." When it pleases him to do
so God will quicken those to whom we preach so that they can and will come to
Christ and be saved.
The unregenerate cannot believe on Christ. Those who preach an
"easy-believism" message, as we sometimes refer to a message, are angered when
we preach that the natural man cannot believe on Christ. His objection is both
doctrinal and practical. Doctrinally, he objects because most believe that
repentance and faith produce regeneration. Therefore, he holds that an
unregenerate person can savingly believe on Jesus Christ. Therefore, he seeks,
by every means possible, to wage such an intellectual battle with the lost man
that he can persuade him to believe on Christ.
His objection to the doctrine that the unregenerate cannot hear is a
practical objection, also. Every sermon he prepares, every illustration he uses,
every invitation he issues is designed to literally overwhelm the lost man with
intellectual and emotional arguments that will literally suck him into a
profession of faith. If that lost man is truly incapable of believing, such
tactics are ineffective. When God does grant one the necessary faith these
tactics are very unnecessary.
Can the natural man believe on Christ? The Apostle John wrote: "But
though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord,
who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been
revealed? Therefore they COULD NOT BELIEVE" (Jn. 12:37-39). Faith is a gift
which God graciously grants when he regenerates a sinner and no amount of
persuasive preaching can cause the unregenerate to believe.
The unregenerate is spiritually impotent. He may be a giant of a man
physically. He may be extremely strong. He may be strong morally as any
Christian. When it comes to spiritual ability, however, this unregenerate giant
is totally impotent. Paul writes of this impotence and says: "When we were
yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. 5:6).
He is incapable of keeping the law of God. He "is not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed CAN be" (Rom. 8:7). He is without the power to find his
way to God for he is in darkness. "The way of the wicked is darkness: they
know not at what they stumble" (Prov 4:19). "They meet with the darkness
in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night" (Job 5:14). When
we teach this we will awaken the ire that lies in man's depraved nature. Yet we
must preach and teach total depravity even though telling a man he is blind,
dead, impotent and incapable of spiritual good in his natural state will cause
his natural hatred of truth to rise up violently.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY IMPLIES AND NECESSITATES OTHER DOCTRINES WHICH ARE HATEFUL
TO THE NATURAL MIND
In an article in which he attempts to refute the doctrines of sovereign
grace, Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart wrote: "Personally, I've always maintained that
if the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is accepted then (if a person
is honest) he must accept the total depravity of man, unconditional election,
the limited atonement of Jesus Christ, and irresistible grace. Obviously this
final erroneous doctrine (which has caused untold millions of people to die and
go to hell) is irrevocably linked to the preceding doctrines ... any attempt to
divorce the perseverance of the saints from irresistible grace, the limited
atonement, unconditional election, and the total depravity of man is futile. If
you believe in one of these, you have to believe in all of them" (The
Evangelist, Sept. 1983, p. 9).
Swaggart is an avowed enemy of all of these Bible doctrines but was right
when he said that "if you believe in even one of these, you have to believe in
all of them." Many, who would otherwise accept the doctrine of total depravity,
rebel against it because of other interrelated doctrines.
Since man is totally depraved and totally incapable of coming to Christ of
himself, an effectual call is necessary if any of Adam's posterity is to be
saved. One can only come to Christ if DRAWN by the heavenly Father. This drawing
and ability to come to Christ must be given by the Father (Jn. 6:63, 65). One
can only give attendance to the preached word if the Lord opens his heart (Acts
16:14). One can only come if quickened into life by the power and will of God
(Jn. 1:13; Eph. 2:1).
One who is spiritually deaf cannot come until God gives him a hearing ear
(Matt. 11:15; Prov. 20:12). One can only come if God causes him to approach unto
the Lord (Psa. 65:4). They must be made willing by Divine power (Psa. 110:3;
Since there is an effectual call that always results in the justification of
those effectually called ("Whom he called, them he also justified") (Rom.
8:29-30), and since all are not effectually called, there must be an election of
those who will be called. That this is true is seen in Psa. 65:4. "Blessed is
the man whom thou CHOOSETH and CAUSETH to approach unto thee" (Psa. 65:4).
"Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power" (Psa. 110:3).
"Whom he did FOREKNOW (electingly love), he also did PREDESTINATE to be
conformed to the image of his Son ... Moreover whom he did PREDESTINATE them he
also CALLED: and whom he CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED: and whom he JUSTIFIED,
them he also GLORIFIED." (Rom. 8:29-30). All those upon whom God set his
electing love are predestinated, called, justified, and glorified. There is not
the loss of a single person in this unbreakable chain. Not One!
We must admit that many live and die who are not justified. Many never come
to know Christ as Saviour. Since all whom God calls in the manner set forth in
this passage are justified, all must not be called in this manner, for all are
not justified. An effectual call to some, but not all, definitely implies an
election of some to salvation. The chosen are caused to approach unto Christ.
His people are made willing to come to Christ.
Those given to Christ and those who come to Christ are the same folk. Jesus
declared unequivocally: "ALL that the Father giveth me SHALL come to me"
(Jn. 6:37). Those given to Christ and those who receive eternal life are the
same, for Christ's declared purpose in having power over all flesh is "that
he should give eternal life to AS MANY as thou hast given him" (Jn. 17:2).
Those receiving salvation and those chosen thereunto are the same folk.
"Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God ... We are bound to give thanks
alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the
beginning, CHOSEN YOU TO SALVATION through sanctification of the Spirit and
belief of the truth" (1 Thes. 1:4; 2 Thes. 2:13).
Repeatedly, we see election and an effectual call by the regenerating power
of God inseparably linked together. Total depravity necessitates an effectual
call and the doctrine of an effectual call establishes the truth of Divine and
Sovereign election unto salvation since all are not effectually called. If man
were not totally depraved these two doctrines would not be necessitated and
established. The totally depraved are shut up to a gracious and effectual call,
for without it none would ever be saved.
Since only the elect of Adam's depraved race will be effectually called and
justified, this leads one to the logical and Scriptural conclusion that the
atonement is limited to the elect in its efficacy. We place no limit on the
value of the atonement which Christ made. Its value is so infinite that we will
not limit it in value.
On the other hand it should be said that an atonement merely made possible
or available is no atonement at all. We believe in and proclaim an atonement
that really does atone.
Therefore we conclude that we are on Scriptural ground when we say that the
objects of the atonement are none other than the elect, the called, the
justified. God declared: "By his knowledge shall my righteousness servant
justify MANY for he shall bear THEIR iniquities" (Isa. 53:11). The many who
will be justified are those whose iniquities Christ shall bear. In verse 12 we
read: "He bear the sin of many." Christ declared that he came "to give
his life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28). Again he said when instituting
the Lord's supper: "This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for
MANY." God gave Christ power over all flesh, "that he should give eternal
life to AS MANY as thou hast given him" (Jn. 17:2). Paul wrote: "Christ
was once offered to bear the sins of MANY" (Heb. 9:28). "By the obedience
of one," wrote Paul, "MANY shall be made righteous" (Rom. 5:19). God
foreknew and predestinated many that Christ "might be the firstborn among
MANY brethren" (Rom. 8:29).
We have seen that the MANY whose iniquities Christ shall bear is the MANY
whom he will justify (Isa. 53:11). He was given power over all flesh, "that
he should give eternal life to AS MANY" as the Father had given unto him. He
was called Jesus for "he shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins." "I pray not
for the world, but for them which thou hast given me," prayed Jesus (Jn.
17:19). "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou hast given me out
of the world" (Jn. 17:6). "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd
giveth his life for the SHEEP" (Jn 10:11). "I lay down my life for the
SHEEP" (Jn 10:15).
Total depravity necessitates an effectual call if any are to be saved. Since
all are not called effectually, this implies an election that is sovereign and
unconditional. A sovereign and unconditional, gracious election logically and
scripturally establishes the doctrine of a limited atonement. "Christ took hold
of a special class, and a definite number, known by the Father, to succor and to
save, and whom he calls the 'Seed of Abraham; His Seed; His Sheep; The lost
sheep of the house of Israel.' To save none others was He specially sent into
the world. 'I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel:
(Matt. 15:24)" (Seven Dispensations, J. R. Graves, Published by the Baptist
Sunday School Committee of the American Baptist Association, p. 100).
PRESERVATION AND PERSEVERANCE
How are the doctrines of preservation and perseverance irrevocably linked
with total depravity? The answer is simple. Since the saved retain their old
fallen nature after regeneration they must be preserved by Divine power for they
cannot keep themselves from utterly falling into sin. We must have the
motivating power of God to cause us to will and to do his good pleasure.
Are the saints Divinely preserved? salvation is a gracious gift of God, not
wages for service. "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance
(are irrevocable)" (Rom. 11:29). Since salvation is an irrevocable gift of God
it must be secured by Divine power. The saved are "preserved" in Christ
who "is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before
the presence of his glory with exceedingly joy" (Jude 1, 28).
When God graciously quickens one of his elect he imparts saving faith which
causes that born-again person to commit his soul into the safe-care of Jesus
Christ. We need never fear that we will be lost again, for as Paul wrote: "I
am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is
able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (2 Tim
1:12). Of the child of God David wrote: "Though he fall, he shall not be
utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand" (Psa. 37:24).
"The Lord forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved forever" (Psa.
37:28). Here David clearly teaches the preservation of the saved. We are
preserved forever because the Lord holds us in his hand. In this same vein Jesus
said: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I
give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man
pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all;
and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (Jn. 10:27-29).
Could one ask for a better preserving force than our blessed Lord here
Do men actually hate a doctrine which assured the perseverance and
preservation of the saved? Listen to Heretic Jimmy Swaggart: "Does a person lose
his free will simply because he gets saved? In other words when a person gets
saved, accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of his life, does he then lose
his freedom to make decisions? The question is, of course, ridiculous.
"No, a person does not lose his free will, or his freedom of choice, when he
is saved. If anything, salvation enhances a person's freedom and state of being
a free moral agent. The individual retains the ability and power to say 'yes' or
'no' to God -- or to anyone else. Just because someone becomes a Christian in no
way subverts his freedom to make decisions. We use our own personal will to get
in, and if we so desire we can use our same free will to get out." Swaggart
referred to the preservation of the saints as an "erroneous doctrine which has
caused untold millions of people to die and go to hell" (Ibid. p. 9). Again he
wrote of the five doctrines we have herein shown to be Scriptural, in this
manner: "You can see how Satan has woven his web of deceit piece by piece -- and
all to destroy untold millions. Unfortunately he's been successful in his quest"
(ibid.). Again, of preservation Swaggart wrote: "There are millions in hell ...
because they believe this pernicious doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.
The doctrine is fallacious, unscriptural, and ungodly" (Ibid.). Yes, false
teachers, ministers of Satan such as Jimmy Swaggart, have transformed themselves
as apostles of Christ and spout forth their hatred of truth while many Baptist
say: "I sure do like Jimmy Swaggart, or Oral Roberts, or some other ravening
wolf in sheep's clothing.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY, IN ESTABLISHING AND NECESSITATING THESE OTHER DOCTRINES,
THEREBY ESTABLISHES THE DOCTRINE OF ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY IN THE BESTOWAL OF HIS
Dr. J. R. Graves wrote: "It is quite impossible to bring an unprejudiced mind
and a balanced reason to the examination of these questions. All Bible readers
have taken position; and the verdict of the world is made up: and how difficult
to reverse or modify it. They involve the sovereignty of God in the bestowment
of his favors. All men are by nature Arminians; and the absolute sovereignty of
God is a doctrine hateful to the natural and depraved heart. False teachers have
taken advantage of this natural feeling, and have for ages have inflamed the
prejudices of Christian men and women against any exercise of sovereignty on the
part of God in this covenant, either as to his 'determinate counsels,' his
electing love, or his distinguishing."
This enmity of truth is reflected in Swaggart's words again when he wrote:
"To believe that He would hang on that bloody cross for just a select ministry
is blasphemous. This act of total love had to be for the whole world -- or for
none at all. If even one person would be excluded, the whole concept of
salvation and redemption becomes a farce" (Ibid. p. 10).
Regardless of man's hatred of this Sovereignty in salvation, it is still
true. Jesus is sovereign in the revealing of the father. "No man knoweth the
Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to
whomsoever the Son will reveal him" (Matt. 11:27). Jesus clearly reveals who
it is to whom he wills to reveal the Father. "I have manifested thy name unto
the men which thou gavest me out of the world" (Jn. 17:6). Jesus quickens
into spiritual life whom he wills to quicken. "For as the Father raiseth up
the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will" (Jn.
5:21). James wrote of God and said: "Of his own will begat he us" (James
God chose whom he would without any respect to any good or evil seen or
foreseen in them (Rom. 9:11-12). He loved Jacob as he willed and hated Esau as
he willed (Rom. 9:13). He is gracious to whom he wills to be gracious and he
hardens whom he wills to harden (Rom. 9:14-18). He takes a piece of clay and out
of it he makes one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor as he wills, of
that clay he makes one vessel of wrath fitted to destruction and another vessel
of mercy which he has before prepared for glory as he wills. On one vessel he
wills to show his wrath, on another he wills to manifest his mercy. And none of
his creatures should say to him: "Why hast thou made me thus?" (Rom.
In the matter of salvation, as well as in other areas, God must be
sovereign. "He must either rule, or be ruled; sway or be swayed; accomplish his
own will, or be thwarted by His own creatures" (A. W. Pink, The Sovereignty of
God, p. 17). The throne of God is a throne of grace and that grace is
Sovereignly bestowed by the Sovereign who occupies the throne. Man, by nature
hates the Bible doctrine of Divine sovereignty. He especially hates the exercise
of sovereignty in the bestowal of grace and mercy. Since total depravity
requires and establishes the effectual call, election, etc., which in turn
establish and enforce the sovereignty of God in his covenant mercies, we once
again are made to see that the real battle ground is the doctrine of total
TOTAL DEPRAVITY FORCES MEN TO GIVE GOD ALL THE GLORY
Man hates those doctrines which give God all the glory for his salvation. He
deserves all the glory, for "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9). Jesus
is "the way" to the Father. salvation is in Jesus Christ and in none
other (Acts 4:12). those doctrines which we have considered in this article,
especially total depravity, forces us to give God all the glory for every aspect
of our salvation from regeneration to glorification. Salvation is of the Lord
entirely or there would be no salvation for totally depraved folk. But how men
do hate to give God all the glory. For many reasons, therefore, the real
theological battle-ground has, for ages, been the doctrine of total depravity.