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Friday, February 20, 2009


The Curse of Externalism

Does the doctrine of Total Depravity mean that there is nothing good in the Christian? To say that will be to deny the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian. The Scriptures are very clear about it.

1. If a person is a child of God, then God has begun to work in his heart and mind to transform him, to make something good of him. The evil from Adam is not changed, but placed under condemnation, but a new nature in the image of Christ is implanted. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (Php 1:6)

2. This work is known as regeneration, or the creating of new life. "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" (Eph 2:1-2) Jesus put it this way: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven."


3. Because of this newness in Christ, it is possible for a person to begin to be fruitful in good works, in good thoughts, in good morals. This why Paul prays: "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Col 1:9-10 )

4. This is so critical to the Gospel that it is one side of the seal of God to the very foundation of the Gospel. One side is the hidden knowledge of God concerning the elect; the other side is the necessity of those who are called Christians to depart from iniquity: "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2Ti 2:19)



5. And so, the Scripture tells us in this same place: "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work." (2Ti 2:21) A man can and must become fit for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work if he is to call himself a Christian.

6. For a person to say that Christians cannot do or think truly good things is to deny the power of God. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." (Tit 1:16) People deny the Lord, not only in their words, but also in their deeds.

7. A good minister will exhort and plead with the people to live holy and godly lives, putting away the deeds of the flesh, the hating, the backbiting, the gossip, and other forms of hatred and evil.


"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (Heb 13:20-21)
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