As mentioned in the introduction, I have been been discussing the differences between Calvinism and Provisionalism with a fellow blogger. One particular response grabbed my attention and I am trying to understand his position, by referring to his proof texts and logic.
This is the first portion of his response (in red), along with the corresponding verses he referred to. I shall seek to comment on the verses and find his argument within the verses he has provided.
You are always using Human reasoning instead of scripture. God can change and has to change a person’s will to be saved. Ezekiel 36:26 John 3:3-8 Romans 3:10-12 Psalms 14:1-3 even though you think he can’t interfere with natural man’s will and someone will have to tell me how one person believes the Gospel the true gospel that is and another doesn’t. No freewill advocate can give me an answer. They ignore that question.
The next passage my friend brings to the table to support his theology is Romans 3:10-12. Such a famous set of verses describing the fallen state of man, and the universality of sin in the human race.
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
In Romans 1 Paul is describing the Gentile world and their wretchedness in front of God, and in chapter 2, he continues with descriptions of sinfulness. By the time he gets to Romans 3:23, he has made his point. All have sinned, both Gentile and Jew.
Remember the problem that Paul was addressing in the letter to the Romans was the division between Jews and Gentiles within the body, how the Jews were acting self righteous and the Gentiles seemingly took too many liberalities. Division was rampant, and we all know how Paul felt about division!
Could the passage be chosen by Paul in order to level the playing field of the different parties reading it? As we say in Texas, all y’all are sinners. All y’all are in the same bucket!
It doesn’t seem to address the sinners abilities to repent, only that they are sinners through and through, and that they have no power to redeem themselves.
Let me try to explain my understanding this way.
If I am drowning and not able to swim, and going down for the third time, I am as good as dead. (Ephesians 2:5) Yet if a boat comes along and rescues me, I only need to stop my struggle and accept the rescue. In words that sound biblical, I need to repent of my own works and receive the grace of God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is there any glory in the rescue for the drowning person? I think not. Next time you see a rescue being reported of on the TV, notice who gets the glory.
My friend, we are all sinners, drowning in the cess pool of our own filth, our disobedience only growing with each day of rejection. There is a Savior that is seeking the lost and desiring to commune with the believer. He is the One who desires to live with us, or better put, for us to live with Him, for there is a difference!
I think I may have wandered from the topic, and would like to remind the reader that the emphasis of this passage is the universality of sin on a fallen world, and that it does not describe one who cannot react to the offer of a good gift given to them.
The next passage my friend refers to for consideration is Psalm 14:1. This is the very passage Paul quoted from in the previous portion. David’s context is different and it may be wise to consider the background upon which this passage was written.
I do hope you will continue with me as I seek to understand the verses he supplies and if the verses he supplied support his argument of fatalism/determinism which he speaks of.