"THOU SHALT SURELY DIE!" (PART 8)
Every image of God which spiritually dead man has is patently not the true God, for God says there are none who seek after Him. The word seeketh, as used in Romans 3, means ‘to search out’, ‘investigate’, ‘crave’, ‘require’, ‘demand’, ‘worship’. No man, by nature, does any of these things when it comes to the true God. No man by nature craves, requires, demands, worships or has any love for the true God, therefore, no man by nature seeks God. In light of this, how can anyone seriously contend that there is any spiritual life remaining in man, when no man, by nature, craves, requires, demands, worships, knows or loves the true God? This is all a consequence of the Fall. Man by nature may be convinced that he does crave after the True and only God, but he never recognises the True God, as the True God, but always only counterfeits. All that man can do, in fact the best a man can do, is seek after false gods requiring their favor, craving and demanding their attention, worshipping and loving only them whilst under the illusion that they are seeking the True God. Such is the state of the spiritually dead, such is the state of the damned, for they are without God and without hope in this world! Always busy, always active, always "...learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7), and, therefore, the knowledge of the God of Truth. Man is a spiritually blind creature stumbling around in the darkness deluded by his very nature into thinking that he can see and, therefore, find God. Man, by nature, has an understanding which is "...darkened, being alienated from God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart" (Eph. 4:18). And THIS is what man is depending on to guide him into eternity!
No man by nature has ever, or will ever, search for the true God for man is without God and therefore utterly without hope in this world. Man needs God. He needs the grace of God and he needs the mercy of God, for without God, man simply has no hope. No man by nature craves the God of election, but despises Him. John Wesley, the man who modernised and promoted Arminianism, once called the God of election Who is Sovereign over all, and all, things, “my devil”. People, like Wesley, see predestination as something that kills off all hope, and leads to indifference. What utter madness to say that anything God has done kills off hope in man, for man is already without hope! Man is literally conceived in a state of utter hopelessness. Man is without God because of his sin against God. It is not God Who has rendered man hopeless, but man himself through sin. Can you see the humanistic view, rather than the Scriptural facts concerning man in all this. God is to blame and poor little innocent man is merely a victim. Scripture asks: "Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than His Maker?" (Job 4:17). The Word of God says: MAN IS A WORM!!! (see Job 25:4-6) The Scriptures state clearly that man's "...heart is deceitful ABOVE ALL THINGS, and DESPERATELY wicked" (Jer. 17:9; cf. Gen. 6:5; Job 15:14-16; Psa. 51:5; 53:1-3; Eccl. 9:3). THIS is reality my friends. THIS is how the Word of God describes man in his natural, sinful state! Not only is man helpless and hopeless but, by nature, he is an aggressive and arrogant creature who is nothing but an enemy of God and a child of Wrath. Those who see predestination as man's enemy and that which leaves him hopeless, are those who perish for they do not believe that man's eating of the fruit resulted in his death to God. They are followers of Satan who do not see man as a spiritually dead creature and therefore in no need of being predestinated by the will of God. Man in his fallen state thinks he has more of a chance to come to God via his mythical free will than God's actual and Sovereign free will! Again, such thinking is borne out of a belief that man is not spiritually dead to God. Predestination, motivated by the love, grace and mercy of God is what provides hope, for it pronounces that God's love is alive toward all those whom He has chosen before the foundation of the world (see Eph. 1:3-9). WITHOUT THIS LOVE MAN IS HOPELESS and without belief in THE Gospel of God man shall perish.
No man by nature demands to have the true God, or worships Him, not because he can see Him and rejects Him, but because he cannot see God for His Gospel is hid from him because he is spiritually dead to Him. Man does not seek, for he cannot see. To see, whether physically or spiritually, one needs to be alive. If man was spiritually alive in some sense he would, at least, partially understand God, he would have some vision of the true God much like the blind man who could see men as trees, walking (see Mk. 8:24). But the fact that no man, by nature, understands God at all, or seeks after Him, is conclusive evidence that man is totally dead to God for he does not see Him and, therefore, cannot know Him. How else would, or could, one describe man’s unprofitable, spiritual condition other than by a state of being completely dead to God! Does any of this sound like man is not completely cut off from God, or that he in some way desires the true God? The infamous, blasphemous, yet revealing April 8, 1966 cover of Time magazine which posed the ridiculous question, 'Is God Dead?' actually reveals much about man and his spiritually dead state. Man thinks he is ok. Man thinks that everything is fine and dandy with him. Man's spiritually dead state has left him in such an utterly delusive condition that he actually thinks he is ok, but that something must be wrong with God. Man’s spiritual delusion, evidenced in his asking, ‘Is God dead?’, provides monumental evidence of his spiritually dead state. The question is, of course, utterly absurd and incongruous for in saying 'God' one is speaking of the One to Whom there is no beginning or end. No one who has been made spiritually alive to God would ever even contemplate such a ridiculous, oxy-moronic and blasphemous question. It is all yet another of a multitude of evidences which reveals man's spiritually dead state. Interestingly, the ones who seek after false gods, believing them to be true, are just as spiritually dead as those who posed such a question.
Just as man is utterly dead spiritually, so too, the sum total of his religious pursuits is utterly unprofitable to him. It would be laughable if it were not so serious, that in all of man’s ‘free will’ endeavors to reach God and please God, along with his futile attempts at recommending himself to God, man has gained nothing for there is no fear of the True God in any man in his natural, fallen and sinful state. If man is not spiritually dead, how is it that with all of his supposed ‘free will’ there is NOT ONE who has 'freely chosen', in and of himself, to go after the true God, to seek Him, to worship Him and to desire Him and no other! The Lord says that there are none who seek after Him, so what good is this 'free will' if it cannot lead, and has NEVER led, anyone to the True God, for that Scripture still stands true today? Man says he can come to God by his free will choice and Scripture says that there is no man that seeks God. Scripture clearly states that a saved man loves God because God loved him first (see 1 Jn. 4:10). God chose man before the foundation of the world, so man does not even need a free will to choose God, for a saved man is a chosen vessel of God (see Acts 9:15; cf. Rom. 9:21-24). God is not the one Who is chosen but is the One Who chooses. The truly saved man does not choose to believe the Gospel for only by grace can he see it and only by grace is he granted the Faith to believe it. He sees and believes because God has granted him eyes to see. Salvation is more a case of a chosen vessel of God not being able to choose to disbelieve than one of his choosing to believe, for no one can deny the Light. Therefore, what may look like a man coming to God is in reality God coming to the man. One could word it thusly, 'A man comes to God because God came to the man first' or 'A man 'chooses' God because God chose the man first'. All this reveals the biblical reality that in God coming to the man, man needs not to come to God for God is already with the man. Additionally, man does not need to choose God, for God has already chosen him. Of course no man chooses God, for then salvation would be of works. No man can even pray to the True God, for salvation for "How...shall they call on Him in Whom they have not believed?..." (Rom. 10:14). A man who believes in God has no reason or need to ask God to save him, for his believing is evidence that he has been made alive, born again, by God. If no man can seek God by nature then he surely cannot address Him in prayer, for he does not know him or believe Him. If a man could pray to the true God before salvation, then he would be alive to God and would not need to pray for salvation, for in praying to the true God he would be seeking the true God which would show he is already saved of God. Any man who appears to have chosen God has actually been chosen of God. None of God's children believe they chose Him but that He chose them and that before the very foundation of the world. Therefore, it is not of works, which includes choosing, but by grace: being chosen. The Scripture says: "Ye are a chosen generation..." (1 Pet. 2:9), and not a generation of choosers. "...men by all their good works, best duties and services, give nothing to God, nor lay Him under any manner of obligation to them: hence no man can merit anything at the hands of God...but it is impossible there should be merit in a creature, who has nothing but what he has from God, and does nothing but what he is obliged to do; and that not by his own strength, but by the grace and strength of God (see 1 Cor. 15:10); and therefore there is no retribution made by God as of debt, but of grace: hence it follows, that God is indebted to, and obliged by none, and may do what He will with His own; love Jacob and hate Esau; choose one and not another; reject the Jews, and call the Gentiles; save and justify some, and not others; none can call Him to account, or say unto Him, what doest Thou?" "...who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?" (Rom. 11:35; cf. Dan. 4:35).
What good is 'free will', or any other work of man's for that matter, seeing that "...THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD" (Rom. 3:11). If there are none, by nature, that seek God how can any choose God? How can any man, by nature, be praying to the True God? The Arminian says man can at any time reach out to God and provoke the Lord to save him. BUT HOW CAN HE DO THIS WHEN ALMIGHTY GOD SAYS THAT THERE ARE NONE WHO EVEN SEEK AFTER THE TRUE GOD??!!!! It is taught in Arminian circles that God visits the man with prevenient grace which is said to enable, but does not ensure, that the man will, by the exercise of his own free will, choose God. But how can any man do this whilst in a spiritually dead, unregenerated state? One of the most critically important principles in Scripture, which all Arminians have failed to grasp, is the fact that the grace which Scripture speaks of is not an enabling grace but is an enlivening grace, it is saving grace (see Eph. 2:8; Titus 2:11; Rom. 3:24). Those who do not believe in man's spiritually dead state before God will never understand and appreciate the concept of grace. GRACE IS GOD MAKING ALIVE THOSE WHO WERE DEAD! This grace which is in accord with the will of God and its purpose to save, is not merely an offer of salvation, for what would be the point of offering anything to a dead man? How can anyone choose what they do not, indeed, cannot seek? How can anyone come to the True God prior to being made a new creature in Christ? Seeing no man by nature seeks God, man must require a new nature for he cannot do anything to come to God by means of his sinful nature. Man must be born again, he must be made a new creature in Christ and be given a new nature. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17; cf. 2 Pet. 1:4). "...'a new creation', is a phrase often used by the Jewish doctors, and is applied by the apostle to converted persons; and designs not an outward reformation of life and manners, but an inward principle of grace, which is a creature, a creation work, and so not man's, but God's; and in which man is purely passive, as he was in his first creation; and this is a new creature, or a new man, in opposition to, and distinction from the old man, the corruption of nature; and because it is something anew implanted in the soul, which never was there before; it is not a working upon, and an improvement of the old principles of nature, but an implantation of new principles of grace and holiness." The new man now sees, understands and knows the True God and His True Gospel for he is made alive, a new creation of God's who no longer rejects Him, but who loves and follows only Him.
The Lord Jesus states that salvation is impossible with man. Man can do nothing to get saved. There is nothing within man, according to his sinful nature, which prompts him to seek after the True God for he does not know the True God so how in the world could a man, by his own alleged free will, possibly even want to choose the True God, especially when he has been taught the false god of Arminianism? Man must be born of the Spirit of God, for that which is born of the flesh will never seek God or enter into God's Kingdom. "...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (Jn. 3:5,6; cf. 1 Cor. 2:14). "...by flesh is designed, the nature of man; not merely as weak and frail, but as unclean and corrupt, through sin; and which being propagated by natural generation from sinful men, cannot be otherwise; for 'Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one', (Job 14:4)...'flesh', as it stands opposed to spirit, signifies the corruption of nature,(Gal. 5:17); and such who are in a state of unregeneracy, are said to be after the flesh, and in the flesh, and even the mind itself is said to be carnal, (Rom. 8:5-8)...a man that is regenerated by the Spirit of God, and the efficacy of his grace, is a spiritual man; he can discern and judge all things of a spiritual nature; he is a fit person to be admitted to spiritual ordinances and privileges; and appears to be in the spiritual Kingdom of Christ; and has a right to the world of blessed spirits above; and when his body is raised a spiritual body, will be admitted in soul, body, and spirit, into the joy of his Lord. 'Spirit' in the first part of this clause, signifies the Holy Spirit of God, the Author of regeneration and sanctification; whence that work is called the sanctification of the Spirit, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, (1 Pet. 1:2) (Titus 3:5). And 'spirit', in the latter part, intends the internal work of grace upon the soul, from whence a man is denominated a spiritual man..." Man must be made alive by God, a new creature in Christ. He must be born again, born from above, born of the Seed of Truth: the glorious Gospel of God (see 1 Pet. 1:23-25).
It is sheer lunacy to claim man is not spiritually dead, and that he does not need to be made alive by God, in light of all the Scriptural evidence to the contrary. The doctrine which teaches man is not spiritually dead stands as a monument to man's sinful pride and Satan's lie that man would not die, and so is not dead. The deceived do not believe they are deceived for they do not know they are deceived, likewise, the spiritually dead do not believe they are spiritually dead for they do not know they are spiritually dead. Only when a person is made spiritually alive by God, do they clearly understand and see that prior to the new birth they were dead in sin and, in fact, children of Wrath with no hope and without God (see Eph. 2). “Everyone thinks they are saved, before they are saved, until they are saved.” Those who remain in the realm of the spiritually dead are the only ones who cling to the fantasy that man is merely spiritually handicapped, and not to the reality of spiritual death. Man's sinful, prideful state fuelled by Satan's lie that man would not surely die, arrogantly insists that he is not surely dead. Such a creature not only believes man is not dead, but that he can by his own actions not only get saved and stay saved, but also that once 'saved' he can lose his salvation in the same manner. When a person does not believe the Truth of God, as revealed in the Gospel of God, they do not believe God. The Word of God says of such people, who cannot see, and, therefore, do not believe in the God of the Gospel, they are lost: "...if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (2 Cor. 4:3). To the lost, the Gospel of God is hid and if the Gospel of God is hid to them, so too, is the God of that Gospel. This is all made perfectly clear in, and confirmed as truth by, the Scriptures which teach that no man seeks after the true God.
Placing the phrases 'spiritual death' and 'free will' to one side for a moment and simply looking at bare Scripture, one can see the utterly desolate and hopeless state man is in for he is clearly without Christ the Savior, without God and therefore without hope in the world (see Eph. 2:12). That salvation without God is impossible for no man who is without God seeks after the True God (see Matt. 19:26; Rom. 3:11). In other words no man by his sinful nature desires the true God. This is one of the reasons why Christ said man must be born again, made a new creature, if he is to see Heaven "...Except a man be born again; he cannot see the Kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:3; cf. Jn. 3:6; 1 Cor. 15:50; Gal. 6:15). Man can seek to better his ways and live a more moral life, even a religiously moral life, but moral reformation is not the way to God, nor can any man recreate himself. No man can cause himself, or choose, to be born again spiritually just as no man can choose to be physically born. There must be a NEW creature! Man's sinful nature cannot choose this nor cause it to come to pass. Christ said no man can come to Him EXCEPT the Father. Without God man is without hope. In other words unless God does something, man is utterly without any hope which shows that man CANNOT choose, he CANNOT will himself to be a new creature in Christ. What Arminians fail to realise is that to 'choose the true God' one must be made alive by God. And, if one has been made alive by God, there is no need to 'choose' God for in being made alive by God it is evident that the man has been chosen by God. Being born again, born alive to God is something done entirely by the grace of God upon His chosen creatures. GOD CAN SAVE A MAN, BUT A MAN CANNOT CHOOSE TO BE SAVED BY GOD.
TRUTH AND ITS CONSEQUENCES NEVER CHANGE. Such Scriptures as 2 Corinthians 4:3 utterly dissolve the false Arminian view that, though seriously affected by the Fall, man has not been rendered totally helpless by it. If a man does not believe the true Gospel it is because he is lost and without God. Such is the state of all men, by nature. How else could all this be referred to other than by spiritual death! If all the evidence presented here does not teach spiritual death what else could it be called, and what else could it be teaching? What else could it be describing? ONLY when a man is born again, born of God, born of His Word, the Gospel, does he become a seeker of, one who desires and follows after, the True God. Only when a man has been made alive to God by God does he crave and desire and love the True God. A man must be born to see the light of day, likewise, a man must be born again to see the Light of God. Only THEN, only after a work of creation by God may he rightly be called a Righteous man, a saved man, a man of God. Only then can a man, only then does a man, ‘search out’, ‘investigate’, ‘crave’, ‘require’, ‘demand’ and ‘worship’ the True God. Only when a man is made alive again to God by His Holy Spirit, and given the gift of Faith to believe God's Gospel can a man be said to be spiritually alive unto God. Man without God can only seek after false gods. Man's imagination always forms and follows the god he wants. Man, according to his sinful fallen nature, can only seek after his imagined gods. The born again man, the man who has been made alive to the True God, seeks only after Him and loves only Him as He is revealed in His Gospel.
Another powerful Scripture passage concerning the spiritually dead state of mankind is found in Ephesians 2. "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins....fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of Wrath, even as others. But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)....That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of Promise, having no hope, and without God in the world..." (Eph. 2:1,3-5,12). Even more detailed evidence is provided here of the spiritually dead condition of man than is shown in Romans 3. God speaks so succinctly. God can say in a matter of a few words what it takes man to explain with a thousand words. Towards the end of this passage we see the ultimate description of spiritually dead man: "...without Christ...having no hope, and without God in the world..." I mean, what is there left to say? How can any man argue against this? What hope does a man have who is without Christ, who is without hope in himself and who is without God? The true and biblical concept of no hope is seen in the context that without God's love and mercy man will remain dead in trespasses and sins. MAN'S ONLY HOPE LIES IN THE LOVE AND MERCY OF GOD! Have your way you who deny spiritual death. Let us say that there is no spiritual death. What would you then call, and how would you proceed to describe, man's condition of being without Christ, without hope and without God in the world? Where would you find hope for man if no man has any hope and if every man is without God? Is there hope in an animal, a tree, a flower, an insect or a bird whereby a man can hope to be saved? Let a man have all the so called free will he wants, the Scripture will still say NO HOPE! Let a man believe and preach that man is not spiritually dead to God, the overruling Scriptures of God will still say he has NO HOPE and is WITHOUT GOD!
What is there that remains for any man to hang his hat on who ignorantly believes in Satan's lie that man would not surely die? When all that you have is no hope whatsoever, in and of yourself, and that you are without God in this world, you have nothing. There is nothing to which you can turn to in hope, not within you or without you. Don't believe this? What are you going to turn to? Good deeds? Feed and clothe a million people every day for the rest of your life, and the Word of God will still say you have NO HOPE, and are WITHOUT GOD. Without God, good deeds are of no help and provide no hope. There is no room in God’s Gospel for a man to boast of any initiating act, contributing work, or deed of cooperation upon which his salvation is dependant. The Scriptures say that without saving Faith man cannot please God: "...without Faith it is impossible to please Him..." (Heb. 11:6). Whom are you going to turn to if you have no hope and are without the true God? Will a false god help you? Billions of people believe so. They believe they have hope in their false gods whom they believe to be true gods. But how can this be true hope, a hope with substance, when Almighty God says that all people, in their natural fallen state, "...pray unto a god that cannot save" (Isa. 45:20). GOOD DEEDS AND FALSE GODS WILL NOT SAVE ANYONE! What then remains that would rightly cause any man to believe that he has some hope of salvation?
Arminianism teaches that, enabled by the grace of God, a man can choose God and that this is done by his free will BEFORE salvation. Arminians do not believe that original sin has caused man's spiritual death, they do not believe that man needs to be made alive in order to come to God, but that man has an inherent free will to choose God. Conversely, Scripture states quite clearly that man is in a helpless and hopeless state before God, and is in fact, "... dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). Therefore, no other conclusion can be arrived at other than in order to be saved, man must be made alive by the Lord, before he believes the Gospel of his salvation and trusts in Christ (see Eph. 1:12,13; Eph. 2:1,5). There can be no controversy concerning the fact that before belief and before trust, a man is spiritually dead and must be made alive by God before he can believe His Gospel of salvation. Those who trust in Christ do so only "...AFTER (they) heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of (their) salvation..." (Eph. 1:13). All those who are truly alive to God were at one time dead in their trespasses and sins. God makes His people, all those whom He loves, alive from the dead by His grace (see Eph. 2:4,5). It does not take a rocket scientist to realise that those whom God makes alive were, prior to that event taking place, without life. Nothing that a man can do can make him alive to God. Natural man is without God and, therefore, without any life toward God and so is without any hope of salvation. Natural man is without God, without hope, without salvation, without the Righteousness of Christ, without the grace of God, without the Faith of God, without the Spirit of God, without life, without desire to seek after the true God, without right knowledge and understanding of God and, therefore, without the Gospel of God. The only thing man does have is the sinful nature that eternally condemns him! THIS is why man is without hope and THIS is why man is without God! Man is under the curse of sin which is why a Savior was needed to become a curse for all the hopeless ones He would be given by the Father to redeem. Writing to the brethren, Paul stated: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us..." (Gal. 3:13).
There is nothing for a man to do, who is without God and therefore does not, cannot, even seek Him, but to die in his sins. All he can do is sin, all he can do is die in his sins. What can a man do when the Scriptures say man has no hope? Arminianism teaches that God enables a man to choose him but does not force this upon the man, that God's grace is resistible and never interferes with a man's free will and so man's act of free will, completely independent of God's grace, actually gives God permission to go ahead and save him! This is the Roman Catholic teaching of grace and works. Salvation is by grace they say but we must do our part. God opens the door but we are the ones that must choose, not by God's grace but by our free will, to walk through it. LIES!!! Salvation is ALL of God. Christians are those who were dead in sins but have now been made alive by God! THIS IS GRACE! THIS IS WHAT BEING SAVED BY GRACE MEANS!! Being made alive is to be saved by grace and being saved by grace is to be made alive. "Even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened ('make alive') us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)" (Eph. 2:5; cf. Rom. 8:10; Col. 2:13). Here we see the apostle clearly equating being made alive to God with salvation by grace alone. Being made alive with Christ, speaks "...of the spiritual life with Christ, imparted to believers at their conversion". Repentance is a gift of God, Faith is a gift of God and all are given by the grace of God. "By grace are ye saved…" (Eph.2:8). By God you are saved. By what God does you are saved. The only other thing mentioned in this verse is the gift of Faith. "...by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8,9). Couple these Scriptures with Romans 3:27,28 and you see an even more complete picture. Paul is speaking concerning the Righteousness of Christ and that God is the Justifier of all who believe in Jesus. That justification can only be by the Righteousness of Christ and no other, and then asks: "Where is boasting then? IT is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of Faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law". By God is a man saved through His gift of Faith given to him not based on anything a man is or has done or abstained from doing, but solely, purely and ENTIRELY BY GRACE which is only based on the love and mercy of God. If a man was saved because of his free will decision, in other words because of something he did, then it would no longer be salvation by grace but salvation by works. Man doing something and God responding. However, the Word of God teaches that a saved man is made so by Christ's obedience and not his own: “...by the obedience of One shall many be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19). Salvation is NOT conditioned in any way to any degree on what a man must do for salvation is all by God's grace, by God doing. God has done nothing to enable a man to do anything so that God can then save him, but the Lord has made the man a new creature which is receptive of Him purely by God's will and purpose. That is the only requirement for salvation: that God make a man a new creature which is alive to Him, born again of, and a believer in, His Word, the Gospel. A man must be a chosen vessel in order to receive the grace of God and this, again, is all God's doing, all done by God's grace before the foundation of the world. Those who are made vessels unto dishonor can never receive the grace of God but only those whom the Potter has made unto honor (see Rom. 9:21-23). It is all God's doing for salvation is all by God's grace. Being without God is to be spiritually dead, and to be spiritually dead means MAN HAS NO HOPE BECAUSE HE HAS NO LIFE!! Which other word is there that so perfectly describes what it is to be without hope, and without God, than DEATH!
We see in our passage from Ephesians 2, the apostle Paul writing to his fellow believers, that GOD HAS MADE ALIVE THOSE WHO WERE DEAD IN SIN! Those who have a warped understanding, and have attached a meaning other than death to the word die in Genesis 2 and 3, and so cannot believe that this is a reference to man's sinful nature, must also change the obvious meanings of several other words throughout Scripture in order to 'do away' with the literal and intended meaning of them by God. They wrest the Scriptures by distorting the very meaning of individual words in order to prop up their futile and satanically fuelled and inspired understanding of the Word of God to suit their own interests or views. They distort the Truth, forcing it to conform to their carnal understanding of the Scriptures. "Fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind..." is the perfect illustration of what it is to be spiritually dead. Without God, all man has are his lustful, fleshly desires and his carnal, sinful and heretical thoughts. These desires of the flesh and of the mind not only have to do with sexual perversion, gluttony and lying etc., but they also have everything in the world to do with seeking after false gods, and following the traditions of men rather than believing the Truth of God. After all, being spiritually dead does not merely produce the carnal sins of the flesh but also of man's spirit. The desires of the mind surely do not include desires for true doctrine, nor the true God but only for false teachings and false gods. These desires do not entertain thoughts, and encourage the belief, of the doctrines of Christ but only to heretically rebel against them. Scripture says "A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself" (Titus 3:10,11). When a person professes to be a Christian they are professing "...SUBJECTION unto the Gospel of Christ..." (2 Cor. 9:13). But there can be no subjection unto the Gospel of Christ when one's love is for another christ of a gospel which is not God's.
By nature, man is not a child of God but a child of God’s Wrath (see Eph. 2:3). There is nothing intrinsic in man that is attracted to God or that will lead him to God. Nor is there anything in man which attracts God to him. The only thing which man, by nature, does attract from God is God's Wrath. Man needs to be made alive to God from this state and only God can do it. The Scriptures in Ephesians 2 which refer to God having made alive, with Christ, those who by nature only draw His Wrath, because they are children of Wrath, separated from Him, show clearly the reality of a lost man's current spiritual state before God. To be separated from God is to be a child of the Wrath of God. Being made alive is only due to the grace of God, it is only attributable to God's love and mercy not because man has chosen God, for man is dead in sin and in bondage to the perverted and sinful desires of the flesh and of the mind. Christ said "...Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (Jn. 8:34; cf. Rom. 7:24; 2 Pet. 2:19). The word servant here means slave. Paul the apostle teaches that all saved men "...were the servants of sin....being…made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Rom. 6:17,18; cf. 2 Pet. 2:20). To be made alive is to be made free. As a slave to sin man is without Christ, he is without God and, therefore, without any hope in this world. By nature all men are sinful sinners and children of Wrath. Nothing more and nothing less. How could anyone who still had some spiritual life within them, and therefore some spiritual connection to the true God, As Arminians claim, ever be referred to as a child of Wrath? How can a child still connected to its mother by the umbilical cord be said to be the child of another? One is either a child of Wrath or a child of God. One is either saved or not saved. One is either loved or not loved. If one is not a child of God then all that one, by nature, can ever be is a child of God's Wrath. Let him have some spiritual life remaining, let him have his mythical free will. If a man is not a child of God, if a man has not been born again, born of God, born of the Gospel and MADE ALIVE TO GOD by God, all he can be is a hopeless, helpless child of wrath! Man by nature is a creature who, being spiritually dead before God, has no hope in him or in anyone else for he is lifeless and lost in a world without God.
The first demonic offspring of the doctrine which mocks and spurns the teaching of spiritual death is free will. This doctrine defiantly insists that man has a free will to either choose God or reject Him. Free will teaches that God saves those who choose Him, but the Scriptures express in clear and definitive terms that it is the Sovereign God Who does the choosing, predestinating, electing, etc., and that a saved man is a chosen vessel. Man's salvation is God's grace in action. We've learned that 1 Peter 2:9 teaches that Christians are a chosen generation and not a generation of choosers: "...ye are a chosen generation..." Paul the apostle is described as a chosen vessel, literally 'a vessel of election', not a vessel that has chosen, or elected (see Acts 9:15; cf. Acts 9:21). This falls perfectly into line with the teaching that man is dead in sin and spiritually dead to God, without desire for, and, therefore, without even any thought to, 'choose God' from his own real or imagined free will. God's having to choose man and to make him alive is primary evidence of the fact that, free will or no free will, MAN CAN DO NOTHING IN AND OF HIMSELF TO COME TO GOD! If man could do something to come to God why would God have bothered with grace and mercy and predestination? All that would have been required was a Savior to die for all and a man's free will decision to accept what was done for him. God choosing man before the foundation of the world is a doctrine which demonstrates the impossibility of a man ever choosing God. God having done all to save shows that there was nothing at all a man could do to get saved. This fits perfectly with the doctrine that salvation is by grace, and not a work of man's, otherwise salvation would be a reward and no gift. Man cannot seek God, so it is manifest that he cannot then choose God, for he is without God. To say man can choose God is to do so in spite of the fact that man is without God and without hope. God is a man's only hope for none can come to Him except for the Father. Arminianism would have us believe that despite the fact that man is without God and without hope he can still choose God. Madness. Whether one believes that man can choose God at any time or that he is enabled by God to choose Him, the point is why does a man need to choose God when the Word of God emphatically states that he has already been chosen by God, predestinated by God before the foundation of the world, for the purpose of salvation! How can a man choose God, how can a man predestinate himself, when he does not, cannot, understand, know or seek after the true God?