Defilements and Pollutions

Some of you may have already seen this reading by Charles Spurgeon. It was posted on Of First Importance a little while ago, but it bears repeating — and discussing.


Away with your tools

If you make me an altar of stone,
you shall not build it of hewn stones,
for if you wield your tool on it you profane it.

Exodus 20:25

“God’s altar was to be built of unhewn stones, that no trace of human skill or labor might be seen on it. Human wisdom delights to trim and arrange the doctrines of the cross into a system more artificial and more congenial with the depraved tastes of fallen nature; however, instead of improving the gospel carnal wisdom pollutes it, until it becomes another gospel, and not the truth of God at all. All alterations and amendments of the Lord’s own Word are defilements and pollutions.

“The proud heart of man is very anxious to have a hand in the justification of the soul before God; preparations for Christ are dreamed of, humblings and repentings are trusted in, good works are cried up, natural ability is much vaunted, and by all means the attempt is made to lift up human tools upon the divine altar. It were well if sinners would remember that so far from perfecting the Saviour’s work, their carnal confidences only pollute and dishonor it. The Lord alone must be exalted in the work of atonement, and not a single mark of man’s chisel or hammer will be endured.

“There is an inherent blasphemy in seeking to add to what Christ Jesus in His dying moments declared to be finished, or to improve that in which the Lord Jehovah finds perfect satisfaction. Trembling sinner, away with your tools. Fall on your knees in humble supplication. Accept the Lord Jesus to be the altar of your atonement, and rest in Him alone.”

– Charles Spurgeon, Morning by Morning (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2001), 204.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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75 Responses to Defilements and Pollutions

  1. Michael P says:

    Actually, yes, I do agree with that. Sin is as much a part of our being as the color of our hair. But while we can change the color of our hair, we can’t change our sin nature.

    If other Christians disagree, let them tell me so. I am open to correction.

    But to be fair, there is a difference in points of emphasis. Some Christians do dwell on our sin nature more than others. But this does not change the acknowledgement that the sin nature exists in the way it does. This is also true of celebrating our freedom through Christ. Some emphasize this over our sin nature. But those that don’t emphasize this triumph as much still recognize the freedom given through Christ’s sacrifice.

    The simple answer though is that our sin nature exists no matter what you choose to emphasize more.

  2. Michael P says:

    Adding a thought to our salvation on faith alone…

    Let’s be careful here not to confuse thoughts. Christians believe, by and large, that we are saved through our faith. That’s it, no works are required. SALVATION IS ACHIEVED THROUGH BELIEVING IN WHAT CHRIST DID FOR US. Works do not change a thing to that effect.

    Works then are good, and we show our faith through our work, but works do not effect our salvation. Christ tells us to do good things, and to follow Christ, we should do so. But this still does not effect our salvation, which was achieved at belief.

    Works are separate from faith, even though they are tied together. They are not the same idea.

    That, now, is the Christian belief. LDS believe that works affect salvation (simplifying the LDS belief of salvation, which in reality is quite different). To LDS, true salvation only occurs after you’ve done all you can do to earn it. So, if you work AND if you believe, you may be saved. But if you believe and don’t work, you won’t, just as if you work but don’t believe.

    You work to be worthy of salvation, or work to prove your faith.

    This is different from what Christians believe in that works are separate from salvation to us. TO you, they cannot be separated.

    Now, do I believe someone will be saved if they truly believe but do no work? Yes, actually, I do.

  3. subgenius says:

    not talking about sin nature,,,talking about the fact that, if you are catholic, you are born guilty of sin….not capable of sin, but having already been soiled by committment of the original sin, because your soul is a direct descendent of Adam. A totally dofferent topic from “sin nature”.
    this is an incredibly misleading statement, and is contradicted throughout the Gospel. ONE CAN NOT ACHIEVE SALVATION ON FAITH ALONE.
    I also contend that good works are not a means to prove faith but is just simple evidence of faith.

    you say you believe that someone will be “saved” if they do no work, and i say it is impossible to believe and not do good work…..if you truly believe.

  4. Enki says:

    There are actually two people who did not suffer from ‘original sin’ according to catholics.

    Question-anyone- Does the bible actually use the words ‘original sin’? Is sin clearly defined within the bible? I have heard people say, its violation of gods law, but does it actually say that in so many words? Is it the same thing as an abomination? Are there any other terms that have that kind of feel to it? For example: unethical.

    Sub-I am currently reading a book about the roman catholic use of relics, very interesting, kind of funny and very weird. I am not so aware of LDS belief in relics, I don’t think there are many if at all. Perhaps only the seer stone, but that is kept out of sight, and perhaps out of mind. Its strange to me that the catholic church at one point promoted the idea that every church should have a relic of some type.

  5. Enki says:

    To be fair, here is a link to the catholic view of immaculate conception.

    Its actually quite an interesting read, something to think about. I have some conversations with catholics over this teaching, and most mistake IC with the virgin birth, two very different teachings about two different people.

  6. Michael P says:

    Sub, I know what you mean and agree with Catholics. Our sin nature is a part of our being as much as any other part, and that we are born guilty of it from the beginning.

    The idea of an age of accountability and such is an idea that many Christians use to give some hope to those who don’t like the idea of a baby going to hell before they’ve had a chance to accept Christ. My belief is that it may be well that God grants such mercy on children.

    Believe me, I have two sons, one four and the other just turned three. The idea that they may go to hell if they were to pass is horrendous, and I certainly pray that Christ has that mercy. I have faith that he does, but I really don’t know. But I do ultimately trust that he will do right, and whatever that is is wonderful.

    I also think my boys know enough about Jesus to know he loves them, and that he is good. I pray for them, and read from the Bible everynight before they go to bed. We’ve bounced around book to book and are almost done with Exodus. I think they understand he’s at least something very special.

    So, I think the idea also speaks to the importance of the great commission– to preach the gospel to the world. All too often, many Christians forget that their own children are a part of the world, and that the biggest impact they can have on God’s kingdom is the influence they have in their own family.

    All of this is to say that original sin is real, and the majority of Christians believe it is real. Catholics do take it very seriously, and as I said, tend to focus on sin more than others. Catholics are also very litigious and strict in many ways. They put more an emphasis on ritual works than we do, which shows a reliance on our responsibility to earn favor. Their not as strict as LDS, but they certainly emphasize God’s grace less than they do sin.

    This was something Luther and his protestant peers shifted, as they recongized God’s grace. But they did not ignore our original sin.

  7. Latayne says:

    Thank you, Sharon, for this post from Spurgeon. I’ve been laboriously working my way through his Treasury of David — it’s taken me years — and am continually amazed at his insights: Being dead he yet speaks.

    Latayne C Scott

  8. subgenius says:

    The atonement obviously put an end to the “tradtion” of Adam – right?

    Romans 4:15
    Romans 5:13
    Romans 5:19 is important beause it refutes the thn argument that Mary and her ancestors were somehow “clean”…let us not forget who makes the rules or why miracles are miraculous.
    1 Cor 11:32
    Romans 6:6
    and of course from the Prophet Peter, many keys are offered that contribute to our endurance, because salvation is not a “quick-fix”.

    1 Peter 4:1

    I have enjoyed many discussions on MC. As a mormon i find myself here not to dispute, but rather refute many of the misconceptions about the LDS church. Though my emotions can be stirred by what may be perceived as a personal assault, the still calm voice always enlightens me to the contrary.
    Here is some good advice for all of us on MC
    2 Tim 2:14-26

  9. liv4jc says:

    Michael, I agree that scripture teaches throughout that men are completely corrupted by sin inhereted from Adam, the federal head of humanity. I think one of the clearest statements is by King David in Psalm 51:5 where he acknowledges that he was born in sin, indeed he was sinful at conception.

    Sub, I’m just curious because my pastor and I were discussing this last night in regards to Christianity. If we agree that salvation is a work of God in declaring someone righteous, what is the bare minimum that one needs to believe or do to be saved, meaning gaining all that is possible?

  10. Michael P says:

    Sub, no, I don’t think the atonement got rid of our sin nature.

    I don’t think the scriptures you list are indicative of that at all. Don’t forget that Christians still believe the law exists. We just think that it is fulfilled in Christ, not that he abolished it.

    Regardless, I think Christ’s gift is indicative of our sin nature. Why would he have to do this if we did not have the innate propensity to sin? Because we are trapped in it, we need a way out of it and that way is found in only two ways– one is complete obedience to the law and the other is Christ.

    The first is something we cannot do because we cannot avoid sinning. We cannot perfectly stay within the law, and so it is essentially an impossibility.

    Thus, the second way is necessary, and the only way to be free from sin.

    Now being free from sin is a bit of misnomer, because sin we will. But that’s what Christ does– he cleanses us of our sin so that we will not be blemished at judgment. God will not see our sin because Christ is our cover.

    This is not license to go and sin at will– not in the least. But it does provide the only sufficient remedy for our sin nature.

  11. subgenius says:

    what is the bare minimum?
    impossible to know and arrogant to attempt to calculate. On the subject of salvation i would say that when you honestly ask yourslf “have i loved enough?” the answer should always be “no, i can and want to do more”.

    1 Peter 4:1 and Romans 6:6 seems to say that the atonement did rid us of that “nature”.
    The law exists because we must “endure”, or better put, we must do the “work”. The atonement frees us from the baggage of Adam and Eve. The gift of free-will from Our Heavenly Father is a key to this “endurance” and one reason why the law still exists.
    Can you share when and what your very first sin was?
    What Christ did for us is not the “only” remedy, but it is the crucial 1st step in the journey and an embrace of the atonement must be endured through “works”. The atonement unlocks the gate, but you must still walk up the straight and narrow path.

  12. Enki wrote

    For one most asian cultures feel that anything worthwhile is gained by consistent work, duty, study, effort etc…In addition they tend to view the cruxifiction as shameful and a sign of weakness.

    The idea that God (the “uber-originator” of the entire univers) would humble himself and submit to human weakness is alien to most people, especially to near-eastern and far-eastern cultures. Yet this is what the NT teaches, for example;

    Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
    but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
    8And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to death—
    even death on a cross!
    9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

    (Phil 2:6-11).

    Muslims, for example, generally tend to view it as shameful that God should “take on flesh” (John 1:14), and utterly horrifying that he should die in such a dreadful way. Perhaps this is why the Q’uran suggests that god rescued Jesus at the last minute and got somebody else cruxufied in his place.

    As far as far-easterns (e.g. Chinese) are concerned, the idea of God becoming weak is as much a problem to them as it is to us. Christians who have pastored in eastern culture say that one of the hardest things they face is getting past the “merit” thing. Because they are so geared up to acquiring “merit”, a common attitude is to add Jesus to the list of household ‘gods’ as an additional policy, like getting a second bank account or insurance policy. The message they need to hear is that Christ is Lord of all and He tolerates no other gods.

  13. …ctd

    So, when someone says that they think that God becoming weak and submitting to death on a cross is a bizarre and mind-bending idea, my reaction is that they’ve actually heard the message properly.

    It wasn’t for nothing that Paul wrote

    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    (1 Cor 1:18)


    I’ve just caught up on your question about whether I believe your statement about the “do not” list (rejecting Christ and denying the Gospel) is true (apologies for the loose paraphrase).

    You do realize the dilemma you’ve put me in (LOL)? Here I am trying to argue that “to do lists” and “don’t do lists” are not what saves us (though they may be helpful in living the “saved” life”). So, at the peril of agreeing to a “list”, I’d broadly agree that these are good starting points, or underlying principles.

    I hope you appreciate that I think the Bible teaches that its not adherence to a “list” that saves us, but it is the person of God Himself (recognising that Jesus is fully and wholly God). The connection between me and Him is faith. And, for the broader audience, the outcome of that connection is “works”.

  14. liv4jc says:

    Sub, I want to first say that the tone of this post is not confrontational, or sarcastic. I truly want to analyze this issue and the scriptural evidence for salvation based upon Christ’s work alone. I don’t think it is arrogant to ask ourselves what the bare minimum for salvation is, at least not coming from the perspective that salvation is entirely a work of God. The earliest Christians (1st century) certainly did not have the scriptures that we possess and their theology wasn’t as systematic and defined as ours, but they were saved from the penalty for sin by God’s grace just the same. The exhortations from the apostles in their letters are mostly to reassure early Christians of the salvation-by-grace-through-faith message and defend the gospel they received from Christ against false teachers. Certainly you realize that especially the letter to the churches in Galatia and Collosae were expressly for this purpose, as the Judaizers had crept into the church teaching that works of the law were still necessary for salvation. Most early Christians lived in a culture where poverty was the norm, so sharing, not giving of your excess, was an outworking of salvation, especially when Christians began to be persecuted. Compassion is a result of a Christian worldview and Christians are compassionate because of salvation, they do not do compassionate works to earn salvation. We have to resist importing our modern views of good social works into an ancient setting where compassion was not the norm. So the question remains. Since the early Christians certainly knew nothing of the Temple, the Priesthood, celestial marriage, polygamy, endowments, tithing, using the sacraments as a means to cover sin, etc., what is the bare minimum that must be believed or accomplished to earn true salvation? I can tell from your previous post (I hope I’m not being presumptuous) that you don’t believe you can ever know if you have done enough, repented enough, etc. Am I wrong?

  15. subgenius says:

    yes, it is an error to “know” how one will be judged when the time comes. One can never know, one can only have Faith in that which is hoped for and not seen. It is by Faith, as similiarly described in Hebrews 11 (especially Hebrews 11:13-16) that the fruit of Works is borne. We can never “know” but though one may believe in their own salvation, it is not for them to discern.
    So, i would say that Works are the evidence of our Faith and it is by these Works that the heart is scrubed clean from the sin of life just as it is by the Atonement that our spirit is scrubbed clean from the sin of Adam.
    My understanding of being “saved” is whereby one has accepted the God’s offer of salvation. And by accepting this offer one enters into a covenant. This covenant has many aspects, of which faith, compassion, understanding, love, and good works are all necessary for its fulfillment. So, i claim that being “saved” is simply the first step and by itself is not enough to receive salvation. Our Heavenly Father has offered salvation and though we must be “saved” to receive salvation we must also Work to achieve salvation.
    To me “believes” in Mat 16:16 is a verb. “The Way” is a path that must be travelled.
    There is a philosophical notion (Jose Ortega i think) about being shipwrecked and how that is a true test of the “sink or swim” ability of a person. I would say the same about being saved and salvation. We have all fallen into the Ocean of Life in this world and Our Heavenly Father has sent us a raft, surely we must still paddle to shore.

    Early Christians not knowing of Temples, etc….i disagree, there is no evidence to support that claim.

  16. liv4jc says:

    Sub, I’ll tackle your last statement first. Scripture is clear that there was ony one tabernacle, the one that traveled with Israel in the desert, and only one temple at a time, the one that was built by Solomon in Jerusalem, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and rebuilt after the return from the exile. The temple was standing when Jesus was on earth and the temple sacrifices were still occurring under Roman rule, but in Matthew 24:1-2 Jesus says that the temple would be destroyed. This happened in A.D. 70. Thousands of Jews were slaughtered and the nation was dispersed until around 1948 when the Jews again returned to Jerusalem. The temple has not been rebuilt since. The book of Hebrews clearly tells us that the temple sacrifices, and the Aaronic and Levitical priesthoods, are no longer necessary as they were a shadow of greater things, namely Christ’s one-time sacrifice, as the blood of bulls and goats could never cover sin, etc. It would have been abominable to any Jew to build another temple (even a Christian convert from Judaism) while the one in Jerusalem was standing, and the Temple was built in Jerusalem, and Jerusalem only, by God’s command. If this is not so, why haven’t the Jews rebuilt their temple somewhere else over the millenia while they were in exile? Early Jewish converts to Christ did meet in the Temple complex, only because it was a customary place of meeting. Other Christians outside of Jerusalem did not build temples. There is no evidence prior to JS “restoration” of any of the modern day temple activities of your church. Please provide evidence that I am unaware of.

    Do you realize how Roman Catholic your view of baptism and the atonement are? Just like Romanists and Muslims, your god does not guarantee salvation to anyone. It’s a crap shoot until judgment day, then, who knows? What do we do with the clear eternal salvation by faith verses in the Bible, both OT and NT?

  17. Olsen Jim says:


    Don’t mean to but in- but…

    Couldn’t help cringing at your statement or question:

    “Just like Romanists and Muslims, your god does not guarantee salvation to anyone. It’s a crap shoot until judgment day, then, who knows?”

    I would argue that the exact opposite it true. There is absolutely no “crap shoot” in LDS theology. In reality, it is found in modern evangelical theology that says salvation is 100% determined by faith and election. EV theology maintains that it is God who gives the gift of faith- there is nothing an individual contributes to his own salvation. God saves whom He desires to bless with the faith to accept Christ. The grand question is “what is the basis for God’s choosing one person and not another?” Evangelicals have no meaningful answer.

    According to EV doctrine, God creates man from nothing- our existence begins at birth (or conception). And if man has no determination in his salvation, he has no agency. This makes God responsible for every outcome of His creation, including all the evil that man does. And the real “crap shoot” is seen in the question- Who does God choose to save and why?

    In LDS theology, we are eternal and have existed in some form forever. We have agency and freedom to choose. Hence, we are responsible for ourselves and the evil we do. God clearly outlines the conditions of salvation. If a person chooses to repent, follow Christ (you know the details), and endure to the end, he is saved through the atoning blood of Christ. Every person has ultimate agency and determination if he is saved- anything but a “crap shoot.”

    Question- God allows terrible things to exist and happen in the world- rape, murder, robbery, adultery, etc. Doesn’t the fact that God allows so much pain and suffering testify to the fact that He honors and respects man’s agency in a huge way? How do you reconcile this with a theology that says that God has 100% of the input as to who is saved and that man has 0%?

  18. Enki says:

    True or not, its a cultural perception.

    “There may also be a cultural barrier if the person you’re speaking with is of Japanese descent. To them, Jesus’ death on the cross possesses none of the qualities they admire in their society, such as serenity, strength, and honor.”

    So while the virtue of christs sacrifice is apparent to you, its not apparent to everyone. The image that comes to mind for buddhist influenced cultures is that of buddha sitting in quiet meditation. I have heard some commentary by Campbell that the image of Buddha obtaining enlightenment is equal to that of the christian cross or the crucifix.

    “”In the Christian tradition, we find Jesus on a cross; and this cross is also the tree of immortal life, and he is the fruit of that tree. Jesus on the cross, Buddha under the tree–these are the same figures.” [b]”

    Although most people who are buddhists, and most people who are christian will probably not see this, not immediately.

  19. liv4jc says:

    OJ, EVs have an answer to who God saves and why. It is not a personal opinion, because God states it very clearly in scripture, but the fact that some people, including some Christians, choose to gloss over the sovereinty of God in salvation does not negate that fact that it is for His glory alone.

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

  20. liv4jc says:

    OJ, Now I know that it’s pretty hard to see, but if you squint your eyes and the light is just right, a pattern emerges. There’s a faint hint that our salvation is predestined according to God’s will, for His glory, for His purpose, by His grace so that He will get all of the praise. If you notice, salvation is presented as accomplished, not “if you do such and such”. By our trust and belief we were sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our inheritance (see also 1 Peter 1:3-5) until the redemption of the purchased possession (Christ purchased us with His blood. We belong to Him). And why is this? To the praise of His glory, not ours.

    I don’t see a lot of You did this and You did that to “earn Your salvation” in the Bible. Men have agency. It’s corrupted, and given the choice man is pre-disposed to choose evil over good. Thoughout the Bible man is shown to be wicked from birth: Genesis 8:21, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Proverbs 22:15, Job 15:14-16, Ecclesiastes 9:3, Romans 3:10-18, and worst of all for us, men are dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3), so that in our natural state we cannot understand the gospel because it it foolishness to us (1 Corinthians 2:14). Why did some of the people who were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ miracles and sermons reject Him? John 10:25-27, John 6:44, Romans 8:28-30, Romans 9:16-18, and the answer to your rejection of this doctrine is found in Romans 9:19-24. If men have free agency what do we do with Acts 4:27-28? Did the Jews, Gentiles, and Pontius Pilate have a choice whether or not to crucify Jesus? If they had decided to follow Him instead of crucify Him would God’s plan be ruined. If God is not sovereign over all of lifes’ events, then how can he challenge the idols in Isaiah 41:21-23 to tell the future, if He Himself cannot? You should read Isaiah 40-48 and see how big and powerful my God is. My God calls those who He saves, and not one who He calls will refuse His will, nor will anyone He calls be lost

  21. Olsen Jim says:


    I can just as easily turn around and cite scriptures that clearly say repentance is necessary for salvation, that we are judged by our works, that faith without works is dead, etc. etc. Going back and forth, continuing the never-ending argument about faith vs. works does not really interest me right now.

    My post is intended to show that the “crap shoot” exists in the EV theology, not LDS. Yes, I know of the scripture about God’s “good pleasure of His will.”

    You are left with a theology that ultimately denies the agency of man and makes God the creator of evil. Some are predestined to hell, others are predestined to heaven. “Predestined” means that it was determined before their birth. Not much choice in that. And if there is no choice, the responsibility rests with God. You have no way out of this.

    EVs often mock the claim by LDS that the restoration of eternal truths was necessary after the apostasy. These fundamental differences demonstrate the desperate need for modern revelation. Man is free to choose. He is self-determining. Salvation through the blood of Christ is a choice. God will force no man to heaven. How about my question about why God allows so much badness on earth?

    Why do we even have a life on earth? If God knew whom He wanted to save, why not just immediately send all the chosen to heaven and all others to hell? Why make everybody wait around down here when our fate was sealed even before our birth?

    Are there any criteria that influence “God’s good pleasure and will?” Sounds like a “crap shoot” from where we mortals stand.

    By the way, how do EVs view the U.S. Constitution? It sure seems to contradict the theology you are espousing. Being “endowed with inalienable rights,” among them “liberty and the pursuit of happiness”- the tone of the founding documents much more closely reflects an LDS approach rather than the EV. Either the founders were way off base, or your theology is misguided.

  22. liv4jc says:

    OJ, first let me apologize for the beginning tone of my last post. It was sarcastic and written flippantly out of my understanding of salvation, which you charged that I could not explain. I have much more evidence, and kind strayed off track explaining God’s sovereignty over salvation, and did not do a very good job explaining that I still believe men are responsible for their sin. You have painted me as what is known as a hyper-Calvinist, essentially saying that God has chosen His elect so there is no need to produce fruit, evangelize, etc. This is not the case, but I’m sure from your perspective based upon 4000 characters and a list of verses, it could be understood this way.

    However, your statement that EVs do not believe we need to repent is not true, and you know it. The Bible clearly states that repentance is necessary for salvation, as these are the first words spoken by John the Baptist and Jesus Himself in Matthew 3:2 and Matthew 4:17. But how does one arrive at the knowledge that they need to repent? It is by first understanding the holiness of God, and His nature. It is by seeing the depths of our depravity in comparison to His absolute righteousness, and His standard of perfection. I explained this in my post above about purity of heart, so I will not re-write it.

    But here is the problem, because man’s nature is corrupt and bent towards wickedness, they will not choose God, so it is incorrect to charge God with being unfair to those who are consigned to Hell, because they were not given a choice. Men consign themselves to Hell because they love darkness rather than light. This does not mean that men are wholly incapable of doing any moral good. And because men can make moral choices they believe that these buy them favor with God, and they even believe they worship God by creating religion.

  23. liv4jc says:

    Everyone from the Muslim to the Jehovah’s Witness believes that their good works spring forth from their faith in God, and structured religion does produce greater moral works. Men can will themselves to behave if they are seeking a prize for their behavior.

    There is a way that seems right to a man. But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 16:25)

    Because you and I believe the other is practicing false religion, but we both believe we have fruit as a result of our faith, we have to look outside of our personal experience to find objective truth. The truth is contained in the Bible alone. It is God’s message to us. The Bible clearly states that all men are under God’s wrath because of sin, and because of this sin nature we are dead. In our natural state we cannot understand the things of God, nor do we want to. Do you honestly believe that it is because of your greater intelligence or goodness that you made a choice for God? I would think that those who actually observed Jesus’ miracles and heard his words would be far more willing to exercise their free agency to choose to believe Him than those of us who are far removed. This is why Jesus condemned Chorazin and Bethsaida in Matthew 11:20-24. They should have repented after seeing the works that He did in their sight because they authenticated His message of repentance and belief in Him for the forgiveness of sin, but they didn’t because of their hardness of heart. Because they refused they will be judged by their works, and not be covered by Christ’s righteousness. This is why Jesus continues in Matthew 11:25-27 by saying that unless He wills to reveal God to them they will not understand.

  24. liv4jc says:

    In their natural state as a result of Adam’s fall men hate the God of the Bible, and they love evil. Men may claim to love God, but it is a god of their own imagination, which in itself is evil. Even though they may produce good moral works out of this belief, they will still be judged and punished for their sins. It is by God’s grace that He chooses to save some, not because of their goodness, or because they made a choice for Him based upon their own reasoning, but because of His mercy, for His glory. God is the one who reveals His truth to us allowing us to see ourselves for who we are. This causes us to repent and cry out for mercy. God has never denied anyone who has made this call. We are then sanctified, meaning we become more like Christ, producing spiritual fruit (works).To deny this is to disregard the , the clear statements of scripture such as John 1:12-13

    ”But as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

    And John 3:3-9

    Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Those who are born of flesh (all of us) are wicked and will not choose God, but those who are born of the Spirit are spiritual, and can choose.

  25. liv4jc says:

    But just like man cannot discern the wind, man cannot determine who will be born of the Spirit. It is God’s will.

    I know this doctrine is detestable to you, but it is clearly taught in scripture. Unless God opens your eyes through a working of the Holy Spirit (and I pray that He does) you will not believe it. As far as your question about the Constitution, our right as human beings to live freely, and our ability to make moral choices has nothing to do with salvation. You are comparing apples and oranges. Also, God is not the author of sin, man is. Adam was the only man who ever truly had the ability to choose right from wrong in the greatest sense. He chose to do wrong, and the evil that we see around us is a result of that choice because of our corrupt nature. But God even uses our evil for good (think of Joseph in Egypt).

    So I say, “God thank you for showing mercy to me, a sinner.” You say, “God, thank you for seeing how good I am, both in the pre-existence, and on the earth. Now give me what you owe me.”

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