Chapter 7


Man's words

Canons of Dordt -- Third and Fourth Heads of Doctrine

Article 1

Man was originally formed after the image of God. His understanding was adorned with a true and saving knowledge of his Creator, and of spiritual things; his heart and will were upright, all his affections pure, and the whole man was holy. But, revolting from God by the instigation of the devil and by his own free will, he forfeited these excellent gifts; and in the place thereof became involved in blindness of mind, horrible darkness, vanity, and perverseness of judgment; became wicked, rebellious, and obdurate in heart and will, and impure in his affections.

Article 2

Man after the fall begat children in his own likeness. A corrupt stock produced a corrupt offspring. Hence all the posterity of Adam, Christ only excepted, have derived corruption from their original parent, not by imitation, as the Pelagians of old asserted, but by the propagation of a vicious nature, in consequence of the first judgment of God.

Article 3

Therefore all men are conceived in sin, and are by nature children of wrath, incapable of saving good, prone to evil, dead in sin, and in bondage thereto; and without the regenerating grace of the Holy Spirit, they are neither able nor willing to return to God, to reform the depravity of their nature, or to dispose themselves to reformation.

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"We believe that through the disobedience of Adam original sin is extended to all mankind; which is a corruption of the whole nature and a hereditary disease, wherewith even infants in their mother's womb are infected, and which produces in man all sorts of sin, being in him a root thereof, and therefore is so vile and abominable in the sight of God that it is sufficient to condemn all mankind." -- Belgic Confession, Article XV, Original Sin.

"When Calvinists speak of man as being totally depraved, they mean that man's nature is corrupt, perverse, and sinful throughout. The adjective "total" does not mean that each sinner is as totally or completely corrupt in his actions and thoughts as it is possible for him to be. Instead, the word "total" is used to indicate the the whole of man's being has been affected by sin. The corruption extends to every part of man, his body and soul; sin has affected all (the totality) of man's faculties -- his mind, his will, etc.

As a result of this inborn corruption, the natural man is totally unable to do anything spiritually good; thus Calvinists speak of man's "total inability".

The natural man is enslaved to sin; he is a child of Satan, rebellious toward God, blind to truth, corrupt, and unable to save himself or to prepare himself for salvation. In short, the unregenerate man is dead in sin, and his will is enslaved to his evil nature.

Originally, Adam's will was free from the dominion of sin; he was under no natural compulsion to choose evil, but through his fall he brought spiritual death upon himself and all his posterity. He thereby plunged himself and the entire race into spiritual ruin and lost for himself and his descendants the ability to make right choices in the spiritual realm. His descendants are still free to choose -- every man makes choices throughout life -- but inasmuch as Adam's offspring are born with sinful natures, they do not have the ability to choose spiritual good over evil. Consequently, man's will is no longer free (i.e., free from the dominion of sin) as Adam's will was free before the fall. Instead, man's will, as a result of inherited depravity, is in bondage to his sinful nature." -- The Five Points of Calvinism, Steele and Thomas, page 25.

Is Calvinism's "Total (Hereditary) Depravity" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that sin is breaking or neglecting God's laws as a conscious act?

"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4 AV

"Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness." I John 3:4

"Ye have sinned against Jehovah, and have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies." Jer. 44:23

"To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17

"All unrighteousness is sin." I John 5:17

"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Rom. 14:23

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isa. 53:6

"They are all gone aside;
They are together become filthy;
There is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psa. 14:3

"All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." Rom. 3:23

Q. In the light of God's definition of sin, how is it possible for a baby to be born sinful?

Q. Is Calvinism's "Total (Hereditary) Depravity" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that babies are born sinless and that they all become sinful and sinners?

"Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto demons, And shed innocent blood, Even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, Whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with blood." Psa. 106:37-38

"Moreover your little ones, that ye said should be a prey, and your children, that this day have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it." Deut. 1:39

"Thou (the king of Tyre) wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee." Ezek. 28:15

"For the children (Jacob and Esau) being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad,..." Rom. 9:11

"And should not I have regard for Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?" Jonah 4:11

"And I (Paul) was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Rom. 7:9

"Before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou abhorrest shall be forsaken." Isa. 7:16

"They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one." Rom. 3:12

Q. Is Calvinism's "Total (Hereditary) Depravity" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that each man is responsible for and will be punished for his own sin?

"Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned." Rom. 5:12

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." Ezek. 18:20

"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord Jehovah." Ezek. 18:30

"The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." Deut. 24:16

"In the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his works." Rom. 2:5-6

"So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God." Rom. 14:12

"Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways." Ezek. 33:20

"I, Jehovah, search the mind, I try the heart, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." Jer. 17:10

"Behold, I (Jesus) come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to each man according as his work is." Rev. 22:12

Q. Does GOD'S WORD teach that God, who is holy and righteous, places the soul and spirit within each man?

"And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Gen. 2:7

"Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" Heb. 12:9

"For in him (God) we live, and move, and have our being; as certain even of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring." Acts 17:28

"Thus saith Jehovah, who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him." Zech. 12:1

"And the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it." Eccl. 12:7

Q. Does a holy and righteous God put a totally depraved spirit within each man?

Q. Is Calvinism's "Totally (Hereditary) Depravity" true, OR does Jesus proclaim the innocence of infants?

"Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should lay his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence." Matt. 19:13-15

Q. Does this mean that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are totally depraved?

"And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:2-4

Q. Does this mean that we must become totally depraved in order to enter the kingdom of heaven?

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"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity;
and in sin did my mother conceive me." Psa. 51:5 AV

Q. Does this scripture teach Total Hereditary Depravity?

Q. Where was David when the sins of this scripture were committed?

Q. Who is the person guilty of the sins mentioned in this scripture, David or his mother?

Q. Does GOD'S WORD teach that it is the baby that is born sinful, OR does it teach that there may be sin connected with the conception and bearing of children?

"And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb a year old for a burnt-offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtle-dove, for a sin-offering, unto the door of the tent of meeting, unto the priest: and he shall offer it before Jehovah, and make atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the fountain of her blood. This is the law for her that beareth, whether a male or a female. And if her means suffice not for a lamb, then she shall take two turtle-doves, or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt-offering, and the other for a sin-offering: and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean." Lev. 12:6-8

Q. Where in GOD'S WORD do we find a command to offer sacrifices for the babies who are said to be totally depraved?

Q. If Calvinism's "Total (Hereditary) Depravity" is true, where in GOD'S WORD is there a plan revealed for the salvation of babies who are born totally depraved?

Q. Is Calvinism's "Total (Hereditary) Depravity" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach us as to when and how each man becomes a sinner?

"But each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death. Be not deceived, my beloved brethren." James 1:14-16

"Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned." Rom. 5:12

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Q. Is Calvinism's "Total (Hereditary) Depravity" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that man is not born sinful but that he is sinful "from his youth"?

"And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth." Gen. 8:21

"For we have sinned against Jehovah our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day; and we have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah our God." Jer. 3:25

"I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice." Jer. 22:21

"For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only that which was evil in my sight from their youth; for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith Jehovah." Jer. 32:30

Published in The Old Paths Archive

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