Arhive pe categorii: Inability


By William Tyndale
The fall of Adam has made us heirs of the vengeance and wrath of God, and heirs of eternal damnation; and has brought us into captivity and bondage under the devil. And the devil is our lord, and our ruler, our head, our governor, our prince, yea, and our god. And our will is locked and knit faster unto the will of the devil, than could an hundred thousand chains bind a man unto a post. Unto the devil’s will consent we with all our hearts, with all our minds, with all our might, power, strength, will and lusts; [so that the law and will of the devil is written as well in our hearts as in our members, and we run headlong after the devil with full zeal, and the whole swing of all the power we have; as a stone cast up into the air comes down naturally of his own self, with all the violence and swing of his own weight.] With what poison, deadly, and venomous hate hateth a man his enemy! With how great malice of mind, inwardly, do we slay and murder! With what violence and rage, yea, and with how fervent lust commit we adultery, fornication, and such like uncleanness! With what pleasure and delectation, inwardly, serves a glutton his belly! With what diligence deceive we! How busily seek we the things of this world! Whatsoever we do, think, or imagine, is abominable in the sight of God. [For we can refer nothing unto the honor of God; neither is His law, or will, written in our members or in our hearts: neither is there any more power in us to follow the will of God, than in a stone to ascend upward of his own self.]
And [beside that,] we are as it were asleep in so deep blindness, that we can neither see nor feel what misery, thralldom, and wretchedness we are in, till Moses come and wake us, and publish the law. When we hear the law truly preached, how that we ought to love and honor God with all our strength and might, from the low bottom of the heart, [because He hath created us, and both Heaven and earth for our sakes, and made us lord thereof;] and our neighbors (yea, our enemies) as ourselves, inwardly, from the ground of the heart, [because God hath made them after the likeness of His own image, and they are His sons as well as we, and Christ hath bought them with His blood, and made them heirs of everlasting life as well as us; and how we ought to] do whatsoever God bids, and abstain from whatsoever God forbids, with all love and meekness, with a fervent and a burning lust from the center of the heart; then begins the conscience to rage against the law, and against God. No sea, be it ever so great a tempest is so unquiet. For it is not possible for a natural man to consent to the law, that it should be good, or that God should be righteous which maketh the law; [inasmuch as it is contrary unto his nature, and damns him and all that he can do, and neither shows him where to fetch help, nor preaches any mercy; but only sets man at variance with God, (as witnesses Paul, Rom. 4) and provokes him and stirs him to rail on God, and to blaspheme him as a cruel tyrant. For it is not possible for a man, till he be born again, to think that God is righteous to make him of so poison a nature, either for his own pleasure or for the sin of another man, and to give him a law that is impossible for him to do, or to consent to;] his wit, reason, and will being so fast glued, yes, nailed and chained unto the will of the devil. Neither can any creature loose the bonds, save the blood of Christ [only].
This is the captivity and bondage, whence Christ delivered us, redeemed and loosed us. His blood, His death, His patience in suffering rebukes and wrongs, his prayers and fastings, his meekness and fulfilling of the uttermost point of the law, appeased the wrath of God; brought the favor of God to us again; obtained that God should love us first, and be our Father, and that a merciful Father, that will consider our infirmities and weakness, and will give us His Spirit again (which was taken away in the fall of Adam) to rule, govern, and strengthen us, and to break the bonds of Satan, wherein we were so strait bound. When Christ is thuswise preached, and the promises rehearsed, which are contained in the prophets, in the psalms, and in divers places of the five books of Moses, [which preaching is called the Gospel or glad tidings;] then the hearts of them which are elect and chosen, begin to wax soft and melt at the bounteous mercy of God, and kindness showed of Christ. For when the evangelion is preached, the Spirit of God entereth into them which God hath ordained and appointed unto eternal life; and opens their inward eyes, and works such belief in them. When the woeful consciences feel and taste how sweet a thing the bitter death of Christ is, and how merciful and loving God is, through Christ’s purchasing and merits; they begin to love again, and to consent to the law of God, how that it is good and ought so to be, and that God is righteous which made it; and desire to fulfill the law, even as a sick man desireth to be whole, and are an hungered and thirst after more righteousness, and after more strength, to fulfill the law more perfectly. And in all that they do, or omit and leave undone, they seek God’s honor and His will with meekness, ever condemning the unperfectness of their deeds by the law.
Now Christ stands us in double stead; and us serves, two manner wise. First, He is our Redeemer, Deliverer, Reconciler, Mediator, Intercessor, Advocate, Attorney, Solicitor, our Hope, Comfort, Shield, Protection, Defender, Strength, Health, Satisfaction and Salvation. His blood, His death, all that He ever did, is ours. His blood-shedding, and all that He did, does me as good service as though I myself had done it. And God (as great as He is) is mine, with all that He has, [as an husband is his wife’s,] through Christ and His purchasing.
Secondarily, after that we be overcome with love and kindness, and now seek to do the will of God (which is a Christian man’s nature), then have we Christ an example to counterfeit; as saith Christ Himself in John, „I have given you an example.” And in another evangelist He saith, „He that will be great among you, shall be your servant and minister; as the Son of man came to minister, and not to be ministered unto.” And Paul says, „Counterfeit Christ.” And Peter saith, „Christ died for you, and left you an example to follow his steps.” Whatsoever therefore faith hath received of God through Christ’s blood and deserving, that same must love shed out, every whit, and bestow it on our neighbors unto their profit, yea, and that though they be our enemies. [What faith receiveth of God through Christ’s blood, that we must bestow on our neighbors, though they be our enemies.] By faith we receive of God, and by love we shed out again. And that must we do freely, after the example of Christ, without any other respect, save our neighbor’s wealth only; and neither look for reward in the earth, nor yet in Heaven, for [the deserving and merits of] our deeds, [as friars preach; though we know that good deeds are rewarded, both in this life and in the life to come.] But of pure love must we bestow ourselves, all that we have, and all that we are able to do, even on our enemies, to bring them to God, considering nothing but their wealth, as Christ did ours. Christ did not His deeds to obtain Heaven thereby, (that had been a madness;) Heaven was His already, He was heir thereof, it was His by inheritance; but did them freely for our sakes, considering nothing but our wealth, and to bring the favor of God to us again, and us to God. And no natural son, that is his father’s heir, does his father’s will because he would be heir; that he is already by birth; his father gave him that ere he was born, and is loather that he should go without it, than he himself has wit to be; but of pure love doth he that he does. And ask him, Why he does any thing that he does? he answers, My father bade; it is my father’s will; it pleases my father.
Bond-servants work for hire, children for love: for their father, with all he has, is theirs already. So doth a Christian man freely all that he does; considereth nothing but the will of God, and his neighbor’s wealth only. If I live chaste, I do it not to obtain Heaven thereby; for then should I do wrong to the blood of Christ; Christ’s blood has obtained me that; Christ’s merits have made me heir thereof; He is both door and way thitherwards: neither that I look for an higher room in Heaven, than they shall have which live in wedlock, other than a whore of the stews (if she repent); for that were the pride of Lucifer: but freely to wait on the evangelion; [and to avoid the trouble of the world, and occasions that might pluck me therefrom,] and to serve my brother withal; even as one hand helps another, or one member another, because one feels another’s grief, and the pain of the one is the pain of the other. Whatsoever is done to the least of us (whether it be good or bad), it is done to Christ; and whatsoever is done to my brother (if I be a Christian man), that same is done to me. Neither does my brother’s pain grieve me less than mine own: neither rejoice I less at his wealth than at mine own, [if I love him as well and as much as myself, as the law commandeth me.] If it were not so, how saith Paul? „Let him that rejoiceth, rejoice in the Lord,” that is to say, Christ, which is Lord over all creatures. If my merits obtained me Heaven, or a higher place there, then had I wherein I might rejoice besides the Lord.
Here see ye the nature of the law, and the nature of the evangelion: how the law is the key that binds and damns all men, and the evangelion [is the key that] looses them again. The law goes before, and the evangelion follows. When a preacher preaches the law, he binds all consciences; and when he preaches the gospel, he looses them again. These two salves (I mean the law and the gospel) uses God and His preacher, to heal and cure sinners withal. The law drives out the disease and makes it appear, and is a sharp salve, and a fretting corosy, and kills the dead flesh, and looses and draws the sores out by the roots, and all corruption. It pulls from a man the trust and confidence that he has in himself, and in his own works, merits, deservings and ceremonies, [and robs him of all his righteousness, and makes him poor.] It kills him, sends him down to Hell, and brings him to utter desperation, and prepareth the way of the Lord, as it is written of John the Baptist. For it is not possible that Christ should come to a man, as long as he trusts in himself, or in any worldly thing, [or has any righteousness of his own, or riches of holy works.] Then comes the evangelion, a more gentle pastor, which supplies and lessen the wounds of the conscience, and brings health. It brings the Spirit of God; which looses the bonds of Satan, and couples us to God and His will, through strong faith and fervent love, with bonds too strong for the devil, the world, or any creature to loose them. And the poor and wretched sinner feels so great mercy, love, and kindness in God, that he is sure in himself how that it is not possible that God should forsake him, or withdraw His mercy and love from him; and boldly crieth out with Paul, saying, „Who shall separate us from the love that God loveth us withal?” That is to say, What shall make me believe that God loveth me not? Shall tribulation? anguish? persecution? Shall hunger? nakedness? Shall sword? Nay, „I am sure that neither death, nor life, neither angel, neither rule nor power, neither present things nor things to come, neither high nor low, neither any creature, is able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In all such tribulations a Christian man perceiveth that God is his Father, and loves him even as he loved Christ when He shed His blood on the cross.
Finally, as before, when I was bond to the devil and his will, I wrought all manner evil and wickedness, not for Hell’s sake, which is the reward of sin, but because I was heir of Hell by birth and bondage to the devil, did I evil, (for I could none otherwise do; to do sin was my nature:) even so now, since I am coupled to God by Christ’s blood, do I well, not for Heaven’s sake, [which is yet the reward of well doing;] but because I am heir of Heaven by grace and Christ’s purchasing, and have the Spirit of God, I do good freely, for so is my nature: as a good tree brings forth good fruit, and an evil tree evil fruit. By the fruits shall ye know what the tree is. A man’s deeds declare what he is within, but make him neither good nor bad; [though, after we be created anew by the Spirit and doctrine of Christ, we wax perfecter always, with working according to the doctrine, and not with blind works of our own imagining.] We must be first evil ere we do evil, as a serpent is first poisoned ere he poison. We must be also good ere we do good, as the fire must be first hot, ere it [heat another] thing. Take an example: As those blind and deaf, which are cured in the gospel, could not see nor hear, till Christ had given them sight and hearing; and those sick could not do the deeds of an whole man, till Christ had given them health; so can no man do good in his soul, till Christ have loosed him out of the bonds of Satan, and have given him wherewith to do good, yea, and first have poured into him that self good thing which He sheds forth afterward on other. Whatsoever is our own, is sin. Whatsoever is above that, is Christ’s gift, purchase, doing and working. He bought it of His Father dearly, with His blood, yea, with His most bitter death, and gave His life for it. Whatsoever good thing is in us, that is given us freely, without our deserving or merits, for Christ’s blood’s sake. That we desire to follow the will of God, it is the gift of Christ’s blood. That we now hate the devil’s will (whereunto we were so fast locked, and could not but love it), is also the gift of Christ’s blood; unto whom belongeth the praise and honor of our good deeds, and not unto us.
(A Pathway Into Holy Scriptures, pp. 17-23).


„Whosoever Will” By Jim Murriner

„Whosoever Will”
By Jim Murriner
The Word of God is very clear that whosoever willeth to come unto Christ for salvation, may do so.
There are even a number of scriptures which tell us so, among them is John 3:15 ” That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
The scriptures tell us that we were in darkness before we were saved but, John 12:46 assures us that whosoever believeth will no longer dwell in darkness. „I am come a light into the world, that
whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”
The salvation which we have in the Lord Jesus Christ is spoken of in the Bible as the water of life, and in both John 4:13 -14 and in Revelation 22:17 we are told that whosoever will may take of the
water of life freely.
We are even assured in John 6:37 that no one who comes unto Jesus will ever be turned away. „All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
The real problem is not that people will want to come unto Christ for salvation and He will not let them come, or that the wrong person might come and Christ will turn them away, but the problem lies in the fact that man is not capable of coming unto Jesus.
Romans 3:9-11 tells us that no one left to themselves have a will to come unto Christ, „… we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
Romans 8:7 tells us that prior to the Lord giving us a new birth, we were enemies of God.” Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
We could not seek after God, or have a will to come unto Jesus Christ, prior to the new birth, because we were dead. „And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” Eph 2:1
God never turned away any who were willing to come unto Him, but we cannot become willing on our own. God must work in us (and on us) to cause us to be willing.
„For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
While it is indeed true that whosoever will, may come unto Christ, those of us who are saved can not have any pride in that we were willing to come unto Him. We must give all glory unto God, who made us willing and in spite of our stubborn and impotent nature drew us unto Christ.
„No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44

We Believe in Total Depravity by Willard Willis – Page 1 We Believe in Total Depravity By Willard Willi

We Believe in Total Depravity by Willard Willis – Page 1
We Believe in Total Depravity
By Willard Willis
Published in the Berea Baptist Banner November 5, 1999.
According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 8th
Edition, the word “total” means “comprising or constituting
a whole entire, complete; utter.” According to this
same authority, the word “depravity” means “marked
by corruption or evil.” Thus for us to say that the human
race is totally depraved means that we believe each member
of the human race to be in a state of complete and
utter corruption or evil. We believe that said corruption
has infected every part of one’s nature. The result being
that the unregenerate have not the ability to obey God.
Dr. J. P. Boyce has said, “This corruption extends to every
affection of the heart and mind” (Abstract of Systematic
Theology, by J. P. Boyce, p. 243).
It is taught by some that God would not command
men to do such and such if they were not able to do it.
This teaching can be refuted by the fact that no one,
except our Lord Jesus, has ever kept the ten commandments.
An examination of the teachings of our Lord will
clearly show that He believed and taught that the human
race is totally depraved. In fact, He said to
Nicodemus, “. . .Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except
a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom
of God” ( John 3:3). He also said to the Pharisees,
of which Nicodemus was a member, “Why do ye not
understand my speech?” He then answered His own
question with
“Even because ye cannot hear my word” ( John 8:43).
Those who have not been regenerated and have only
the flesh to rely upon, cannot understand, or comprehend
the Word of God. After all, the Word of God deals
with spiritual things and the flesh cannot rise above the
Total depravity has so alienated the human race from
God that Jesus said, “No man can come to me, except
the Father which hath sent me draw him: and
I will raise him up at the last day” ( John 6:44). Our
Lord Jesus said further, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth;
the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak
unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there
are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew
from the beginning who they were that believed
not, and who should betray him. And he said,
‘Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come
to me, except it were given unto him of my Father’”
( John 6:63-65). We may say that the quickening
of the Spirit relates to His enabling the totally depraved
to pass “from death unto life” ( John 5:24). In fact, our
Lord has said, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead,
and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth
(make alive – my insertion) whom he will” ( John 5:21).
We may therefore say that the quickening and drawing
( John 6:44) relate to the same thing.
One cannot receive a particular program via television
if one does not have access to the channel on which
the program is viewed. In like manner, one cannot receive
the things of God if one has not been quickened,
or made alive spiritually. In fact, we read from I
Corinthians 2:14 that “. . .the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.” It is said further
in Romans 8:7 that “. . .the carnal mind is enmity
against God: for it is not subject to the law of
God, neither indeed can be.”
The apostle Paul confirms the above truths when saying,
“No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by
the Holy Spirit” (I Cor. 12:3). Our Lord also confirmed
said truth when saying to Peter, “Blessed art thou,
Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed
it unto thee, but my Father which is in
heaven” (Matt. 16:16-17).
Those in our society who have been declared to be
totally disabled, are not required to work for a living.
They look outside their own efforts for their support. In
like manner, the totally depraved must look away from
themselves to the Lord Jesus, who as far as their eternal
salvation is concerned, did all the work necessary for
their eternal security. When referring to this matter, Paul
said, “For 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. FOR WE
ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus
unto good works, which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).
An examination of God’s Word relative to the total
depravity of the human race, will show that the unregenerate
cannot SEE ( John 3:3-7); cannot enter the kingdom
of God without the new birth ( John 3:3-7); cannot
hear (understand) God’s Word ( John 8:43); cannot come
to Christ ( John 6:44); cannot believe on Christ ( John
12:39-40); cannot be subject to the law of God (Rom.
8:7); cannot discern spiritual truths (I Cor. 1:14); cannot
say that Jesus is Lord (I Cor. 12:3); cannot please God
( John 3:6; Rom. 8:8).
It goes without saying that the totally depraved are in
a state of bondage and slavery and can by no physical
means free themselves. Their only hope for freedom rests
in the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, the Scriptures declare.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath
made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans
We Believe in Total Depravity by Willard Willis – Page 2
Past Articles from the Berea Baptist Banner
The Scriptures refer to the totally depraved as being
in a state of spiritual death. They have physical life, but
have been alienated from the life of God, or spiritual
life. After all, “God is Spirit: and they that worship
him must worship him in spirit and truth: ( John
4:24). Then referring to this matter, the Scriptures say,
“Ye have no life in you” ( John 6:53); “you. . .were
dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:5); “And you,
being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, hath he quickened together with him,
having forgiven you all trespasses” (Col. 2:13).
The truths presented above make it quite obvious that
the totally depraved can never pass from spiritual death
unto spiritual life aside from the quickening power of
God the Spirit. Again, this is why our Lord has said, “No
man can come to me, except the Father which hath
sent me draw him. . .” ( John 6:44) and “It is the Spirit
that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. . .” ( John

The Plague of a Man’s Own Heart, What it is, to Whom Discovered 1 KINGS 8:38 by John Gill

The Plague of a Man’s Own
Heart, What it is, to Whom
1 KINGS 8:38
by John Gill
(London: Wm. Hardcastle, 1814)
Thou hast given a standard to them that fear thee;
that it may be displayed because of the truth
— Psalm 60:4
And The Encouragement Given To Such Persons To Expect
Pardon Of All Their Sins.
1 KINGS 8:38
Which shall know every man the plague of his own heart.

The whole verse reads thus: What prayer and supplication soever he made
by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the
plague of his own heart; and spread forth his hands towards this house (to
complete the sense, it follows) then hear thou in heaven, thy dwelling
place, and forgive, and do, etc.
THESE words are part of the prayer which Solomon offered up to God, at
the dedication of the temple. After he had addressed the divine Being, by
mentioning several of his attributes, and expressed his admiration that he
should dwell upon the earth among men; he requests of God, that not only
the present prayers might be graciously answered; but that all the future
supplications of the Israelites, whether as a body of people, or individuals,
might be regarded. In a more particular manner he entreats of the Lord,
that when those who shall he be sensible of the plague of their own hearts,
and distressed by it, apply to him for relief, that he would hear and forgive.
Thus the words I have read are introduced: now, what I shall endeavour to
do, will be,
I. To shew you what the plague of the heart is what is meant by it, and
what may be learned from it.
II. The knowledge that some persons have of the plague of their own
heart. I say, some persons; because it seems clear, from the very manner in
which the words are expressed, that all do not know the plague of their
own heart..3
III. What those persons may do, who are thus sensible of the plague of
their own heart. They may spread out their hands to the Lord, and look
towards his holy temple, in hope of having relief from thence; and even the
forgiveness of their sins.
I. I shall inquire what is meant by the plague of the heart; and what we
may learn from this expression, Which shall know every man the plague of
his own heart.
In the first place, this plainly suggests, that the heart of man is not whole
and sound. It is unhealthful; it is distempered; it is attended with a very
grievous disease; for what more grievous than the plague? The disease of
the heart of man is sin, and particularly indwelling sin; the sin of our nature,
which has its seat in the heart. Every sin is a disease, as is clear from what
the Psalmist says,
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, and healeth all thy diseases

Psalm 103:3).
Here diseases and iniquities are represented as the same; and the healing of
these diseases is signified by the forgiveness of iniquity.
Now as every sin is a disease, so more especially indwelling sin, or the sin
of our nature. This is a natural and hereditary disease to the sons of men;
there are some bodily diseases, which come immediately from parents to
children; and of this sort, in a moral sense, is the sin of our nature. We are,
by nature, children of wrath; and the reason is, we are by nature, sinners;
otherwise, we could not have been by nature children of wrath. Sin is
natural to us: it is as natural for one of Adam’s fallen race to sin, as it is to
do any act whatever. It is natural to men; it is derived to them in a natural
way. It is hereditary: we are conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity; born
in sin, and so are called, transgressors from the womb. As our first parent
Adam was, and as our immediate ones are, so in course must their
offspring be; for who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.
This disease is epidemical and universal; all are tainted and affected with it.
There are diseases in a natural sense which are called epidemical, which,
when they come into a village, a town, or a country, go through them; but
then, be they as epidemical or universal as they may, there are always some
that escape; but in this case, there is not one, no not one of Adam’s race.
For almost six thousand years there has not been one of Adam’s posterity.4
that has escaped this disease; except the man Christ Jesus, who descended
not from him; by ordinary generation; otherwise, all mankind have been
infected with this plague, this pestilential disease, sin. All, says the apostle,
are under sin. We have before proved, says he, that both Jews and
Gentiles; which is a division of all mankind into its proper parts, and
includes the whole,
we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all
under sin (

Romans 3:9):
all under the power of sin; involved in the guilt of sin; and liable to
punishment for it. This is the case of all mankind: all have sinned in their
first head, Adam. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Yea, Jehovah himself is represented as looking down from heaven, taking a
survey of the children of men, of their qualities and actions; and the result
of this survey is, that
they are all gone out of the way, they are together become
unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one

Romans 3:10, 11, 12).
Now if there were any person free from this infectious disease, sin;
undoubtedly the omniscient eye of God would observe it. It is most
manifest, then, that there are none of all the individuals of human nature
that have escaped it: all are infected with it all; the body, and the members
of it: the soul, and all the powers thereof. It may be said, of men in general,
as it is of the body of the people of Israel, that the whole head is sick, and
the whole heart is faint. It is an epidemical disease.
It is a very nauseous and loathsome disease: the Psalmist speaks of it as
My loins are filled with a loathsome disease (

Psalm 38:7).
He had respect to sin, or the fruit, and effect of it; for he had before
observed, that there was no soundness in his flesh, nor any rest in his
bones, because of his sin (

Psalm 38:3). This disease makes a person
loathsome to Jehovah; who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. This is
a disease that mankind are very early infected with; therefore, the apostate
sons of Adam are represented by an infant cast out into the open field, to
the loathing of its person in the day that it was born. Being infected with
such a disease as this, it cannot but be loathsome in the eyes of God: and.5
sin, that makes us loathsome in the sight of God, makes us loathsome in
our own sight too, when we are led to take a proper view of it. Hence
those words of the apostle Paul, who had a large experience of the nature,
force, and power of indwelling sin;
O wretched man, that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of
this death? (

Romans 7:24);
or from this dead body, which I carry about with me. Do but represent
unto yourselves how loathsome it must be for a living man to have a dead
body fastened to him, and be obliged to carry it along with him wherever
be goes; and to have it wherever he is. Just so it is with the people of God,
who have any knowledge of this pestilential disease, this body of death,
which they continually carry about with them.
This is a disease, also, that is mortal in itself, a deadly disease; as the
plague is generally supposed to be. There are diseases which are not unto
death; but the disease of sin is unto death. We read of one sin in particular
which is unto death. It is emphatically so, namely, the unpardonable sin;
because it is not forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to
come (

Matthew 7:32). But every sin is, in its own nature, deserving of
The wages of every sin, is death (

Romans 6:23);
eternal death. This disease is incurable, except by the grace of God and the
blood of Christ. What Jeremiah says of the people of Israel, that their
bruise was incurable, and their wound grievous, because there was none
to plead their cause that they might be bound up, and they had no healing
medicines, may be said of all mankind, with respect to this disease of sin. It
is incurable by any methods they themselves are capable of making use of,
or others for them:
When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound; then
went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb; yet could he
not heal you, nor cure you of your wound (

Hosea 5:13).
So let a sinner, that is diseased with sin, use whatever means he can, short
of Christ, and his blood, they will be all ineffectual. Christ is the only
physician that can cure the plague of the heart; and his blood is the
sovereign balm. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?
yes; and that Physician is Christ, that balm is his blood..6
Now the disease I am speaking of, is called the plague: the plague of the
heart. The plague is a distemper which, you all know, is very threatening,
wasting, and destroying; and exceeding shocking and distressing. It is
called the
pestilence that walks in darkness, and the destruction that wasteth
at noon day (

Psalm 91:6).
It destroys its thousands and ten thousands, when God gives it a
commission; as in the case of David’s numbering the people. It was sent at
his own choice, and no less than seventy thousand persons were
immediately destroyed by it. Whenever we hear of the plague breaking out
in any of the countries abroad, to which our ships trade; we are always
alarmed, lest they should, with the goods brought from thence, bring that
dreadful distemper along with them; and all proper caution is taken to
prevent, it. Whenever we hear of it nearer our borders, in a neighboring
country, what an alarm does it give us? About forty years ago (This sermon
was preached, Sept. 19, 1762), or it may be somewhat more, some of you may
remember it broke forth in Marseilles, in France. What a consternation
were the inhabitants of this city in! How many meetings for prayer were set
up, and held for some time. But there is a plague nearer than this, it is in
the heart of every man, and yet little or no notice is taken of it. A plague of
more fatal consequences than a temporal disease is. The latter only
destroys the body, but this destroys the soul to all eternity, unless it is
cured by the grace of God, and the blood of Christ. It is the plague of the
heart; and we carry it about with us.
The word here made use of, is sometimes used of the plague of leprosy; as
in the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of the book of Leviticus. Persons
infected with that plague (after it was a clear case that so it was with them)
put a covering upon their upper lip, and cried, unclean, unclean

Leviticus 13:45). All sinners, like wise who are made sensible of the
leprosy of sin, and that they are infected with it, humbly flee to Christ, the
great physician, and say, as the leper in the gospel, Lord, if thou wilt, thou
canst make me clean. This leprosy of sin, is not only like that, which was
outward in a man; but like that got into a house, which could not be
removed ‘till the house was pulled down. Of this kind is the plague of the
heart; the leprosy of sin in us; for it is an inward, spreading one; there is no
removing of it ‘till this earthly house of our tabernacle is taken down.
Hence, says the apostle, We, in this tabernacle, do groan, being burdened..7
These hints may serve to give you some idea of the plague of a man’s
heart, indwelling sin and corruption. But,
Secondly. I shall give you a fuller view of this plague of the heart, by laying
before you the state and condition of the heart of man, according to the
scriptural account of it; which is this: A man’s heart is wicked yea,
wickedness itself. So it is said in

Psalm 5:9. Their inward part, that is,
their heart, is very wickedness. It is not only wicked, but wickedness itself;
not only wickedness, but extreme wickedness; that is, extremely wicked.
The carnal mind is said to be enmity against God (

Romans 8:7): not
barely an enemy to God, but enmity itself; which expresses the great
degree of enmity in the carnal mind of man, to God and all that is good.
Sin is not only sinful; but it is exceeding sinful: and it is made so to appear
to a truly enlightened mind, as it was to the apostle Paul; who tells us, that
sin by the commandment, became exceeding sinful. Such is the heart of
man. It is wicked, wickedness itself: it is sinful, exceeding sinful; yea, it is
the seat of all sin.
The corruption of nature, most properly the plague of our heart, is
represented by the apostle, as that which dwells in us:
It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me

Romans 7:17).
By sin that dwelt in him, he means not any particular sin, distinct from
others; but an assemblage of sins, corruptions, lusts, iniquities; for he
afterwards represents it, not only as a person, but as a law, having power
and authority; and, as a body, consisting of divers members, divers lusts
and pleasures (

Titus 3:3). The heart of man is like Babylon; a cage of
every unclean and hateful bird, and the hold of every foul spirit. It is the
seat and source of all sin. It is the forge, where all is hammered; for the evil
heart devises evil imaginations. There is the mint of sin; it comes from
thence. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries,
fornications, thefts, false-witness, blasphemies; these are the things which
defile a man (

Matthew 15:19, 20). Out of the abundance of the
wickedness of the heart, the mouth speaketh bad things. All the evil actions
of life have their rise from hence: and you may judge hereby of the
malignity of man’s heart, what a plague is there. It is so bad, that Jeremiah
it is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.8

Jeremiah 17:9).
It is deceitful. There is deceitfulness in every sin: particularly in indwelling
sin, the corruption of our nature. The apostle cautions the Hebrews to
exhort one another daily, lest any of them should be hardened through the
deceitfulness of sin (

Hebrews 3:13). The old man is said to be corrupt
according to the deceitful lusts of which he consists. So deceitful is man’s
heart, and the lust that dwells there, that even the best of men have been
deceived thereby. Not only the apostle Paul was deceived by it, before his
conversion, agreeable to that saying, Sin, taking occasion by the
commandment, deceived me; and by it slew me: but even after conversion,
the best and wisest of men have been deceived by their own hearts, and the
deceitfulness thereof. For a man promises himself that in sinning, which he
never enjoys. He promises to himself a great deal of pleasure in sinning:
hence divers lusts and pleasures are joined together, as if they were one
and the same; or, as if men, in serving the one, enjoyed the other. This is
proposed, this is expected; but is it enjoyed? No; the pleasures expected
from sin, are all an illusion, all a dream; that fantastic pleasure which is
enjoyed, is a short-lived one. The pleasures of sin are but for a season, and
issue, at last, in bitterness and death. Sin, though it is rolled in the mouth,
and kept under the tongue as a sweet morsel, proves, in the end, as the
poison of asps.
Men promise themselves much profit in sinning, which they never enjoy.
This was the temptation of our first parents, with which they were imposed
upon, and deceived. Satan suggested they should be as Gods, knowing
good and evil. This was the bait, more knowledge; whereas, by dallying
with the temptation, instead of gaining more knowledge, they lost in good
measure, what they had. A man’s heart promises him much profit in
sinning; that he shall gain much riches in the way of illicit trade, and other
unlawful practices; but how frequently is he disappointed and were it
otherwise, What would it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and
lose his own soul?
Sometimes men propose to themselves and expect a great deal of honour
among ungodly men, by following their examples, and complying with their
customs; but how often are they disappointed! Besides, when the
conscience comes to be awakened, and when the apostle’s question is
regarded, What fruit had ye in those things, whereof ye are now ashamed?
they will readily acknowledge, they had none at all..9
A man proposes to himself liberty in sinning but does he enjoy it? No; he is
brought into more and more bondage.
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants
of corruption. Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he
brought in bondage (

2 Peter 2:19).
Whoever commits sin, is the servant of sin, the slave of it: Is Ephraim a
servant? is he a home-born slave? Verily he is and so is every ungodly
They promise themselves peace; that they shall have peace, though they
walk every man after the imagination of his own evil heart, to add
drunkenness to thirst: but do they enjoy it? No: for while they are crying,
peace, peace, sudden destruction comes upon them. How deceitful is the
heart of man! That is promised which is never enjoyed. There is nothing in
a man’s heart to be trusted to: he that trusteth in his own heart, is a fool:
even he that trusts in the goodness of his heart, in the supposed integrity of
his heart, and of his conversation, which he supposes springs from thence.
Persons of this character, trust in themselves that they are righteous, and
despise others. They trust in themselves, that they are rich, and increased
in goods, and stand in need of nothing: when, at the same time, they are
wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; and will find
themselves most miserably deceived another day. The heart of man is
deceitful: the plague is in it; indwelling sin, and corruption. There is
nothing more deceitful than the heart of man. It is exceedingly wicked;
wicked to the highest degree of wickedness: which seems to be the
meaning of the expression.
All that is in the heart of man is wicked. The thoughts and the imagination
of the thoughts of the heart are so, according to

Genesis 6:5. So in

Matthew, chapter 15 verse 19, Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts.
Men’s thoughts are evil. The thought of wickedness is sin; abominable in
the sight of God. The apostle therefore exhorts Simon Magus to pray that
the thoughts of his heart might be forgiven (

Acts 8:22). The sensible
sinner has reason to hope for this; therefore the wicked man is encouraged
to forsake his way, and the righteous man his thoughts, and to turn to the
Lord, who will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will
abundantly pardon (

Isaiah 55:7); both evil thoughts and evil actions.
Yea, the imagination of the thoughts is evil: the first formation of evil
thoughts; or those motions, as the apostle calls them, of sin, which are in.10
our members (

Romans 7:5), are evil. You read of some that thought
themselves wise men, and good men; but became vain in their imaginations,
and their evil hearts were darkened (

Romans 1:21): and of others, more
openly profane, that resolved to walk according to the imagination of their
evil hearts (Jeremiah 812). Every thought, and every imagination of the
heart, of man are evil.,
God is not in all their thoughts (

Psalm 10:4);
nor, indeed, in any of their thoughts. His thoughts are not like theirs. His
are holy, theirs are unholy: his are thoughts of peace, theirs are thoughts of
evil. No good thoughts arise from the wicked heart of man. No good
things come out of this Nazareth; for there is no good thing in it. Every
imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart is evil; only so, and always so.
The imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart is said to be evil from his
youth (

Genesis 8:21): hence he is represented as like the troubled sect,
which cannot rest, continually casting up mire and dirt (

Isaiah 57:20).
The affections of the heart are inordinate; all out of course; run in a wrong
channel, and to wrong objects. Men are lovers of pleasure, more than
lovers of God.
Their hearts are set upon the world and the things of it; the lusts of the
flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life. The mind of man is
corrupted, depraved, distempered. There is vanity in it; hence men are said
to walk in the vanity of their minds. They are empty of all that is good; yea,
they are averse thereunto; for the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it
is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can be. The mind is
darkened by sin, has no light into divine and spiritual things; is darkness
itself; calls evil good, and good evil; puts darkness for light, and light for
darkness. The understanding being depraved, it passes a wrong judgment
on things. Conscience being darkened, does not perform its office: being in
many seared, as it were, with a red hot iron; and in every one it is evil.
Happy those who have their hearts sprinkled, by the blood of Jesus, from
an evil conscience. Their will is stubborn and inflexible. It is not subject to
God’s law, nor to his gospel. It is like the adamant, and called a stony
heart (

Ezekiel 11:19). Now, by all this, and much more, which the
Scripture says on the subject, we may judge of the state of the heart of
man; and in a good measure learn what is meant by the plague of it. It must
be in a most sad condition, while under the influence of this pestilential
Further. The plague of the heart is very deep and secret: it is an evil which
none are acquainted with but a man’s own conscience and God. Secret
sins, heart sins, these may be called the plague of the heart. Lord (says the
Psalmist) thou hast set our secret sins in the light of thy countenance

Psalm 90:8). Secret sins, which are in their own hearts; or, if
committed, none but God and their own hearts are privy to them. Yea,
there are some sins that a man himself is not privy to; they pass through his
heart, and he, not being always upon his guard, cannot take notice of every
thing that is done. Even a good man cannot; hence David says,
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults

Psalm 19:12).
Or, the plague of the heart may denote such sins as are in a particular
manner predominant in a man’s heart. There are some sins which may be
termed a man’s own way (

Isaiah 53:6); constitutional sins, or sins which
most easily beset (

Hebrews 12:1). In some pride, in some the lust of
impurity; in others ambition, and so on. These are common and prevailing
sins in the hearts of men, and may he called the plague of their hearts; and
which give great distress to those who have the grace of God. They find
them to be a plague: indeed their daily experience proves it.
There is an expression in a parallel text where the same thing is intended,
though in somewhat different language.
Then (says Solomon) what prayer, or what supplication soever
shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every
one shall know his own sore, and his own grief, and shall spread
forth his hand in this house; then hear thou from heaven thy
dwelling place, and forgive (

2 Chronicles 6:29, 30).
What is called in Kings, the plague of his own heart, is here denominated
his own sore, and his own grief. This may a little enlarge our idea of the
plague of the heart. A man’s own sore, and his own grief. His sore; that
which gives him a great deal of pain and uneasiness, as a sore does. So the
corruption of nature does to a sensible sinner; when he is pricked to the
heart, wounded through a sense of sin, how grievous and intolerable is it!
The spirit of a man may sustain his infirmity, the outward infirmity of his
body; he may be able to bear it, with some degree of patience; but a spirit
wounded with a sense of sin, who can bear? This is a sore which is very
painful indeed! Every man his own sore, and his own grief. Sin causes.12
grief; and nothing more than the inward corruption of nature. David, we
find expressing his grief on this account.
I go mourning all the day long; for my loins are filled with a
loathsome disease, and there is no soundness in my flesh

Psalm 38:6, 7);
and so all good men do. They are like the doves of the valley, every one
mourning for his own iniquity; especially the sin of his nature, which is his
own. Hence Jabez’s prayer to the Lord, was, Keep me from evil, that it
may not grieve me (

1 Chronicles 4:10): the corruption of nature, and its
breakings forth.
This is what Solomon calls a man’s sore and grief; because it produces
grief to the people of God. They are grieved, because it is contrary to the
holy nature of God, and his righteous law; against the Lord, who is their
Maker, their Benefactor, their God, and Father: against him, who hath
shewn so much favor to them, and expressed so much love towards them.
It cuts them to the heart that they should sin against this God; and that his
name should be dishonored in any measure by them, as it is by sin. It
causes the enemy to open his mouth; and the way of truth is evil spoken of.
This grieves the people of God: and because hereby the Holy Spirit of God
is grieved,
Grieve not the Holy Spirit (

Ephesians 4:30):
and then the apostle goes on to mention various sins whereby the Spirit of
God may be grieved. He who convinces them of sin, of righteousness, and
of judgment; he who hath been their comforter, and is the Spirit of faith in
them, the Spirit, of adoption to them, and the earnest of their heavenly
inheritance; that he should be grieved by them is grievous to themselves.
So, likewise, because hereby they are deprived of communion with God.
Iniquity, in this respect, separates between God and the soul. They are
filled with confusion, distress, and contrition of mind, as Peter was through
his fall. But thus much may suffice for the opening of the plague of the
heart. From all this somewhat may be gathered, and your own experience
will furnish you within more, upon this humiliating subject. But
II. There is a knowledge of this. Some persons have a knowledge of it,
and some have not. This is supposed in the text, by “All thy people Israel,
which shall know, every man the plague of his own heart.” That is, as many.13
of them as shall know the plague of their own hearts; suggesting, that all
do not. Some do not know this. Carnal men do not. Only spiritual persons,
that are under the influence of the Spirit of God, who convinces of sin, of
righteousness, and of judgment. As for others, they know nothing of the
plague of their own heart. They may possibly know something of the
nature of sin, the difference between moral good and evil, by the light of
nature, the laws of men, and the general notions obtained among men; but
they know nothing of the spring of evil actions, of indwelling sin, the
fountain of iniquity. To this they are strangers; and more especially such as
are grown up to work all iniquity; whose consciences are cauterized, or
seared with a hot iron. All those who are whole, know not the plague of
their own hearts. The whole need not a physician, but those that are sick.
The former need a physician as much as the latter; but they know not that
they stand in need of one. The reason of which is, they do not know the
plague of their own hearts; and therefore, in their own apprehensions, they
need no physician. It is quite the reverse, however, with those that are sick;
that is, who are sensible of the sickness: for, otherwise, all men are sick;
but our Lord means, them that are sensible of it, as Ephraim was: “When
Ephraim saw his sickness” (

Hosea 5:13). Now those who are sensible
of their sickness, feel their need of a physician; but those who are insensible
of sickness, are like him, whom the wise man describes as upon the top of
a mast; who says,
They have stricken me, and I was not sick; they have beaten me,
and I felt it not (

Proverbs 23:35).
So it is with such insensible sinners as are whole in their own esteem.
Those who think themselves increased in goods, and in need of nothing, do
not know the plague of their own hearts. Those who imagine they need no
repentance, do not know the plague of their own hearts. The pharisee
knows not the plague of his own heart: for his language is, I am not as
other men are. The apostle Paul did not know the plague of his own heart,
at the time to which he refers, when he says, Touching the righteousness
which is in the law, blameless. The perfectionist knows not the plague of
his own heart; if he did, he would not say, he is free from sin. Job says,
If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so
clean; yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own cloths
should abhor me (

Job 9:30, 31).
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (

1 John 1:8):.14
but good men know the plague of their own hearts; being enlightened by
the Spirit of God, convincing them of sin, of righteousness, and judgment.
Such as are made light in the Lord, and made acquainted with salvation by
him; are made light, so as to know themselves and the plague of their own
hearts. Those in whose hearts God has commanded the light to shine, not
only see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; but they see the
vileness of their nature, and the corruption of their hearts and that they
know this, appears from the ingenuous confession of sin, which they make;
not only of the outward actions of sin, which they commit; but also of
indwelling sin. For while they are confessing the one, they are naturally led
to the other; as the Psalmist was,
I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me

Psalm 51:5).
This appears from the groanings of the saints; for they groan being
burdened, burdened with indwelling sin. So David says, (when speaking of
sin, on which account he had no rest in his bones),
My groaning is not hid from thee (

Psalm 38:9).
Saints, under the New Testament speak the same language (for the people
of God, under different dispensations, have the same experience in this
O wretched man that I am, (says the apostle), who shall deliver me
from the body of this death! (

Romans 8:24).
It appears by the feeling they have of a law in their members, warring
against the law of their minds; fighting one against the other; so that they
cannot do the things that they would. It appears from their non-dependence
upon any religious duties performed by them; for however outwardly
religious they may appear, in the sight of others, they are sensible of
imperfection in their services; they know there is not a just man upon
earth, that does good, and sinneth not; that there is strange distraction of
mind, wanderings of thoughts, and a mixture of sin even in their most holy
things. They cannot, therefore, depend upon any thing done by them; but
acknowledge, when they have done all they can, that they are but
unprofitable servants. It appears also, by their prayers against the plague
of their own hearts. This leads us to consider,.15
III. What those persons may do, who are sensible of the plague of their
own hearts. They may spread out their hands to the Lord, and make
supplication to him, under a sense of their great depravity. They may pray
that the Lord would keep them from the plague of their own hearts; that it
may not break forth to the grieving of their souls, or the dishonor of the
divine name; and that they be not destroyed thereby. Was David, when
reflecting on the power of his enemy, induced to say, I shall one day perish
by the hand of Saul? So the saints, when they behold the force of
corruption in them, fear they shall some day perish thereby: yet in the midst
of all their discouragements, they can spread out their hands to God, and
pray that he would mortify those corruptions of nature. Though the Lord
hath said, he will subdue their iniquities; it becomes them to pray that no
iniquity may have dominion over them: that this house of Saul might grow
weaker and weaker, while that of David grows stronger and stronger: that
the inward man might be renewed day by day, and the old man put off,
according to the former conversation: that though it be not destroyed, it
may be weakened; and also, that the Lord would grant fresh manifestations
of forgiving love, for sins of heart, as well as of life and conversation.
Upon the whole, this may serve to humble us before the Lord; when we
consider what we are, what we have about us, and what is in us; namely,
the plague of the heart. It is enough to humble the proudest heart, when
sensible of it; and cause the words of Job to be adopted, Behold, I am vile,
what shall I answer? I have heard of thee, by the hearing of the ear; but
now mine eye seeth thee: wherefore I repent and abhor myself in dust and
This also may lead us to wonder at the grace of God, that he should have
any regard to such diseased and corrupted creatures as we are; and that
God should dwell upon earth, in the hearts of sinful men, as in verse the
twenty-seventh. This is marvelous grace, indeed! This may lead us, who
know the plague of our own hearts, to be thankful to God, that he has not
left us to that blindness persons are under the influence of, who talk of the
goodness of their hearts; and see no need of the cleansing blood of Jesus,
that healing balsam. Blessed be God, he hath not left us to this. Such
neither know the disease, nor the physician; neither know the plague of
their own hearts nor how they are to be cured of it. God, blessed be his
name! hath opened our eyes to see our disease; and hath shewn us who the
Physician is. Let it then be our great concern, to shew forth the praises of
him, who hath called as out of darkness, into his marvelous light.

13 Things a Lost Person Cannot Do by Curtis A. Pugh

13 Things a Lost Person Cannot Do

by Curtis A. Pugh

That the lost sinner must cast himself wholly on the mercy and grace of God must be obvious to
those who read and believe the Scriptures. But the Bible knows nothing of such foolish man-made
ideas as „praying the sinner’s prayer”, or „making a decision for Christ”, or „inviting Jesus into your
heart” or „going forward to receive Christ.” No New Testament preacher ever used such terms or
tactics! To tell spiritually dead sinners that there is something they can do to bring about their
salvation is damnable heresy for by its false hope sinners are taught to trust in what they have done
rather in Christ who has done all.

Consider these thirteen spiritual things an unsaved person cannot do:

„For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the
heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than
your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

„. . . thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself . . .” (Psalm 50:21) „Canst thou by
searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven;
what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” (Job 11:7-8)

„Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again he
cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

„The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

„O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his
steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23) „There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are
the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

„For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one
that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Galatians 3:10).

„Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not . . .” (John 14:17)

8. HE CANNOT HEAR (receive & understand) GOD’S WORDS:
„He that is of God heareth God’s words; ye therefore hear them not because ye are not of God.”
(John 8:47) „But the natural (unsaved) man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are
foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.”
(1Corinthians 2:14)

„Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God.” (John
1:13) „For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have
compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that
runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9:15-16)

„For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that (faith) not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of
works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) „. . . for all men have not faith.” (2
Thessalonians 3:2) „For unto you it is given . . . to believe on him . . .” (Philippians 1:29) „. . . if God
peradventure will give them repentance . . .” (2 Timothy 2:25) „. . . to them that have obtained like
precious faith with us . . .” (2 Peter 1:1)

„No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him . . . Therefore said I unto
you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” (John 6:44, 65)

„But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep as I said unto you.” (John 10:26)

„For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the
things of the Spirit. . . . So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the
flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit
of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:5, 8, 9)

In the light of these things which a spiritually dead (lost) sinner cannot do, how then do we account
for the command of God to all men to repent? The Bible does state that God „. . . now commandeth
all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). What do we do about the counsel of God to men which
says they are to believe on Christ? Would God command and instruct men to do that which they
cannot do?

We answer an emphatic „Yes!” Our proof is the holy Law of God given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
While there was nothing wrong with God’s Law, no man is able to keep those commandments (1
Timothy 1:8; Romans 8:3). No man ever kept the Law of God and yet God was right to give it to man
and command its keeping! By that Law we see ourselves as sinners (Romans 3:20). That was the
purpose of the Law!While God requires repentance (the will to turn from sin) and faith (the will to
believe in Christ), no man is able of himself to do either. Thus, as with the Law, man is forced to see
that there is nothing good in him and that he cannot repent and believe savingly in Jesus Christ.
Throughout the Bible God’s children recognize their own inability to do anything to save themselves.
In addition to the portions previously quoted in this tract, consider the following statements:

„. . . I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but
how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18)

„Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

„. . . I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.” (Psalm 88:8)

„Turn us. O God of our salvation . . .” (Psalm 85:4)

” . . . Turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.” (Jeremiah 31:18)

„But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our riqhteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade
as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon
thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee . . .” (Isaiah 64:6, 7)

„. . . Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9).

Those who think that they can properly repent of their own ability and savingly believe of their own
faith fall into error. They trust in their own ability and not in the saving work of Jesus Christ! Is not this
true of those who boast of their past sins and their turning from them? Do they not claim that they did
it themselves? Repeatedly we hear this in their popular „testimony meetings.” Some are willing to
share the glory and admit that they had a little help from God, but even this is wicked confidence in
the flesh. And do not some religionists boast of their faith as if it was some great thing worthy of
reward? Faith (confidence) in my faith or in my turning to God is not „. . . the faith of God’s elect.”
(Titus 1:1)

Paul wrote concerning true children of God, „. . . We . . . worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in
Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” (Philippians 3:3). To trust in anything done in the
flesh (human nature and strength) is to have „confidence in the flesh.” To trust in your prayer, your
baptism, your goodness, your faith or any experience you may have had is to have confidence in the
flesh and not to trust in Christ. The faith and confidence of the true believer is in Christ! Those born of
God trust not in rituals, sacraments, good works, their own repentance or their faith in Christ, but
rather in Christ alone!

„Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith . . .” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Are you trusting in your
faith or are you trusting in Christ? What is the object of your faith? Do you really see that all your
„righteousnesses are as filthy rags”? (Isaiah 64:6). Have you seen that you deserve Hell? Are you
willing to take your place as a sinner and if God sends you to Hell will you say He is just, fair, and
righteous to do so? Or do you think yourself unworthy of eternal punishment?
Consider these words from the old English Baptist Gadsby Hymnal.

O beware of trust ill-grounded;
‘Tis but fancied faith at most,
To be cured, and not be wounded:
To be saved before you’re lost.

Have you never been wounded by the Word of God so that your sins have been laid bare? Have you
never been lost–that is, have you seen yourself as hopelessly lost and a Hell-deserving sinner? How
can you think yourself saved if you have never been lost? Jesus said, „. . . I came not to call the
righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). If you are a sinner, surely the Scriptures cited in
this tract have shown that you are helpless to do anything about your terrible lost condition!
Salvation is free and comes, „Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to
his mercy he saved us . . .” (Titus 3:5). Look to Jesus Christ, who has done all things necessary and
possible, „for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

May God give you grace to see yourself as He does, and may He give you the twin gifts of „. . .
repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21) so that you are „. . . not
of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews

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