Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, and the Biblical Gospel

4. The inability of man, in his sin, to choose God; and God’s election in salvation according to predestination.

Biblical teaching

Because of the fall, all human beings are “dead in sin and trespasses,” and unable to render a positive response to the gospel. It is not that human beings lack “free will,” but that the only choice human beings can make in their fallen, depraved will is to continue to reject God. This necessitates a unilateral intrusion of God upon a person’s sinful disposition, to regenerate his heart, and turn his will toward the gospel. A person can know he is saved, and therefore be assured that he is elect of God (Romans 8:28-30, I John 5:13).

(John 6:44) “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

(John 8:34-36) “Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'”

(Romans 8:7-9) “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”

(Ephesians 2:4-5) “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved.”

(Ephesians 1:3-6) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

(II Timothy 1:9-12) “Who [God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”

(II Timothy 2:25-26) “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

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apologetics, church history, justification, Reformation, systematic theology