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Archive for March 8th, 2017

THE NEED FOR THE SAVIOR:  Before and After

…God’s Word testifies that the intellect, heart, and will of the natural, unregenerate man in divine things are not only turned entirely away from God, but also turned and perverted against God to every evil; also, that he is not only weak, incapable, unfit, and dead to good, but also is so lamentably perverted, infected, and corrupted by original sin that he is entirely evil, perverse, and hostile to God by his disposition and nature, and that he is exceedingly strong, alive, and active with respect to everything that is displeasing and contrary to God.

  • Gen. 8:22: The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.

  • Jer. 17:9: The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked, or perverted and full of misery, so that it is unfathomable.

  • This passage St. Paul explains Rom. 8: The carnal mind is enmity against God.

  • Gal. 5:17: The flesh lusteth against the spirit; and these are contrary the one to the other.

  • Rom. 7:14: We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.

  • And soon after, 18:23: I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. For I delight in the Law of God after the inward man, which is regenerate by the Holy Ghost; but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin.

¬†Now, if in St. Paul and in other regenerate men the natural or carnal free will even after regeneration strives against God’s Law, it will be much more obstinate and hostile to God’s Law and will before regeneration. Hence it is manifest (as it is further declared in the article concerning original sin, to which we now refer for the sake of brevity) that the free will from its own natural powers, not only cannot work or concur in working anything for its own conversion, righteousness, and salvation, nor follow [obey], believe, or assent to the Holy Ghost, who through the Gospel offers him grace and salvation, but from its innate, wicked, rebellious nature it resists God and His will hostilely, unless it be enlightened and controlled by God’s Spirit.

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