Saturday, May 05, 2007

Total Depravity by Jim Lawless

As many of you all know I am a preacher’s kid, something that I am very proud of and thankful for. I am especially thankful that my dad was an expositor. He preached word by word, verse by verse and chapter by chapter. He did this for 50 years and then the Lord took him home. I am so thankful for the influence my dad’s preaching had on my life and I am so thankful that the Lord has led me to a men’s bible study where Gods word is taught the way it was meant to be taught and I am thankful that He led me to a church where God’s word is preached the way God intended it to be preached.

It was not that long ago that I was online doing some research and decided to go to Google and do a search on my dad’s name. This is something I do occasionally to see if my name shows up. I typed his name in the search box and began to sort through the hits and lo and behold there he was. Now, this really excited me because my dad has been with the Lord for 4 years now and it’s really nice to see something that he wrote on the internet. Here is what I found:


Total Depravity by Jim Lawless
Justification by Richard Hooker
On Christian Life by John Calvin
On Prayer by John Calvin
Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

There it was a document I knew he had worked on but I had never seen the finished work and it was along side other doctrinal documents by Hooker and Calvin. Folks that is good company!

I encourage you to read the entire document. Here is an excerpt:

We ought not to give up upon them because of this truth. Say, "Well I've witnessed enough. Let me wash my hands and walk away." If you will study the history of our great missionaries like Carey, and Judson, and Elliot, and Patton and others, you will see that the thing that kept them there amidst years of the lack of any kind of response was the confidence of knowing that God in His time saves sinners, and it is only our job to be stewards of the grace of God, to bring the message of truth, to be faithful in our labors and not give up on the hardness of men's hearts. Only God opens their hearts. This ought to affect our evangelism, our message, and our method. Faith and repentance have to be gifts of God. Walter Chantry (Man's Will - Free Yet Bound) said, "Man's will is not his hope." Any gospel preaching that relies upon an act of the human will for the conversion of sinners has missed its mark. Any sinner who supposes that his will has the strength to do any good accompanying salvation is greatly deluded and far from the Kingdom unless God does something. No hope of saving change can come. We cannot make the tree good, only God can. We do not have to resort to manipulation, we do not have to water down the Gospel to make it palatable, we do not have to defend it, we have only to proclaim it. And proclaim it faithfully, and to wait upon the Lord of glory who saves whom He will. What great encouragements the doctrine of Total Depravity should bring to our hearts as we trust in the power of a sovereign God to save.

Total Depravity is a foundational doctrine. In God's plan of salvation, if you err here, it will be seen in how you preach the law, and how you preach the Gospel, and how you direct sinners to Christ, and how you pray, and how you live, and how you worship. Total Depravity leads inevitably to Unconditional Election, Particular Redemption, Effectual Calling, Irresistible Grace, and the Perseverance of the Saints.

What does Total Depravity teach. "Tis not that I did choose Thee, for Lord that could not be; this heart would still refuse Thee, hadst Thou not chosen me. Thou from my sins have saved me; for Thy rich grace I thirst; this knowing if I love Thee, Thou MUST have loved me first."

Let us give thanks for the grace of God in the light of such a terrible condition.

Dios Le Bendiga,
Jim Lawless

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