Total Hereditary Depravity —
Why It Is the Real Battleground
by Wayne Camp“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him., If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free” (Jn. 8:31-33).
When Jesus told these professors that the truth would make them free they immediately rebelled against the idea that they had ever been in bondage. “We were never in bondage,” they cried. In this angry response they manifest the fact that the real battle ground in the doctrine of grace is not election, the effectual call, or the extent of the atonement; the real battle ground is the doctrine of total depravity. It is not pleasant to the natural man to expose his true and total corruption in heart, mind, and body. That our hearts are “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” is repugnant to our pride and high estimation that we have of ourselves.
Sadly, much of the most fierce opposition to this Biblical doctrine comes from within the ranks of “Christendom.” All kinds of objections are raised by preachers because they see that if they ever admit that man is as depraved as the Bible says that he is, they must also admit the necessity of the other doctrines which they hate. One great enemy of the doctrines of grace, Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, confessed in his magazine that, if one accepts as true the doctrine of total depravity, he must also accept the doctrines of election, effectual call, limited atonement, and preservation and perseverance of the saints. He declared that one who rejects any of the others must reject total depravity also. He argues correctly that total depravity requires an effectual call, etc. Therefore, this arch enemy of truth declares his rejection of all five doctrines mentioned.
Why is total depravity the real arena of controversy? There are several reasons that will be considered in this article.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY MORTALLY WOUNDS THE PRIDE AND SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MAN
There is nothing that is more repugnant to the pride and self-righteousness of man than the doctrine of total depravity. To confront men with the fact of their total ruin in the fall is to sound a war-cry and those who preach and teach this Biblical doctrine must be prepared to face heated and hateful opposition from within the ranks of Baptists as well as other sources. To tell man that he is morally incapable of elevating himself from the pit of his depravity is an affront to his self-righteousness and self-sufficient nature.
Total depravity teaches that men are dead spiritually. “And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins … even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us together with Christ” (Eph. 2:1,5). “And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh hath he quickened together with him” (Col. 2:13). Man may admit to some spiritual infirmity and confess that he needs some slight assistance to elevate himself spiritually but to admit that he is dead spiritually is repugnant to his pride. To tell the proud that they are as bad off spiritually as dead, stinking Lazarus was bad off physically, is devastating to their self-esteem. Until Jesus Christ imparted physical life to Lazarus he could not flick an eye lash, wiggle a toe, or make any move toward the door of his imprisoning tomb.
Unless God quickens the dead sinner he will never leave his dead spiritual state. He is as helpless to raise himself spiritually as was Lazarus to raise himself physically. “But” cries the objector (as one baptist preacher once said to this writer) “Man is not so dead spiritually that he cannot at least take the first step in coming to Christ. “Are there degrees of death, physical or spiritual? can one be dead, deader, or deadest? One walks into a cemetery and can he say correctly: “The fellow in that grave is deader than the one in yonder grave?” To be dead is to be dead. The same is true in the spiritual realm. It is therefore declared in the scripture: “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them: even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.” James attests to the same truth: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth” (James 1:18). John writes of those who received Christ that they were enabled to do so because they “were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13). As before seen Paul declares that God “hath quickened us together with Christ” (Eph., 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13). The natural man can no more contribute to giving himself spiritual life than he can to giving himself physical life. This hurts his pride; therefore he objects to being told he is “so dead.”
Total depravity contradicts the theory and false notion that many unregenerate people are really good at heart. Over the years this editor has preached the funeral of a number of unsaved people. In at least 90% of those situations some family member was sure to tell him; “Bro. Camp, she (or he) was not a professing Christian but she was really a good person at heart.” Can one believe that any unregenerate person is “really good at heart” when the testimony of God is diametrically opposed to such an idea. The Holy One of heaven tells us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and DESPERATELY WICKED: who can know it” (Jer. 17:9). “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21). “The heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11). “The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live” (Ecc. 9:3).
“Out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these things come from within, and defile the man” (Mk. 7:21-23). God certainly does not present a pretty picture and comforting picture of the hearts of men. None are “good at heart” in their unregenerate state. To declare this to most people is offensive and repulsive for they have been deceived by their deceitful heart into thinking more highly of themselves.
Total depravity denies that those born of the flesh have any natural goodness in them. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” declared Jesus. Paul declares that in the flesh, “dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18). In view of this total absence of good in the flesh he declares: “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8). The unregenerate man has no good in him because he is only born of the flesh. Tell him that and he rebels.
Total depravity declares man incapable of performing spiritually meritorious acts and deeds. It should be pointed out at this point that total inability is not a separate doctrine from total depravity. Total inability is one of the fruits and effects of man’s total depravity.
The scriptures clearly teach that man is incapable of doing for himself and of his own motivation those things necessary to and involved in his salvation. Salvation includes a radical change in nature which produces a great change in practice. man cannot effect such a change for himself. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil” (Jer. 13:23). If the Ethiopian could change his skin by his own will, or if the leopard could will a change in his spots we might have grounds to believe that a man can will a change in his nature. But man is no more capable of changing his nature than is a leopard capable of changing his spots. To tell him of his terrible inability is very distasteful to man.
Man cannot will his regeneration. We have before pointed out that the new birth is not of man but is a work of God. He wills regeneration and effects it or it does not happen. “Of his own will begat he us” (James 1:18). God “quickens” those whom he will quicken (John 1:13; Eph. 2:1, 5; Col. 2:13).
Man is so blind spiritually that he is incapable of seeing or entering the kingdom of God “except” he is born again. Therefore, Jesus said: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3). “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” (1 Cor. 2:14). To comprehend, understand, and act upon spiritual truth one must be born of God. The natural man with his exalted opinion of his intellectual abilities is prone to rebel when he is told he is incapable of perceiving spiritual truths.
In his unregenerate condition man does not have the ability to come to Christ. There is no power on earth that can bring him to the Saviour. The preacher may preach, plead, brow beat, and do what he will but he cannot bring one to Christ. A mother may pray, and weepingly plead but she cannot bring her son to Christ. Not one, will ever come of his own inclination. “No man,” declared Jesus, “can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”(Jn. 6:44). He further said: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life … therefore said I unto you, that NO MAN CAN COME UNTO ME, except it were given unto him of my Father” (Jn. 6:63, 65). Now, Dear Reader, the question is not one of willingness to come in these verses. The matter with which the Lord deals in these verses is the ability to come, an ability which must be given by the Father or none can come. Man was so debilitated in the fall that he simply cannot come to Christ unless God gives him the ability to come. In his natural state man imagines: “I can come to Christ whenever I please. I will decide the time and the place. It will be at my own choosing.” Tell him that he cannot come, ever, unless the Father enables him to, is too much for his pride and ego and he rebels. Preachers rebel because it takes away much of the punch of their invitations. it is a rebuke to their sermons on “easy- believism” and their high-pressure “altar calls.” No man will come, no man can come to Christ until the Father gives him the ability to come!
The depraved sinner, apart from the regenerating grace of God, cannot hear the word of God. Oh, Yes! He can hear the audible sound and know what the words are. Some men, lost men, even pride themselves in being able to quote many verses of Scripture. I once knew an atheist who could quote more verses of Scripture than many preachers. He had a good head knowledge, a historical, factual knowledge of the Old Testament and New Testament. He had searched the Scriptures for seeming contradictions. He knew every passage where our “God of love” had ordered the death of someone. He loved to call a Christian’s attention to those supposed blots on the character of God. He tried to find flaws in the Word, so he studied the Bible but never “heard” it. Like those Jews to whom Jesus preached in the temple. “Why do ye not understand my speech?” he asked them. Then he answered his own question with these words: “Even because ye cannot hear my word” (Jn. 8:43). Jeremiah wrote: “To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.” (Jer. 6:10). Physically, these people may have the sharpest of ears. They may hear sounds that escape most of us. Their problem is spiritual deafness, a problem for which God has the answer. “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them” (Prov. 20:12). Much of modern-day evangelism is predicated upon the idea that all men, without exception, have the ability to hear and act upon the preached word. It angers the “soul winner” to tell him that his efforts will be totally a failure (as he judges success and failure) unless God gives his listeners a hearing ear.
The unregenerate are dead and DEAD MEN CAN’T COME. This was previously discussed. Men resent this. Much of what is preached today to lost men is done in a way that totally ignores this dead condition. One preacher said to me: “If lost men are that dead, we are powerless to help them. Why even preach to them if they are so dead that they can’t come.” My answer was and is: “We preach because we are commanded to preach. We preach because it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” When it pleases him to do so God will quicken those to whom we preach so that they can and will come to Christ and be saved.
The unregenerate cannot believe on Christ. Those who preach an “easy-believism” message, as we sometimes refer to a message, are angered when we preach that the natural man cannot believe on Christ. His objection is both doctrinal and practical. Doctrinally, he objects because most believe that repentance and faith produce regeneration. Therefore, he holds that an unregenerate person can savingly believe on Jesus Christ. Therefore, he seeks, by every means possible, to wage such an intellectual battle with the lost man that he can persuade him to believe on Christ.
His objection to the doctrine that the unregenerate cannot hear is a practical objection, also. Every sermon he prepares, every illustration he uses, every invitation he issues is designed to literally overwhelm the lost man with intellectual and emotional arguments that will literally suck him into a profession of faith. If that lost man is truly incapable of believing, such tactics are ineffective. When God does grant one the necessary faith these tactics are very unnecessary.
Can the natural man believe on Christ? The Apostle John wrote: “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they COULD NOT BELIEVE” (Jn. 12:37-39). Faith is a gift which God graciously grants when he regenerates a sinner and no amount of persuasive preaching can cause the unregenerate to believe.
The unregenerate is spiritually impotent. He may be a giant of a man physically. He may be extremely strong. He may be strong morally as any Christian. When it comes to spiritual ability, however, this unregenerate giant is totally impotent. Paul writes of this impotence and says: “When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). He is incapable of keeping the law of God. He “is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed CAN be” (Rom. 8:7). He is without the power to find his way to God for he is in darkness. “The way of the wicked is darkness: they know not at what they stumble” (Prov 4:19). “They meet with the darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night” (Job 5:14). When we teach this we will awaken the ire that lies in man’s depraved nature. Yet we must preach and teach total depravity even though telling a man he is blind, dead, impotent and incapable of spiritual good in his natural state will cause his natural hatred of truth to rise up violently.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY IMPLIES AND NECESSITATES OTHER DOCTRINES WHICH ARE HATEFUL TO THE NATURAL MIND
In an article in which he attempts to refute the doctrines of sovereign grace, Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart wrote: “Personally, I’ve always maintained that if the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is accepted then (if a person is honest) he must accept the total depravity of man, unconditional election, the limited atonement of Jesus Christ, and irresistible grace. Obviously this final erroneous doctrine (which has caused untold millions of people to die and go to hell) is irrevocably linked to the preceding doctrines … any attempt to divorce the perseverance of the saints from irresistible grace, the limited atonement, unconditional election, and the total depravity of man is futile. If you believe in one of these, you have to believe in all of them” (The Evangelist, Sept. 1983, p. 9).
Swaggart is an avowed enemy of all of these Bible doctrines but was right when he said that “if you believe in even one of these, you have to believe in all of them.” Many, who would otherwise accept the doctrine of total depravity, rebel against it because of other interrelated doctrines.
Since man is totally depraved and totally incapable of coming to Christ of himself, an effectual call is necessary if any of Adam’s posterity is to be saved. One can only come to Christ if DRAWN by the heavenly Father. This drawing and ability to come to Christ must be given by the Father (Jn. 6:63, 65). One can only give attendance to the preached word if the Lord opens his heart (Acts 16:14). One can only come if quickened into life by the power and will of God (Jn. 1:13; Eph. 2:1).
One who is spiritually deaf cannot come until God gives him a hearing ear (Matt. 11:15; Prov. 20:12). One can only come if God causes him to approach unto the Lord (Psa. 65:4). They must be made willing by Divine power (Psa. 110:3; Phil. 2:13).
Since there is an effectual call that always results in the justification of those effectually called (“Whom he called, them he also justified”) (Rom. 8:29-30), and since all are not effectually called, there must be an election of those who will be called. That this is true is seen in Psa. 65:4. “Blessed is the man whom thou CHOOSETH and CAUSETH to approach unto thee” (Psa. 65:4). “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” (Psa. 110:3).“Whom he did FOREKNOW (electingly love), he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son … Moreover whom he did PREDESTINATE them he also CALLED: and whom he CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED: and whom he JUSTIFIED, them he also GLORIFIED.” (Rom. 8:29-30). All those upon whom God set his electing love are predestinated, called, justified, and glorified. There is not the loss of a single person in this unbreakable chain. Not One!
We must admit that many live and die who are not justified. Many never come to know Christ as Saviour. Since all whom God calls in the manner set forth in this passage are justified, all must not be called in this manner, for all are not justified. An effectual call to some, but not all, definitely implies an election of some to salvation. The chosen are caused to approach unto Christ. His people are made willing to come to Christ.
Those given to Christ and those who come to Christ are the same folk. Jesus declared unequivocally: “ALL that the Father giveth me SHALL come to me” (Jn. 6:37). Those given to Christ and those who receive eternal life are the same, for Christ’s declared purpose in having power over all flesh is “that he should give eternal life to AS MANY as thou hast given him” (Jn. 17:2). Those receiving salvation and those chosen thereunto are the same folk. “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God … We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning, CHOSEN YOU TO SALVATION through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (1 Thes. 1:4; 2 Thes. 2:13).
Repeatedly, we see election and an effectual call by the regenerating power of God inseparably linked together. Total depravity necessitates an effectual call and the doctrine of an effectual call establishes the truth of Divine and Sovereign election unto salvation since all are not effectually called. If man were not totally depraved these two doctrines would not be necessitated and established. The totally depraved are shut up to a gracious and effectual call, for without it none would ever be saved.
Since only the elect of Adam’s depraved race will be effectually called and justified, this leads one to the logical and Scriptural conclusion that the atonement is limited to the elect in its efficacy. We place no limit on the value of the atonement which Christ made. Its value is so infinite that we will not limit it in value.
On the other hand it should be said that an atonement merely made possible or available is no atonement at all. We believe in and proclaim an atonement that really does atone.
Therefore we conclude that we are on Scriptural ground when we say that the objects of the atonement are none other than the elect, the called, the justified. God declared: “By his knowledge shall my righteousness servant justify MANY for he shall bear THEIR iniquities” (Isa. 53:11). The many who will be justified are those whose iniquities Christ shall bear. In verse 12 we read: “He bear the sin of many.” Christ declared that he came “to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). Again he said when instituting the Lord’s supper: “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for MANY.” God gave Christ power over all flesh, “that he should give eternal life to AS MANY as thou hast given him” (Jn. 17:2). Paul wrote: “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of MANY” (Heb. 9:28). “By the obedience of one,” wrote Paul, “MANY shall be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19). God foreknew and predestinated many that Christ “might be the firstborn among MANY brethren” (Rom. 8:29).
We have seen that the MANY whose iniquities Christ shall bear is the MANY whom he will justify (Isa. 53:11). He was given power over all flesh, “that he should give eternal life to AS MANY” as the Father had given unto him. He was called Jesus for “he shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins.” “I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me,” prayed Jesus (Jn. 17:19). “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou hast given me out of the world” (Jn. 17:6). “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the SHEEP” (Jn 10:11).“I lay down my life for the SHEEP” (Jn 10:15).
Total depravity necessitates an effectual call if any are to be saved. Since all are not called effectually, this implies an election that is sovereign and unconditional. A sovereign and unconditional, gracious election logically and scripturally establishes the doctrine of a limited atonement. “Christ took hold of a special class, and a definite number, known by the Father, to succor and to save, and whom he calls the ‘Seed of Abraham; His Seed; His Sheep; The lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ To save none others was He specially sent into the world. ‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel: (Matt. 15:24)” (Seven Dispensations, J. R. Graves, Published by the Baptist Sunday School Committee of the American Baptist Association, p. 100).
PRESERVATION AND PERSEVERANCE
How are the doctrines of preservation and perseverance irrevocably linked with total depravity? The answer is simple. Since the saved retain their old fallen nature after regeneration they must be preserved by Divine power for they cannot keep themselves from utterly falling into sin. We must have the motivating power of God to cause us to will and to do his good pleasure.
Are the saints Divinely preserved? salvation is a gracious gift of God, not wages for service. “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance (are irrevocable)” (Rom. 11:29). Since salvation is an irrevocable gift of God it must be secured by Divine power. The saved are “preserved” in Christ who “is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceedingly joy” (Jude 1, 28).
When God graciously quickens one of his elect he imparts saving faith which causes that born-again person to commit his soul into the safe-care of Jesus Christ. We need never fear that we will be lost again, for as Paul wrote:“I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim 1:12). Of the child of God David wrote: “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand” (Psa. 37:24). “The Lord forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved forever” (Psa. 37:28). Here David clearly teaches the preservation of the saved. We are preserved forever because the Lord holds us in his hand. In this same vein Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (Jn. 10:27-29). Could one ask for a better preserving force than our blessed Lord here describes?
Do men actually hate a doctrine which assured the perseverance and preservation of the saved? Listen to Heretic Jimmy Swaggart: “Does a person lose his free will simply because he gets saved? In other words when a person gets saved, accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of his life, does he then lose his freedom to make decisions? The question is, of course, ridiculous.
“No, a person does not lose his free will, or his freedom of choice, when he is saved. If anything, salvation enhances a person’s freedom and state of being a free moral agent. The individual retains the ability and power to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to God — or to anyone else. Just because someone becomes a Christian in no way subverts his freedom to make decisions. We use our own personal will to get in, and if we so desire we can use our same free will to get out.” Swaggart referred to the preservation of the saints as an “erroneous doctrine which has caused untold millions of people to die and go to hell” (Ibid. p. 9). Again he wrote of the five doctrines we have herein shown to be Scriptural, in this manner: “You can see how Satan has woven his web of deceit piece by piece — and all to destroy untold millions. Unfortunately he’s been successful in his quest” (ibid.). Again, of preservation Swaggart wrote: “There are millions in hell … because they believe this pernicious doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. The doctrine is fallacious, unscriptural, and ungodly” (Ibid.). Yes, false teachers, ministers of Satan such as Jimmy Swaggart, have transformed themselves as apostles of Christ and spout forth their hatred of truth while many Baptist say: “I sure do like Jimmy Swaggart, or Oral Roberts, or some other ravening wolf in sheep’s clothing.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY, IN ESTABLISHING AND NECESSITATING THESE OTHER DOCTRINES, THEREBY ESTABLISHES THE DOCTRINE OF ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY IN THE BESTOWAL OF HIS GRACIOUS FAVORS.
Dr. J. R. Graves wrote: “It is quite impossible to bring an unprejudiced mind and a balanced reason to the examination of these questions. All Bible readers have taken position; and the verdict of the world is made up: and how difficult to reverse or modify it. They involve the sovereignty of God in the bestowment of his favors. All men are by nature Arminians; and the absolute sovereignty of God is a doctrine hateful to the natural and depraved heart. False teachers have taken advantage of this natural feeling, and have for ages have inflamed the prejudices of Christian men and women against any exercise of sovereignty on the part of God in this covenant, either as to his ‘determinate counsels,’ his electing love, or his distinguishing.”
This enmity of truth is reflected in Swaggart’s words again when he wrote: “To believe that He would hang on that bloody cross for just a select ministry is blasphemous. This act of total love had to be for the whole world — or for none at all. If even one person would be excluded, the whole concept of salvation and redemption becomes a farce” (Ibid. p. 10).
Regardless of man’s hatred of this Sovereignty in salvation, it is still true. Jesus is sovereign in the revealing of the father. “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matt. 11:27). Jesus clearly reveals who it is to whom he wills to reveal the Father. “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world” (Jn. 17:6). Jesus quickens into spiritual life whom he wills to quicken. “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will” (Jn. 5:21). James wrote of God and said: “Of his own will begat he us” (James 1:18).
God chose whom he would without any respect to any good or evil seen or foreseen in them (Rom. 9:11-12). He loved Jacob as he willed and hated Esau as he willed (Rom. 9:13). He is gracious to whom he wills to be gracious and he hardens whom he wills to harden (Rom. 9:14-18). He takes a piece of clay and out of it he makes one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor as he wills, of that clay he makes one vessel of wrath fitted to destruction and another vessel of mercy which he has before prepared for glory as he wills. On one vessel he wills to show his wrath, on another he wills to manifest his mercy. And none of his creatures should say to him: “Why hast thou made me thus?” (Rom. 9:19-24).
In the matter of salvation, as well as in other areas, God must be sovereign. “He must either rule, or be ruled; sway or be swayed; accomplish his own will, or be thwarted by His own creatures” (A. W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God, p. 17). The throne of God is a throne of grace and that grace is Sovereignly bestowed by the Sovereign who occupies the throne. Man, by nature hates the Bible doctrine of Divine sovereignty. He especially hates the exercise of sovereignty in the bestowal of grace and mercy. Since total depravity requires and establishes the effectual call, election, etc., which in turn establish and enforce the sovereignty of God in his covenant mercies, we once again are made to see that the real battle ground is the doctrine of total depravity.
TOTAL DEPRAVITY FORCES MEN TO GIVE GOD ALL THE GLORY
Man hates those doctrines which give God all the glory for his salvation. He deserves all the glory, for “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). Jesus is “the way” to the Father. salvation is in Jesus Christ and in none other (Acts 4:12). those doctrines which we have considered in this article, especially total depravity, forces us to give God all the glory for every aspect of our salvation from regeneration to glorification. Salvation is of the Lord entirely or there would be no salvation for totally depraved folk. But how men do hate to give God all the glory. For many reasons, therefore, the real theological battle-ground has, for ages, been the doctrine of total depravity.