The above verse is one of many in the Bible that clearly show man’s inability to save himself in any fashion. In Reformed or Covenant Theology this is known as Total Depravity.
The doctrine of Total Depravity is often seen as a bad thing in evangelical circles. their reasoning is not based upon Biblical thinking but man’s thinking. If one assumes man is basically good, (an unbiblical fact if ever there was one) then it is easy to dismiss the doctrine of Total Depravity. They will argue things like God created and it was good, all true all pre-fall. They will use terms like we were created in God’s image and are only marred, implying an easy fix, you go hang on a cross at Calvary with the weight of mankind’s sin on your shoulders and tell me how easy a fix that is! Another popular response is ‘Christianity isn’t meant to be a downer’ really so we should avoid speaking on sin or hell, Jesus certainly didn’t.
If however, one takes in the Whole Counsel of God on the matter, there are a overwhelming number of verses declaring man is anything but good and we should never shy away from preaching, teaching and sharing that Whole Counsel in Spirit and Truth.
CONTEXT: The major theme of Nehemiah 1 is Nehemiah’s prayer. We get that from historical context and written word. Here is the Enduring Word Commentary’s; intro to Nehemiah:
A. Nehemiah hears of Jerusalem’s crisis condition.
1. Some 1,000 years after the time of Moses and some 400 years before the birth of Jesus, the nation of Israel and the Jewish people were in a desperate state.
a. Their nations were destroyed, First the northern Jewish kingdom of Israel and then the southern Jewish kingdom of Judah. The city of Jerusalem was completely conquered by the Babylonians and the once-glorious temple of Solomon was destroyed.
b. When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, they deported almost everyone from the city and the region – for some 70 years, Jerusalem was something of a ghost town, with the potential to end up like many ancient cities – completely forgotten except to history.
c. When the Jews were deported to Babylon, they began to make homes for themselves there. They settled down, and many still followed the God of their Fathers, but they did it from Babylon, with no desire to return to the land God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
d. But after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, they were given the opportunity to return to their homeland, the Promised Land. Out of some two or three million Jews deported from the land, only 50,000 decided to return to the Promised Land. That’s only something like 2%! But they did return, and in the days of Ezra, they rebuilt the temple and laid a spiritual foundation for Israel once again.
e. The Book of Nehemiah begins 15 years after the Book of Ezra ends; almost 100 years after the first captives came back to the Promised Land; and some 150 years after the city of Jerusalem was destroyed. After this long time, the walls of the city of Jerusalem were still in rubble.
f. Some of these faithful Jews were raised up to places of prominence in the governments they were deported to. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego became leaders in Babylon; Esther was made queen in the courts of a Persian king.
Matthew Henry breaks down the verses as follows: Here we first meet with Nehemiah at the Persian court, where we find him, I. Inquisitive concerning the state of the Jews and Jerusalem (v. 1, 2). II. Informed of their deplorable condition (v. 3). III. Fasting and praying thereupon (v. 4), with a particular account of his prayer (v. 5-11). Such is the rise of this great man, by piety, not by policy.
O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name; and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.—NEH. 1:11.
When we talk about redemption, that is Biblical or Christian Redemption, we are talking about the deliverance of true believers from sin.
Most everyone, even non-believers have heard John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Christ came to be the redeemer of lost sinners souls, to all those who would answer the Fathers call.
CONTEXT:Verses 1-5: The husbands of “Samaria” met their wives’ demands for luxury by denying “the poor” justice, and then by taking their land through excessive taxation and usury. These wealthy women (“cows of Bashan”), were in turn using their wealth to enrich themselves rather than to help the needy, unaware that they were “fattening” themselves for the slaughter of God’s devastating judgment. Verses 6-11: Past warnings were futile, a fact repeatedly emphasized by “Yet you have not returned to Me” (verses 6, 8-11). Before confronting sinners in final judgment, God has often used drastic measures, in this case, famine (4:6), drought (4:7-8), the devastation of crops (4:9), plague (4:10, and warfare (4:10); in an effort to get people’s attention and bring them to repentance. Still, Israel would not return to Him. Every person must “prepare to meet … God”, either as loving father or as divine Judge (Heb. 10:31; Rev. 20:15).1
CONTEXT: We need to look back at Chapter 7 for a moment and note that Paul had ended that chapter v.14-25 speaking about the conflict he had between knowing what was right and doing what was right. In otherwards his sinfulness kept getting in the way of his striving to be Holy (more like Christ).
Paul then begins Chapter 8 with a profound statement v.1, Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]. he spends the first 25 verse speaking about how we, true believers have escaped the bondage of sin.
Then beginning in v.26 until the end of the chapter, Paul explains why, because our Victory [over sin] is found not in ourselves but in Christ.
I want to point out a few things about the Victory in Jesus, from the bondage of sin to the fellowship with Christ:
It is only for those who are called according to his purpose.
God knew from time eternal, those folks, those whom He would call For whom he did foreknow
God had a predetermined plan for His chosen, he also did predestinate
God plan was for His chosen to be like Christ, made holy through Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary, to be conformed to the image of his Son
The important thing we all need to recognize immediately is our role in all of this, it is missing as it were. It is never about us and always about God. Yes, we must surrender all in the Order of Salvation, our conversion, when we willingly respond to the Holy Spirit pricking our hearts with the Gospel call. Yet that response is only because God calls, not because we desire Him on our own.
The last thing in the Chain above is Glorification the hope that drives true believers. The thing we get to look forward to in eternity that can never be achieved here in this, the ultimate and final removal of all sin from our lives.
As hurricane Ida made landfall (and heads towards us in mid Mississippi) I had the thought of how powerful God is. I for one am convinced that God is Sovereign over all things including hurricanes, even if I don’t understand the why.What I do know is we can count on His omnipotent Grace to see us through these events.
Chapter CONTEXT: Matthew Henry says of this Chapter: A salutation, and an account of saving blessings, as prepared in God’s eternal election, as purchased by Christ’s blood. (1-8) And as conveyed in effectual calling: this is applied to the believing Jews, and to the believing Gentiles. (9-14) The apostle thanks God for their faith and love, and prays for the continuance of their knowledge and hope, with respect to the heavenly inheritance, and to God’s powerful working in them. (15-23)
Our text for today is one extolling God’s omnipotence. A google search or that of some Biblical software will lead one to find a list with many variations of verses. The consistent theme however is that God is all-powerful and man is not.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines Rage as (a period of) extreme or violentanger. It is easy to see this in everyday life with road rage, unbridled vulgar shouting in public places, and violence in our streets. Then there is our pampered youth; they have things called rage rooms, and scream clubs whatever they can be on campuses today.
For many it is becoming harder to act in a Godly manner to the constant ungodly actions around us. Yet that is exactly what God calls us to do, be like Christ. I have said it many times and will repeat it again here, that does not mean being a pushover a carpet for the world to trample on. In reading the Whole Counsel of God you will realize that was not Jesus. He led the life He was called to live, and was very outspoken (Dogmatic) about it. Calling out sin and sinners, but doing so in a kind and forgiving manner.
Today’s sermon from John MacArthur dated back in 2017 and may be more relevant today than when it was preached.
Once again I was having a discussion (online) with someone, who claimed to be a “Christian” but in my opinion, has a very narrow view of Christianity and the Bible in general.
Their whole Doctrinal belief is based upon, Matthew 22:36-40, God is and we should LOVE and that is it. Anything beyond that is simply minutia.
Well as you know and I repeatedly say we MUST have the Whole Counsel of God, in order to even begin to have any sense of a proper theology or doctrinal belief. In this case, let us look at one aspect that seems to be overlooked here, God hates and so should we!
I will leave you with a few Biblical examples to look over, to understand the importance of ALWAYS seeking the Whole Counsel of God before we determine a doctrine or even a course of action for our lives.
CONTEXT: Most Bibles have a heading that says something like “Song of Moses” at the beginning of this Chapter. That is simple to understand as the first two verses are a direct appeal by Mosses to heaven. Matthew Henry breaks down the Chapter in this way: The song of Moses. (1,2) The character of God, The character of Israel. (3-6) The great things God had done for Israel. (7-14) The wickedness of Israel. (19-25) The judgments which would come upon them for their sins. (15-18) Deserved vengeance withheld. (26-38) God’s deliverance for his people. (39-43) The exhortation with which the song was delivered. (44-47) Moses to go up mount Nebo to die. (48-52)
We recently had another Great Grandchild and as usual, it got me thinking about what kind of nation and world we would be leaving him to grow up in. I was saddened by the thought of how messed up things are in America today compared to when I was a child.
In our text Mosses is speaking about the nation of Israel and its rebellion against the Laws and precepts upon which it was founded can easily be applied to America today. As I have repeated many times unlike Israel which was a Theocracy, America is NOT a Theocracy or “Christian Nation” but was CLEARLY founded upon Judeo-Christian principles.
So as Moses prayed, pleaded, and WARNED,
O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!
we too, that is all who identify as Christians in America, need to take up the fight and do the same to reclaim the Judeo-Christian principles that made America great. I am speaking about America’s Core Values; common courtesy, decency, and morals we can all agree are sorely lacking.
I think history shows what the later end for any nation has been that abandons all morality. Ultimate and total destruction, is this to be America’s fate?