O. B. Mink
Sovereign Grace Baptist Pastor
** (This is an expanded
version of an article which Brother Mink first wrote
Adam's choice of Eve in preference to God was deliberate (I Timothy
2:14), and destructive to all God likeness in his nature. Post-dating
the fall, all of Adam's posterity are born from wombs that cannot do otherwise
than produce children who are at enmity with God (Romans 8:7), and
who enter this world with a wrathful nature toward God (Ephesians 2:3).
Surely, if man had a "best state" it would be while he is as yet in the
womb, but while confined to this physically producing enclosure the Scripture
says of him; "... He is altogether vanity" (Psalms 39:5).
As soon as he is born, he goes astray choosing lies (Psalms
Number One Heresy
Man in his degenerate state is in the bond of iniquity, not credible with
the least good, and is a firm and undeviating ally of the devil (Acts
8:23; Romans 8:8; John 8:44). We do not mean to imply
that the old nature cannot change. It certainly can and does, but not so
as to please God. Paul warns against the instability and vacillation of
the old nature saying, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed
to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine ..." (Ephesians
4:14). The Adamic nature can change, but it cannot cease for the least
moment from sin (II Peter 2:14).
The spiritual impotence of man's will, as he is in nature, is absolute.
Love for sin, and hatred of God are so intertwined in fallen man's nature
that his thoughts are only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Christ
brings this truth to the fore, and seeing it is situated at the front,
He says: "No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the
one and love the other ..." (Matthew 6:24). And again, He that
knows the intents and thoughts of every heart says, "He that is not
with Me is against Me," and those against Christ are not passive. No,
they are with every fiber of their being actively against Him, for He says
they "scatter abroad" (Matthew 12:30).
To presuppose a person will choose something which he hates with an insatiable
passion and opposes with perfect and unrelenting vehemence is utterly absurd.
Man invariably chooses according to his desire, and in his native state
he cannot desire that which is holy, but with all strength of being fulfills
the desires of the flesh and of the mind (Ephesians 2:3). To say
a man can in truth approve that which runs counter to his desire is irrational.
A person's volition is perfectly consistent with his or her nature, and
the natural man without deviation chooses darkness rather than light because
he loves darkness and hates the light (I John 3:19).
Man by nature is not merely wicked, but desperately wicked (Jeremiah
17:9). He is "dead in trespasses and sins ..." (Ephesians
2:1). The Adamic man is destitute of all good, and every spark of his
energy is used in choosing and performing evil. With the natural man it
has never been Barabbas or Jesus, but Barabbas or any other barbarian,
for Jesus is never favorably in their thoughts. Man as he is in nature
assumes without question that his will is absolutely free, that his choices
are not generated or determined by anybody or anything outside of himself,
and with this presumed sovereignty of his will he needs no arbitrator or
mediator and that his eternal destiny is determined by his own freewill
The natural man's will is free within the bounds of its nature, and his
choices are free within these same bounds, but all spiritual matters are
utter foolishness unto him and are beyond his intellectual and volitional
reach (I Corinthians 2:14). Fallen man's nature cannot be improved
upon, it is beyond repair or redemption, and in order for a person to realize
a heavenly destiny his old nature must be destroyed or irradicated. This
is in great degree what Paul meant when he said, "If any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are
become new." (II Corinthians 5:17). The old condemnation, curse,
fleshly bondage of the will, and the impregnable wall of spiritual ignorance
have all passed away. The new saint now hears a new voice with a new message.
He hears the Lord of glory saying, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have
chosen you ..." (John 15:16).
Judicially, the natural man began his rebellion against God in Adam, it
was corporeally manifested in the womb of his mother, magnified in his
earthly life, and apart from the sovereign choice or elective grace of
God; he will stand in the everlasting judgment and hear God say, "He
that is filthy, let him be filthy still." (Revelations 22:11).
The Ethiopian may practice ultimate cleanliness, and cover himself with
white robes, yet his skin remains the same. Man may exercise moral restraints,
and cover his outward life with religious fervor, yet his pent up depravity,
and his fallen nature are not in the least diminished. Not one single good
can in truth be attributed to the natural man, yet out of his foolish heart
comes incessant boastings, but not until the Ethiopian changes his skin,
and the leopard his spots, can he in his fallen state make the first choice
that is acceptable with God. The Sovereign Elector speaks, saying, "...
When I called none did answer, when I spake they did not hear: but they
did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not."
Nevertheless, proud and stubborn man, with all of his faculties averse
to God will not own his innate and utterly depraved nature. As to his eternal
destiny, he claims an unalterable option, and is for ever more crying out,
it is with man to choose where he will be in eternity. He concedes much
was lost in the fall, but not all. He contends there was something of the
former relationship preserved: namely, there is enough of the Divine element
left in man that he can exercise this inherent strength and come to God
anytime he chooses. This kind of reasoning is normal for a mind that is
under a total spiritual blackout (Romans 10:4; Ephesians 4:18),
and which is directed by the father of lies (John 8:44).
Man is ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
as it is in Christ, and the fatal error of human freewill or choice, though
underwritten by natural religion and loudly propagated by universal egotism,
is yet the top wrung on the ladder of damnable heresies. The Lord said
to His followers, "I have chosen you out of the world" (John
15:19). The salvation of the soul is either by the sovereign, irresistible,
irrevocable choice of God, or it is by man's ability to choose. The eternal
welfare of the soul is determined by God or man, not by God and man (Romans
11:6). God has never solicited man's approbation upon any of His works,
nor has He ever approved of any of the works of fallen man, but He has
chosen an infinite number of rebellious men, and redeemed them by the atoning
and all sufficient work of Christ.
Being shut up to the Bible for the answer in this matter we discover that
man will not and cannot choose God that he might have life (John 5:40,
6:44). We also discover from the pages of Holy Writ that there was
only ONE man who ever walked this earth with suitability, sufficient to
attract God's loving attention and choosing favor. This ONE is Christ of
Whom we read, "Behold My servant, Whom I have chosen; My beloved, in
Whom My soul is well pleased ..." (Matthew 12:18). All others
chosen of God unto salvation were not only lacking in suitability, but
were ill deserving of the least favor from God. They were the absolute
opposite of holiness, and precisely and fully that which merited God's
eternal and just wrath. "... There is none that seeketh after God,
..." the reason being, all men by nature are perfectly content with the
pleasure route; not knowing that it leads to everlasting destruction (Romans
3:11; Matthew 7:13).
According to the Word of God there are but two ways for a person to get
out of this world. One way is to be chosen out by the unmerited grace of
God as plainly stated in John 15:19 and Ephesians 1:4, and
the other way out is to be chased out by the merited wrath of God. Speaking
of the wicked, Job says, "He shall be driven from light into darkness,
and chased out of the world." (Job 18:18). Of all who are made
righteous in Christ, Peter says, "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth
the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous
light." (I Peter 2:9).
Not once in all of Scripture is there the least inference that man in his
native state can choose God in preference to anything else. This truth
is made graphically clear when we consider that the natural man loves darkness
rather than light (John 3:19). It is not that they love darkness
a little more than light, but it is they love darkness and hate the light
(John 3:20). Seeing then, that man in his native state is spiritually
blind, I ask; how can he choose that which he is grossly ignorant of and
knows nothing about it (Him) as he ought to know? (I Corinthians 8:2).
In view of the foregoing truths we hear the Psalmist say, "Blessed is
the man whom Thou (God) choosest ..." (Psalms 65:4).
God looks to Christ for the suitability of all those included in the covenant
of election, and God has condescended to let His chosen see the report
which the Holy Spirit has eternally written, and which the devil can never
write off. Hence we read, "But 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." (II Thessalonians 2:13). God's elect people love
Him in time, because He loved them in eternity, and their suitability in
the presence of God is not in any wise merited by them, but by Him Who
said, "I lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:15).
to Salvation and Service
"... I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring
forth fruit ..." (John 15:16).
"For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians
God chose Jeremiah to be a prophet before he was born (Jeremiah 1:5),
and the Lord says of Paul, "He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My
name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts
9:15). Paul exhorts Timothy to faithfulness, so as to please God Who
had chosen him to be a soldier (II Timothy 2:4).
Someone may object, and say, "But all this has to do with vocation and
not with salvation." God's choice of a man to be a prophet and or a teacher
is co-eternal with God's choice of him unto salvation. None can gainfully
argue against the fact that John the Baptist was a preacher sent from God
(John 1:6). And, surely, none are so naive as to try and dispute
the fact that God chose John prior to his miraculous entrance into this
world, to be a preacher (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; Matthew
3:3). And, would any be so daring as to say, God chooses a man to be
a preacher or prophet before He chooses him unto salvation? For the sake
of common sense, I would hope not.
I seriously and fearfully urge all who read these lines to bow to the authority
of God's infallible word, "Lest haply ye be found to fight against God,"
and God in His sore displeasure say to you as He said to Israel of old,
"Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen, let them deliver you
in the time of your tribulation" (Judges 10:14). "... The
Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and
they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Revelations
The natural man's state before God is one of total and irrevocable ruin,
and his standing before God is one of merited and hopeless condemnation.
Man by nature is an absolute sinner, sin is the condition wherein he is
born (Psalms 51:5), and every part and parcel of his being is spiritually
perverse. He loves his sinful condition, and hates everything contrary
The root of all of man's problems is his sinful nature or condition, his
every choice and action emanates from and is controlled by his sinful nature,
and so much so that his every thought is an abomination to God (Proverbs
15:26). Out of man's utterly depraved heart comes innumerable thoughts,
choices, and actions, but not one which is pleasing unto God.
So, it inevitably follows, if the Adamic man is ever to make a choice approved
of God, there must be a power exercised on his behalf, a power that is
external to himself, a power that effectually intervenes in his life, and
a power that changes his state and standing before the sin avenging God.
The POWER to forgive sin, and reinstate man to the favor of God, is the
exclusive property of the nail scarred and throne sitting Son of God (Mark
Baptist Herald - June & July, 1990 )
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