FALLEN MAN IS NOT SICK AND WOUNDED – BUT SPIRITUALLY DEAD!
“ARMINIANISM’S leading idea is that divine grace and human will JOINTLY ACCOMPLISH the work of conversion and sanctification, and that man has the sovereign right of accepting or rejecting. It affirms that man is weak as a result of the fall, but denies that all ability has been lost. Man therefore merely needs divine grace to assist his personal efforts.
Or, to put it another way, HE IS SICK, BUT NOT DEAD; he indeed cannot help himself, but he can engage the help of a physician, and can either accept or reject the help when it is offered. He thus has power to co-operate with the grace of God in the matter of salvation. This view exalts man’s freedom at the expense of God’s sovereignty. It has some apparent, but no real, Scripture authority, and is plainly contradicted by other parts of Scripture. [Loraine Boettner]
“The superficial work of many of the professional evangelists of the last fifty years is largely responsible for the erroneous views now current upon the BONDAGE of the natural man, encouraged by the laziness of those in the pew in their failure to “PROVE all things” [1Thess. 5:21]. The average evangelical pulpit conveys the impression that it lies wholly in the power of the sinner whether or not he shall be saved. It is said that “God has done his part, now man must do his.” Alas, what CAN a lifeless man do, and man by nature is “DEAD in trespasses and sins” [Eph 2:1]! If this were really believed, there would be more dependence upon the Holy Spirit to come in with his miracle working power, and less confidence in OUR attempts to “win men for Christ.”
When addressing the unsaved, preachers often draw an analogy between God’s sending of the Gospel to the sinner, and a SICK MAN IN BED, with some healing medicine on a table by his side: all he needs to do is reach forth his hand and take it.
But in order for this illustration to be in any wise true to the picture which Scripture gives us of the fallen and depraved sinner, the sick man in bed must be described as one who is Eph 4:18 BLIND so that he CANNOT SEE the medicine, his hand PARALYZED [Rom. 5:6] so that he is UNABLE TO REACH FORTH FOR IT, and his heart not only devoid of all confidence in the medicine but filled with HATRED AGAINST THE PHYSICIAN HIMSELF [John 15:18].
O what superficial views of man’s desperate plight are now entertained! Christ came here not to help those who were ‘WILLING’ to help themselves, but to do for his people what they were INCAPABLE OF DOING FOR THEMSELVES: “To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” [Isa. 42:7].
[A.W. Pink – ‘The Sovereignty of God’ Baker Publications]