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Reformed Theology – Total Depravity

Both Calvinism (Reformed Theology) and Arminianism as complete theological systems both claim to have a large number of verses supporting them. Christians who hold to one system of belief or the other attempt to interpret the Bible so that it will fit in line with their beliefs.

Which theological system does a better job of properly interpreting the Biblical verses? I will leave that up to you to decide. I have included many of the verses in several versions to help with your interpretation.

I also would recommend that you read the verses in context (so that you can better interpret the Bible passages). If you take a verse out of context it is too easy to misinterpret it.

Total Depravity:

Genesis 6:5-6
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Genesis 8:21
21 And the Lord was pleased with the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people’s thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood. (NLT)

Jeremiah 17:9
9 “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (NLT)

1 Kings 8:46
46 When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; (NASB)

Psalm 51:5
5 For I was born a sinner-
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.(NLT)

Psalm 53:1-3
1 For the choir director: A meditation of David.
Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
no one does good!
2 God looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding,
one who seeks for God.
3 But no, all have turned away from God;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not even one! (NLT)(Compare with Psalm 14)

Psalm 58:3
3 These wicked people are born sinners;
even from birth they have lied and gone their own way.(NLT)

Psalm 130:3
3 Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
who, O Lord, could ever survive? (NLT)

Ecclesiastes 7:20
20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.(NASB)

Ecclesiastes 9:3
3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. Furthermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead.(NASB)

Isaiah 64:6
6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.(NLT)

Romans 3:9-14
9 Well then, are we Jews better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is good-
not even one.
11 No one has real understanding;
no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away from God;
all have gone wrong.
No one does good,
not even one.” (NLT)

Matthew 7:17-21
17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.(NASB95)

Ephesians 2:1-5
1 Once you were dead, doomed forever because of your many sins. 2 You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s anger just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, 5 that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s special favor that you have been saved!) (NLT)

Luke 11:13
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (NASB)

John 15:4-5
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (NLT)

Romans 8:7-8
7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. (NLT)

Romans 6:5-6,16-18,20
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

1 Corinthians 2:14
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. (NASB)

1 Corinthians 12:3
3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (NASB)

Ephesians 4:17-18
17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; (NLT)

John 3:3
3 Jesus replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.” (See v.5 NLT)

John 8:34,43-44
34 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin
43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to do so! 44 For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does…(NLT)

John 6:44
44 No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day.(Amp)
44 For people can’t come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them from the dead.(NLT)
(See other verses that use the same greek word for draw: John 18:9; John 21:5, 10; Acts 16:18; Acts 21:30: These all have the general idea of force, the drawing (dragging) WILL happen.
Some use John 12:32 to say Christ draws every person. In context Jesus states he is talking about being crucified on the cross. Yet, the cross does not draw Every person in the world: “To the gentiles it is foolishness, to the Jews a stumbling block:” (1 Cor. 1:23) the cross actually repels most. Verse 20 says the Greeks were coming to the feast: salvation is no longer just for the jews (as they thought) but now for all groups and nationalities of people. see Rev. 5:9. Also unless Jesus was lying (not!), everyone in the world, in fact billions, have never heard of Jesus, and so are not drawn).

John 6:63-65
63 It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you don’t believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65 Then he said, “That is what I meant when I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father brings them to me.(NLT)

65 and He said, This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted him [unless he is enabled to do so] by the Father. (Amp)

John 14:17
17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.(NASB)

Ezekiel 11:19
19 And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, (NLT)

Galatians 6:15
15 It doesn’t make any difference now whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people.
(We were dead before: Eph.2:1,5; col.2:13;

Ephesians 2:3,8
3 Among 1722 them we too 2532 all 3956 formerly 4218 lived 390 in the lusts 1939 of our flesh 4561 , indulging 4160 the desires 2307 of the flesh 4561 and of the mind 1271 , and were by nature 5449 children 5043 of wrath 3709 , even 2532 as the rest 3062 .
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (NASB)

Philippians 2:13
13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. (NLT)

1 John 5:19
19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (NASB)

Acts 5:31
31 “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (NASB95)

Acts 11:18
18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” (Nasb)

Romans 5:10
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His resurrection] life.

Colossians 1:21
21 And although you at one time were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities,

Matthew 12:30
30 He who is not with Me [definitely on My side] is against Me, and he who does not [definitely] gather with Me and for My side scatters.

Philippians 3:18-19
18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,
19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.

Proverbs 20:9
9 Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”?

Mark 7:21-23
21 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,
22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.
23 “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

Romans 5:12
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-

Job 14:4
4 “Who can make the clean out of the unclean?
No one!

Jeremiah 13:23
23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin
Or the leopard his spots?
Then you also can do good
Who are accustomed to doing evil.

2 Corinthians 3:5
5 Not that we are fit (qualified and sufficient in ability) of ourselves to form personal judgments or to claim or count anything as coming from us, but our power and ability and sufficiency are from God.

© 2009 – 2010, Matt. All rights reserved.

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