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DOCTRINE QUESTION 98
If man is totally corrupted by sin, then must not salvation be by God's sovereign electing grace?
When God made man he made him a three part being, Genesis 2:7, we have a body, spirit, and soul. This is taught elsewhere throughout the Bible. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 distinctly states body, soul and spirit. When Adam sinned he had been told he would die on that very day, Genesis 2:17. That he did spiritually. His spirit that came from God and could commune with God died on that day. It became out of communion with God. It was like a light of understanding that went out.
Now the Bible teaches that “there is a spirit in man (though it be dead to God) and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth it understanding? Job 32:8 The Spirit of God is able to work on that darkened spirit of man to bring the light of the gospel of salvation to him. In Proverbs 20:27 “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord”. The word candle or lamp is used because God by His Spirit is able to light it. So there is in that corrupt ruined man a lamp (unlit) that God is able to light to show us our sinfulness before Him and our need of salvation. It is because of this lack of light that men stumble along life's pathway doing the best they can to be saved. They think that if they try to be good they will get to heaven. This thinking is based on the darkness and deceitfulness of man's own heart Jeremiah 17:9.
When God lights your candle by His Spirit and His word He will show you that you cannot save yourself, but that it is by grace alone that He saves Ephesians 2:8-9. He will show you that you MUST repent or perish Luke 13:3 and that you must trust Christ and His atoning sacrifice for cleansing from your sin. Man is not passive in salvation neither is God. God works man must respond for salvation to take place.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen