Even if we concede the debate over the nature of man and affirm with our Calvinistic brethren that mankind is born dead, enslaved and totally depraved, does this concession end the debate over Total Inability?
The question is whether or not the nature of the GOSPEL, God’s inspired Word, is sufficient to enable a fallen man to respond to its appeal? Focusing only on the nature of man ignores this question. Is the WORD of God, that which brought everything into existence, sufficiently powerful to accomplish the purpose for which it was sent?
I cannot imagine a bible believing Christian would deny the power of God’s inspired truth to accomplish its purpose. So, what is that purpose?
Why did God have these inspired truths recorded for us and spread into the world? Let’s allow John to answer that question for us:
“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)
Can that be any more clear? If not, maybe this clarifies:
“And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:19-20)
And here is the words of Christ himself:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21)
Clearly the purpose of the gospel truth is so that those who hear it may believe. The only people who hear the gospel that would not be enabled to believe it are those that have become judicially hardened or blinded from being able to see, hear, understand and turn (John 12:39-41; Acts 28:27-28; Romans 11).
Obviously Paul felt the inspired scriptures were sufficient to grant mankind the understanding for salvation, as he wrote to Timothy:
“…from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…” (2 Tim. 3:15-16)