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Guiding Principles


CHAPTER 2 - THE UTTER DEPRAVITY OF HUMAN NATURES THE NECESSITY FOR REPENTANCE AND REGENERATION, AND THE ETERNAL DOOM OF THE FINALLY IMPENITENT.

2.1 THE UTTER DEPRAVITY OF HUMAN NATURE

The only authority on the question of the utter depravity of human nature is the Word of God. In it we have the record of the Fall of Man, how he fell from his princely position as head of Creation, and how he was deprived of the divinest of all consummated blessedness viz., Fellowship with God. There was no change in his constitution: Man is still a “living soul.” He still retains its noble powers and its unique faculties. Though he possesses all these capacities, there is that utter inability through any effort of his own to retrieve his lost position; neither can he regain the favour of God by any inherent goodness. The words of the Lord Jesus are final on this discussed question: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). “That which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6). All the faculties of the soul are corrupted by sin, all its powers are distorted by iniquity, its motives are polluted by selfishness, the understanding is darkened by ignorance; the will perverted by rebellion, and the affections in-grained by self-gratification. (Gen. 3: 1 - 19; Psa. 51:5;Jer. 13:23;Rom.3: 10-18;Eph.2: 1-3; l John5: 19).

2.2 REPENTANCE

Repentance means a change of mind concerning sin, self, and God. True conviction leads to repentance. In the great plan of salvation, repentance holds a foremost place. It is the keynote in the preaching of John the Baptist, of Christ, of the Twelve, of the Seventy, and of the Apostles. (Acts 2: 38; 17: 30; Matt. 3:2;Mark 1: 15; 6: 12)

2.3 REGENERATION

Regeneration is the spiritual change wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit, and represented in the Scriptures as the New Birth. It implies a definite operation in the spirit of man whereby spiritual life is infused into the soul, and he is thereby enabled to live unto God. In regeneration we become partakers of the Divine nature. Justification and Regeneration are distinct, in that the one is removal of guilt by Divine forgiveness, and the other is the change from the state of depravity, or spiritual death, to that of spiritual life. True Regeneration must be preceded by conviction of sin, a genuine repentance from sin, and saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 1: 13; 1 John 3:9; 5: 1; II Peter 1: 4; John 3: 3).

2.4 ETERNAL PUNISHMENT

Eternal punishment is one of the most solemn themes dealt with in the Scripture. The teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles is most clear, emphatic, and final - the eternal doom of the finally impenitent. The great facts that emerge from the New Testament teaching concerning this subject are: (1) That the finally impenitent on earth have no hope of eternal life (Matt. 25: 41 - 46; Rev. 20: 12 - 15; Mark 9: 43-48). (2) That the soul of man can never cease to exist. (Scriptural references to the death of soul signify eternal separation from God). (Lk. 20: 35, 36; Acts 24: 15; Rev. 14:10, 11). (3) That the punishment is eternal and irrevocable; There is no hope beyond the grave (Mark 9: 45, 46; cf. Rev. 19:20; 20: 20; 20: 10; 21: 8).