What can a dead man do?

 Paige Patterson and R.C.Sproul have a vast difference of opinion on the matter of “Total depravity.”The first illustration is byPatterson,a flaming arminian.

The second one is by R.C.Sproul,a calvinist.One of these men is right.One is wrong,”DEAD WRONG.”

Illustration of a sailor damaged by an explosion, and cast into the sea. An admiral sees the sailor knocked into the sea and sends a helicopter to save the sailor. The sailor can barely hear, but faintly hears the whir of the helicopter blades, and he signals the helicopter, which saves him. Dr. Patterson says that we are like the sailor in the sea, God is like the admiral, and the whirring of the helicopter blades is the preaching of the gospel. We can barely hear the gospel due to our depraved condition, but if we respond to what we hear, we will be saved. Dr. Patterson acknowledged that this analogy, like all others, breaks down at a certain point, but was clear in asserting that everyone can respond to the gospel.

[Sinful man] is not merely drowning, he has already sunk to the bottom of the sea. It is futile to throw a life preserver to a man who has already drowned. If I understand Paul, I hear him saying that God dives into the water [without being signaled, presumably, by the drowned man] and pulls the dead man from the bottom of the sea and then performs a divine act of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. He breathed into the dead man new life. [R.C. Sproul, Chosen By God (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986), 116.]

The Puritians in olden days were right when they acknowledged that all a spiritually dead man could do,was stink.That has always been true since the fall of man and it is still true today.

Isaiah knew this when he said in Isa.1:5,6.Why should ye be stricken any more?ye will revolt more and more:the whole head is sick,and the whole heart faint.From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it;but wounds,and bruises,and putrefying sores:they have not been closed(healed),neither bound up,neither mollified with oinment,(softened with oil).

Ezekiel knew that it would take more than a helecopter and a life raft to revive the dead.In Ezk.37: he referred to depraved human kind as dry bones,very dry.In verese 5-6 we read,Thus saith the LORD God unto these bones;Behold,I will cause breath to enter you,and you shall live.And I will lay sinews upon you,and i will bring up flesh upon you,and cover you with skin,and put breath in you,and you shall live.;and you shall know that I am the LORD.

Isa.53:6 describes fallen man as helpless and hopeless.But weare all as an unclean thing,and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;and we all do fade as a leaf;and our iniquities, like the wind,have taken us away.

There are some vaulable lessons we learn from these verses:

No one described in these verses cold hear,see or signal a helecopter for help.

Unless God breaths life into a dead sinner,there is no hope or help.

Many verses in the New Testament describe lost man as dead.There are no degrees of death.It is not dead,deader,and deadest.It is just..man apart from Christ is dead(grave yard dead).

Eph.2:1.And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.John Trapp said this about verse one(Who were dead)Natural men are living carcases,walking sepulchres of themselves.

1.Tim.5:6.But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

A dead man cannot understand or seek after God.(see Rom.3:11).

Whole evil is in man,and whole man is evil.Man by nature is no better than a filthy dunghill of all abominable vices.His heart is the devil’s storehouse,throne,nest.His eyes great thoroughfares of lust,pride,vanity.His life a  long chain of sinful actions,a web of wickedness spun out and made up by the hands of the devil and the flesh,an evil spinner,and a worse weaver.(J.Trapp).

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2 Comments on “What can a dead man do?”

  1. pastorinthewoods Says:

    I had a paramedic tell me once during a cardiac arrest call, “We can give a corpse a pulse for a few seconds but that doesn’t mean they are alive!”

    Sometimes I wonder if that is not what we do in our modern evangelism methods. We pump up the corpse with some super evangelism drugs and there is an artificial heartbeat for a little while but later it is revealed that there was no real life there after all.

    There is no substitue for the working of grace in peoples lives.

  2. Chad Says:

    Excellent post Bill. I am thankful to have discovered your blog. God bless!


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