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Q: What did God’s providence specifically do for man whom He created?
A: After the creation God made a covenant with man to give him life, if he perfectly obeyed; God told him not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or he would die.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”” (Genesis 2:16–17 ESV)
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English (#12)
Q: What is God’s Providence?
A: God’s providence is His completely holy, wise and powerful preserving and governing every creature and every action.
“The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” (Psalms 145:17 ESV)
The Westminster Shorter Catechism in Modern English (#11)
Total Depravity is a theological term that teaches that no part of us remains untouched by sins staining effects. Though we are not as bad as we possibly could be, no part of us is free from the effects of sin (our emotions, our minds, our hearts, our desires, our motives, our bodies, our intentions) even from birth. This does not mean that we are utterly depraved; utter depravity is when every area is as depraved as possible. We are not as bad as we could be, but no part of us is clean. Total Depravity does not teach that man is incapable of doing anything good in some ways (even as fallen people we are still image bearers), but we are unable to do anything good in relation to God. Wayne Grudem summarizes this well: “Scripture is not denying that unbelievers can do good in human society in some senses. But it is denying that they can do any spiritual good or be good in terms of a relationship with God. Apart from the work of Christ in our lives, we are like all other unbelievers who are “darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart (Ephesians 4:18).” Grudem, Wayne (1999). Bible Doctrine (pages 215-216). Zondervan.
God told Adam that rebellion, as evidenced by eating the fruit that God prohibited, would result in death (Genesis 2:17); every intention of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5); the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9); we are sinful before we are born (Psalm 51:5); no one is righteous, seeks God or does good (Romans 3:10-12); sin & death entered through Adam & affects all men (Romans 5:12-14); nothing good dwells in our flesh; we lack the ability to do anything good on our own (Romans 7:18); apart from Christ, we are dead in our trespasses and sins and by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3); apart from Christ, we are darkened in understanding, alienated from God due to hardness of heart (Ephesians 4:18-19).
“And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:8–10 ESV)
God will provide a clearly marked highway for his sovereignly elected redeemed and ransomed people. This highway will be marked with a sign post called the “Way of Holiness.” This highway leads to the presence of God; there will be no threats or difficulties on this road. The redeemed will walk in gladness and joy; gone are sorrow and sighing, difficulty and hardship. This is the restoration of the rhythm & rest found in Eden – in High definition. This is when Jesus makes all things new, as they should be (Revelation 21:5).