Romans 3:9-12, “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
The subject of eternal salvation is one that has been debated by people through the generations. What happens? Do people, being influenced and taught what is right, make a willing decision to be born again and be a child of grace, or did God choose whom He would save and save them according to His eternal will?
When we are considering the subject, it’s very important to understand what a person is, and what they are capable of, in nature (without eternal salvation). In the verses previously cited, Paul declares in a very comprehensible manner man’s nature and capabilities without eternal salvation. Please consider:
(1) “There is none righteous, no, not one:…” ! If a non-saved (eternally speaking) person were to choose to follow Jesus Christ and be saved, would that work be considered a “right” thing to do? The answer is unquestionably yes. If so, Paul said the un-saved man cannot do it. Paul, being inspired by the Spirit, says there is “none, no, not one” that will do that work.
(2) “There is none that understandeth”! In order for an un-saved person to choose to follow Jesus Christ and be eternally saved, he/she would need to be taught and have a capability of understanding in order to receive the instructions. Paul said there is “none” that will understand. My daddy used to say “it’s difficult to tell a man to go anywhere when he thinks he has arrived where he needs to be.” The natural man (un-saved) is in such a condition.
(3) “They are all gone out of the way,…”! For an un-saved person to get saved by their own choice, they would need to get in the right “way”, but Paul says with clarity that they “ALL are gone out of the way” (emphasis mine).
(4) Please notice also that “they are together become unprofitable;…” ! The word “unprofitable in this verse literally means too filthy for use, or to be rendered useless. I remember times in my childhood wearing shirts in the dirt and mud to the degree that my mama could not wash/clean it to a level of use. She would say, “you ruined this shirt and it is useless.” Concerning the subject of eternal salvation, natural man is a useless party. According to Psalms 14:3, “they are together become filthy:…”
(5) “There is none that doeth good, no, not one” ! We find this information at least six other times in scripture. Psalms 14:1; 14:3; 53:1; 53:3; Ecc 7:20; and 1 Kings 8:46. The question which should be asked is, what is a good work? If it’s a good work, natural man (un-saved) cannot do.
Now that we have laid the Biblical foundation concerning what man is without eternal salvation, it should be easily concluded, Eternal Salvation is by God’s choice and purpose. I love the hymn, Long Ere The Sun. The hymn’s words bring tears to my eyes, for it reminds me of the grace of God that saved hell deserving sinners like me.
Long Ere The Sun Began His Days Or moon shot forth her silver rays Salvations’s scheme was fixed, ’twas done, In cov’nant by the Three in One.
The Father spake, the Son replied; The Spirit with them both complied; Grace moved the cause for saving man, And wisdom drew the noble plan.
The Father chose His only Son To die for sins that man had done; Emmanuel to the choice agreed, And thus secured a num’rous seed.
He sends His Spirit from above, To call the objects of His love; Not one shall perish or be lost; His blood has bought them dear they cost.
What high displays of sov’reign grace! What love to save a ruined race! My soul, adore His lovely name, By whom thy free salvation came.