Does Effectual Grace Make People Into Robots?

Robot-EthicsVisitor to monergism.com:

Sovereignty is king, but the Holy Spirit works on ya.

Response from John Hendryx:

John Wesley may have taught prevenient grace but the Bible only speaks of two states of man, regenerate and unregenerate. Wesley had to create this doctrine, apart from Scripture, entirely with human logic (which creates a third state in-between regenerate and unregenerate) in order to maintain his theological system. However, the Bible speaks of no additional in-between state. We are either “in the flesh” (which can do nothing) or “in the Spirit”. As such, Jesus declares, “the Spirit quickens, the flesh counts for nothing … that is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it…[and] “all that the Father gives me will come to me”…. John 6:63, 65,37. No one can come to faith in Jesus unless God grants it and all to whom He grants it will come to faith in Him. This does away with prevenient grace altogether. Jesus left no room for it in these clear statements.

The Bible indeed calls us to declare the gospel to all people … but, left to themselves, none of them will respond to it. All have turned aside. They remain stiff-necked in their opposition to God’s loving plea to come to Christ for life. Yet, in His great mercy, God still saves a people for Himself out of all the ill-deserving people of the earth.

Does this make us robots? .. no it makes God a God of love and mercy. If your child ran into traffic would you only save him if he first met your condition? No a loving parent would run out into the street to scoop up the child at the risk of his own life to make certain his child was safe…regardless of the will of the child at the time. True love gets the job done.

Would you consider a parent who who saved a child’s life without any conditions unloving? No that is love. To save the child’s life trumps the child’s will because the parent knows better than the child what is good for him. How much more God?

God’s love for His people is not conditional as Wesley believed.. a loving parent does not first make his child meet a condition before he will love him. Rather, a loving parent is like Jesus who met all the conditions for us, giving us everything we need for salvation including a new heart to believe (Deut. 29:4, 30:6; Ezek 36:26).

He did not have to save anyone since we all rejected him. He could have left all men to their own devices and swept them away in judgment and it would have been just. Yet he is merciful to many saving them through the blood of his precious Son Jesus. To the rest he simply gives them over to what they want – their independence from God. So some receive God’s mercy, others get God’s justice but no one received injustice.

Your prevenient grace doctrine is simply sleight of hand. It does not solve the problem of grace, it only exacerbates it. Salvation is by Christ alone, not Christ plus our meeting some condition. If it were then it would no longer be grace alone, would it? It would depend on who was more wise, humble or who has the most sound judgment and not grace alone. Why did one man with preveneint grace believe and not the other?

It was not grace, since both has grace. No, what you really believe is that it was something innately good or better in one person over the other. One had a good will and the other did not. Who makes the will good?

To conclude, man indeed has a will, but he has a heart of stone, and he will use his will wrongly until God lovingly changes that heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezek 36:26).