Inability does not imply Irresponsibility
(These are some fresh words, not recycled!)
One of the hidden premises of Arminianism is “Responsibility implies ability”. In other words, if God commands all men to believe, then all men must have the ability to believe, otherwise he cannot hold them responsible. But this premise is false. Just because Man has lost his ability to obey, doesn’t mean God has lost his authority to command. If you need further convincing, read Edwards on the Freedom of the Will. That’s not the point of my post today.
Today I take it as already proven that responsibility does not imply ability. Today I want to consider the contrapostive that logically follows. (Remember that from Philosophy 101? If A–> B then not B –> not A) So the contrapostive of “responsibility does not imply ability” is “inability does not imply irresponsibility”
What does this mean for us? It means that when you come to a command in the Bible like “Choose life.” “Kill your sin.” “Say No to ungodliness”, you must not simply reply “But I can’t”. Indeed, you can’t. But “I can’t” is no excuse. You must.
So what do you do? You seek God for grace and help and strength to obey. You pray like Augustine “Command what Thou wilt, and give what Thou commandest.”
Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch out your hand!” He can’t, right?! But the command contained within it the power to enable and effectually call forth his response. “Lazarus, come forth!” He can’t, right?! But the command contained within it the power to raise from the dead.
So stay in the word and let it command you. Let it boss you around. And pray for grace to obey. Not just the promises, but also the commands and prohibitions of the word are means of grace.