Jesse Morrell Quotes

by Matt Slick
8/21/2016
Jesse Morrell Page
 

I had a debate with Jesse Morrell on August 20, 2016 in Kalispell Montana. The topic was on whether or not we are saved by God's election or man's free will. Following are some of the quotes that I got from his book The Natural Ability of Man. I plan to add other quotes from other sources later.

I have placed his quotes in brown so that they can be more easily distinguished from other comments.

  1. Age of Accountability
    1. “The Bible explicitly says that infants in the womb haven’t yet sinned (Rom. 9:11). But the Bible say’s man’s heart is evil from their youth (Gen. 8:21; Jer. 22:21; 32:30). It doesn’t say that men are evil before they are born or before the age of accountability.” (p. 599)
  2. Atonement
    1. “The atonement is both objective and subjective. As a governmental substitution, the atonement is objective.” (p. 270)
    2. “This view of the atonement, that Christ suffered our penalty and took our punishment, has inevitably lead to the errors of universalism, limited atonement, unconditional salvation, and once saved always saved.” (p. 461)
  3. Belief
    1. “He helps our unbelief but He does not irresistibly force us to believe. He presents the truth to our minds but we ourselves must yield to the truth and embrace it, we ourselves must choose to believe.” (p. 333)
  4. Calvinism
    1. “Calvinism, however, makes God insincere in His commandments.” (p. 54)
    2. “A sinner is someone who creates sin. The god of Calvinism creates sin. Therefore the god of Calvinism is a sinner.” (p. 60, underline added)
    3. "Calvinism says that God “ordained” all sin from eternity. If sin is the work of God, then God is a worker of iniquity." (p. 60, underline added)
      1. Ordain:  To order or decree. God ordains or decrees what God wills.”1
      2. Acts 4:27–28, "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."
        1. Matt:  All the actions of Herod, Pilate, and the Gentiles were predestined by God yet Peter said it was the godless men who put him to death. They are the ones who receive the blame, not God.
      3. Acts 2:23, "this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death."
    4. "After one young convert heard a Calvinist describing Calvinism, he said to him, “Your god is my devil.” There is a lot of truth in that statement.” (p. 63)
    5. But Calvinism makes God the cause of sin, while the devil is only his accomplice who has been forced to go along.” (p. 64, underline added)
    6. “Calvinism says that God caused the damnation of all, so that He could predestine the salvation of the few.” (p. 65)
    7. But if Calvinism is true, God is not only the author of confusion, but He is the author of everything! He would be the author of sin, which is far worse than confusion!” (p. 72, underline added)
    8. “The Bible, in the Hebrew, says that the Lord will not “ordain” or “work”63 iniquity (Zeph. 3:5).” (p. 72)
      1. Zephaniah 3:5, "The Lord is righteous within her; He will do no injustice.  Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame."
    9. "If Calvinism were true, when we pray “Thy will be done” (Matt. 6:10; 26:42), we would be praying for children to be raped! (p. 73, underline added)
      1. Fallacy of Division
      2. God’s over all will is that people be allowed to sin. Their individual sins do not mean it is the prescriptive will of God that rape occurs.
    10. Calvinism, however, teaches that even the grace of God is insufficient to overcome sin in this life and that sin, therefore, must be greater than the grace of God.” (p. 294, underline added)
    11. “It is strange that the “doctrines of grace” known as Calvinism or Reformed Theology actually excludes all grace in our salvation through their atonement view by saying that Jesus paid our debt! If Jesus paid our debt, we could never pray as Jesus taught us to, “forgive us our debts” (Matt. 6:12). That is why the “debt” analogy is used in Scripture to illustrate the nature of forgiveness, but it is never used in Scripture to illustrate the nature of atonement. The debt analogy shows precisely what forgiveness actually is, but when applied to the atonement, it excludes forgiveness all together.” (p. 469-470, underline added)
    12. Ordination:  God ordains that sin occur in the world through the free will choices of creatures.
    13. God ordained that evil occur in the world but he is not the cause of it.
      1. Calvin Said, “Thieves and murderers and other evildoers are the instruments of divine providence, and the Lord himself uses these to carry out the judgments that he has determined with himself. Yet I deny that they can derive from this any excuse for their evil deeds. Why? Will they either involve God in the same iniquity with themselves, or will they cloak their own depravity with his justice? They can do neither.” (12John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Library of Christian Classics, ed. by John T. McNeill and trans. by Battles, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960), 1: 217 (1.16.5).”2
      2. If you complain, then Rom. 9:19-20 is your answer, "You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?"
        1. Proverbs 16:4, "The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil."
  5. Election
    1. Morrell:  “In Ephesians, Paul continually uses the words “us” and “we” in relation to being chosen by God. He never uses the words “I” or “you.” That is because election is national, not individual. The Jews and Gentiles were both chosen people, but God did not decide which individual Jews or which individual Gentiles would choose to be saved and become part of His elect or precious people.” (p. 382, underline added)
      1. God elects individuals:
        1. Romans 16:13 says, “Greet Rufus, a choice [eklectos] man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.” The word “choice” is “eklektos” which means “picked out, chosen by God,” etAlso,
          1. “ἐκλεκτός eklektós; fem. eklektḗ, neut. eklektón, adj. from eklégō (1586), to choose, select. Chosen, select. In the group of three important biblical words, eklektós, eklégō, and eklogḗ (1589), choice or election, selection involves thoughtful and deliberate consideration.”3
        2. Acts 9:15, But the Lord said to him [Ananias], “Go, for he [Paul] is a chosen [ekloge] instrument [skeuos-vessel] of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
          1. ekloge ἐκλογή eklogḗ; gen. eklogḗs, fem. noun from eklégō (1586), to choose, select. Election, choice, selection.4
        3. 1 John 2:1,13 says, “The elder to the chosen [eklectos] lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth… The children of your chosen [eklectos] sister greet you.”
  6. Forgiveness
    1. “forgiveness of sin only comes after we forsake our sins.” (p. 435)
    2. “The cross brings forgiveness of sins and freedom from sins. It saves us from the penalty and from the practice of sin.” (p. 270)
    3. “…just because God has forgiven us does not mean that He cannot take his forgiveness back and hold us liable for our actions.” (p. 357)
    4. “…repentance from sin is in fact a condition of forgiveness.” (p. 404)
    5. “Those who repent of their sinful lives in order to be forgiven will begin to live holy lives. When a sinner repents he actually becomes a holy saint. Without this repentance or moral transformation, there is no forgiveness or eternal life.” (p. 416)
    6. “If God’s wrath was satisfied, there would also be no real forgiveness or mercy through the atonement. That is because forgiveness or mercy is when God turns away from His wrath.” (p. 474).
    7. "The atonement was one condition of God’s mercy and forgiveness. Man’s choice to repent and believe is also conditions. If reconciliation between God and man does not take place, it is not because God has not done His part, but because man has not done his." (p. 477)
    8. "Therefore, men are not in danger of hell for merely existing or for merely being born. And they do not need forgiveness in Christ for merely existing or for being born. But men are in danger of hell for making sinful choices; and therefore, they need the forgiveness that is in Christ for their own sins.” (p. 539)
      1. Ephesians 2:3, "Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest."
  7. Free Will
    1. “Your will is a faculty of your personality and is the cause of your choices.” (p. 1)
    2. "Natural ability is synonymous with the incipiency of the will, the power of self-determination, or free will. Free will is not the ability to do whatever you want. (p. 2)
    3. “Free will is the power to will, not the ability to do.” (p. 2)
      1. Can God will to sin? Then does God have free will if he cannot will to sin?
      2. If he says that God is restricted by his holiness, then the unbeliever is restricted by his sinfulness.
    4. “Free will is the power of contingent choice, the ability to determine what you want and what you do not want.” (p. 2)
    5. “There may be many influences upon the will, such as nature or motive, but these are not causations. The will itself is a cause. Free will gives man the power of self-causation in the realm of morality. (p. 4, underline added)
    6. “Free will is the ability to self-originate or create your own moral character. Free will is the power of contrary choice.  The freedom of the will includes the ability to obey or disobey the law of God. (p. 4, underline added)
      1. To create your own moral character is to presuppose Pelagianism.
      2. To create your own moral character is to presuppose that the sinner is able to choose to do moral good.
      3. If free will is the power of contrary choice and the ability to obey or disobey the law of God, then this definition excludes God. It starts with man and uses man as the standard of what free will is.  This is a mistake since it makes man the standard.
    7. “Free will, as the ability to obey or disobey the law of God, is the ability to originate selfish intentions or benevolent intentions.” (p. 5)
    8. “Free will is also the ability to obey or disobey the gospel.” (p. 5)
    9. “free will is the ability to will what the law commands or to will what the law forbids.” (p. 5)
    10. “Free will, in regards to the ability to obey the gospel, is the ability to choose to repent or remain in impenitence. It is also the ability to choose to believe or to remain in unbeliever. In essence, free will or natural ability is the power of choice to obey or disobey the requirements and demands of the law and the gospel. It is the freedom or liberty to obey or disobey the light, truth, or revelation which God gives to us.” (p. 5)
    11. “There is no free will in the Animal Kingdom. Animal behavior is preprogrammed…Animals have no free will or conscience.” (p. 8)
      1. Suspending free will
        1. “In His providence, God may even temporarily suspend the free will of a being and use him as an instrument in order to accomplish His will or a very important providential plan.” (p. 9, underline added)
        2. God also set aside the free will of King Nebuchadnezzar, even changing his nature, when he turned his mind into that of a beast (Dan. 4:32-33; 5:21).” (p. 10, underline added)
    12. “It is also possible that the free will of John the Baptist was temporarily suspended for the sake of the nation of Israel and the ministry of the Messiah, until John was in jail and God gave Him the liberty to make the free choice of salvation for himself (Matt. 11:11; L1:15; L7:20).” (p. 10)
    13. “Yet a study of history reveals that the doctrine of free will was universally taught by the Early Church.” (p. 17)
    14. Early Church Father:  “But in the times of early Christianity, the doctrine of free will was considered orthodox and the doctrine of total inability was heretical.” (p. 18)
      1. He provided no documentation for this. Furthermore, it is contradicted by church fathers.
      2. But the Church fathers were all over the place on all sorts of topics.  To site ECF selectively is just that, selective quoting.
    15. Quotes of Early Church Fathers not affirming Free Willism
      1. Ignatius (AD 110):  “They that are carnal cannot do those things which are spiritual, nor they that are spiritual the things which are carnal; even as faith cannot do the works of unbelief, nor unbelief the works of faith” (renewed praise of the Ephesians, Chapter 8)
      2. Didache:  3:10 Accept the things that happen to thee as good, knowing that without God nothing happens.
  8. Human Nature
    1. “Whatever the faculties of our constitution are at birth, they are such by the creation and design of God.” (p. 97)
    2. “He [God] forms each individual in the womb.” (p. 518)
    3. “He forms us in the womb. Just as the Bible says that God formed Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:7-8; 1 Tim. 2:13), the Bible uses the same word and language to say that God forms us in the womb…” (p. 617)
  9. Imputation
    1. “Therefore, nobody should try to comfort themselves in impenitence by appealing to imputed righteousness. The solution is to simply repent. People use the imputed righteousness of Christ as a replacement for repentance unto holiness. The words of Jesus Christ are sometimes appealed to by Calvinists and Antinomians in order to allude to the need for “the imputed righteousness of Christ.” (p. 428, underline added)
    2. “To say that we need the imputed righteousness of Christ to be transferred to our account in order to be justified is to say that the grace of God and the atonement of Jesus Christ is not enough, or is not sufficient, for our justification. It is very important to understand that we do not need Christ’s imputed works of the law to be transferred to our account in order to be justified.” (p. 429, underline added)
    3. "We are not justified by works or by merit, either from ourselves or from Christ. Christ died for us but He did not obey for us. To say that Christ needed to obey the law for our justification is to say that His suffering and death was insufficient to justify us. We do not need His obedience imputed to our account because His atonement is sufficient for our justification. We are pardoned by God’s grace through the atonement so we do not need Christ’s works of the law transferred to us in order to be justified. We are imputed righteous through Christ, but we do not receive the imputed righteousness of Christ." (pp. 430-431, underline added)
    4. "There is unmerited forgiveness that we receive through the atonement of Christ when we have a living obedient faith, but nobody is imputed righteous or forgiven while they continue to practice unrighteousness or do not cease from their wickedness." (p. 433, underline added)
  10. Law
    1. “Therefore, no man can see their need of Jesus Christ or of God’s forgiveness as long as they believe that the law of God is impossible and they are not able to keep it.” (p. 272)
  11. Original Sin
    1. ECF
      1. Ambrose:  "Peter was clean, but he must wash his feet, for he had sin by succession from the first man, when the serpent overthrew him and persuaded him to sin. His feet were therefore washed, that hereditary sins might be done away, for our own sins are remitted through baptism." (Ambrose, On the Mysteries, 6:32)
  12. Predestination
    1. Defined properly: “God’s actions in willing something to a specific result; also called “foreordination.” Some Christian theologians, particularly in the Reformed tradition, have seen it as indicating God’s eternal decree by which all creatures are foreordained to eternal life or death. It may also be used synonymously with “election” and indicates God’s gracious initiation of salvation for those who believe in Jesus Christ.”5
    2. Predestination Verses
      1. Acts 4:28, “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”
      2. Romans 8:29-30, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; 30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
      3. 1 Corinthians 2:7, “but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”
      4. Ephesians 1:5, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”
      5. Ephesians 1:11, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”
    3. “Predestination, you could say, is God’s predetermined plan and destiny for nations. The Lord predetermined to have a holy people from both the Jews and Gentiles….) It was not that God predestined individuals to be saved or damned but that God also offers salvation to the Gentiles so that they too are chosen by God.” (p. 380, underline added)
    4. “In Ephesians, Paul continually uses the words “us” and “we” in relation to being chosen by God. He never uses the words “I” or “you.” That is because election is national, not individual.” (p. 382)
    5. Calvinists have taught that God secretly predestined the fall of Adam, and consequently the damnation of our race, so that the atonement of Christ would be needed and He can get the glory of our salvation.” (p. 64)
  13. Predestination and Causation
    1. Isaiah 46:10, "Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, "My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure"
    2. Acts 4:28, “to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”
    3. Ephesians 1:11, “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will.”
    4. Dan. 4:35, "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing. But He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth. And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, "What have You done?"
    5. Jer. 10:23, "I know, O Lord, that a man's way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps."
    6. Acts 4:27-28, "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur." The evil deeds were predestined by God."
  14. Repentance
    1. “…repentance from sin is in fact a condition of forgiveness.” (p. 404)
    2. “…repentance is the choice to actually give up your sins, to forsake your sins, to renounce your sins and determine to do them no more.” (p. 408)
    3. Those who repent of their sinful lives in order to be forgiven will begin to live holy lives. When a sinner repents he actually becomes a holy saint. Without this repentance or moral transformation, there is no forgiveness or eternal life.” (p. 416, underline added)
    4. “And the Bible teaches that repentance comes before salvation, as it talks about “repentance to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10).” (p. 421)
  15. Salvation
    1. “Those who do not allow God to change them are not allowing God to save them.” (p. 246, underline added)
    2. “Practicing sin is a choice of the will Therefore, the choice of the will must change if practicing sin is going to cease. This type of true salvation is not a monergism where God alone is active but is synergistic where God and man must both do their part.” (p. 279, underline added)
    3. “Though man’s free choice to repent is a necessary condition of salvation, it does not mean that a man has anything to boast of or glory in.” (p. 284, underline added)
    4. “Therefore, salvation requires a state of the will because salvation requires obedience to thegospel. Obeying the gospel consists of turning from sin and putting your faith in Jesus Christ.” (p. 327)
    5. “God gives the gift of salvation to those who choose to believe. Salvation, as in forgiveness and acceptance through Jesus Christ, is God’s gift; but faith itself is our free choice.” (p. 333, underline added)
      1. John 6:28–29, " Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”"
      2. Acts 13:48, "When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed."
      3. Philippians 1:29, "For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,"
    6. “Salvation is attained by turning from sin and turning to Christ, and salvation is maintained by staying away from sin and abiding in Christ.” (p. 353, underline added)
    7. “The Bible repeatedly teaches that those who have been once saved can afterward fall away.” (p. 357)
    8. “Judas lost his apostleship and lost his salvation because he sinned and was not restored through repentance as Peter was.” (pp. 361-362)
      1. Is there any evidence in the Bible that says that Judas was ever saved?
      2. John 6:64, “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.”
    9. “If salvation cannot be lost through sin, salvation is undeniably a license to sin.” (p. 366)
    10. “While I was on the University of West Florida in Pensacola open air preaching, a student in the crowd said that God’s grace and forgiveness in Christ was literally a license to sin and that we can sin every day without fear of hell. I responded by saying, “You lose your salvation every time that you sin.” This is why you must repent every time that you sin.” (p. 366, underline added)
    11. A sinner gains salvation through conversion, a believer retains salvation through perseverance, and a backslider regains salvation through repentance.(p. 369, underline added)
    12. “And the Bible teaches that repentance comes before salvation, as it talks about “repentance to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10).” (p. 421, underline added)
    13. “Also, if “Jesus paid our debt” there would be no real grace, mercy, or forgiveness in our salvation. This is because grace, mercy, or forgiveness is when our debt is pardoned or when our penalty is remitted.” (p. 469)
    14. “So why are some saved and others not? It is because some freely choose to repent and receive God’s offer and others freely don’t. Salvation is described as a gift that God offers to all to accept and receive (Jn. 1:11-12; L14:16-24; Rom 5:18).” (p. 478)
  16. Sin
    1. “To blame sin upon a corrupted constitution is to blame our Creator for sin. To blame sin upon a faulty design is to blame sin upon our Designer.”  (p. 618)
  17. Vessels of honor
    1. “The Bible explicitly says that men make themselves vessels of honor by choosing to purge themselves of their sins (2 Tim. 2:21). On the other hand, if men choose to persist in their sin, God makes them into vessels of wrath because they have fitted themselves for destruction (Jer. 18:4; Rom. 9:21-22).” (p. 383)
      1. Comment:  According to Morrell, God saves and condemns people based on their actions.  The good purge themselves of their sins (How is that possible?)
      2. 2 Timothy 2:21, " Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work."
      3. Jer. 18:4, “But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.”
      4. Romans 9:21–22, "Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?"
    2. Matt
      1. The word ‘vessel’ in Greek is “skeuos.” It is used in different senses and means utensils and containers of ordinary households. But when it is used of people it means individuals.
        1. Matt:  Acts 9:15, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument (skeuos) of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel.”
        2. 1 Thess. 4:4, “that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor." This usage means either ‘own body’ or possibly ‘wife.’ Again, it is speaking of individuals.
        3. 2 Tim. 2:21, “Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." You can see here too, that the usage is of an individual Nota class of people.
        4. 1 Pet. 3:7, “You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman...” Even though husbands is plural, vessel is singular.
        5. God elects individuals: Romans 16:13 says, “Greet Rufus, a choice [eklectos] man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.” The word “choice” is “eklektos” which means “picked out, chosen by God,” etc. Also, 1 John 2:1,13 says, “The elder to the chosen [eklectos] lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth… The children of your chosen [eklectos] sister greet you.”
  • 1. McKim, Donald K.. The Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, Second Edition: Revised and Expanded (Kindle Location 9874). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
  • 2. Grudem, Wayne A.. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Cómo Entender) (p. 328). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
  • 3. Zodhiates, Spiros. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000.
  • 4. Zodhiates, Spiros. ibid.
  • 5. McKim, Donald K., ibid
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.