‘we can all agree that we were all once dead in our sins and trespasses, but are we dead like Lazarus or dead like the Prodigal son? Calvinists insists this means we were corpse-like dead in the way Lazarus was while in the tomb. But, the scripture never draws this parallel.
Scripture does, however, draw a parallel between being spiritually dead and the Prodigal son while he was living in rebellion against his father. After he returned home to receive the unmerited grace of His father, it was said, “He was lost but now is found, He was dead and now is alive” (Luke 15:24).
- It’s almost like when a father says to a wayward son, “You are dead to me…” It’s an analogy of separateness, being in need of reconciliation or lost-ness.
Deadness is LOSTNESS, not a lack of moral ability to respond to God’s appeals to be reconciled.
No where does scripture teach that spiritual deadness equals corpse like inability to respond to God’s own gracious appeals.
If you want to take the Biblical analogy that far, then why is it that lost people have very different reactions to the gospel?
Remember, corpses can’t respond positively or negatively, or in any way in between — so that biblical analogy simply cannot be taken too far.
- See, the biblical analogy of being “dead” to someone is to be “an enemy…or to be separated ”… for instance Paul taught in Romans 6 that believers we are to be “dead to sin.”
But, obviously, that doesn’t mean believers become incapable of sin. It means that just as we were once “separate from God” and “enemies of God.” We now are to live “separate from sin” and to be an “enemy of sin.”
NOTHING in scripture suggests that the biblical analogy of being spiritually dead means “the corpse like inability to respond to God’s powerful, life-giving, Holy Spirit wrought TRUTH….Truth that Jesus described as having the ability to “set you free” in John 8:32‘
source: Leighton Flowers, “The Purpose and the Power of the Gospel in Enabling the Lost” (soteriology101).