Total Depravity and the Gift of Faith
a four-part sermon series by Ward Fenley
I. Total Depravity, part one
II. Total Depravity, part two
III. The Gift of Faith, part one
IV. The Gift of Faith, part two
Ward Fenley resides in Westcliffe, Colorado with his two boys, Austin and Trumann. He teaches for an online virtual academy and also teaches private music lessons. Ward enjoys hiking, composing, and of course, writing about and discussing theology. He has written two books and many articles dealing with the kingdom and grace of God. Ward's current focus is on the subjects of the conscience and mercy in Scripture and how those elements relate to our everyday lives and those around us. He believes that love shown through mercy is the captivating element which not only proves the existence of the kingdom of God, but is also that which draws unbelievers to inquire into our faith in Jesus Christ.
Tami Jelinek writes:
This series of four sermons is without a doubt the clearest and most beautiful presentation of the Gospel and grace of God that I have heard anywhere.
And I grew up in church. And heard "the gospel" preached practically from infancy. Or I should say, that I heard many adulterated versions of it. The thing about the truth of God is that it pierces my heart to its core. And the way that I have learned to recognize the truth of God is that it alone tells me the truth about myself. It tells me who I really am. Which is really not who I most often think I am, or who others tell me I am. One might suppose it would be hard to sort through all of this other, to find the truth. But it's not hard to find, because it's in the Bible. Every other version of "truth," even within the context of "Christianity" and "church," and in the context of "Scripture" selectively presented, stops short of piercing through our hearts to show us who we really are. And it seems that is not by accident. There is purposeful attention given, great care taken, to change the truth of God into a lie. The lie tells us we are something more than we are (apart from Him), and that He is something less than He is. And the result is that there are relatively few in "Christianity" who know and understand to worship Him both for who He is and for what He has done. And by extension, there are so few who know how to treat others in Him, according to the new creation that they are, and the very righteousness of God which they have become.
Having said that, there really is such a thing as false humility. It's the flip-side of the pride coin for a Christian. Because while it's true that we must be confronted with who we are in God's eyes, by dropping every other comparison to see ourselves naked before Him, in order to receive His mercy; having received it, we are now righteous--holy, unblameable, unreprovable--in His sight. The only view that matters. But as soon as we start comparing ourselves outwardly to others, we tend toward one of two extremes--"better than" or "worse than" --but both are equally prideful because they both effectually diminish the glory, and despise the victory, of the cross.
These messages may offend. I am actually hard pressed to name anyone in my own Christian community with whom I regularly fellowship who would not find them offensive to some degree. The truth does offend. It offends our very nature apart from Christ. But the amazing thing about that is this same offensive truth is the only place we can find rest. Real rest for our souls, every day. In His "mercies new every morning."
The thing about all of those other versions of the gospel? There is no rest in any of them. That is why I love the real one so much.
I hope you will watch the entire series, and may it be a blessing.
For an archive of all Ward's videos, visit his youtube channel.