[quote="LatinRight, post:19, topic:447304"]
**God bless Jcrichton and every readers of the CAF.
THE DEPRAVITY OF A NATURAL/CARNAL MAN CAUSED BY THE FALL**
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But the natural man does not receives the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
10 As it written.
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The** poison of vipers** is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and** misery** mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Strictly speaking only a person in the STATE OF GRACE can merit, as defined by the Church (Denzinger 1576, 1582).
John 15:5; “… for without Me you can do nothing.”
*Everything we have is a gift of God. *
He made everything, and we are nothing without Him and we can do nothing without Him.
THE QUESTION IS
*As a natural/carnal man is so much depraved by the fall; *
How was Abel able to offer to Yahweh God his Sacrificial Offering... and why did it please God?
The Scripture and the teachings of the Catholic Church helps us to answer the above question.
2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.
Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel:
3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?
4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
5** So too, at the present time** there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
**As we see above, from the fall, **God always reserved for Himself His elect, Abel was the first.
God is the One who performed the Sacrificial Offering through Abel His first elect.
Phil.2:13; “For it is God who works in you BOTH TO WILL and TO ACT for His good pleasure.”
Similarly, the Council of Orange Canon 25 states, "In every good work, it is not we who begin … but He (God) first inspires us." (#329.2)
Aquinas said, “God changes the will without forcing it.
But he can change the will from the fact that He himself operates in the will as He does in nature,” De Veritatis 22:9.
ST. AUGUSTINE ON GRACE AND PREDESTINATION
De gratia Christi 25, 26:
"For not only has God given us our ability and helps it, but He even works [brings about] willing and acting in us; not that we do not will or that we do not act, but that without His help we neither will anything good nor do it."
De gratia et libero arbitrio 16, 32:
"It is certain that we will when we will; but He brings it about that we will good. . . . It is certain that we act when we act, but He brings it about that we act, PROVIDING MOST EFFECTIVE POWERS TO THE WILL."
In other words, when God commands, He capacitates the hearer to respond.
Our cooperation is produced (not just enabled) by God's operation.
Yet the ability to respond is also His gift.
God bless Jcrichton and every readers of the CAF.
I love the way you presented both measure and countermeasure... it is by employing all of God's Revelation (both the Oral and Written Word) that we can make the correct exegesis.
Yes, the Fall made man useless/corrupt; yet, God's Grace is Above and Beyond man's limitations and unrighteousness; it is through God's Free Gift of Grace that man can be extracted/rescued from his corrupt state. But, as the Church has correctly Taught throughout the ages, man's freewill must respond to God's Call to Life.
We don't see a Command, in Scriptures, to Abel; but we know from his response to God that the Holy Spirit Compelled him to seek and honor Yahweh God.
...notice St. John's 1:5:
[FONT="Garamond"][size=]The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
...the corruption that engulfed man cannot overpower God's Grace!
(Thank you for your Blessings; may the Holy Spirit Bless you abundantly, as well!)