The apostle Paul gives us numerous indications that those following a more extreme form of Calvinism are mistaken…
The constant insistence I read that we are entirely void of anything good in us without Christ is not correct, and Erasmus had good scriptural defense in his position over Luther’s. We are, after all, created in the image of God, if fallen.
Yes, it is true that without the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we would be totally without hope of salvation and mercy from a perfect, holy God. But let’s get our theology straight and balanced.
Paul’s own testimony declares that when he was as yet unsaved, and persecuting Christians, the Lord stepped into his life seeing the potential in him:
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service” (1 Timothy 1:12).
Paul tells us that God at the outset saw that he was a faithful man. He was shown mercy because he had persecuted in ignorance and in his zeal for his Lord. He really had believed, wrongly, that he was serving God, until Jesus put him straight on that road to Damascus.
Nathaniel, said Jesus, was a man in whom was nothing false, even before Nathaniel had met Jesus (John 1:47).
Here is even more reason for us not to condemn our fellow humans, even though we should see them for what they are: fallen and lost. Let’s look for the good in them, which God can already see.