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Posted: 8/4/2005 5:23:29 AM EDT
First, we will go with the presupposition that man does have free will. We will also assume that this free will can "over-ride" God's own will/desire. We must assume this since the "free will" position is that God really wants to save everyone, but He cannot or does not because of their free will. This, if only for the purposes of salvation, puts man's will over God's will (whether it be because man's will is superior or simply because God allows it).

Given this understanding, we are able to conclude that man can gain salvation of his own free will, and he can also lose salvation of the same free will.

Given man's free will, and his proven propensity to exercise this free will in opposition to God's desires (laws), we must conclude that man cannot go an eternity without incorrectly excercising his free will (sinning). Our shining example of this truth is Adam in the garden. He had the exact sceranio before him that we see here. He was not condemned, and [supposedly] had free will. The logical basis for this conclusion is that if man could go an eternity and not sin of his own free will, he would be in essense perfect of his own free will. This puts him equal to God in the perfection department.

Conclusion #1: man must sin in eternity if he has free will
Reason for Conclusion #1: man is not God, man is not perfect

Conclusion #2: because man will sin in eternity, and God will not exercise His own will to stop this, man will be kicked out of heaven for sinning


How do we fix this problem we have? There are two obvious ways I see:

1) Man's free will can be perfect and can be exactly equal to that of God.
2) God will override man's "free will", imposing His own perfect will upon man's so that man will not sin and can spend eternity with God

#1 is blaspheme, making #2 is the obvious choice, the conclusion must be that God will abolish free will in heaven. If free will is lofted to such a height and worshipped so readily here, and people would not think of being rid of it, how will such a person feel about being rid of it in heaven? Oh the horror!

Presuppositions and playing "what ifs" is fun and all, but we know that we do not have "free will", even on earth. It is either enslaved to sin or enslaved to God. How I wish that He would reign me in ever tighter, that I might not sin against Him. I hate my will but love His.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 5:35:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2005 5:42:50 AM EDT by TexasSIG]
That's interesting. I agree with a big part of it but I do believe that He has given us
free will here on Earth. If you CHOOSE to allow your free will to go towards evil or good,
you still had the opportunity to choose.

When I screw up, it's not enslavement that causes it, it's just me. I don't have anyone else
to blame for it. Wish I did

And yes I think you're spot on that, if you manage to get there, in Heaven you no longer exercise
this free will because you don't need to.

The argument can be made that at least one human has had total control over his free will and that
was Christ. Many take the argument that Christ did not actually KNOW he was the son of God
until the end, and that the use of the term "my Father" was the same that any of us use when
talking about our Creator. He was tempted by sin, just as we all are. In the report we read in the
Bible it was difficult for him, but he held on. If he truly was aware that he was the Son of God
and the Messiah why would it be hard for him?

I believe that until the crucifixion Christ lived as just one of us, and believed that he was one
of us. The miracles were performed because in his mind Faith was strong enough to
do these things. That is why it was so important for Christ to return AFTER his death
to communicate his instructions, as FULLY AWARE GOD on earth.

The idea of Christ living his life knowing his true identity sort of takes the wind out of the
whole thing. The example of Christ leading a sinless life is an example we should all TRY to
emulate, of course it will be impossible, but we know that at least ONE person has done so,
and that gives us hope that we can come close.

That pesky Free Will keeps getting in our way
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 5:43:52 AM EDT
Dramine --

Jesus on this earth had free will. Yet He was without sin.

Why?

Because He had no desire for sin. Sin is not a part of His NATURE.

Sin IS a part of our nature as a result of the fall. In heaven, our sinful nature will be no more, and we will again have a Divine Nature just like God's.

We get to that point by CHOOSING to have faith in, and to obey God despite our sinful nature on this earth.

In heaven there will be no more sin because sin will have no more appeal to us. I can't tempt you with a cigar if you think they taste disgusting. I can't tempt you with alcohol if the taste of it makes you sick. Neither will sin be tempting to us because our adamic nature will have been completely and totally removed from us by God's saving work.

We will still have the power to harm others and to disobey God as we always have had. But there will be no desire in us to do such things, because we will be changed by God to fully walk in His image rather than our own.

We DO have free will. We CAN choose right or wrong. We CAN choose faith or to reject it. The promise of salvation is that one day our struggle with the darker aspects of our nature will be over, and we will live in the perfection of God's charachter. We will be so changed by His power that evil will appeal to us about as much as licking a public urinal has to us right now.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 5:57:56 AM EDT
God, by definition, has perfect knowledge of all things.

He has perfect knowledge of you, and every aspect of your mind, personality and soul. He would know everything about what makes you tick right from the creation of your soul.

He has perfect omniscient knowledge of everything in the world and everything that happens there.

Given those two facts, God has the ability to anticipate every choice you will encounter in life, and accurately predict how you will respond and what you will choose.

God is placing flawed souls in imperfect world and then condemning them to eternal Hell, even though he knew right from the start that Hell would be the outcome. This called dealing from a loaded deck.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 6:02:54 AM EDT

How do we fix this problem we have?


By accepting Christ as our savior.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 6:49:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2005 12:03:54 PM EDT by Carbine_Man]
Cliff notes version:

No creature is utterly free. It is bound to it's own nature. You don't have to constrain a whale to keep it from flying. You can expect that it will exercise it's free will by swimming, which is part of it's nature.

Man's nature is corrupt in mind, emotion and will, since the fall. Even after the new birth, a redeemed person struggles with the habits of the corrupt nature.

Thankfully, in heaven the old nature passes into memory, and we are free to live in perfect communion with our Creator, with no interruption caused by the corruption of sin.

That will be heaven, indeed!

2 Corinthians 5:17 -

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 7:57:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FightingHellfish:
God, by definition, has perfect knowledge of all things.

He has perfect knowledge of you, and every aspect of your mind, personality and soul. He would know everything about what makes you tick right from the creation of your soul.

He has perfect omniscient knowledge of everything in the world and everything that happens there.

Given those two facts, God has the ability to anticipate every choice you will encounter in life, and accurately predict how you will respond and what you will choose.

God is placing flawed souls in imperfect world and then condemning them to eternal Hell, even though he knew right from the start that Hell would be the outcome. This called dealing from a loaded deck.



Is that not the very definition of pre-destination? In which case, none of your decisions actually matter, as you were bound for heaven or hell from the moment you were concieved. Which sort of defeats the purpose of free will altogether.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 8:59:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2005 9:07:27 AM EDT by Carbine_Man]

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:
Is that not the very definition of pre-destination? In which case, none of your decisions actually matter, as you were bound for heaven or hell from the moment you were concieved. Which sort of defeats the purpose of free will altogether.



Romans 9:14-28

14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION." 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."

18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

19 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? 21 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? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

25 As He says also in Hosea, "I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, `MY PEOPLE,' AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, `BELOVED.' "

26 "AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, `YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,' THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD."

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED; 28 FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY."

Kinda makes one feel puny and dependent on God, doesn't it? Come to think of it....

At the same time, He wants us to know that it is not futile to seek Him, John 7:37-38

37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, `From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' "
So there IS HOPE.
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 9:33:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2005 9:40:47 AM EDT by WildBoar]
Please bear in mind this is not a popular viewpoint and only reflects my position and I do not speak for anyone but me. Well maybe the Presbyterians (not PC-USA) and some reformed baptists.

I agree that we have a will but it is servant to our nature and thus not entirely free. Our will is a slave to our desires and unfortunately our natural desire is to rebel against God. We need to understand what the will is and what influences our decisions.

I wrote this a long time ago when I was more studied.



You first need to understand just what the will is. Is it sovereign or servant? Does your will persuade your choices arbitrarily? Or are your choices influenced by something.

If we make choices without influence, then why would one prefer water over a handful of sand when we are thirsty? If our will were truly free, then what would it matter if one choice were made over another? The choice was free.

Now I know you understand our choices are influenced in some way. It’s obvious for sure. But why do we make the choices we make?

Are we robots with no choice in the matters of things? Certainly not. Our choices are not limited by anyone other than ourselves. When we say that our will is not free, we are not saying that we are robots with no minds and ability to choose for ourselves. It’s obvious that we can make decisions and choose to our likings. We are not scripted idiots just playing a part in someone’s play.

Now if that is the case, and we make our own decisions, then why do we say that our will is not free? Because our will is servant to our likes. You probably agree. You chose water over sand when you thirst, because that’s what you prefer. Especially in that instance.

So is our will free? We come to the conclusion that the will is not arbitrary and wild, yet is servant to our desires. We come to the conclusion that we are not restricted by anyone in the choices we make and are not mindless robots. We both agree on those two things I am sure.

But since we make the choices ourselves without any scripted influence. Can we call it free since it is not restrained by anyone other than ourselves? The answer is still no. That is what we say the will is not free. It is servant. As a sinner your will is servant to your nature, or your preferences. As a sinner your preferences are to reject God and His calling. Yes you are free to make the decision and choices you want, but they are still servant to your sinful nature.



even older stuff



This is in regards to when some say that man has no free will.

It does seem that many immediately presuppose that to have no free
will, one would be a mindless robot, uncapable of making choices. We
all agree that the will is the faculty to make a choice. Man has a
will. Nobody will deny that. But to declare that man does not have
free will is something not understood.

I have a will, this is self evident for I make choices constantly. But
just because I have a will does it denote that is free? Why do we
excercise the will in which we do? Why do we choose this and not
choose that?

If our will is free, why is it that all have sinned? Why do all sin?
If our will is free wouldnt it be possible to live a sinless life?

Why do we chose sin? If we know that it displeases God, why are we at
times unable to chose that which pleases Him?

Do we have a will? Yes. Is it free? No. It is in bondage to sin. We
prefer sin. The human heart is emnity against God. We are free from
righteousness for we run to sin in preference.

Sinners are what we are and sin is what we prefer.


Is there any hope? In ourselves? In our inability to please God from a
sin loving will? No.

There is hope in Jesus. We are not free untill He sets us free. Jesus
begins to break the chains of sin and we can start to be free. Free to
serve Him. One day to be perfected.

To deny that we were slaves to sin and actually were God haters only
proves how enslaved our will is. We do not like the humbling truth
that we owe it all to God. There is something in us that rejects this
truth. It is called pride. You deserve to go to Hell. I deserve to go
to Hell. We all do. God spared not one of the rebellious angels so how
much more humble should we be. We should be thankful that He decided
to save any at all.

It is the enslavement of our wills to sin that we cannot stomach Gods
choice in the sinner and not vice versa.

Yes we owe it all to Him. No you could never have chosen rightly in
this matter. Praise Him and acknowledge His glory.

Link Posted: 8/4/2005 9:39:19 AM EDT
Thank you CM and WB both for posting what I would have.

CM, it's not just Presbyterian, Sola Gracia is a doctrine common to all "reformed" (systematic) denominations, AFAIK.
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