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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/2/2005 9:07:08 AM EDT
Forgive me if this has been gone over already.

Anyhow...

I see a number of posts refer to "God's Will" and I hear people all the time refer to "God's Will".

i.e. "Well, if it's God's Will, he'll stop the bad people." "If it's God's Will, we'll travel safely."

However, doesn't the Bible say that God gave man (and woman) free will?

Wouldn't God, exercising his Will, counteract man's free will? If man couldn't exercise his free will, due to God's Will stopping him, does that mean man truly does NOT have free will?

Please don't take this as any kind of troll or flame bait. This is an issue I've mulled over time and time again, and I'm curious what people think.

Thank you.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:11:25 AM EDT
I don't have all my scriptural references with me, but I believe He is sovereign.

Proverbs speaks of Him holding the king's heart in His hand.

In Exodus, when Moses was telling Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, we see the first few times, "...and Pharaoh hardened his heart." Then it transitions to "... and God hardened Pharaoh's heart."

This doesn't imply that I understand how everything conforms to His will, but He has proven Himself enough with things I can see and understand that I know I can trust Him when I don't have the big picture.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:16:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/2/2005 10:29:35 AM EDT by WildBoar]

Originally Posted By kythri:


However, doesn't the Bible say that God gave man (and woman) free will?
.



This wont go over well but here goes. This is from a Christian perspective. Well from a reformed perspective anyway. I am not saying you have to agree, just something to take into consideration.

It does not say that anywhere in the bible that we have a free will. Its implied that yes, man is a creature that has a will and is responsible for his actions and choices. Man has a will but the will is a servant to its nature. What does Scripture tell us about our natures?

They are spiritually dead (Gen 2:16-17; Rom 5:12; Eph 2-13; Col 2:13.)
The bible tells us repeatedly that their hearts are utterly wicked and
that they are blind to spiritual things (Gen 6:5; 8:21; Eccl 9:3; Jer
17:9; Mark 7:21-23; John 3:19; Rom 8:7-8; 1Cor 2:14; Eph 4:17-19; 5:8;
Titus 1:15).

It only gets more unflattering. We are also told in Scripture that
they are slaves to sin, and children of the devil (John 8:34,44; Rom
6:20; Eph 2:1-2; 2Tim 2:25-26; Titus 3:3; 1John 3:10; 5:19)

“But surely I was not as they, If I were, I would be deserving
destruction just as they” Well the picture continues to grow more dim.
No one is excluded from this assessment (1Kings 8:46; 2Chron 6:36; Job
15:14-16; Pss 130:3; 143:2; Prov 20:9; Eccl 7:20,29; Isa 53:5; 64:6;
Rom 3:9-12, 23; James 3:2,8; 1John 1:8,10)

Is your will free? Absolutely not. It is servant to your nature.


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.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:18:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:
I don't have all my scriptural references with me, but I believe He is sovereign.

Proverbs speaks of Him holding the king's heart in His hand.

In Exodus, when Moses was telling Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, we see the first few times, "...and Pharaoh hardened his heart." Then it transitions to "... and God hardened Pharaoh's heart."

This doesn't imply that I understand how everything conforms to His will, but He has proven Himself enough with things I can see and understand that I know I can trust Him when I don't have the big picture.



Here are some scriptures.


"Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined
according to His purpose who works ALL things after the counsel of HIS
will" (Eph. 1.11).
"And we know God causes ALL things to work together for good to those
who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom.
8.28).

"Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him? Who could say to Him,
what art Thou doing?" (Job 9.12).

"But our God is in heaven, He does whatever He pleases" (Ps. 115.3).

"The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and
creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these" (Isa. 45.7).

"And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He
does according to His will in the host of heaven AND among the
inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand or say to Him,
What hast Thou done'" (Dan. 4.35).

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything to difficult
for Me?" (Jer. 32.27).

"The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans
of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of
His heart from generation to generation" (Ps. 33.10-11).

"Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no
other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from
the beginning and from ancient times things which have been done,
saying, My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish ALL My
good pleasure" (Is. 46.9-10).

"This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of
God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of Godless men and put Him to
death" (Acts 2.23).

"For truly in this city there gathered were gathered together against
Thy Holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius
Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do
whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur" (Acts 4.27-28).

"For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work His good
pleasure" (Phil. 2.13).

"Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has
commanded it? Is it not from the Most High that both good and ill go
forth? (Lam. 3.37).

"It is I who says to Cyrus, He is My shepherd! And He will perform all
My desire" (Is. 44.28). "So shall My word be which goes forth from My
mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I
desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I have sent it"
(Is. 55.11).

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the
glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11.36).
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:27:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kythri:


Wouldn't God, exercising his Will, counteract man's free will? If man couldn't exercise his free will, due to God's Will stopping him, does that mean man truly does NOT have free will?




First it would seem that many of todays Christian preach a defeated God. One that should be pitied more than revered.

Gods will is always greater than the creature contrary to what many pulpits teach. Man has a will, but you need to understand that just the ability to make choices does not mean its free. Ee are free to do as we please, as our natures dictates. Our natures are quite unflattering compared to Gods Holy demands.

Basically Man has a will, and no it is not free.

Some good reading.

If you want to take a dive into the deep end of some good solid theology then check this out The Bondage Of The Will

Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:41:17 AM EDT
Thanks, WildBoar!

This is an area of study that's relatively new to me. I used to be a big free will advocate. I was even arrogant enough to claim credit for believing and saying, "Yes", to God's offer of grace.

Since then, I've learned that even the faith to believe is a gift from Him, so I can't even take credit for that. That's humbling, yet liberating.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:51:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:53:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
... It does not say that anywhere in the bible that we have a free will...



Amen. (The "religious" version of "+1" )
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:57:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/2/2005 10:58:49 AM EDT by WildBoar]

Originally Posted By TomJefferson:
Hardest concept anyone has to get is "He's God"!

Yes, he gave us free will but then if he wants us to be Judas so Jesus can fullfill his prohephecy "He's God"! and you'd be giving the kiss of death yourself.


Tj



In relation-

III. How is it possible for God to DECREE that men SHOULD commit
certain sins, hold them RESPONSIBLE in the committal of them, and
adjudge them GUILTY because they committed them?

Let us now consider the extreme case of Judas. We hold that it is
clear from Scripture that God decreed from all eternity that Judas
should betray the Lord Jesus. If anyone should challenge this
statement we refer him to the prophecy of Zechariah, through whom God
declared that His Son should be sold for "Thirty pieces of silver"
(Zech. 11:12). As we have said in earlier pages, in prophecy God makes
known what will be, and in making known what will be, He is but
revealing to us what He has ordained shall be. That Judas was the one
through whom the prophecy of Zechariah was fulfilled needs not to be
argued. But now the question we have to face is, Was Judas a
responsible agent in fulfilling this decree of God? We reply that he
was. Responsibility attaches mainly to the motive and intention of the
one committing the act. This is recognized on every hand. Human law
distinguishes between a blow inflicted by accident (without evil
design), and a blow delivered with ‘malice aforethought.’
Apply then this same principle to the case of Judas. What was the
design of his heart when he bargained with the priests? Manifestly he
had no conscious desire to fulfil any decree of God, though unknown to
himself he was actually doing so. On the contrary, his intention was
evil only, and therefore, though God had decreed and directed his act,
nevertheless, his own evil intention rendered him justly guilty as he
afterwards acknowledged himself—"I have betrayed innocent
blood." It was the same with the Crucifixion of Christ. Scripture
plainly declares that He was "delivered up by the determinate counsel
and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23), and that though "the kings of
the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the
Lord, and against His Christ" yet, notwithstanding, it was but "for to
do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done"
(Acts 4:26, 28); which verses teach very much more than a bare
permission by God, declaring, as they do, that the Crucifixion and all
its details had been decreed by God. Yet, nevertheless, it was by
"wicked hands," not merely "human hands", that our Lord was "crucified
and slain" (Acts 2:23). "Wicked" because the intention, of His
crucifiers was only evil.

But it might be objected that, if God had decreed that Judas should
betray Christ, and that the Jews and Gentiles should crucify Him, they
could not do otherwise, and therefore, they were not responsible for
their intentions. The answer is, God had decreed that they should
perform the acts they did, but in the actual perpetration of these
deeds they were justly guilty, because their own purposes in the doing
of them was evil only. Let it be emphatically said that God does not
produce the sinful dispositions of any of His creatures, though He
does restrain and direct them to the accomplishing of His own
purposes. Hence He is neither the Author nor the Approver of sin. This
distinction was expressed thus by Augustine: "That men sin proceeds
from themselves; that in sinning they perform this or that action, is
from the power of God who divideth the darkness according to His
pleasure." Thus it is written, "A man’s heart deviseth his way:
but the Lord directeth his steps" (Prov. 16:9). What we would here
insist upon is, that God’s decrees are not the necessitating
cause of the sins of men, but the fore-determined and prescribed
boundings and directings of men’s sinful acts. In connection
with the betrayal of Christ, God did not decree that He should be sold
by one of His creatures and then take up a good man, instill an evil
desire into his heart and thus force him to perform the terrible deed
in order to execute His decree. No; not so do the Scriptures represent
it. Instead, God decreed the act and selected the one who was to
perform the act, but He did not make him evil in order that he should
perform the deed; on the contrary, the betrayer was a "devil" at the
time the Lord Jesus chose him as one of the twelve (John 6:70), and in
the exercise and manifestation of his own devilry God simply directed
his actions, actions which were perfectly agreeable to his own vile
heart, and performed with the most wicked intentions. Thus it was with
the Crucifixion.


more on that here
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 11:07:41 AM EDT

I always thought free will pertained to salvation and not much else.

    Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [/list

    God didn't give Jonah any options (other than die in the belly of a whale). Its possible to shirk our duties as Christians but you certainly miss out when you do.

    Jam 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
    Jam 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

    Jam 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?


Shok
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 11:19:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/2/2005 11:25:07 AM EDT by HardShell]

Originally Posted By QShok:
I always thought free will pertained to salvation and not much else.

    Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. [/list

    God didn't give Jonah any options (other than die in the belly of a whale). Its possible to shirk our duties as Christians but you certainly miss out when you do.

    Jam 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
    Jam 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

    Jam 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?


Shok



believeth (as in an existing condition); not "will believe" or "chooses to believe"

YDMV, of course. (Doctrine )
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 7:11:22 PM EDT
Well I haven't read all the responses so this may be redundant. But there is no "free will" God has given us laws and has given punisments for breaking those laws. We are free to choose the one or the other but we are not free to choose the consequinces. Gods will is that we do good but we don't always listen . Thats why he gave us His Son.

Its funny to me when people disobey commandments get the reward(punishment) and want people to feel sorry for them. There is no "free will" just like there is "no free lunch".
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 7:12:02 PM EDT
Well I haven't read all the responses so this may be redundant. But there is no "free will" God has given us laws and has given punisments for breaking those laws. We are free to choose the one or the other but we are not free to choose the consequinces. Gods will is that we do good but we don't always listen . Thats why he gave us His Son.

Its funny to me when people disobey commandments get the reward(punishment) and want people to feel sorry for them. There is no "free will" just like there is "no free lunch".
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 10:40:46 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies.

Looks like I've got some reading to do.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:07:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kythri:
Forgive me if this has been gone over already.

Anyhow...

I see a number of posts refer to "God's Will" and I hear people all the time refer to "God's Will".

i.e. "Well, if it's God's Will, he'll stop the bad people." "If it's God's Will, we'll travel safely."

However, doesn't the Bible say that God gave man (and woman) free will?

Wouldn't God, exercising his Will, counteract man's free will? If man couldn't exercise his free will, due to God's Will stopping him, does that mean man truly does NOT have free will?

Please don't take this as any kind of troll or flame bait. This is an issue I've mulled over time and time again, and I'm curious what people think.

Thank you.



________________________

I would tend to believe one of G-d's gifts to humanity was the gift of free will.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:35:14 AM EDT
It is God's will that all men know Jesus Christ and receive salvation from their sins.

At the same time, Jesus acknowledges that not all men will be saved.

So either God is actively denying Himself His own "will", or He does not have exhaustive control over our lives as many currently believe.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 4:06:58 PM EDT
tagged....
Link Posted: 9/6/2005 5:34:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2005 5:36:00 AM EDT by FMD]
I don't visit the RF for a bit, and we're already on free will? Wow. I gotta stop by more often.

Amen to everything WB posted. Here’s my stab at the reformed doctrine of free will in 200 words or less:

Adam had free will, and chose to sin. God knew what would happen if he gave his creation free will, but did so anyway because he is sovereign. Every subsequent human has been born with that sinful nature with the exception of Jesus, who was given the same choice as Adam.

With perfect foreknowledge, every other individual was predestined to either eternal life as "the elect" or eternal damnation as "the lost" from before the foundations of the world. It is a sovereign God that compels the elect to believe in the salvation of their soul through the death and resurrection of Jesus. They did not make the choice to have faith on their own, rather it is solely God's grace that makes them have this belief.

To answer kythri's original question:

If left to our own fallen nature (our "fee will"), mankind would drown himself in debauchery and sin. While we are by no means robots, man (the elect through a changed nature, and the lost due to God’s sovereignty) is compelled to do some good; the fact of which in and of itself brings glory to God.

If this doctrine seems "unfair" to you, you might want to look up the definition of "sovereign", and try to wrap your head around the term applied to an all-powerful Creator of the universe.
Link Posted: 9/6/2005 5:39:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FMD:
...To answer kythri's original question:

If left to our own fallen nature (our "fee will"), mankind would drown himself in debauchery and sin. While we are by no means robots, man (the elect through a changed nature, and the lost due to God’s sovereignty) is compelled to do some good; the fact of which in and of itself brings glory to God.

If this doctrine seems "unfair" to you, you might want to look up the definition of "sovereign", and try to wrap your head around the term applied to an all-powerful Creator of the universe.



Beautifully put, IMHO.
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