Announcement

Collapse

Theology 201 Guidelines

This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

Remember, our forum rules apply here as well. If you haven't read them now would be a good time.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Room within the will of God?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Room within the will of God?

    I've been convinced that like Stuart Briscoe said, the will of God is like a playing field, with boundaries, and within those boundaries, free choices are allowed. Or like the garden of Eden, with one tree fenced off, and from the rest "you may freely eat." (Gen. 2:16) But recently I've been considering the various "not on my own accord" sayings of Jesus in John, perhaps the clearest being:

    "So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.' " (John 8:28)

    So if Jesus, our example (and the Holy Spirit, see John 16:13), would not even speak of his own accord, how much more should we imitate this, and not choose our own way, even in allowed matters?

    "The self is given to us that we may sacrifice it: it is ours, that we, like Christ, may have somewhat to offer--not that we should torment it, but that we should deny it; not that we should thwart it, but that we should abandon it utterly: then it can no more be vexed. 'What can this mean? we are not to thwart, but to abandon?' It means this: we must refuse, abandon, deny self altogether as a ruling, or determining, or originating element in us. We are no more to think 'what should I like to do?' but 'what would the Living One have me do?' " (George MacDonald)

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  • #2
    I like to think of it as....

    There are some things God specifically told us not to do. Don't do those things.
    There are some things God specifically told us TO do. Do those things.
    There are a bunch of things that don't seem overly concerning to God.

    Focus on those first two things, and ask God to guide through the rest.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since youíve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?Ē

    Comment


    • #3
      "Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will." -Ayn Rand
      "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

      "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

      Comment


      • #4
        This is where prayer comes in.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
          "Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will." -Ayn Rand
          But is there is room for free choices within the will of God? That is the question.

          Originally posted by Sparko
          This is where prayer comes in.
          Yes, and Jesus prayed "Not my will, but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42)

          Originally posted by Cow Poke
          There are some things God specifically told us not to do. Don't do those things.
          There are some things God specifically told us TO do. Do those things.
          There are a bunch of things that don't seem overly concerning to God.

          Focus on those first two things, and ask God to guide through the rest.
          And I have believed this for most of my Christian life. Yet one of the things God told us to do is "Be imitators of God" (Eph. 5:1), or as Paul said it, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1).

          "So Jesus answered them, 'I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.' " (John 5:19)

          Blessings,
          Lee
          "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
            I've been convinced that like Stuart Briscoe said, the will of God is like a playing field, with boundaries, and within those boundaries, free choices are allowed. Or like the garden of Eden, with one tree fenced off, and from the rest "you may freely eat." (Gen. 2:16) But recently I've been considering the various "not on my own accord" sayings of Jesus in John, perhaps the clearest being:

            "So Jesus said, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.' " (John 8:28)

            So if Jesus, our example (and the Holy Spirit, see John 16:13), would not even speak of his own accord, how much more should we imitate this, and not choose our own way, even in allowed matters?

            "The self is given to us that we may sacrifice it: it is ours, that we, like Christ, may have somewhat to offer--not that we should torment it, but that we should deny it; not that we should thwart it, but that we should abandon it utterly: then it can no more be vexed. 'What can this mean? we are not to thwart, but to abandon?' It means this: we must refuse, abandon, deny self altogether as a ruling, or determining, or originating element in us. We are no more to think 'what should I like to do?' but 'what would the Living One have me do?' " (George MacDonald)

            Blessings,
            Lee
            Regarding John 8:28, Jesus speaks as the message or logos of God to communicate to us the way of salvation. In the approach of John 8:28, Jesus spoke as a prophet and within his humanity. These words of Jesus are conveying that he has not arrived at his message by human intellect ... it is not a message of man's wisdom. I think that situation speaks of his unique situation of how he was taught by the Father. So it does not seem plausible (or, at least, not typical) for us to be taught by the Father in a similar fashion. Beyond this analysis, CowPoke makes a decent breakdown of the way we should live.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mikewhitney View Post
              These words of Jesus are conveying that he has not arrived at his message by human intellect ... it is not a message of man's wisdom. I think that situation speaks of his unique situation of how he was taught by the Father. So it does not seem plausible (or, at least, not typical) for us to be taught by the Father in a similar fashion.
              "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing from himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." (John 5:19)

              Jesus here gives us the reason he does nothing from himself, it is because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. Not because he is being uniquely taught by the Father. The Son imitates the Father, and we are to imitate the Son.

              "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children..." (Eph. 5:1)
              "... we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:16)

              Note also that all through the Bible, God's people are described, are describing themselves as servants or slaves of God.

              "You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel." (2 Ki 9:7)

              "James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad..." (James 1:1)

              Blessings,
              Lee
              Last edited by lee_merrill; 06-26-2020, 01:45 PM.
              "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing from himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." (John 5:19)

                Jesus here gives us the reason he does nothing from himself, it is because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. Not because he is being uniquely taught by the Father. The Son imitates the Father, and we are to imitate the Son.

                "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children..." (Eph. 5:1)
                "... we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:16)

                Note also that all through the Bible, God's people are described, are describing themselves as servants or slaves of God.

                "You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel." (2 Ki 9:7)

                "James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad..." (James 1:1)

                Blessings,
                Lee
                We should always strive to align our will to God's. God always has the best interest in mind. The problem is we don't always KNOW what God's will is. We can get a general idea of what to do or not do from the bible, but many times we are faced with situations where we simply don't know. That is where prayer comes in, and talking things over with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

                Jesus was unique in that he always knew exactly what the Father wanted, because he was the Son.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                  We should always strive to align our will to God's. God always has the best interest in mind. The problem is we don't always KNOW what God's will is. We can get a general idea of what to do or not do from the bible, but many times we are faced with situations where we simply don't know. That is where prayer comes in, and talking things over with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
                  I agree, and we need to seek God, to seek to know him better, and to know his will better.

                  Jesus was unique in that he always knew exactly what the Father wanted, because he was the Son.
                  I believe the closer we get to God, the more we will know of his will. Those in heaven know and do his will perfectly:

                  "Bless the LORD, you His angels,
                  Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
                  Obeying the voice of His word!
                  Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
                  You who serve Him, doing His will." (Ps 103:20Ė21)

                  So the question is, is there room within the will of God? If we were to know the will of God perfectly, would we be able to still act on our own, within the will of God?

                  Blessings,
                  Lee
                  "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                    I agree, and we need to seek God, to seek to know him better, and to know his will better.


                    I believe the closer we get to God, the more we will know of his will. Those in heaven know and do his will perfectly:

                    "Bless the LORD, you His angels,
                    Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
                    Obeying the voice of His word!
                    Bless the LORD, all you His hosts,
                    You who serve Him, doing His will." (Ps 103:20Ė21)

                    So the question is, is there room within the will of God? If we were to know the will of God perfectly, would we be able to still act on our own, within the will of God?

                    Blessings,
                    Lee
                    I am sure there is room. God is pleased for us to have free will and wants us to use it to glorify him. The problem is when we use it to sin instead.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      I am sure there is room. God is pleased for us to have free will and wants us to use it to glorify him. The problem is when we use it to sin instead.
                      The only problem is, I don't see this free-will idea in Scripture, I see the opposite:

                      "Paul, a servant of God..." (Titus 1:1)
                      "So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to Godís law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin." (Rom. 7:25)
                      "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.' " (Jn 8:34)

                      Now Jesus and Paul do speak about freedom in Christ:

                      "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (Jn 8:36)
                      "For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lordís freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christís slave." (1 Co 7:22)

                      So freed, but a slave to Christ. So I don't think simple free will explains this paradox.

                      "You must become a child, you must lose your own will quite by degrees. You must wait for life to be measured out by the Father, and be content with what proportion, and at what time, He shall please to measure. Oh! be little, be little, and then you will be content with little; and if you feel now and then a check or a secret smiting, in that is the Father's love; be not over wise, nor over eager in your own willing, running, and desiring, and by degrees come to the knowledge of your Guide, who will lead you step by step in the path of life, and teach you to follow, and in His own season powerfully judge that which cannot nor will not follow." (Isaac Penington)

                      Blessings,
                      Lee
                      "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                        The only problem is, I don't see this free-will idea in Scripture, I see the opposite:

                        "Paul, a servant of God..." (Titus 1:1)
                        "So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to Godís law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin." (Rom. 7:25)
                        "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.' " (Jn 8:34)

                        Now Jesus and Paul do speak about freedom in Christ:

                        "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (Jn 8:36)
                        "For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lordís freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christís slave." (1 Co 7:22)

                        So freed, but a slave to Christ. So I don't think simple free will explains this paradox.

                        "You must become a child, you must lose your own will quite by degrees. You must wait for life to be measured out by the Father, and be content with what proportion, and at what time, He shall please to measure. Oh! be little, be little, and then you will be content with little; and if you feel now and then a check or a secret smiting, in that is the Father's love; be not over wise, nor over eager in your own willing, running, and desiring, and by degrees come to the knowledge of your Guide, who will lead you step by step in the path of life, and teach you to follow, and in His own season powerfully judge that which cannot nor will not follow." (Isaac Penington)

                        Blessings,
                        Lee
                        If there is no free will then what's the point of commands in the bible? If you can't disobey unless God wills it, then there is no need for laws or anything, and God is responsible for your sins. Did you tell a lie? It must be because God willed you to lie for some reason.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                          If there is no free will then what's the point of commands in the bible? If you can't disobey unless God wills it, then there is no need for laws or anything, and God is responsible for your sins. Did you tell a lie? It must be because God willed you to lie for some reason.
                          Well, this is getting off-topic, but notice that "The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase." (Rom 5:20), and "God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all." (Rom. 11:32)

                          And you have yet to address "Everyone who sins is a slave to sin", and the other verses, and you have yet to quote any Scripture. If you want to discuss this further, let's open a thread on free-will.

                          Blessings,
                          Lee
                          "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                            "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing from himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." (John 5:19)

                            Jesus here gives us the reason he does nothing from himself, it is because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. Not because he is being uniquely taught by the Father. The Son imitates the Father, and we are to imitate the Son.

                            "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children..." (Eph. 5:1)
                            "... we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:16)

                            Note also that all through the Bible, God's people are described, are describing themselves as servants or slaves of God.

                            "You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel." (2 Ki 9:7)

                            "James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad..." (James 1:1)

                            Blessings,
                            Lee
                            I was trying to figure out whether you agreed with my analysis or were providing a different opinion.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mikewhitney View Post
                              I was trying to figure out whether you agreed with my analysis or were providing a different opinion.
                              Well, I was providing a different opinion:

                              Jesus here gives us the reason he does nothing from himself, it is because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. Not because he is being uniquely taught by the Father. The Son imitates the Father, and we are to imitate the Son.

                              "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children..." (Eph. 5:1)
                              "... we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:16)

                              Blessings,
                              Lee
                              "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by Kenneth Roberson, 11-08-2020, 09:37 AM
                              5 responses
                              55 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Kenneth Roberson  
                              Started by footwasher, 11-03-2020, 01:24 AM
                              19 responses
                              93 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post footwasher  
                              Started by lee_merrill, 06-29-2020, 06:29 PM
                              241 responses
                              2,433 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post footwasher  
                              Working...
                              X