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Free will?

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  • Free will?

    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    The Law itself assumes people have the ability to disobey it. If you have no free will then any disobedience would just be God willing you to disobey.
    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). Yes, God wills people to disobey sometimes.

    We would be merely puppets and salvation a play. It wouldn't mean anything.
    Salvation is ultimately by God's decision, we may note that the analogies of salvation (new birth, new creation, etc.) are all passive on our part.

    To me, that would make God evil.
    God uses secondary causes to bring about sin, though:

    "Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, 'Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.' " (2 Sam. 24:1)

    "Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel." (1 Ch 21:1)

    So God is not the author of sin, but sin is indeed in God's plan, as in the cross.

    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
    Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
    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). Yes, God wills people to disobey sometimes.


    Salvation is ultimately by God's decision, we may note that the analogies of salvation (new birth, new creation, etc.) are all passive on our part.


    God uses secondary causes to bring about sin, though:

    "Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, 'Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.' " (2 Sam. 24:1)

    "Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel." (1 Ch 21:1)

    So God is not the author of sin, but sin is indeed in God's plan, as in the cross.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    But if there is no free will, then God made Satan do it too. God is just a great big puppetmaster putting on a play for his own amusement and we are all just puppets.

    The bible talks about "choosing" a lot. Yet without free will, we can't choose.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
      But if there is no free will, then God made Satan do it too. God is just a great big puppetmaster putting on a play for his own amusement and we are all just puppets.
      I believe we will eventually have free will, within the will of God.

      The bible talks about "choosing" a lot. Yet without free will, we can't choose.
      Right, we can't choose, without God:

      "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.' " (Jn 8:34)

      "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Ro 7:14–15)

      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
        I believe we will eventually have free will, within the will of God.


        Right, we can't choose, without God:

        "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.' " (Jn 8:34)

        "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Ro 7:14–15)

        Blessings,
        Lee
        You are not making sense. If we have no free will then we can't choose anything. We are just puppets. Robots. Any sin we commit is God's doing through us. So he makes us sin, then punishes us for it. That is evil.

        Comment


        • #5
          Even a slave can choose to be set free if the choice is given. They may not choose freedom and would rather stay with their master, but the choice is theirs none the less.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sparko View Post
            You are not making sense. If we have no free will then we can't choose anything. We are just puppets. Robots.
            Are you saying the one who sins is not a slave to sin? And that believers are not slaves to God?

            Any sin we commit is God's doing through us.
            No, God uses secondary causes, but sin is indeed in his plan, as in the cross.

            So he makes us sin, then punishes us for it. That is evil.
            Source: leenotes

            RO 9:19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?"

            First we should notice what Paul doesn't say, he doesn't say that men freely choose to sin, and thus God is just in condemning them. This is a perfect opportunity to give this reply, and solve the knot. Instead, Paul says "God has a right to do what he wants with us":

            RO 9:21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

            Now is God wrong to do this? The motive is what we look at, to determine guilt or innocence. And if God's motive is always good, then he is not guilty in carrying out his plans for a good purpose, and a good result.

            Source

            © Copyright Original Source



            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by alaskazimm View Post
              Even a slave can choose to be set free if the choice is given. They may not choose freedom and would rather stay with their master, but the choice is theirs none the less.
              "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24)

              Not "I will!", but rather...

              "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom. 7:25)

              "My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
              For He will pluck my feet out of the net." (Ps 25:15)

              If we could deliver ourselves from sin, from slavery to sin, then Christ died needlessly (Gal. 2:21).

              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24)

                Not "I will!", but rather...

                "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Rom. 7:25)

                "My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
                For He will pluck my feet out of the net." (Ps 25:15)

                If we could deliver ourselves from sin, from slavery to sin, then Christ died needlessly (Gal. 2:21).

                Blessings,
                Lee
                Quite right - we can not free ourselves from slavery to sin. But that doesn't mean that we can't want to be freed or accept the offer of freedom that has been purchased for us. Of course then we become slaves to Christ - but does that in any way indicate that we can't want to sin or never sin?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by alaskazimm View Post
                  ... then we become slaves to Christ - but does that in any way indicate that we can't want to sin or never sin?
                  Certainly sanctification is a process, as is submission to God! But we either serve God or the devil, as Bob Dylan put it, "You gotta serve somebody."

                  "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. Be still, and wait for light and strength." (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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
                    Are you saying the one who sins is not a slave to sin? And that believers are not slaves to God?
                    In a general sense. Everyone sins and so we are "slaves" to sin because of our nature. But you can choose NOT to sin on any particular sin, right? You can choose NOT to steal that candybar, or NOT to tell a lie, etc.

                    And we are voluntary "slaves" to Christ. You can choose to disobey if you want.

                    No, God uses secondary causes, but sin is indeed in his plan, as in the cross.
                    So if you tell a lie, you are saying it is God's will that you told the lie? That you had no choice?



                    Source: leenotes

                    RO 9:19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?"

                    First we should notice what Paul doesn't say, he doesn't say that men freely choose to sin, and thus God is just in condemning them. This is a perfect opportunity to give this reply, and solve the knot. Instead, Paul says "God has a right to do what he wants with us":

                    RO 9:21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

                    Now is God wrong to do this? The motive is what we look at, to determine guilt or innocence. And if God's motive is always good, then he is not guilty in carrying out his plans for a good purpose, and a good result.

                    Source

                    © Copyright Original Source



                    Blessings,
                    Lee
                    Paul is talking about the Jews as a people and the Gentiles. Not your individual choices.


                    If you have no choice and God just created you to sin, or a piece of pottery, then you are nothing more than an object, a toy, a puppet. All of our love for God is just as much a sham as anything else. We only sin because God wills it and we only love him because he wills it. It means nothing. Hypercalvinism is pure evil, Lee.

                    If I built two robots and programmed one to love me and the other one to hate me, and then rewarded one and punished the other, how is that fair? Neither robot had free will or chose to do anything other than what I programmed them to do. Their love or hate is meaningless. It's just a sham. a game. They are not real. They don't matter.
                    Last edited by Sparko; 07-06-2020, 04:45 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      In a general sense. Everyone sins and so we are "slaves" to sin because of our nature. But you can choose NOT to sin on any particular sin, right? You can choose NOT to steal that candybar, or NOT to tell a lie, etc.
                      Well, believers are not slaves to sin, and being a slave to sin means to do what the sinful nature wants, so if we choose not to sin, while being slaves to sin, it will be for a bad reason, the wicked can only do evil, even in the best of acts:

                      "The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—
                      how much more so when brought with evil intent!" (Pr. 21:27)

                      And we are voluntary "slaves" to Christ. You can choose to disobey if you want.
                      Well, I believe Christians have a choice whom they will serve, there is freedom to that extent, we may choose who is to lead us.

                      So if you tell a lie, you are saying it is God's will that you told the lie? That you had no choice?
                      We can choose whom we will serve, as believers, yet even a believer's stumbles may be part of God's plan:

                      "Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time." (Dan. 11:35)

                      Paul is talking about the Jews as a people and the Gentiles. Not your individual choices.
                      One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" (Rom. 9:19)

                      This objection is the very one you are raising! Why does God blame us for sinning if these sins are in God's plan, and in his will? This is about individuals sinning, about individual choices. And Paul does not say we freely choose, and are condemned for that reason.

                      If you have no choice and God just created you to sin, or a piece of pottery, then you are nothing more than an object, a toy, a puppet.
                      So why does God give us the analogy of him being the potter, and us being the clay?

                      All of our love for God is just as much a sham as anything else. We only sin because God wills it and we only love him because he wills it.
                      "We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

                      We can't love God freely from the outset, our love is a response to his love, and then that love is meaningful, because it is meant.

                      If I built two robots and programmed one to love me and the other one to hate me, and then rewarded one and punished the other, how is that fair? Neither robot had free will or chose to do anything other than what I programmed them to do. Their love or hate is meaningless. It's just a sham. a game. They are not real. They don't matter.
                      I believe there may be free will down the line, within the will of God.

                      "To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne." (Rev. 3:21)

                      But for the unbeliever, there is no freedom, and for the believer, we only right now get to choose whom we will serve.

                      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
                        Well, believers are not slaves to sin, and being a slave to sin means to do what the sinful nature wants, so if we choose not to sin, while being slaves to sin, it will be for a bad reason, the wicked can only do evil, even in the best of acts:

                        "The sacrifice of the wicked is detestable—
                        how much more so when brought with evil intent!" (Pr. 21:27)
                        Paul: Rom 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

                        21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.



                        Well, I believe Christians have a choice whom they will serve, there is freedom to that extent, we may choose who is to lead us.


                        We can choose whom we will serve, as believers, yet even a believer's stumbles may be part of God's plan:

                        "Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time." (Dan. 11:35)
                        OK.


                        One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" (Rom. 9:19)

                        This objection is the very one you are raising! Why does God blame us for sinning if these sins are in God's plan, and in his will? This is about individuals sinning, about individual choices. And Paul does not say we freely choose, and are condemned for that reason.
                        And yet when you read his answer, he is talking about Jews and Gentiles as a group isn't he?

                        ---
                        22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea:

                        “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
                        and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”[i]

                        26 and,

                        “In the very place where it was said to them,
                        ‘You are not my people,’
                        there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”[j]

                        27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel:

                        “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea,
                        only the remnant will be saved.
                        28
                        For the Lord will carry out
                        his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”[k]

                        29 It is just as Isaiah said previously:

                        “Unless the Lord Almighty
                        had left us descendants,
                        we would have become like Sodom,
                        we would have been like Gomorrah.”[l]

                        He is talking about how the Jews as a people are being left out and the Gentiles are being let in.



                        "We love because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

                        We can't love God freely from the outset, our love is a response to his love, and then that love is meaningful, because it is meant.
                        Well God loves us all, all of the time, so there is never a time when God doesn't love us so that condition is meaningless. There is no time that we can't love God back. But it is still a choice.


                        I believe there may be free will down the line, within the will of God.

                        "To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne." (Rev. 3:21)

                        But for the unbeliever, there is no freedom, and for the believer, we only right now get to choose whom we will serve.

                        Blessings,
                        Lee
                        Again, even unbelievers are loved by God, so claiming they can't love God until he loves them is meaningless. He does love them. Already. So they have the same choice as we did: Choose Christ or Deny Christ.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                          Paul: Rom 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

                          21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
                          Though I believe this refers to a believer battling sin in his or her life, unbelievers don't delight in God's law.

                          And yet when you read his answer, he is talking about Jews and Gentiles as a group isn't he?
                          ...

                          He is talking about how the Jews as a people are being left out and the Gentiles are being let in.
                          No, he is talking about "us, whom he called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles" (v. 24) being chosen as objects of his mercy, while others are chosen as objects of wrath.

                          Well God loves us all, all of the time, so there is never a time when God doesn't love us so that condition is meaningless. There is no time that we can't love God back. But it is still a choice.
                          But not everyone responds to God's love:

                          "Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned." (Heb. 6:7-8)

                          But the point remains that our love has a cause, in the love of God, and thus is not (at least initially) a free choice on our part.

                          "I love, because He hears
                          My voice and my supplications." (Ps. 116:1)

                          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
                            My meat is to do the will of him that sent me
                            John 4:34

                            The real secret of an unsatisfied life lies too often in an unsurrendered will.

                            J. Hudson Taylor


                            Samuel G. Hardman and Dwight Lyman Moody, Thoughts for the Quiet Hour
                            "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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                              But if there is no free will, then God made Satan do it too. God is just a great big puppetmaster putting on a play for his own amusement and we are all just puppets.

                              The bible talks about "choosing" a lot. Yet without free will, we can't choose.
                              STM there is an ambiguity. Is freedom to make a decision like the situation of a man who comes to a path that divides into 2 or more different paths, so that, standing at the place where they divide, he has to choose to go down one or another ?

                              Or, is the man already walking down one of those paths, so that he lacks freedom to choose which to go down, but can decide whether he will go further or not ?

                              In the second illustration, his route has been determined, so he is travelling a path he cannot exchange for another; but he still has a measure of freedom. In the first, the scope of his freedom is much greater.

                              Presumably God’s Freedom is comparable to not needing to travel any paths at all.

                              If so, maybe human freedom is real, but limited by the need to exist within limits. Human freedom can be genuine, even if it lacks the scope of God’s Freedom.

                              A child’s attempt at drawing a circle may not be perfectly circular, as a circle drawn by a skilled draughtsman would be. The child’s circle may be crinkly, more like the outline of a potato than a circle. But it bears enough of a likeness to a perfect circle, to be called a circle. It has the name, not because it is the circle that it imperfectly resembles, but because it is intended to be like the circle it resembles. It is intended to be a circle - not a teddy bear or a train or a piece of Lego, or even a potato. So, wonky as the child’s intended circle may be, it is not so unrecognisably wonky as to be unrecognisable as a circle. The likeness to the perfect circle may be slight, but is not totally non-existent.

                              I think human freedom resembles God’s Infinite Freedom in a way that is a bit like that. Human freedom may be bent out of shape, misunderstood, misdirected, often misused, but there can still be some freedom beneath all the encrusted muck and grime. There are many kinds and degrees of freedom, in different creatures including man - I’m concerned with moral freedom in man.

                              Without some measure of moral freedom in man, it makes no sense to accuse man of sin, or to judge him for it. Man can be worthy of blame, only if it is within his power (however limited) to act righteously (slight as the righteousness may be). That man is subject to the Righteous Judgement of God, shows that it is within the power of man - aided by the grace of God, whether recognised or not - freely to do what is righteous in God’s eyes. If man were constitutionally incapable of acting with some measure of moral freedom, he would be a fossil or a puppet. In neither case would he have moral freedom to do other than he had done.

                              The grace of God does not take away, swamp or limit human freedom, but enhances it. As the saying goes, “Grace perfects nature” - it does not destroy it. It is not grace that harms nature, but sin, and the alienation from God, and the guilt before God, that result. Grace is exceedingly good for human nature.

                              STM human freedom is like God’s Freedom, not in its scope, but in some of the things it can do, and in some of its moral character. A candle is very very feeble in brightness compared to the Sun; but the brightness of the candle, though a mere nothing in comparison with that of the Sun, is not nothing - faint as it is in comparison, the brightness of the candle is real, not non-existent; and, such as it is, it is brightness, not darkness. It is genuinely useful for seeing things by; its light is not a delusion. Even a very little brightness is bright in some degree - it may be faint, but it is not darkness.
                              Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 09-01-2020, 01:22 AM.

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