Bondage of the Will?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    Here is the end of the free will-election debate:

    "Election" says that man has no free will/choice on account of his "bondage to sin."

    The Bible says man does have a free will and that his bondage is NOT primarily to sin but to "vanity" (Rom 8:20) -- the fact that EVERYTHING, including life, is subject to death. Paul even says in Heb 2:15 that they are "through fear of death were all their lifetiime subject to bondage."

    Now in studying Jonathon Edwards, Sproul finds that there must be a "cause" for every "effect" -- as with the decision to believe on Christ. Problematic for "election" is that the prime cause to salvation is conviction of VANITY -- "God subjected us to vanity in hope!" But with vanity is the knowledge of temporary outcomes and death. And the "hope" which is ALMOST irresistible is avoiding death!

    The knowledge of such an "Escape" is the genesis of salvation. Regeneration is not necessary thereto. "Scales fall from our eyes" (which is for ISRAEL - and Paul in anticipation of that day) AFTER we have obeyed in faith same as it was with Paul!

    While bondage to sin is regular in our decisions, it is not continuous. EVERYONE can know the enduring value of good. At some point EVERYONE gets to see the "way out."

    "Election" a wonderfully challenging premise but it all boils down to an erroneous belief in "fate." We can do nothing! Don't bother with the "sinner's prayer" or "walking the aisle" or any such expression of conversion -- it's not up to you and don't be so PROUD as to suggest you can change God's mind

    skypair
     
    #1 skypair, Jan 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2008
  2. TomMann

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    All the great theological minds thru the centuries, the volumes writed and expoused..... and you figgured it out in a few shot paragraphs. Cavinist..... run for the hills........





    Not....
     
  3. TC

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    Nice way to start out with an untruth. Election says that man is free to choose, but will always choose according to one's nature. For example, a dog can choose to do anything that dogs do. But, a dog cannot choose to fly because flying is not in a dogs nature.
     
  4. skypair

    skypair
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    Where have you guys been during the debates leading up to this post?????

    TM --- Apparently, the Calvinists DID run for the hills. Not, it seems, on account of this post but I haven't seen any around since I posited that Calvinists here had already testified that faith comes before regeneration when they were baptized following their conversions in the Baptist church. Baptists are the only ones supposed to interact in this area. I suppose now they are all looking for new churches or new boards. (I needn't tell you that baptism pictures belief unto spiritual death with Christ and the resurrection to new spiritual life by the regenerating Spirit, do I -- faith precedes regeneration?).

    But just in case, this issue of "prime motive," Edwards mentions, for choosing good or evil is apparently stronger than mere "sin nature" ("He hath put eternity in their heart." Ecc 3:11). Apparently death and eternity is recurringly a concern thoughout much of man's life and , when it is, "trumps" the SOD ("sin of the day") in importance.. And, of course, "foxhole conversions" are just one manifestation thereunto.

    TC -- there's a debate raging even over that in Willing to Believe[/b] by RC Sproul the point being that if one cannot choose godly good, then how can it be called "free will?"

    skypair
     
  5. MB

    MB
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    Yet all things are possible with God. He can even make a dog fly even though it's against the dogs nature. Can God change the desire of the natural man with out regeneration? Simple answer!!!! God can do anything God desires to do. God can change the desire of the natural man by convincing him and convicting him of the truth through His Word. Not only that He does. Does God need to force man to Love Him. Answer; God doesn't need anything, He's God
    MB
     
  6. AAA

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    This is one subject that I am wanting to be put down to rest in my mind...I seem to be stuck between the two (calvinism and arminism)...I believe we have free will, but only as far as our nature dictates.
     
  7. skypair

    skypair
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    AAA,

    Get the book! We can't possibly discover every "twist and turn" of the theology online but this and his book on philosophy are perhaps his best offerings. No, in the end I don't agree with him, but he seems pretty fair. And along the way, we'll discover the weaknesses of even our own rationales.

    skypair
     
  8. MB

    MB
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    It isn't what our nature dictates that determines whether or not a man will be willing or not. God can and does convince and convict the wicked. The only choice a man has is to rebel or reject the gift. If the man doesn't rebel or reject it there is only one thing left. He accepts it. It isn't a choice to accept it because if you don't reject it you will accept it because there is no in between the two. It is the holy Spirit that convinces and convicts us through the Word of God. God doesn't have to regenerate us inorder to convince us and convict us He's god He can do what ever He wills. His will is that everyone come to the knowledge of Him and be saved,
    1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    But God allows the man to choose to rebel or reject Him. and this is why all men aren't saved.
    Man must be willing to Love God. If God were to force Love from man it wouldn't be genuine Love.
    MB
     
  9. JustChristian

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    As believers we are told that we are to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling." All the great theologians' ideas are interesting to me but I believe in the Priesthood of the Believer not the Priesthood of Calvin. Ultimately, it's up to me.
     
  10. Outsider

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    Hi Baptist Believer,
    I agree with you when you say:
    But I think the real question is, "What about non-believers?"
    Do they have the capabilities to "Work out their salvation?"

    Obviously we know that salvation is of the Lord, not our works. We are saved by grace and nothing else.
    I do not consider myself a "Calvinist", but neither am I an "Arminian".
    Most people who swing one side or the other are afraid or disgusted by the other view. After all, one side tells the other that they are completely wrong and nobody wants to be wrong :BangHead:

    However, I do not find where man has "Free Will". He will always choose what is in his heart. An evil heart will always choose evil. He does have permission to chose righteousness, but not the ability.
    Consider this:
    Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    If God has given them over to a reprobate mind, can they do anything else?

    I do find that God is full of love and mercy to all His creation and provided a way for all.
    John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

    In order for man's will to be "Free", he would have to be able to choose anyway at anytime. What I find in scripture is that man will always choose to "Not seek after God (Rom 3:11)" unless he is drawn by the Holy Spirit. I do believe that when the Holy Spirit speaks to them, they, at that point, have the ability to choose to follow Christ. But on their own, they simply do not have that desire or ability.

    The Bible teaches that God is the Author and Finisher of our faith. It always starts with God and always ends with God.

    Now, some people believe that the drawing power of the Holy Spirit is always present. I happen to believe otherwise. I find that God uses His children to witness to the lost, either by preaching, daily walk, missions, etc...
    If you believe that the drawing power is constant, then I would say man has ultimate free will. If not, then he doesn't. What I have found in scripture leads me to say that the Holy Spirit visits but is not constant with a non-believer.

    Either way, I would love some feedback. I enjoy discussing the Word of God.
     
  11. Rippon

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    You are spouting nonsense -- no sense . The "Priesthood of Calvin" ?! Come on !

    You said : "Ultimately , it's up to me ." Can the Lord squeeze into the picture ?! I thought that He was the Ultimate . Isn't He the One to which everyone and everything is subject to ?

    "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things . To Him be the glory forever ." ( Romans 11:36 HCSB ) Colossians 1:15-20 is also helpful here .
     
  12. Allan

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    Just a quick point:
    You took that verse you quoted completely out of sequence Outsider. Look at it again and consider it. 1) THEY did not like to RETAIN God in their knowledge (2) God gave them over to a reprobate mind. Man had to first choose to reject the truth BEFORE God gave them over.

    Much of what you wrote is why I personally do not use the term 'free-will' because it conjures up the idea that I can do whatever I want whenever I want and God can do nothing to stop me. In fact I don't even need His grace to save me cause it is in me to do it myself. (Peleganism) They state "it (grace) is benificial but not necessary".

    However, I state that my view is more the 'Responsibilty of man'. IOW - We are responsible for the choices God gives us to choose from. In this, it is ONLY by Gods grace that one might be saved.

    The verse you quoted above is seen clearly as the Responsiblity of man or the more loosely generic term - free-will.

    SO I agree with you that man only has the ability at the moment God reveals truth in which man must accept or reject, since without God first intervening man would continue without pause or knowledge of these spiritual truths.
     
  13. Allan

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    The drawing of the Holy Spirit is at His pleasure in His timing. It can even stop as stated and shown in your verse quoted from Rom 1 that God gave them over once they not only had the knowledge but understood it and still rejected it, since they did not like to retain God in their knowledge.

    The Holy Spirit is come into the world to convict the world of sin, His (Christ's) Righteousness, and The Judgment to come.
     
  14. skypair

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    "For ye have not received the spirit of BONDAGE again unto fear [of death]: but ye have received the Spirit of adoption..." Rom 8:15

    "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the BONDAGE of corruption [death] into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

    Clearly, though bound to sin, every man knows he is bound to death from which he longs to escape. You cannot say that there is only one direction, sin, in his motives.

    skypair
     
  15. Outsider

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    Hi Allan,

    Thanks for the response. I was not trying to imply that man did not reject Christ before God gave them over to a reprobate mind. The point I was making, is that if God does that to a person, then at that point, they will always willingly reject the gospel. This means that man's will is not truly a "Free Will", meaning they are not always free to choose to accept the gospel at anytime.

    And I agree as you do, God draws men and women in His time and in His way. This would also mean that before God draws people, they again, will always reject the gospel. Again meaning that man's will is far from being a "Free Will".
     

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