Does man have a voluntary will?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by MB, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. MB

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    Man has a voluntary will of his own concerning Salvation and it is provable from scripture. Lev 7:16, Lev 22:19, Lev 22:21; Exo 35:5, Exo 35:21, Exo 35:29, Exo 36:3; Psa 40:8, Psa 110:3, 2Co 8:12, 2Co 9:7
    Can anything voluntary done by man be manipulated by someone other than the man and still remain voluntary?
    If man does have a voluntary will of his own and at the same time all that man does is destined to happen regardless of this voluntary will. Then none of those verses above can be true.

    I have considered the possibility that every action of men is dictated by God's foreknowledge. I have considered that God could have planned all that we do. It's just that anything "voluntary" contradicts these ideas.
    MB
     
  2. russell55

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    People do what they do voluntarily.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "manipulated", but no one has an autonomous will, free from outside influence. We are bound by circumstances, regulations, realities, to give a few examples. Yet we do what we do voluntarily, for the most part.

    Voluntary just means that our choices are without external compulsion, that we are not forced to do what we do. Unless someone is dragged kicking and screaming, or has a loaded gun pointed to their head, or there is some other such scenario of force, their choices are voluntary. That doesn't mean they aren't influenced, just that they aren't forced--that the person could have done something else if they so desired.

    Ahh...but it isn't destined to happen regardless of this voluntary will. One of the means by which a destined event will come about it the voluntary will of the person.

    I wouldn't say every action is dictated by God's foreknowledge, as if God's foreknowledge of the action is the force behind it. The force behind the action is our own will, desires, motives, etc. I would say that God's foreknowledge of those actions makes them certain.

    You've said the two ideas contradict, but you haven't shown how. Could you please put things in a logical form to show the contradiction? Show where the two ideas are logically incompatible.
     
    #2 russell55, Jan 7, 2007
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  3. MB

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    Hi Russel;
    I should have done that to start with thanks for pointing it out.
    If voluntary is as described by defintion, then it is a contradiction to the theory that God's foreknowledge dictates what man will do or does.
    The scriptures I provided in the lead post shows that man indeed does have a voluntary will concerning his own Salvation.
    MB
     
  4. Jarthur001

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    Hello MB,

    I was about to say, I did not have a problem with man having a voluntary will. But if the defintion is limited to what you posted above, I would say no. What you have said is in contrast to Gods will. There is only one determining factor in the end. It must be God or Man. God is in control of all things and determines all things. This does not remove mans will, it limits it. The non-believer is held as slave in his sin nature. God must give him repentance before he can know the truth of salvation.

    2 Timothy 2

    Yet...man is not a robot. Man will be held responsible for what he does. Free will is a invention of the human mind. The Bible never speaks of mans ability but thoughout its pages it speaks of mans inability. It is God that leads us in life.

    I'm sure you know what is called "The Lords Prayer"..why pray that God would not lead us into temptation? Look at Matthew 4:1 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil." Yet this still is not God making us sin. It still upholds James when He says God tempts no man. The temptation is always within us. God only leads us down paths of lifes. It is our own sin nature that tempts us.

    Therefore it is clear to see that God places the choices before us each day, yet it is us that is held responsible to the choices.

    Romans 14:12
    So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

    Man can only choose what is set before him. God leads. :)


    In Christ...James
     
  5. Brother Bob

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    Then why so much evil in the world if all things are led of God? I really don't know how you split hairs like that.
     
  6. russell55

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    There are parts of the definition you've given that I wouldn't think really describe the state of humankind's choices. Are all our choices made without being influenced by another? If someone else influences us, does that mean our choice isn't voluntary? If we are influenced by another to be convicted of our sin, for instance, does that mean our repentence isn't voluntary? If someone promises us something if we choose a certain way, and influences our choice by that promise, does that mean our choice isn't voluntary.

    Definition #2 works well enough, though, and I like the definition from my own dictionary better:

    No one, that I know of, says God's foreknowledge dictates what man will do, at least in the way that I think you are using the word dictate. God's foreknowledge alone does not compel anyone to act one way or another. God's foreknowledge makes it certain that the person will act in the way God knows (No one ever acts in a way contrary to what God knows they will), but it does not make it necessary that he do so. He could act differently if he so chose, but he won't act differently, because what God knows will happen does indeed happen.

    No one disagrees with this. Unfortunately, for fallen mankind in his natural state, the invariable choice of voluntary will is voluntary rejection.

    BTW, reading between the lines, I'm thinking that you are thinking that in order for a choice to be voluntary, it must be true that up until the moment the choice is actually made, there must be a real possibility that either of the choices will actually be chosen. I don't know of any definition of voluntary (or even of free choice) that says this is so.

    And of course, if God really does know what we will do before we do it, this sort of voluntary (or free choice) is impossible.
     
    #6 russell55, Jan 7, 2007
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  7. JonC

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    I think that man has free will. I believe that this is an aspect of the nature of man where we were created in the image of God.

    His foreknowledge and plan doesn’t preclude our free will. God has the knowledge of the choices we will choose, but allows us to make those choices.

    I believe that man is unable to comprehend the mind of God, so we will probably never realize the extent of our free will or the fullness of God's plan and design while on this earth. We know God and His plan through what He reveals to us.
     
  8. MB

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    Hi James;
    Not if it's God's will to begin with that man have a voluntary will.
    I believe the Gentiles have been granted repentance Luke was convinced as well;
    Act 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
    According to context at first the gospel was only preached to the Jews but;
    Act 11:20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
    Act 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

    Maybe you could show me a few verses that speak about mans disability?
    It is our own sin nature and Satan that tempts us.
    Of corse he places the choices there and it wouldn't be merciful to place them there and not enables us to make them. As in act 11:18
    I can only agree that God leads saved men, God doesn't lead men in to sin that would be tempting man.
    The choices of Salvation are placed before men that they might make the right choices.
    MB
     
  9. MB

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    Hi Russel;
    This doesn't make sense to me. It seems to be a, can but can't without His knowing situation. If a situation like that could exist. The whole reason God knows is because He isn't ruled by time as we are. I won't even try to pretend I really understand this because, I believe it is really beyond human reasoning. If God knows a thing according to the way I understand things to be. Then what he knows of me is really a result of knowing what I'm going to be doing but, then if I never do them then He doesn't know it. Therefore it isn't up to His foreknowledge of what I'm going to do but, what I do next. Not to mention we don't have foreknowledge, of what we or anyone will do next. So His knowing, has no effect in any way because, we who are ruled by time haven't done what He knows what we will do. The argument over His foreknowledge seems pointless.
    Of course the negative could also to be to choose or not to choose but negative is always negative and has the same results.
    With out the possibility of choice then all things are not possible with God.
    In other words If God's foreknowledge has anything to do with the actions of men then possibilities are out the window, there is no such thing as possibility. Possibility as I understand it is a another resolve
    MB.
     
  10. MB

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    Good points JonC thankyou for your support
    MB
     
  11. Jarthur001

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    Hello MB,

    Indeed Luke did. Now is this talking about each and every Gentile, or is this saying that saving grace is now open to the Gentiles? Would not 2 Timothy 2 still apply for this is speaking of each person?? I think so.


    Sure..

    John 8 says the unregeneration cannot hear as in understand the gospel..
    The unregeneration cannot receive the Holy Spirit as a act of the will. The Holy Spirit is given..as stated in John 14
    Romans 8 says..the unregeneration cannot please God. Wait read it again. His mind is hostile toward God, and will not submit to Gods Law. It even say "indeed he cannot!!!"
    1 Cor 2 says..the unregeneration cannot understand the Spirit of God.
    I think the unregeneration man has an inability, and must be made alive 1st. :)

    Indeed. I agree 100%

    You see MB, I think God is in control of all men. I think God is in control of ALL things. If He were not, He would not be God. Case in point...Pharaoh. :)

    Now God did not MAKE Pharaoh sin, but it is easy to see that God knew Pharaoh would sin, and also that God used Pharaoh in His sinning to bring glory to Him. Would you not agree? At this point, you may want to read the 4th chapter of Daniel.


    In Christ...James
     
    #11 Jarthur001, Jan 7, 2007
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  12. MB

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    It does say that repentance has been granted to the Gentiles. Why would I question which Gentiles since everyone who isn't a Jew is a Gentile and the word used is plural. Why would the Gentiles present at the time all be relieved by know this if only some were granted repentance
    In the context of the chapter Christ is speaking to a certain people they didn't hear because they wouldn't listen.
    It doesn't say all of the non- regenerated cannot hear. Verse 43 is a question and doesn't suggest they couldn't hear which is why Christ asked why they didn't hear. Why would Christ ask such a thing if He knew they were disabled and couldn't hear. That wouldn't make any sense.
    Man doesn't just up and will himself saved. The will does play a part in man's Salvation but his will doesn't save him. Even though man is not saved against his will. We still have to submit to the righteousness of Christ. Man is not saved by anything that he does not even mans own faith. If man could be saved because of anything he does then he would be saved by his own righteousness. The problem with this is that man's righteousness is filthy and unworthy of Salvation and doesn't have any saving power.
    Some Jews think they are saved by what they do. Paul said this to them.
    Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
    Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
    Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
    We like them have to submit to the righteousness of Christ. I don't deny it. We do have to be submissive to Christ or we aren't saved. This doesn't mean that Salvation is with out condition. I agree man on his own cannot be saved. He is ignorant of the Lord which is why he needs a preacher. Man can hear and the bible says so.
    Rom 10:18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

    We have to put on the righteousness of Christ we do that through submission to His righteousness.
    Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

    You will notice we aren't justified by our works but by the faith of Christ. Even though we believe in Christ. Our belief only means we might be justified by His faith.

    How do we put on the righteousness of Christ? Not by arrogantly taking authority in our own hands and trying to be saved by what we do, but by submitting to His authority and righteousness humbly
    Submit to the laws of God. Truly man even after Salvation cannot submit to the laws of God with out the help of Christ. This again shows that man has to be dependent on God for every thing.
    The beginning of Salvation starts with conviction. Conviction is being convinced. We only disagree over the matter of when the regeneration takes place. It takes place after man is fully convinced if man submits to the righteousness of Christ.
    Man is unable to save Him self. Man is unable to convince himself. God is able to convince man. God is able to convict man. God is able to save man with out his permission, but He doesn't. God wants the man's submission.
    Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
    God is able
    Have you forgotten that all things are possible with God?
     
  13. Jarthur001

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    Hello MB,

    Just a quick one tonight, but I want to reply later to a few other things from your last post. This maybe in the morning or later this week. But I could not let this one go...it was to easy. :)

    You said...
    Indeed. We call it regeneration. :)

    Once man is enabled by God, he can understand. Salvation is by God.


    In Christ...James
     
    #13 Jarthur001, Jan 8, 2007
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  14. MB

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    Rengeneration is possible it's when we are changed into a sheep. Although if regeneration is what makes us understand and enables us to do so. How would you explain all those who do understand and still are not saved?
    MB
     
  15. reformedbeliever

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    They may read the bible and understand the mechanics of it... but never understand in a spiritual way. The Holy Spirit does not reveal their sin, and the Holiness of God, does not reveal what Jesus did for us.

    There is a difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.
     
  16. Jarthur001

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    Indeed. :)

    Does not the Devil believe there is a God? This is more then some men believe. Knowing about God does not mean you understand your very own need for God. In fact, at times, man will understand the gospel very well and will say "later". Their own sin nature will tell them they can be saved LATER, but right now they want to sin a little more. This is the point. To hear the gospel as worded in the Bible, means to understand their need for the gospel. The sin nature does not want to be saved from sin. From Hell? Yes!! But people are slaves to sin and do not want to give it up at that moment. They see no need to be saved.
     
  17. Allan

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    I follow you but you also just gave a contradiction there to. Unless of course I read you wrong.
    But what you are neglecting is that man can not come to God when he wants to it MUST be when God is dealing with him. I agree all the intellectual ascenting in the world will not save you (as you well state) they don't want to go to Hell, but leave my sin alone becuase they are in bondage to it. God alone has the power to reveal this and release a person from that bondage, this is not disputed either. However, God must be convicting that person to be able to see the actual NEED for salvation since it something spiritually discerned. But (as I hold) as person can resist this by not accepting this truth.
     
    #17 Allan, Jan 11, 2007
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  18. reformedbeliever

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    Absolutely Allan. We resist. I resisted most of my life. But when the Holy Spirit did HIs effectual work, in HIs time, (just as the wind blows so it is with the Holy Spirit) He broke my heart. All men resist the truth... until the Holy Spirit changes their nature.
     
  19. Allan

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    I agree with everything up to here.
    Here it could be worded better.
    All men must accept or reject the truth the Holy Spirit reveals and that once accepted then will you have a changed nature that is the evidence of your salvation.

    If your nature is changed before salvation then there is no need to repent or believe for you are already a new Creation IN Christ. This is the same as the scripture which discribes salvation as being IN Christ.
    Repentence and belief and meaningless since you are already in Christ and justified, sanctified, and glorified. You would not need to repent because you are righteous before God. You do not have to believe becauses it is already a done deal and you should know it because you are have now gone from darkness into light, from the world into Christ. So you do not need to believe, just accept the fact. You are saved because God gave you a new nature, but unfortunately this is a complete contradiction to the scriptures.
     
    #19 Allan, Jan 12, 2007
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  20. reformedbeliever

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    Oh yeah..... there is a need to repent, because the bible says so. But the fact is that we will repent... we could not help but repent because of the new nature given us.

    Allan, when they are born again they are a new creation. It is not that they "have" to believe, but that they *will* believe. I agree that we have to believe, but when we are born again, we will believe. Again, I think we are born again of God, not because of our will, but God's will..... then we exercise our new will, which believes.
     

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