Free Will from an OT perspective

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Steven2006, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. Steven2006

    Steven2006
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    I wanted to post some thoughts on free will, looking at it from the perspective of the old testament. I am by no means an expert on this topic, just someone who tries to read his bible and learn God's truths. So I would be interested to see feedback on this. Can anyone else think of OT verses that would apply?

    "If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the lord. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him." Leviticus 1:3,4

    "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God for sweet-smelling aroma." Ephesians 5:2


    It is clear that the burnt offering shows us a picture of Christ and his sacrifice for us. It also is very clear that it was voluntary. The people had free will to choose, God does not change the way salvation works. This in my opinion is strong biblical evidence of mans free will.

    "Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters..." Isaiah 55:1

    "But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14

    " And He said to me, "it is done!" I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the foundation of the water of life freely to him who thirsts." Revelations 21:6


    In Revelations we see that is free, In the OT in Isaiah we see it was offered to everyone.

    Does anybody have any other Old testament examples of free will and salvation?
     
  2. RichardJS

    RichardJS
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    Hello brother,

    Let us look at the verses you provided:

    Leviticus 1:3,4
    This free will offering speaks of Christ and "laid down his life of himself, and freely gave himself an offering and a sacrifice, and became cheerfully and readily obedient unto death" (Gill). It does not have anything to do with free will concerning salvation.

    Ephesians 5:2
    This again speaks of Christ's death and not our salvation. Gill remarks, "Christ was both priest and sacrifice; he offered up himself a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of his people, to expiate them, and make reconciliation and satisfaction for them; and this he offered up to God, against whom they had sinned, and whose justice must be satisfied, who called him to this work, and engaged him in it; and which was well pleasing to him, he smelled a sweet savour of rest in it, it being an unblemished sacrifice, and voluntarily offered up; and was complete, full, and adequate to the demands of his justice; by it sin was put away, finished, and made an end of, and his people perfected for ever".

    Isaiah 55:1
    This invitation is highly discriminatary..."whosoever thirsts" restricts the invitation to those who thirst. These are those whom the Holy Ghost hath worked in showing them the law of God so that they see their need for a righteousness not their own and are thirsty for it. Gill comments, "The word "ho" is expressive of calling, as the Jewish commentators rightly observe; and carries in it an invitation, in which there seems to be a commiseration of the case of the persons called and it is delivered in indefinite terms, and very openly and publicly; and has in it the nature of a Gospel call or invitation, to persons described as "thirsty"; not in natural, much less in a sinful sense, but in a spiritual one; thirsting after forgiveness of sin by the blood of Christ; after justification by his righteousness; after salvation by him; after more knowledge of him, more communion with him, and more conformity to him; and after the milk of the word, and breasts of ordinances; being sensible of sin and danger, and having a spiritual appetite, and a desire after spiritual things. Such as these are persons made alive; are in distress, and sensible of it; and have desires formed in them after divine things: and these are invited and encouraged to "come to the waters"; by which are meant not Christ, though he is as "rivers of water"; and sensible sinners are directed to come to him, and that as in a starving and famishing condition, and having nothing to help themselves with; and such things are to be had of him, which like water are refreshing and reviving, as his grace, and the blessings of it; and which serve to extinguish thirst, and free from it; yet not he, nor the grace of the spirit, are intended, which is often signified by water in Scripture; but rather the ordinances of the Gospel, which are the means of conveying grace, and of refreshing and comforting distressed minds; in order to which, such may come and hear the word, come and partake of all ordinances."

    John 4:14
    No free will here I am afraid.

    Revelations 21:6
    Same as above, Gill notes that, "he that is athirst is one that is so not in a natural, much less in a sinful, but in a spiritual sense; who as he has thirsted after Christ, and salvation by him; after pardon of sin, and a justifying righteousness; after communion with Christ, and conformity to him, and a greater degree of knowledge of him; so after the glories of his kingdom, and the happiness of a future state: to such an one Christ promises to give such large measures of grace and glory, and in such abundance, as will continue to refresh and delight, and as may be compared to a fountain of living water, namely, for refreshment, abundance, and continuance; and all this he will give "freely", without money, and without price; for as pardon, and righteousness, and the whole of salvation, are all of free grace, so are all the enjoyments of the kingdom state, the riches, honours, and glories of it, and eternal life itself; also plentifully, and in great abundance"
     
  3. skypair

    skypair
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    What -- Can Gill NOT read the verse saying "of his own voluntary will?" C'mon, Richard. No "smoke," OK?

    The rest aren't necessarily the best "free will" passages but I find Gill "totally overboard" going after any and all hints of free will when it is clear that free/voluntary will is spoken of in scripture.

    skypair
     
  4. RichardJS

    RichardJS
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    Not at all brother, the point however is that it was Christ's free will not ours!

    http://www.pbministries.org/books/gill/Sermons&Tracts/sermon_27.htm

    And even if it was typical of our offering up spiritual praises to God in the name of Christ then that has nothing to do with free will in salvation but is the heartfelt desire of any true believer.
     
  5. johnp.

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    You are right that God doesn't change the way of salvation Steven. If you think free will is involved then you will have to overcome the passage below.

    GE 3:21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

    john.
     
  6. canadyjd

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    Gen. 3, and the fall.

    One of the very first lies of Satan was that mankind could use their own human will to discern "good and evil", and be like God when doing it.

    It was a lie the first time Satan told it. It remains a lie today.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  7. Jarthur001

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    I would like to see the very best "free-will" verses. You will not find one verse that says man chooses God 1st. NONE.

    You will find many that ask mankind to come to God.
    You will also find verses saying no man comes on their own.

    Now what you will find, is God choosing to work with some men, and not work with others. This is free-will, but it is Gods will, not man.
     
  8. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001
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    Anyone that quotes Gill...must be a good guy.

    Welcome to BB RichardJS.. :)
     
  9. MB

    MB
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    Hi Steven;


    This passage shows man is free in his decision of who he will worship his choice is voluntary.
    Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

    A few more;
    Eze 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
    Eze 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

    Somemore from the NT.
    Here are some I believe show a voluntary will.
    Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    To submit means to; To yield, resign or surrender to the power, will or authority of another; with the reciprocal pronoun.
    The way I like to look at this is in context so why not read this whole chapter of James.
    This next passage shows man resisting God.
    Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
    MB
     
  10. MB

    MB
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    Hi Steven;
    Here is a few more;
    Psa 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
    Psa 32:9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

    Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    Isa 1:19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
    Isa 1:20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
    MB
     
  11. RichardJS

    RichardJS
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