Power to choose

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    Often folks will consider that they have "freedom" to make decisions, and in a very limited way, all people enjoy such freedom.

    However, the Scriptures indicate there are two "fathers." Jesus called those who are against Him children whose father was the devil, and of course the believers have the heavenly Father.

    It must conclude that it is the residence the person resides that dictates what realm of influence which oblige choices consistent to and within that realm. Who reigns makes the rules and one may choose what the law maker offers. If one resides with death they cannot choose from what resides with life.

    Jesus acknowledged this when saying that even an earthly father knows how to give good gifts to the son. So, the heathen do have the ability to choose what is the best from among the available gifts of that realm. Earthly fathers can perhaps find a good earthly gift for their children. But, earthly fathers cannot gift that which is heavenly only that which may seem at the time is heavenly, but looses the glamour and glitter in decay.

    Often the matter of choice is attempted to be strung into the area of salvation and ability outside of any influence by God to "choose" to serve or not serve God.

    Joshua's statement to Israel is trumpeted as an example.

    However, just as Christ stated (By their fruits...) and Paul (they went out from us because...) the "decision" proclaimed by Israel what not what they actually made in the heart. Had it been, then long after Joshua died they would have continued in faith and never been given over to other nations in punishment.

    As it stood, as long as Joshua (the ONLY person remaining who was eyewitness at the times of Egyptian bondage through the conquest of the land) lived in the land, the people resolved to live as he did. But, as soon as Joshua was no longer around as example and mentor, the people "did what was right in their own eyes."

    They had no authority but to make a selection from the realm of the world in which they resided.

    There is no freedom to choose eternity when one has no authority to make that choice.

    It is God who has the authority to choose man. Not the other way around. Only He has such power, and only He has such ability. Human kind have neither.

    Only God can grant "the power to become the sons of God." (John 1)
     
  2. Van

    Van
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    God beseeches the lost to be reconciled to God. He would not do that if they could not hear or respond affirmatively. God says the work He requires of us is to believe in Jesus. God sets before us the choice of life or death and begs us to choose life.
    [snipped]
     
    #2 Van, Aug 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2015
  3. Dr. Bob

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    "Free will" (so-called) is not a "Calvinism" discussion. It is a great topic and will stay right here in "Theology".

    Deal with it or ignore it. Your free will to do so. BUT DON'T KEEP WHINING about any topic dealing with salvation and saying it should be quarantined. This is important truth!
     
  4. Van

    Van
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    I have now been informed that the use of certain words in other than the C/A forum will result in infractions. The scope of this ruling is unclear, i.e. mentioning Reformed or TULIP or who knows what, may get me infractions. Very difficult to present my view of biblical truth under this ruling. But I will give it a shot.

    There is absolutely no actual support anywhere in scripture for the idea that some fallen people cannot seek God some of the time. Matthew 23:13 teaches that some men were actually entering heaven, and thus seeking God effectively, before they were blocked, thus not being compelled irresistibly.
     
  5. Martin Marprelate

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    Matt 23:13 will not bear the weight you are trying to put upon it. Read any sensible commentary on the verse. It is possible to have a wooden, literal understanding of Scripture that prevents its proper understanding (eg. John 3:4; 6:52.

    Do you suppose that in Matt. 23:14, the Pharisees were literally eating and digesting the widows' houses?

    God does not 'block' anyone from coming to Christ, initially at least. It is those who reject Christ and spurn His invitation to all people (Isaiah 55:1; Ezek. 18:31f; Matt. 11:28-30; John 6:37b) whom He hardens and gives over to their sin and rebellion (Romans 1:28 etc.). However, the fact is that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:14)because he has a sinful, unbelieving heart. Therefore he will always exercise his free will to reject Christ (John 3:19; 6:40, 44), unless God changes his heart by giving him new birth (John 3:3). Then he will exercise his free will to come to the Saviour.
     
  6. Iconoclast

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    :thumbsup::wavey::thumbsup:
     
  7. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    Van
    :laugh::laugh::laugh: we can do this all day

    There is absolutely no actual support anywhere in scripture for the idea that the color red cannot be green some of the time,

    There is absolutely no actual support anywhere in scripture for the idea that octopus cannot survive in the desert some of the time,



    There is absolutely no actual support anywhere in scripture for the idea that Satan is not a good angel some of the time,


    There is absolutely no actual support anywhere in scripture for the idea that bowling balls are square some of the time,
    :laugh:
     
  8. kyredneck

    kyredneck
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    Think about what you've said:

     
  9. agedman

    agedman
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    "Freedom of choice" follows the line that there is a certain ability to extended called "free "will."

    However, this is inconsistent with Ephesians 4:

    7 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.

    Freedom of choice / will implies that one must certainly be taken from that darkened understanding and ignorance as a result of a hard heart to a position in which all viable options are laid out, the merits of each able to be examined and without influence or pressures a decision is made.

    However, every true believer knows conversion is never without conviction and judgment of sin.

    The Ephesians passage shows that the heathen have no righteous mind and understanding, that they reside in ignorance toward the things of God.

    Therefore, heathen may only choose from that which is fallen, decaying, and ultimately worthless. No matter how good the gift may seem, how proper the proposed journey, it all comes to nothing.

    It is God who has the authority to choose man. Not the other way around. Only He has such power, and only He has such ability. Human kind have neither.

    Only God can grant "the power to become the sons of God." (John 1)
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    Given the length at which this subject is hashed out I wonder what is behind posting this here now?
     
  11. agedman

    agedman
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    Some would hold these statements to be true:

    • Freedom of choice is directly related to freedom of ability.
    • Ability abides in the word "will" or "willing."
    • The "will" abides in the soul or heart of a person.
    What are the significant statements of the condition of the heart and soul of one who is not a believer?

    Are not terms such as: darkened, unseeing, lacking understanding. and so forth, the Scriptural characteristics of that realm?

    How then can a will of that realm be "free" of the rules and attributes of that abode?
    It cannot.

    I am not a man of math or physics, but I do know that when I am at rest, testing the recliner's warranty, I do not desire to suddenly start moving unless there is some sharp influence that obligates the moving. It may be some influence very near such as a cramp, or very far as the door bell.

    So, it resides with all things. There are certain physics rules which set out principles and laws that are not violated without incident and interference. The very laws of nature bind and restrict.

    How then is the natural heathen "will" and "choice" not subject to the realm in which it abides?
     
  12. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Good points!
    Do we exercise free will when we are offered the choice between tea or coffee? Is not our free will constrained by the fact that we prefer coffee, or that drinking coffee in the evening keeps us awake at night?

    So it is with trusting in Christ. To the 'natural man,' 'There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men' (Isaiah 53:2). The unbeliever exercises what he sees as his free-will to reject Christ, though in fact that will is constrained by his wicked, unbelieving heart. But in the New Birth, the Holy Spirit changes our will and our disposition, and we cry, of our own 'free will,' 'He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved and this is my Friend!' (Song 5:16). 'Therefore to you who believe, He is precious' (1 Peter 2:7).
     
  13. kyredneck

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    Good passages! He is altogether precious to me, my hero from earliest of memories! Nothing can lift my heart like Him.
     
  14. Van

    Van
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    Note the absence of any scriptural support. Simply assertions.

    God sets before us the choice of life or death, and begs us to choose life.
     
  15. kyredneck

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    There it is again.

    ...inconceivable to me.
     
  16. Van

    Van
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    Why would God beg, plead, beseech the lost through His ambassadors if none were able to respond? He would not!
     
  17. percho

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    My free will questions.

    He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

    Was it known to God before the foundation of the world that the Son of God was going to be manifested?

    Before the foundation of the world, what was he going to be manifested as, that had yet to be created?

    In order for the manifested, Son of God, to accomplish his mission was it required that, what he would be manifested as, to be subject to the works of the devil?

    Was one of the biggies, of the works of the devil, the death? See Hebrews 2:14

    Was one of the accomplishments of the Son of God, to redeem, buy back, that which had been sold under sin, which brings forth, the death, which is of the works of the devil, being he had the power thereof?

    What is stated in the Word of God to be the last enemy to be destroyed?

    Did Adam have free will, or was he created, carnal, sold under sin?

    In Adam was God setting a trap for the devil?


    Just some thoughts and I understand if all are tired of my thoughts.
     
  18. Van

    Van
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    Was it known to God before the foundation of the world that the Son of God was going to be manifested? Yes 1 Peter 1:19-20

    Before the foundation of the world, what was he going to be manifested as, that had yet to be created? Yes, as the Lamb of God.

    Percho, do you believe in exhaustive determinism, that everything has been predestined by God, your every thought and deed? Or did you have the power, some of the time, to choose such that the outcome of your life was altered? Simple question!
     
  19. kyredneck

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    Good comeback. But, compare with:

    24 And the Lord`s servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing,
    25 in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth,
    26 and they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him unto his will. 2 Tim

    Don't confuse the Lord's servants being gentle and meek and not striving etc., with God ever begging. It's God that grants the repentance just as it is God that turns them over to devil to begin with.

    I don't recall Christ ever 'begging' during His ministry.
     
  20. Van

    Van
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    Hi KRN, I provided the basis for my statement. Your view is that God compels, my view is God offers life and beseeches us to choose life. Two opposite view.

    Next, how does God give or grant or allow repentance? Again, you say compulsion, I say revelation and choice. If we hear the gospel and our heart has not been hardened, we are allowed to repent and bring glory to God. Some do, many do not. But scripture clearly teaches some fallen men some of the time choose to seek God and trust fully in Christ.

    And I repeat, why does God harden hearts, Romans 11, if everyone's heart is already hardened by the consequence of the Fall? He would not.
     

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