Proof text for the free will of man?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Pastor_Bob, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

    Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind
    .

    In two different dispensations, God is clearly addressing the fact that some men have not chosen to love Him with their "whole heart." It is equally clear that God desires that all men choose to love Him with their "whole heart." In fact, Jesus tell us that it is the "greatest" commandment.

    If God did not create man with a free will, why would He make such a commandment?
     
  2. preacher4truth

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    He also made the 10 commandments. Did He think we could keep them?

    Or did He use them to show we could not keep them, to show the elect they are lost, and fall short of the glory of God?

    There are things in the Scriptures He tells us to keep. He knows we cannot do it. Those who know they are sinners realize they cannot, and must turn to Him to save them.

    - Peace
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Jesus said:
    Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:48

    The standard Jesus set was perfection. It is an impossible standard. Yet Jesus set it.

    It says to me that God won't cut us any slack regarding sin. Is that unfair of God? Or is it designed to bring us face to face with our sinfulness and to point us to Jesus Christ as our only hope? And, that it is Christ's righteousness that the Father will see in us.
     
  4. webdog

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    Tom, that verse is being taken out of context. It is dealing with love, loving perfectly (loving even our enemies). In this regard we can also obey Him, it is not an impossible standard.
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    web, I'm aware of the context, and I'm aware that your exegesis is probably the prevailing one. Yet, when Jesus describes the Father as perfect, then commands us to be just as perfect as the Father, I think the case can be made that this verse has a larger application that just the immediate context. I highly doubt if God would say, "I wish you'd be perfect, but since you can't, I won't hold it against you." I just can't see God saying that it's okay to sin.

    I'm also aware that some hold that "perfect" does not mean sinless, but spiritually mature. I never thought of the Father as spiritually mature. I think of him without sin.
     
  6. webdog

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    The thing is, where God guides He provides. If He tells us to be perfect, He will equip us. Since there is none perfect besides Himself it becomes apparent that the context is dealing with love, and we must focus on the immediate context without reading more into it than Jesus stated.
     
  7. Pastor_Bob

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    Gentlemen, we are not talking about keeping commandments or attaining perfection. We are talking about God giving each of us the ability to choose to love Him as much as we want to love Him. God's desire is clearly that we love Him with our "all" our heart. If God gives us the free will to love Him, does that limit His sovereignty?
     
  8. webdog

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    Not at all.
     
  9. Doubting Thomas

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    I agree. We love because He first loved us, but then we must choose to love God or not.
     
  10. Chowmah

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    1JOHN 5 [2] By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

    Hello Pastor Bob
    Keeping Gods commandments and choosing to love God go hand in hand according to the new covenant scriptures
     
  11. JoelMT

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    The problem which I see is that you assume we choose first. But scriptures indicates HE chose first:

    Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. - 2 Timothy 1:9

    According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. - Ephesians 1:4


    And you have to deal with passages such as Act 13:48:
    And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

    As many as were ordained? Where is the freewill here? It seems they choose God after God had already ordained them. This is how it works, man does not want nor seek (Romans 3:10-11) after God until the Lord draws him (John 6:44), then will man come and seek to be saved after God already chose and sought him.

    Next, the fact that the Lord gives us commands, such as to love HIM with all, does not mean we have the ability to do so, and there is proof of such in the scriptures:

    But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. - John 10:26

    You should open your Bible to John 10:22-30 to pick up the context here. However, this verse is quite clear. They do not believe, why? Because they are not sheep. So, if they were sheep, then they would believe. The fact that they do not believe is a direct result of them not being sheep. Jesus has been giving them the commands, yet HE tells them they do not have the ability to obey them.

    Lastly, lets define freewill. In Websters 1828 Dictionary, it is defined as "The power of directing our own actions without restraint by necessity or fate." The problem here is that the will of man is often restrained or surpressed. What about in scripture where man's will is surpressed so that the will of the Lord is done? What about Pharoah, God raised him up for the very purose of showing HIS glory in him (Exodus 9:16), and I don't quite think that is the kind of future pharoah every hoped for, yet it happened.

    And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling [was] with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and [that] he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. - Daniel 5:21

    The above verse is amazing. The most high God rules in the kingdom of men? HE appoints men to rule over them? appoints? Where is the freewill in that?

    If freewill were true, then Hebrews 11:3 would be incorrect when it says:
    Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    We know that "worlds" is an old english term for "ages." This verse tells us that the ages were framed by the word of God. But, if man has a freewill then the ages are being framed by the will of man.

    Thus, I must say that only the LORD God has a freewill. Man does not. Well, those are just my thoughts.
     
    #11 JoelMT, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2011
  12. Pastor_Bob

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    I couldn't agree more. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15 (KJV)

    However, that is not the question. The question is, if God gave us a commandment to love Him with all of our heart, doesn't that clearly demonstrate the fact that God allows us to choose to what degree we love Him?
     
  13. Pastor_Bob

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    Am I to understand that all those whom God has chosen actually love Him with all their heart? To whom were the commands to love Him with their whole heart given?
     
  14. Thinkingstuff

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    Is it possible that God chooses all men to be saved through the vehicle of his son's sacrifice?

    Is it possible possible that the Holy Spirit moves upon men with the intent on leading them to Faith.

    Is it possible that the activity of the Holy Spirit can be received resulting in a softening of the heart towards faith and that same activity be rejected by other men resulting in the hardening of their heart?

    I'm not certain of all the ramifications of my statements or questions here which is why I'm asking.
     
  15. preacher4truth

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    Excellent post, welcome to the BB. :thumbsup:
     
  16. JoelMT

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    The problem is that you are confusing freewill with just simply a "will." The fact that man has a will is not the issue. The plain and simple fact is that the will is not free, and cannot be by strict definition.

    But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. - 2 Thessalonians 2:13

    Sanctification is being done in all believers, they are not perfect nor have they attained to the Lord's standard. It is a journey, we come closer and closer as HE keeps us in HIS hand.

    Please do not ignore everything else I said. It is an easy escape to only pluck out one little part and ignore the rest...


    Thanks you for the welcome preacher4truth.
     
    #16 JoelMT, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2011
  17. quantumfaith

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    Contrary to some of my brothers on the other side of the aisle theologically, I think the "freedom" granted to mankind shows God is even MORE sovereign.
     
  18. preacher4truth

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    I think lost man is in bondage, not living in freedom. I think to believe otherwise is error. Too many Scriptures point to the latter and prove to be the contrary.

    - Peace
     
  19. quantumfaith

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    I ALSO agree, man that is lost without Christ without real freedom. But this only tangentially intersects with man's free ability to reject God.
     
  20. JoelMT

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    No scripture reference? Well then, how do you see passages like John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
     

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