Volition - Was man created with it?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Pastor_Bob, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Pastor_Bob

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    Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
    16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
    17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die
    .

    My opinion is that it is obvious that man was created with the ability to choose (volition) right and wrong - good or evil. It also seems clear that, whatever choice man ultimately makes, he is responsible to and held accountable by his Creator.

    My question is, does God ever violate man's free will that He gave him at the moment of creation?

    I'm not talking about the fact that man cannot control the consequences of his choices. I'm talking about the will to make whatever choice he wants to make. Adam was given the choice to "freely eat" [choose to eat] of any tree of the Garden. He was also given the choice to violate the command of God and eat of the tree that was forbidden. He was free to choose, but not free to control the consequences.
     
  2. TCassidy

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    Bob, you are confusing volition, the ability to make choices, which we all have and use every day, with freedom of the will.

    Free Will simply denies that man is fallen and that the fall has negatively affected all parts of his make up.

    The body is negatively affected by the fall, the soul is negatively affected by the fall, and the spirit is negatively affected by the fall.

    And because of the negative effect of the fall no part of man is worthy to come to God on its own merits.

    It is just this sort of mental confusion which keeps so many people from seeing the truth about themselves. They are fallen and thus without saving merit of any sort.
     
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  3. Pastor_Bob

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    I will admit that there is a difference and the words cannot be used interchangeably in every instance. My question would then become, do the two ever come together as it relates to a relationship with the Lord?

    Granted, the will of man is depraved and not bent on fostering a relationship with the Lord; but, I believe every man is given an opportunity (II Peter 2:12) to exercise his volition and free will to appropriate the finished work of Christ to his own sinful condition. [I know some will say it cannot be "finished" if man has to act on it, but that is a game of semantics]

    Jeremiah 29:13,14 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD..."

    Is this volition or free will?
     
  4. Iconoclast

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    Was Adam given a Choice? or a command?
    Is a Christian..."free to sin".....we are able to sin, we have the physical ability to sin while in this body, but are we EVER FREE TO SIN?
    13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

    Pastor BOB..... we can agree with this passage from Gal 5 for sure, correct.???..being made free from the bondage to sin, we are "free to serve" in serving each other unto the Lord.
    In this discussion the wording and thought is very important. We are never free to sin...in heaven we will no longer be able to sin. The root of this teaching is in Romans 6
    17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

    18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    Free will is not taught in the bible. It is a man made philosophy . Mans will is bound by His nature, God is not free...to sin, to lie, or to change...His Holy nature forbids this as a possibility.

    In John 6...Jesus explained He came ...not to do His own will....but the will of the Father.
    We as restored Image bearers are to do the same.
     
  5. TCassidy

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    His "volition and free will?" So, to be saved a person must exercise volition (presumably to appropriate the work of Christ on his behalf, even though he hates Christ and is the enemy of God) and must also exercise his free will (which does not exist - the lost man's will is not free, it is in bondage to the law of sin and death) to appropriate that which he hates, denies he needs, and doesn't believe in anyway?

    How, exactly, does that work?

    All your response did, Bob, is illustrate your misunderstanding of the huge difference between volition (which, though limited in the lost man - he is only free to choose that which is in his moral nature) and the myth of free will.
     
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  6. Revmitchell

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    Hey Pastor Bob, did you know you are mentally confused? But you know...he said it with such love.
     
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  7. Pastor_Bob

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    Apparently he was given both. He was given the command not to eat and then given the consequence if he did eat. Unfortunately, he made the choice to violate the command and did indeed suffer the consequences.

    This is simply semantics....it is the same thing. If I have the ability to sin, then I (as a child of God) also have the freedom to chose to sin or not.

    I will agree that this passage is not at all talking about a "liberty" to sin. Certainly we now have the freedom to do right.

    Roman 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. It is indeed possible for sin to reign in our mortal bodies, but we are admonished not to allow it to do so.

    13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
    We have a choice to either 1. yield unrighteousness (sin) or, 2. yield to righteous (God). We have been given the freedom to make that choice.

    14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace
    . This is teaching that we most definitely do not have to choose to sin. We can choose to yield ourselves unto God. Thank the Lord for that.

    Again, the choice was made to obey. If not, we would still be servants of sin.

    The result of choosing to obey.
     
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  8. Iconoclast

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    Hello Pastor Bob,
    Thank you for your response. I do not think the language of Romans 6 indicates future choices as much as it speaks of the new reality of the child of God. Being quickened by the Spirit and in Union with Christ....sin no longer has dominion over us. It's reigning power has been broken
    When he says.
    .
    Let not....and neither yield....
    He is explaining what we are now commanded to do.....I will offer more later on when I get to keyboard.
     
  9. TCassidy

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    Adam is a poor person to use as an illustration. Adam was the first and last person to have a free will. When he fell, and all mankind with him, the will of mankind was no longer free. It has been in bondage to the law of sin and death since Adam died spiritually.
     
  10. Internet Theologian

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    I am not sure of how to answer this unless, as I believe, you are seeing these two coming together post conversion, in order to as you say next, 'appropriate' salvation unto one's self.

    Right. The carnal mind is at enmity with God, Romans 8:7, and the wrath of God abides on all mankind, John 3:17, Ephesians 2:1ff.

    I don't believe every man has an opportunity, as not all men have heard of Christ, some have died not ever hearing the Gospel. No man appropriates salvation unto himself by exercising ones will, John 1:13, Romans 9:16; James 1:18, yet this is what you are inferring, that man does appropriate his own salvation. Salvation is of the Lord, Jonah 2:9 it is therefore not of man in any sense.

    Theology is semantics, 2 Timothy 2:15, but it is not a game, although I get your gist in a sense.

    Nope. None are free in will, heart, mind, soul, note John 8:32ff. None are free until the Son sets them free.

    Jeremiah 29:13,14 is being quoted here as if man can do this, search for God, and if He heeds this and does this, then he can be saved, thus it takes effort.

    (I ask all here, is that what you've done? Answer the question. If so (which is impossible) then salvation is no longer a gift, but a reward.)

    Romans 3:10ff dispels that false notion. If this interpretation were then true, that man can do it, then there is the answer of all time: 'Man can do it, if he really seeks me with his heart, then he will find me, and I will then save him'. But it is an impossibility and that is not the sense of the passage whatsoever.
     
    #10 Internet Theologian, Jun 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
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  11. Rob_BW

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    It"s funny, I was thinking about asking your opinion on Adam and free will earlier today, and here it is.
    :Thumbsup
     
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  12. percho

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    I believe Adam is the perfect illustration. I believe Adam was created of the flesh for the very purpose of the Son of God to be manifested in the flesh. For the purpose of destroying the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

    God then gave Adam the man created of the flesh a spiritual law or command. You can eat of all except. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:"

    the strength of sin is the law. 1 Cor 15:56 Adam created of the flesh when given that law became sold under sin. For the purpose of God through the Son of God manifested in the flesh to destroy the works of the devil.

    Ask yourselves. Could the Son of God be manifested in the flesh, could the Word be made flesh without Adam being created of the flesh? Wasn't even the redemption, the buying back planed, before God said, "Let there be light"?
     
  13. SovereignGrace

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    No one has ever possessed a free will. Anyone who has exercised their will, the driving force behind their choice(s) is their nature. Adam daily communed with God pre-fall, but after he sinned, when he heard His voice calling unto him, he and Eve ran and hid like scared rabbits. They knew they had broken the one command God gave them, and was afraid of what God might say...or do...unto them. Luther and Edwards book each concerning the will of man are good reads.
     
  14. TCassidy

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    Once again you completely missed the point!
     
  15. SovereignGrace

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    Man in their fallen condition, even their wills are fallen...bent towards themselves. They hate God, want nothing to do with Him. Romans 8:7 & 1 Corinthians 2:14 bear this out. Those who love God have been born of Him...1 John 4:7.

    Agree.

    Really? Srsly? Was Pharoah commanded to serve God? Or was he commanded to let God's ppl go so they could worship Him? Was Goliath told to bow before God and serve the God of Israel? Were the other Philistines told this? Were those in Jericho right before being slaughtered by Joshua and Co. told to serve God?

    Yet, those left to their own volition will never exercise it in a way of drawing closer to God, but to go even further away from Him.

    First off, who is God speaking to? His ppl who were already in a covenant with Him. The heart is wicked above all things and none can know it. Then there is absolutely none...nil...nada...zip...zilch...who seek Him. Moses was in the desert when God came to him in the burning bush. David was tending to sheep when Samuel came to anoint him King of Israel. Abram was a pagan, living in a pagan land, living with a pagan family when God came to him. No one, in their fallen state, will even choose to seek Him.

    No...
     
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  16. Internet Theologian

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    FTR I meant to say 'pre-conversion' in the red portion in the above quote.
     
  17. Darrell C

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    We ask the question, does not the Lord command men...to believe?

    But I think you hit on the focal issue, "the two coming together as it relates to a relationship with the Lord."

    Let me again make sure the key to this is understood: "...as it relates to a relationship with the Lord."

    We cannot overlook or nullify the fact that the natural man cannot receive or understand the spiritual things of God. That is a concrete standard for all men. While it might be thought that this has no relevance to Adam, I would remind all that Adam too was dependent on God revealing His will to Him. How did He do that? Well, we all know. We've all read the Genesis account. Adam was not created knowing those things which God revealed to him. There would have been no sin if God had not told him not to eat of that tree, right (Romans 5:13)?

    Now, after the Fall, we still see God revealing His will. Most of us understand revelation has been progressive from the Beginning. The depth of the revelation gradually increases as History progresses. Wee the Gospel first revealed in Genesis 3:15, and as time progresses, that particular revelation becomes more complex, until the time when it is revealed to men to be understood as the Plan of Redemption God has intended from the Beginning.

    And I would just throw in, Pastor Bob, I know you know this, these basic details are for the benefit of someone that might not know them.

    So here in your first statement in this post...you identify the critical aspect involved in understanding volition and free will, and how they relate to salvation. The simple fact is that until God reveals Himself to men, they have no relationship to the Lord, and that means the obvious volition and free will identified with man has no relationship to...relationship to the Lord.

    When we understand that, the petty bickering that has gone on for centuries...disappears.

    And it becomes even more relevant when we understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not revealed in past Ages. This lends understanding to the difference of relation to the Lord then, and relationship to the Lord now.


    Bingo.

    We cannot negate, nullify, nor redefine clear terms in the Word of God which make it clear there are none that seek the Lord.


    And I agree with that 100%.

    However, neither volition or free will are relevant to the revelation of God (no matter the Age) until first that revelation is provided to men by God. God always initiates the conditions which arise whereby men have the opportunity to, not exercise free will or volition, but to respond to the revelation provided them. Think about it like this: I come out of a dark alleyway, stick a gun to your head, and tell you to give me your wallet. Did you know I existed until I appeared? You may have had a notion of muggers, but had you been introduced to the reality of me? Secondly, is it your free will that you exercise when you hand your wallet over? You could argue it was, but the truth is you are not exercising the freedom of choice, you are responding to a situation which, while it has options, doesn't leave you as the one deciding what you are going to do.

    And that is the precise situation the natural man is in when God reveals Himself to Him. If volition or free will were an option in a relative sense, there would be one more option for man...make no decision without consequence.

    I will add to your proof-text above:


    2 Peter 2:20-21

    King James Version (KJV)

    20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.



    Paul makes the same point in Romans 1-2...that God revealed Himself to men...and they chose after receiving that revelation. Peter distinguishes between the Ages in this Chapter, making distinct the false prophets of the past with the false teachers of this Age. The writer of Hebrews also distinguishes between the Ages when he contrasts the more severe punishment of those who reject Christ, His Sacrifice, and the Ministry of the Holy Ghost (Hebrews 10:28-29), just as Peter does here in this chapter.

    The error of the Free Will brethren is that they do not calculate the vital necessity of God's revelation to man, whereby volition and free will become related to relationship with the Lord. Then there is the reverse error of the Calvinist, to teach that men must be regenerate in order to understand the spiritual things of God, thus having the ability to place faith in Christ.

    The simple New Testament Bible Basic is that this is the specific Ministry of the Comforter in this Age:


    John 16:7-9

    King James Version (KJV)


    7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

    8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;



    The Promised Spirit would, according to Christ...convict unbelievers specifically concerning relationship with and to God through Jesus Christ. We know He ministers to unbelievers because that is precisely how Christ defines "the world." He will convict the world of righteousness and judgment as well, but I give this portion because the point being made is that unbelievers are in view.

    Now, think back to the analogy of the mugger (and for the record, I have never mugged anyone, lol), and contrast that with not only the Ministry of God to the unbeliever in this Age, but to His Ministry in prior Ages. Stephen, prior to being stoned, charged the Jews thus:


    Acts 7:51-53

    King James Version (KJV)


    51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

    52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

    53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.



    We see in Hebrews Chapter Three it is the Spirit of God that spake unto the Children of Israel.

    The point? This is how God has always revealed Himself to man, and until man has revealed to him the will of God, in his fallen state he cannot be found to be exercising volition or free will as it relates to relationship with the Lord.


    Continued...
     
  18. Darrell C

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    Agreed. Men do choose to submit themselves to God, but, I wonder if you have considered that when God reveals Himself to men, in every Age...

    ...they always believe?

    Shocking statement? No, not at all, because we see that men suppress the knowledge of God, and sear their conscience, and do despite unto that which is revealed to them. It's not a matter of their not understanding, it's a matter of...rebellion. The close relationship of obedience and faith/belief cannot be missed in Scripture.

    In other words, men reject the truth, which can be classified as volition and free will, which is not unusual when man's natural condition has a proclivity for rebellion against God.

    No man will stand before God and say "But...you did not tell me!" Or, "But I didn't understand!" Or, "You have treated me unjustly!"

    Even those who had not received the revelation within the Law (Gentiles) are said to perform the works of the Law written on their hearts. Those who did not perform those works...chose, of their own free will...to do what they wanted, rather than the revealed will of God.


    You only give two options, the text (and Prophecy) provides 3: God is going to do a work in a people who have...

    ...already been brought into relationship with God through the Covenant of Law. This is not a general framework of natural man, on his own, seeking after God and finding Him, It is a framework of men already instructed on how to accomplish God's will for their lives being restored to relationship with God.

    We must maintain the framework that exists in this day, at the time of the writing, and the time of the Promise. So too we maintain that framework in all promises of God to Israel.

    In other words, Pastor Bob, we do not have a situation here that can be identically corresponded to this Age. We do not thrust a condition of all men of Israel were born again believers because they were born into this Nation, yet the promise here is to that Nation. The seeking and finding here is for a people who have already received revelation and commandment.

    So if we equate this to the general issue of the natural man seeking after God, we create a context outside of the Biblical framework. That false context is one in which men were brought into an identical spiritual union with God simply by...being born of Israel. Israel was the provision for relationship with God given in that Age, however, Christ made it clear to the disciples...I am the True Vine. The true means of relationship to and with God.

    That does not minimize the importance of men obeying God's will in past Ages.

    I answered this post, Pastor Bob, rather than the OP, because I thought it gave better opportunity to address the OP's topic.

    To sum it up again, there is no possibility of creating a framework for natural man that allows for a relevant volition or free will. Man is as unaware of his condition and the Remedy for that condition as you would be unaware of a mugger coming out of the dark. When man has revealed to Him his condition and the Remedy, he then responds to that revelation, yet still we do not see it as a matter of volition or free will, because as I said before, if that were the case, then there would be three options demanded:

    1. Submit to God's Will;

    2. Reject God's Will;

    3. Remain neutral with no fear of consequence.


    And we know that is not the case. While the unregenerate mind might think neutrality is an option, we know that this is in itself...rejection of God's will.


    God bless.
     
  19. Iconoclast

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    Pastor_Bob,


    I still believe he was given the command to obey. Now I will expand on this important passage. I heard it preached that Paul offers the indicatives, before he offers the imperatives...in other words...In light of who we are, live in light of it...not the other way around.

    Here is from Preceptaustin;

    Therefore (3767) (oun) means so or consequently. (Click for discussion of terms of conclusion) This conjunction introduces a logical result from the preceding, the knowing and the reckoning of the preceding 11 verses. This juncture marks one of the most important "therefore's" in the Bible for believers. Paul is saying in essence don't just set in the classroom or the sanctuary and talk about the truths you've just learned in (Romans 6:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) (For exposition click 6:1-3 6:4-5 6:6-7 6:8-10 6:11) but live out these truths.

    Therefore because of the fact, the truth that in my spiritual bank account (Ro 6:1-10) I am alive TO God IN Christ Jesus. That is why I am not to let SIN continually exert control over my body the way it did before I was baptized into His death and raised to walk in newness of life. It depends on who I make a choice to submit to...sin or Christ (yielding my rights to the Spirit of Christ, moment by moment, day by day - this surrender brings true freedom!)

    Spurgeon - How intimately the believer's duties are interwoven with his privileges! Because he is alive unto God, he is to renounce sin, since that corrupt thing belongs to his estate of death. How intimately both his duties and his privileges are bound up with Christ Jesus his Lord! How thoughtful ought we to be upon these matters; reckoning what is right and fit; and carrying out that reckoning to its practical issues. (Romans 6:11-12 Dead But Alive - Sermon Notes)

    DO NOT LET SIN REIGN: me oun basileueto (3SPAM) ho hamartia: (Ro 6:16; 5:21; 7:23,24; Nu 33:55; Dt 7:2; Josh 23:12,13; Jdg 2:3; Ps 19:13; Ps 119:133)

    The Greek is emphatic -- “Be not at all allowing sin to reign!”

    here we find some agreement

    once again;

    Reign (936) (basileuo from basileús = a king, sovereign, monarch) means to rule as a king with the implication of complete authority. To rule and be in control in an absolute manner or to control completely.

    The present imperative(command) is preceded by a negative particle ("me" = negates what follows) which means "Stop letting the Sin to continue to reign in your physical body." Paul is saying stop letting this continue, implying that his readers were in fact letting sin reign. "Sniper attacks" by our incorrigible flesh are unavoidable, but allowing Sin to reign in our bodies is unacceptable (Why? see 1Co 6:19, 20, 1Co 3:16). Paul's point is because of our position (dead, buried and resurrected with Christ), believers no longer have to obey the demands of "Sin".

    Poole notes that Paul "does not say, let it not be or reside, but let it not reign or preside; let it not bear sway or have dominion in you; let it not have the upper hand of the motions of the Spirit of God. (Matthew Poole's Commentary)

    Paul had earlier taught "that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Ro 5:21-note)

    Here in Romans 6, Paul teaches that Sin's reign has come to a complete and final end for the believer (Ro 6:6, 7-note). Now, we need to act in faith based upon that truth.

    In another prayer we read a similar desire for Jehovah to

    Establish (imperative mood; LXX = kateuthunoo = cause to go straight, guide in the right path! aorist imperative) my footsteps in Thy word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over (Hebrew = salat = domineer, be master of; Lxx = katakurieuo [word study] = gain power over, have mastery or dominion over, subdue) me. (Ps 119:133) (Spurgeon's note)

    Comment: Ps 119:133 is an excellent prayer with which every saint could begin the new day and it beautifully parallels the psalmist's prayer for God's Word to produce godly fear in Ps 119:38-Spurgeon's note.
     
  20. The Biblicist

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    I think the power of choice prior to the fall versus the power of choice after the fall are two different issues. Failure to consider the consequences of the fall on the volition of man is the real issue. What is the consequence of sin upon the volition, intellect and affections of man? We know the fall brought DARKNESS upon the intellect of man and perverted his affections so that after the fall he loves what God hates and hates what God loves. If the will is simply the vehicle for expressing intellectual or affectionate determination then its freedom is confined within the boundaries of a fallen nature just as God's will is confined within the boundaries of a righteous and holy nature making it impossible for him to choose sin. How about the state of the fallen volition? Jesus clearly states that "NO MAN CAN" come to him. The word "can" speaks of ability not permission. Fallen man certainly has God's permission to come to Christ and is even exhorted to do so, but he has no ABILITY or power of choice to come to Christ. The problem is not the will per se, but the fact that the will is captive to the power of indwelling sin and therefore the boundaries of its freedom are confined to the boundary of its STATE or NATURE of sin. Its freedom to choose has not change but it chooses only within the boundaries of what it intellectually determines or desires (affections) which are both captive to sin and the indwelling law of sin. In other words, the will is merely the vehicle that reveals the thoughts and affections of man. That is precisely why the two Greek terms translated "will" have to do with intellectual determination (boluomai) or affectionate determination (thelema). In fallen man, both thoughts and affections are ruled by indwelling sin (Rom. 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14). Here is the point. Even in a born again child of God the will of man is impotent to overrule the law of indwelling sin (Rom. 7:15-25, this is especially and clearly stated in verse 18 "to will is present with me but how to perform" or ability to perform he does not have. Even though the thoughts and affections are inclined to righteousness, the will is impotent to overpower indwelling sin). If this is true in a born again child of God whose inward disposition is bent toward righteousness, how much more true is it with one whose inward disposition (intellectual and desires) is bent toward evil? Man's freedom of will is therefore equal to God's freedom of will but both are confined ultimate by their MORAL NATURES. Thus a holy God always chooses what he determines or desires but those functions are confined within the holiness of his nature. Likewise, man always chooses what he determines or desires but those functions are confined within the unholiness of his nature.
     
    #20 The Biblicist, Jun 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016

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