1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

A case for Free Will through self-imposed limitations of the Sovereignty of God

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,333
    Likes Received:
    210
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I wouldn't say that it necessarily limits omnipotence because it is a clear choice not to exercise his power. God has the power to save every human, yet he chooses not to do so. Does this deny his omnipotence?
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    10,544
    Likes Received:
    1,558
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Thanks, Joseph. I would say that God choosing to do whatever pleased Him is not a limitation of His sovereignty but rather the exercise of it.
     
  3. StefanM

    StefanM Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,333
    Likes Received:
    210
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I agree.
     
  4. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Messages:
    12,978
    Likes Received:
    1,672
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Is it biblical theology? The answer is "No". Therefore, no need to speculate on whether God does or does not voluntarily limit Himself in anyway.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  5. standingfirminChrist

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,454
    Likes Received:
    3
    Even sovereign rulers allow subjects freedom to do things

    God is not a puppetmaster, nor are we puppets
     
  6. Me4Him

    Me4Him New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    0
    God loved the whole world, even when they were "sinners", and Jesus died for the sins of the "whole world" so the whole world "MIGHT BE" saved.

    Nothing would give God any more "glory", "pleasure" than to "Reclaim" "EVERY" soul Satan robbed.

    However the problem is "FREE WILL", men "LOVE" (note that word) darkness rather than light.

    "LOVE" can't be "programmed", nor will God attempt to program any individual with "LOVE FOR GOD",

    "THY SHALL LOVE" is a "commandment" we can keep or break.

    "LOVE" is a "FREE WILL" expression of the Heart, and heaven can/will only exist in an atmosphere of "LOVE".

    God's "LOVE" opened the doors of heaven to "WHOSOEVER WILL" return that "LOVE".

    It's a Two way street.
     
  7. IFB Mole

    IFB Mole New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Man has a will but is it FREE from ANY and ALL external influences? Man's will is actually a willing bondservant of sin, so man's "free will" is only free in its bondage to sin. Much like a prisoner in a prison, he is "free to roam where he wills" but is still bound by that prison. We are also bound by a prison that prison is sin our will is as free as sin allows and in fact is a "willing bondservant" to that sin. Man's unregenerate will, will NEVER seek after God, EVEN if the Holy Spirit convicts a sinner to the very brink of conversion, man will NOT accept salvation UNLESS the Holy Spirit actually converts a sinner. Man is saved NOT because he believes, he believes BECAUSE he was saved. Belief and repentenace are EVIDENCE of salvation not the cause of it.

    God regenerates the sinner by free and soveriegn Grace and the sinner believes and repents
     
  8. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    26,977
    Likes Received:
    2,536
    Faith:
    Baptist
    It is physically and totally impossible for a jet pilot to change the course of his plane because it requires upwards of 40,000 lbs of thrust.

    The "power assist" steering system provides the thrust, allowing the pilot to exercise his will and change the course of his plane.

    The power of the Holy Spirit given to the sinner through conviction of sin allows him to recieve/believe Christ should he want to, otherwise he remains under the wrath of God.

    John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

    I suppose the difference between Calvinism vs Arminianism is in the "want to". Does God provide the "want to" or not?

    Yes, if the sinner wants it.

    HankD
     
  9. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,385
    Likes Received:
    23
    Does God remove His "limit of Soveriegn will" on someone when we pray for their salvation? As someone mentioned earlier, did God impose His will on Paul at His conversion? Seems so to me.

    If God gives us all free will concerning our own salvation, then why pray for the lost? In doing so are we asking God to inject His will into the lost man? Are we asking God to do something in one person that He will not do in another because they have no one praying for them?

    It seems in praying for the lost, we are asking God to save that person despite what that persons own free will is. As one who leans calvinist, I have no problem with this.
    It seems the non-calvinist when praying for the lost are asking God to violate His(limit on Soveriegn will) position.
     
  10. Timtoolman

    Timtoolman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually you are tempting God. If you believe it is all settle and done then you are asking God to do something that He is not willing to do. Go against His plan. However those that believe in free will ask God to send His HS to reveal the truth. As to those not prayed for God has still revealed himselt in other ways.
    AS to calvinist wittnessing it is just a contradiction to their belief or theology. Saying one thing but doing another. Its like asking who wants to play basketball on my team but the team is already chosen. It is not an honest invitation going out. And on top of that declare that you wished that all could play!

    ;)
     
  11. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    2
    Grasshopper, I don't think God was imposing His will on Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul had been eager to do the things of the Lord all along -- that is why he had been instrumental in persecuting Christians. He thought that they were the blasphemers and that they should be eliminated. Paul wanted the truth and thought he was striving for it.

    God simply showed him where the truth really lay.

    Prayer opens doors. It does not force or cause God to move. He is not Santa Claus or the good fairy or such. But He has set things up so that the prayer of a righteous man is effective. It simply opens doors through which God can move. He could have battered down the doors with a "glance", but instead He stands at the door and knocks.

    There was a cripple who could not walk and we do not even know if he had an ounce of faith or not. But his friends had faith for him and brought him to Jesus and even lowered him through the roof. And he was healed.

    Jesus asked an interesting question to a blind man: "Do you WANT to be healed?"

    We are free to want. But our friends are also free to want for us, and effectively so.

    God, in His sovereignty, has allowed it so.
     
  12. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2002
    Messages:
    3,385
    Likes Received:
    23
    Too bad God doesn’t show the truth in the same manner to all as He did to Paul, there would probably be a lot more people choosing God.

    So God chooses which doors to open or not to open. Assuming He even answers the prayer.

    Even against the free will of the lost man?

    Paul would disagree. I don’t think he would consider the Damascus experience a gentle knock. Paul was doing just what he willed to do, kill Christians. But God intervened and changed his will.

    Is this how salvation works? Can I have faith for my neighbor and he will be saved?

    So I can want for my neighbors salvation and it will be effectively so?
     
  13. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    2
    It will certainly help. Try it.

    Most people, especially in their 20's are confused and not sure what they want! So it is not a matter of going against anyone's free will. It is much more a matter of praying that God will open their eyes to see the truth of something so they can really choose! We can pray for circumstances in their lives and their hearts to be softened. We can pray all manner of things so that they are in a position to make that most important of all choices.

    And, just as important, we can live in such a way that what they see is what they want.
     
  14. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    64
    God cannot act contract contrary to His nature. Limiting His Sovereignty in any circumstances would be contrary to His nature.
     
  15. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,208
    Likes Received:
    68
    Faith:
    Baptist
    Hey to all,

    One of the major issues of the Reformation was the issue of "Free Will."

    The question was posed by Luther, "Does man really have a free will?" He argued in his treatise "Bondage of the Will" that man did not?

    Man is free on the horizontal plain to choose from things that have to do with this temporal life and such. But, man is not free to choose God. "We love him because He first loved us," says the Scripture. Any spiritual movement we have is in response to God first coming to us in our death.

    The next time a person tells you that s(he) believes in a so-called "free will" ask them: Think about your worst sin or habit in your minds. Then say, if you have a "free will," then simply quit doing that habit or thinking those vile thoughts. Why are we unable to keep "New Year's Resolutions," because our "wills" are captive to Satan "at his will." (find that in the Scripture!).

    Jesus said, he that commits sin is the slave of that sin. That does not sound very "free" to me!

    The doctrine that is really repugnant to us all is the absolute depravity and deadness of man. Every fiber of man's being, inclination of the heart, thought, deed, & word has been tainted and tinted by the deadness and darkness of the sin in the heart. This includes the so-called "free will of man." It has "freedom," but this "freedom" is only in concert with its nature.

    We would love to believe we have freedom to come to God when we want; but in actuality we are the "living dead" not even knowing we are dead spiritually.

    What a Gospel we have!!!! That God would come to our funerals, where we are lying dead in our coffin, touch us, resurrect us by His Spirit, through the preaching of His Gospel, give us faith, give us repentance, and even equip and enable us to act upon what He has granted!!!!!

    It is "All of Grace" as Spurgeon said in his little tract.

    Glory!!!!!

    Hallelujah!!!!!

    Praise to the Lamb who was slain!!!!!!

    sdg!

    rd
     
  16. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    2
    Free will is not the ability to DO something, but to WANT something. The very fact that someone would want to stop a bad habit is an indication of free will! The fact that he can't is an indication of being held in bondage by sin. But all the bondage ever can't stop you from wanting something else!
     
  17. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Messages:
    8,423
    Likes Received:
    1,160
    Faith:
    Baptist
    So did God whose nature is only good create a world containing evil where men would not choose Him or does He allow it to exist? An omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent God could be absolutely safe and remove free will and choose a Calvinistic salvation but looks like through love and truth He allows us to choose thereby glorifying Him as He did love us first. Seems God through His sovereignty allows circumstances to change.
     
  18. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    2
    OK, then call it a decision to limit His self-imposed will on His creatures, all of which can be done without limiting His total sovereignty.
     
  19. webdog

    webdog Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,696
    Likes Received:
    2
    Explain why Jesus said that even He did not know the time of His return, but only the Father. This sounds like Jesus (fully God) did indeed limit His sovereignty while on earth. This was done in full accordance with God's will, meaning it could not be contrary to His nature.
     
  20. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    May 14, 2001
    Messages:
    26,977
    Likes Received:
    2,536
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I heard this little illustration first from a Calvinistic missionary (yes, they exist).

    Above the door of salvation is "whosoever will may come".

    When we walk through the door and look back it says "Chosen from the foundation of the world".

    HankD
     
Loading...