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Of Freedom of the Will

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Jan 4, 2019.

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  1. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

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    I believe the moment we come to believe we are saved, There are many different ideas of how this happens.Faith an trust is believing. We come to believe by hearing the gospel. It stands to reason if we never hear the gospel we cannot be saved.

    For myself I heard the gospel from the time I could speak, until I surrendered. I believed that Christ was real long before I committed myself to Him. Was I saved before I committed myself? Or was I saved when I committed myself to Him?. The truth is;
    Act 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    It doesn't say we have to tithe, it doesn't say we have to serve, It doesn't say we have to do anything else. Just believe and it's a done deal. We don't have to work for it and we don't have work to keep it's a free gift.

    .Biblical proof for our choosing Christ;
    Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    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.

    Why would the Lord tell them to choose?
    Because Real Love requires the liberty to do so.

    There are many who are not saved and know the truth and refuse to believe the truth. They are rejecting the Lord Jesus just as did most of the Jews. Salvation is just to simple for them to believe.
    MB
     
  2. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Could that be paraphrased as?

    Whosoever is not born again shall not enter the kingdom of God.

    I say this because I do not think Mark 10 is speaking of doing something like a child but being a child.
     
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  3. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
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    Interesting to note in regards to choosing and eating, after the fall in which Adam had the free will to disobey God or not which demonstrated the creation of man with free will/human volition (sense, reason and intellect with a purpose), we see in scripture that we are still required to choose, use human volition to take action:

    Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

    I often say that in the fall man gained the attribute of knowledge of good and evil and nowhere does the scripture say or imply that he lost the ability to choose post-fall as if he were redesigned to not have free will/volition. As Gen 3:22 shows that after the fall man had a condition upon him that he must take an action as per God's plan.
     
  4. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Note: I write this for the casual reader, who may have never read or taught Pilgrims Progress.


    At what time did Christian ever have the "freedom of will" in unburdening himself by expressing his freedom of self will unto salvation?

    Look upon this scene from Pilgrims progress and see if any "freedom of the will" is shown.

    Then said the Interpreter, The Comforter be always with you, good Christian; to guide you in the Way that leads to the City. So Christian went on his Way, saying,

    Here I have seen Things rare and profitable,
    Things pleasant, dreadful, Things to make me stable
    In what I have begun to take in hand;
    Then let me think on them, and understand
    Wherefore they showed me were, and let me be
    Thankful, O good Interpreter, to thee.​
    Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go, was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation. Up this way therefore did burdened Christian run, but not without great difficulty, because of the Load on his back.

    "In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks." Isaiah 26:1
    He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a Cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulchre. So I saw in my dream, that just as CHRISTIAN came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble; and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.

    Then was CHRISTIAN glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart,

    "He hath given me rest by his sorrow,
    And life by his death."​
    Then he stood still awhile to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent the waters down his cheeks.

    "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." Zechariah 12:10
    Now, as he stood looking and weeping, behold three shining ones came to him, and saluted him with, "Peace be to thee!" so the first said to him, "Thy sins be forgiven thee";

    "When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee." Mark 2:5
    the second stripped him of his rags, and clothed him with change of raiment;

    "And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment." Zechariah 3:4
    the third also set a mark in his forehead, and gave him a roll with a seal upon it,

    "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" Ephesians 1:13
    which he bade him look on as he ran, and that he should give it in at the Celestial Gate: so they went their way. Then CHRISTIAN gave three leaps for joy, and went on singing:

    "Thus far did I come laden with my sin,
    Nor could aught ease the grief that I was in,
    Till I came hither. What a place is this!
    Must here be the beginning of my bliss!
    Must here the burden fall from off my back!
    Must here the strings that bound it to me crack!
    Blest cross! blest sepulchre! blest rather be
    The Man that there was put to shame for me!"​


    Lest the reader miss that there was no "freedom of the will" in Bunyan's work.
     
  5. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Never said there was.
     
  6. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Sure , go ahead.
     
  7. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    The problem is the "choosing of Christ" was not a call offering salvation in the OT, rather the choice was to either follow the law and be blessed or serve other Gods (as your quote of Joshua shows) and die. Which did they ultimately choose?

    Moses set before the folks life and death, but again, not the offer of salvation. For he knew that the law was now in effect that established the rules. As such the wages of breaking the rules was death. That life was in following the rules. So. prior to the law death still came because of sin, but was not as sin because there was no law.

    Romans 5 explains it this way:
    12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.​

    Ultimately when using the OT for proof texts, it is important to remember that the citizens of Israel were considered God's children, called by His name.

    Therefore the statements are not offers of salvation, but of remaining in a state of reconciliation under the law of sacrifice.

    Of course we all know how that worked out. They failed, they died, those that didn't were enslaved.

    However, there is no "freedom of the will" when it comes to human choice. Certainly humans may choose, but from only that which is available and they have the ability from having met prerequisites.
     
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  8. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    And you are correct as it concerns Adam.

    However, neither do we live hundreds of years, not even in a hundred with the rare exception.

    After the fall, there were centuries before the "LAW" was established, great upheaval and transitions took place in the human history.

    With the establishment of the LAW came the accounting of sin (See Romans 5).

    But more to the point, remember that angel standing at the gate of the garden?

    There was no freedom to choose to re-enter and partake of eternal life. Nothing was available from which to choose. Nor is there any account of any desire to re-enter, but to turn and hide from reconciliation with God.

    No "freedom of the will" but a continuum of binding and blinding as rebelliousness continued to spread even to this day.

    There is no freedom for the unclean to choose to be clean without the prerequisites.
     
  9. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    The tread perhaps should also consider the use of "hope" as it relates to believers.

    For if "freedom of the will" is true, then does the "hope" generated by self will that which is found in the New Testament Scriptures?
     
  10. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
     
  11. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Active Member

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    Personally, I have no trouble looking at God's word and seeing that mankind has volition, has freedom of choice, has self-determination, has independent thought, has many things that out-right show that he, as a creature, is imbued with life as a living soul.

    However, I also see in many places the absolute necessity of needing a changed nature ( "heart", set of desires, motivation towards God ) if He is to have a true relationship with any of us.
    Salvation is not just from Hell, which we all deserve...it's TO an eternal relationship with Him and His Son.;)

    At issue here are several matters, and I will limit my Scriptural responses to only those that I see affecting ( biasing ) man's will.
    In other words, the Bible is explicit with respect to what is in an unbeliever's heart of hearts.
    As I see it, these are objective statements from God's perspective, that show the believer what we are like outside of the new birth and the power of the Holy Spirit:

    Genesis 6:5.

    Psalms 10:2-11.
    Psalms 12:2.
    Psalms 14:1-3.
    Psalms 28:3-5.
    Psalms 36:1-4.
    Psalms 37:2.

    Psalms 52:1-4.
    Psalms 53:1-3.
    Psalms 58:1-5.
    Psalms 73:3-12.
    Psalms 94:3-8.
    Psalms 140:1-3.

    Romans 1:18-32.
    Romans 2:1-5.
    Romans 3:5-18.

    Ephesians 2:1-4.
    Ephesians 4:17-19.

    Colossians 1:21.
    1 Thessalonians 2:3-6.

    The concept I see developed from Scripture, is that man's will is not "free and unbiased".
    In the technical sense, man's will is "fettered", or bound to his nature.
    Christ came to set His sheep free from this ( John 8:31-41 ).
    Believers will be free from both their old natures ( at least inwardly, please see Romans 7:15-25, Galatians 5:17 ), and their old wills.

    What a person desires, deep down, will always come out at some point.
    Always.
    Love of sin results in both inward ( Matthew 5:28 ) and outward sin ( Matthew 15:17-20, Mark 7:20-23 )...and until that sin "nature" is changed, God cannot trust man to approach Him either willingly, or honestly in reconciliation.

    Therefore, because of the love of sin ( which leads to resentment towards God for commanding him to repent ), man's inward desire is away from God, not towards Him.
    His will is biased against Him.
    Man is not a "free moral agent" in any sense of the word.

    Until the nature is changed, what is guiding the will cannot change.
    Like a ship with a rudder, the nature guides the will, and the will guides a person's actions.

    Read the Proverbs, read Ecclesiastes, read the prophets.


    To get a comprehensive view of one's old nature, it really is important, in my estimation, to see everything that God says that man is outside of being born again...wicked ( from God's perspective ), continually.:(
     
    #51 Dave Gilbert, Jan 7, 2019
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  12. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
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    This thread amounts to a Calvinist/Determinist proselytization through trying to formulate a strawman argument that free will = freedom of the will = one has the ability to save oneself. Not even do staunch Libertarian Free Willers make such a claim or have such a belief that Human Volition amounts to self-salvation rather than the freedom to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and that the work is all His.

    The “prerequisites” spoken of in this thread are merely a veiled restating and defense of the Calvinist’ positions of Total Depravity and Unconditional Election which is closely followed by an attempt to formulate a theory of Compatibility between Determinism and Free Will/Human Volition…but even a child can understand the logical mutual exclusiveness of these two actions along with consequences to the Gospel not being a genuine offer and “hope” to all through such disparaging teachings…

    This is the reason I suggested from the onset that the Op'er be upfront about the subject and place it in the proper forum. Of course the typical lack of transparency by Calvinist is well understood in that they do not reveal their belief that most are deterministically unable to respond to call of God when they present the Gospel, which would clearly be less than a genuine offer of salvation for all.
     
  13. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    So God put an angel with a flaming sword to guard against access to the Tree of Life because He knew no one would attempt to enter the garden.

    Yet God told Cain he should rule over his sin. Conquer it.

    Gen 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
     
  14. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    Yes, this is exactly what it is. It's also a false dilemma because a limited number of options are given to choose from, as if they are the only ones available.
     
  15. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Active Member

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    Gentlemen,
    With respect, this forum is "Baptist Theology and Bible Study".

    Historically, "Baptists" have run the length from "Calvinist" to "Arminian" in their theology....Particular, Reformed, Sovereign Grace, Primitive, Missionary, "Hardshell", "Old Line", Regular, General, Independent Fundamental, Fundamental, Independent, Free Will and so forth.

    So, what's the problem?
    Do you believe that "Baptist Theology and Bible Study" should be limited to only those who hold to "F.A.C.T.S"?
    Only those who hold to "Traditionalism"?

    How is that fair to all, then?
    Why not both "TULIP" and "FACTS"?



    After all, equal is equal.
    We're all "Baptists".;)



    May God, in His grace, bless you as He has blessed me.:)
     
    #55 Dave Gilbert, Jan 7, 2019
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  16. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member
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    No. Benjamin is rightly pointing out the obvious that the appropriate forum for this sort of discussion is Calvinism vs. Arminianism. Not only that but adherents to both sides of this discussion are not limited to Baptists, another reason it should be moved to the other forum.
     
  17. Wesley Briggman

    Wesley Briggman Active Member
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    Jdg 4:7 KJV - And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.
    Jdg 4:13 KJV - And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, [even] nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that [were] with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.

    Would Sisera say he had freewill when he commanded his army go "unto the river Kishon"? Would he say he was following God's leading in his life?

    I suspect he would claim he was exercising his best military strategy of his own freewill!

    (Sorry, no scripture to validate my view. Purely speculation.)
     
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  18. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Active Member

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    I suppose so..

    But to me, you and Benjamin in this thread ( so far ) seem to have a real problem with the Baptists who hold to "TULIP".
    Again, what's the problem?

    Is it your desire to relegate the Baptists who hold to TULIP, to one area of discussion, while the rest of the Baptists are free to discuss anything else, anywhere else?
    Fair is fair, in my opinion.;)

    How about asking the mods for a ruling then?
     
    #58 Dave Gilbert, Jan 7, 2019
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  19. Benjamin

    Benjamin Well-Known Member
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    The categories on this board were formed for a reason and have purpose - which is not to overrun the board with soteriology and proselytization of such. Please don't come here trying to rewrite the rules to suit your agendas.
     
  20. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Active Member

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    Discussing Scripture has an agenda?
    I can understand how you would see it that way...
    But still,
    Please don't relegate Baptists who believe in TULIP to one forum, while the rest get free run of the place to discuss anything they like.

    Again, perhaps we should get a ruling from the mods.
    I for one, would gladly abide by that.

    I think it's only fair and equal...don't you?:)
     
    #60 Dave Gilbert, Jan 7, 2019
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