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Old 08-25-2007, 08:13 PM
62 posts, read 231,290 times
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I guess this might be a very trivial problem but I don't know the answer to it.
The question I have is how humans can have free will when everything is according to God's will.
I know there is a long history of free will problem in philosophy and theology but I thought the churches should have a very simple answer to this question to the general church going people.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:31 PM
Location: Anywhere but here!
2,800 posts, read 9,101,518 times
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Here are two good answers for you...the source is Bible Questions Answered

Question: "How does God's sovereignty and mankind's free will work together in salvation?"

Answer: It is impossible for us to fully understand the relationship between God’s sovereignty and man’s free will. Only God truly knows how those two work together.

Scripture is clear that God knows who will be saved (Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:2). Ephesians 1:4 tells us that God chose us “before the foundation of the world.” The Bible repeatedly describes believers as the “chosen” (Romans 8:33; 11:5; Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:2; 2:9) and the “elect” (Matthew 24:22, 31; Mark 13:20, 27; Romans 11:7; 1 Timothy 5:21; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1). The fact that believers are predestined (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5, 11) and elected (Romans 9:11; 11:28; 2 Peter 1:10) for salvation is plainly clear.

The Bible also says that we have the free will choice – all we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ and we will be saved (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10). God knows who will be saved, God chooses who will be saved, and we must choose Christ in order to be saved. How these three facts work together is impossible for a finite mind to comprehend (Romans 11:33-36). Our responsibility is to take the Gospel to the whole world (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). We should leave the foreknowledge, election, and predestination part up to God and simply be obedient in sharing the Gospel.

__________________________________________________ _____________

Question: "Is God sovereign or do we have a free will?"

Answer: When we talk about free will, we are usually concerned with the matter of salvation. Few are interested in whether we have the free will to choose salad or steak for our dinner tonight. Rather, we are troubled over who exactly is in control of our eternal destiny.

Any discussion of man’s free will must begin with an understanding of his nature because man’s will is bound by that nature. A prisoner has the freedom to pace up and down in his cell, but he is constrained by the walls of that cell and can go no further, no matter how much his will might desire it. So it is with man. Because of sin, man is imprisoned within a cell of corruption and wickedness which permeates to the very core of our being. Every part of man is in bondage to sin – our bodies, our minds, and our wills. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us the state of man’s heart: it is “deceitful and desperately wicked.” In our natural, unregenerate state, we are carnally minded, not spiritually minded. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be” (Romans 8:6-7). These verses tell us that before we are saved, we are at enmity (war) with God, we do not submit to God and His law, neither can we. The Bible is clear that, in his natural state, man is incapable of choosing that which is good and holy. In other words, he does not have the “free will” to choose God because his will is not free. It is constrained by his nature, just as the prisoner is constrained by his cell.

How then can anyone be saved? Ephesians 2:1 describes the process. We who are “dead in our trespasses and sins” have been “made alive” through Christ. A dead man cannot make himself alive because he lacks the necessary power to do so. Lazarus lay in his tomb four days unable to do a thing to resurrect himself. Christ came along and commanded him to come to life (John 11). So it is with us. We are spiritually dead, unable to rise. But “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He calls us out of our spiritual graves and gives us a completely new nature, one undefiled by sin as the old nature was (2 Corinthians 5:17). God saw the desperate and helpless state of our souls, and in His great love and mercy, He sovereignly chose to send His Son to the cross to redeem us. By His grace we are saved through the gift of faith which He gives us so that we can believe in Jesus. His grace is a free gift, our faith is a free gift, and our salvation is a free gift given to those whom God has chosen “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Why did He chose to do it this way? Because it was “according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Ephesians 1:5-6). It’s important to understand that the plan of salvation is designed to glorify God, not man. Our response is to praise Him for the “glory of His grace.” If we chose our own salvation, who would get the glory? We would, and God has made it clear that He will not give the glory due to Him to anyone else (Isaiah 48:11).

The question naturally arises, how do we know who has been saved “from the foundation of the world”? We don’t. That is why we take the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth, telling all to repent and receive God’s gift of grace. Second Corinthians 5:20 tells us we are to be pleading with others to be reconciled to God before it is too late. We cannot know who God will choose to release from their prison cells of sin. We leave that choice to Him and present the Gospel to all. The ones who come to Jesus He “will in no way cast out” (John 6:37).
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:57 PM
62 posts, read 231,290 times
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Thank you for the quick answer.
For me the first answer is much easier to understand.
But if we believe the first parts of your quotation in Bible, we are actors in the play designed by God.
The only problem is that we don't know which roles we are assigned to.
Is this a fair description ?
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Old 08-25-2007, 10:38 PM
Location: Anywhere but here!
2,800 posts, read 9,101,518 times
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I think that's a pretty good description, however, it is up to us (individually) to pray, ask and seek what His will is for our lives. While we might be actors in His play so to speak AND He is the one that assigns the parts, it is up to us to find out which part we are supposed to play...does that make sense?

Keep seeking Him!
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:22 AM
Location: Florida
392 posts, read 279,076 times
Reputation: 53
Default Here's how it works

There's another thread on this forum asking the same question. You might do a search. Maybe an example will make it clearer like this:

Often times when someone comes to that certain place in their life when they decide to accept Jesus Christ into their heart, they have exercised their free will. When they realize what has just happened, they realize they have been predestined to follow Christ.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:58 PM
Location: on a green & blue ball called earth
265 posts, read 552,359 times
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freewill means the opposit of us being made into robots by God.

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Old 02-20-2008, 03:14 PM
Location: Socialist Republik of Amerika
6,212 posts, read 11,453,140 times
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Originally Posted by sisyphus89 View Post
Thank you for the quick answer.
For me the first answer is much easier to understand.
But if we believe the first parts of your quotation in Bible, we are actors in the play designed by God.
The only problem is that we don't know which roles we are assigned to.
Is this a fair description ?
That's religions way of saying it doesn't matter, everything that will happen is pre-destined.
I find that to be a total fabrication, and not represented by scripture.

We have free-will, and free-choice. What God has pre-ordained is thwarted by our choosing not to. That is free-will.

If it is all puppeted by God, then God made evil... And that is simply false.

Satan chose his destiny, and freedom allows freedoom..... For he (lucifer) was a liar from the beginning, by his choice to be above God, rather than like God.
Further more, Satan is the author of death, and pride and the father of lies. Not God. Pre-destiny as interpretted today, makes God the creator of evil.


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Old 02-20-2008, 03:20 PM
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,036,129 times
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I brought this very issue up with my Father who was a retired minister by the time I was born.

He used to talk about free will, that mankind had the choice to follow god OR NOT.

I asked him where my free will was? I was inundated from the moment I touched down on earth with THEIR idea of right and wrong, with what Seventh Day Adventists believe is the right and ONLY way, the fact they believe they are the chosen people.

How do I have free will? I never had a choice.

Now that I do, I have cast it aside because it never made sense to me.

Weigh this idea of free will next to the fact that some christians feel its their responsibility to push their religion on their children. My Father once told me that if he didn't teach me and DRAG me down the path to righteousness, god would hold him personally responsible. SO NOW, its not only my eternal soul at risk but that of my Mother and Father.

My response to that bit of manipulation "sucks to be you, Dad".
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:20 PM
Location: Pennsylvania
46 posts, read 161,677 times
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I think God is outside of time, so to speak, so he already knows all that has happened and all that will happen. That doesn't mean that, in each moment of our lives, we do not have free will. We do! But God already knows how we are going to use that free will, just as you know what you did last week because last week is within your memory now. You had free will last week, as you were living it, and now you know how that free will worked out for you.
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:51 PM
Location: Bora Bora: Vava'u.
738 posts, read 1,660,320 times
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GOD did more than create us with just a body and a brain. He also created us with special mental and emotional qualities. A key part of our mental and emotional makeup is free will.

To begin with, think about this: Do YOU appreciate having the freedom to choose what YOU will do and say, what YOU will eat and wear, what kind of work YOU will do, and where and how YOU will live? Or would YOU want someone to dictate your every word and action every moment of your life?

No normal person wants his life taken out of his control so completely. Why not? Because of the way God made us. The Bible tells us that God created man in his 'image and likeness,' and one of the faculties God himself has is freedom of choice. (Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 7:6) When he created humans, he gave them that same wonderful faculty—the gift of free will. That is one reason why we find it frustrating to be enslaved by oppressive rulers.

To go with the gift of free will, God gave us the ability to think, weigh matters, make decisions, and know right from wrong. (Hebrews 5:14) Thus, free will was to be based on intelligent choice. We were not made like mindless robots having no will of their own. Nor were we created to act out of instinct as were the animals. Instead, our marvelous brain was designed to work in harmony with our freedom of choice.

However, did God purpose for free will to be without limits? Imagine a busy city without any traffic laws, where everybody could drive in any direction at any speed. Would you want to drive under those conditions? No, that would be traffic anarchy and would surely result in many accidents.

So too with God's gift of free will. Unlimited freedom would mean anarchy in society. There have to be laws to guide human activities. God's Word says: "Behave like free men, and never use your freedom as an excuse for wickedness." (1 Peter 2:16, JB) God wants free will to be regulated for the common good. He purposed for us to have, not total freedom, but relative freedom, subject to the rule of law.
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