Hi ChildeyeI respect your feelings even as I know you respect mine. That is, I am compelled to be thankful for correction and edification from those who are made willing and able to provide it.
As I recall, after lengthy discourse over the semantics inherent in the term free will, we both agreed that in the moral/'immoral context there can only be one true freedom, and that is serving God. God is Love, the impetus of goodwill in every man.
Finally made it back. Wanted to give this some attention.
Edification is good. Correcting - well, we each have to come to our own understanding of God's Word and also of His concepts. Discussion is always good.
Yes. We DID agree that the one true freedom is in serving God.
When one serves satan, he isn't free at all. He's only free to do evil. We are functioning fully in our sin nature when we do not know God. If you do not serve God, it means you're serving satan. No middle ground.
So, yes, before regeneration, you serve satan. You're doing his will. You're whole being is sin - and thus you cannot choose to do good for even when you do something good, it's of no value to God since your servitude is to satan.
Instead when you're serving God, you are freed from the dominion of the sin nature. You are free to choose to do good or even to do evil. And sometimes we do choose evil otherwise we would be perfect beings!
I agree with all of the above. I'd just like to make something very clear.A more complex explanation as pertains to fate and God: As I understand it, scripture indicates that we all have inherited sin/corruption through Adam, which our will cannot change of it's own volition. For this reason Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and was not born of the seed of Adam, so that he was born without sin, and that he may become a worthy propitiation for our sins, as pertains to deliverance from death according to the law.
You said that our will cannot change of its own volition. This is true, it takes the grace of God. It's a supernatural happening. I just want to make sure that you don't intend Calvin's depraved nature theory- that says that we are so depraved that we cannot reach out to God and that He has to do ALL the work, including looking for us and finding us. Man CAN search for God and although he has the sin nature, he is not depraved - there will always exist some grace in man. Otherwise how would one ever get to know God? it IS by His grace that he draws all men to Him and man has the capability of answering this call - AFTER this, God will justify. He does not force man to be justified.
Perfect. This explanation is found in Romans 5:12Not only this, but that he may be the first born of many brethren amongst mankind through faith in Him, Who is become God's grace to those who believe. This is therefore an intervention in the events in time through the sovereign will of God, where otherwise mankind would have been fated to death without any hope of Life. And this is in keeping with God, who had stated from the beginning, that if mankind ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would surely die as the result.
God made provision, from the beginning of the world, for the forgiveness of man's sin - which is the Christ.
Notice in Genesis 3:21 God makes garments of SKIN for Adam and his wife.
An animal had to die for that skin. I'm sure you know this and am just repeating - that was the first sacrifice. God clothed Adam and Eve - He made provision for His creation.
Right. In scripture free will means that man is free to choose. The dictionary meaning might mean that man is free from outside influence - but that's not scriptural. Man is ALWAYS influenced; both by satan and by God. As we said, if by satan his choice will be evil as counted by God, even if he is doing good, IF, instead man is serving God he has true choice.So contrary to the dictionary definition of free-will, here in scripture is the will of man, either subject through fate to die through the knowledge of good and evil and condemnation under the law, or subject to God through His self-sacrificing intervention unto life. These are the absolutes of life and death and everything on the pathway in between is relative.
Choice also will refer to the ability to choose God or satan. This is the first and most important choice. It's the beginning of everyghing.
God places before us the choice. We could choose Him or we could choose satan. That is the choice - and it's made by our own freedom to choose, our own free will.
Our WILL (choice and desire) chooses.
Do you mean Mathew 10:39? I don't understand the relevance. About the sparrow. Yes. Nothing happens unless God so wills it. He is sovereign. No limit should be put on Him. Who are we to put limits? Job 38:4I'll just say that I don't discount that God has ordered every event in time down to every single molecule. For the Christ has said that every hair on your head is numbered and not one single sparrow can fall from the sky apart from the will of God. I would not presume to put any limits on His power. Matthew 10:29, 30.
But did God plan things this way? That He would order every single event in line down to every molecule? If He ordered every event, where's our free will? If He already planned everything, there is NO free will. We're just puppets on a stage carrying out the puppetmaster's orders. Simple concept. We're either free or we're not. God will not intervene in the system He has set up on a continuous basis. When He does intervene, it's called a miracle. Miracles don't happen every second of the day.
If by this you mean that God authored, or created, or brought into being the concept of faith for His creatures, then I agree. He is also the finisher of our faith.I believe that the cause of what happens is known to God and it is indistinguishable from His purpose. Hence He is both author and finisher of our faith.
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is the perfecter of our faith. it's God's supernatural grace that sustains us in order to do the works of sanctification. On our own we can do nothing. Philippians 4:13 - we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.
How do you arrive at this idea that we're here so God could populate heaven?As far as my limited understanding goes, from the eternal point of view, the future as we know it, is as unchangeable as the past. God has constructed the present temporal heavens and earth with an end goal of populating an eternal heavens and earth, which is the scroll with seven seals written on both sides. So I believe that this temporal existence is meant to filter out the elements that would otherwise corrupt an eternal heavens and earth, and/or put in place an eternal order from first to last, where the greatest is the one who serves the rest.
I'm not very good at eschatology and cannot comment on the seven seals. Why we are here will always be speculation. Maybe God wanted company? Maybe God is a creator and is creating as we speak? How can anyone know for sure? We just know that we are to know, love and serve Him. This is the reason we are here, but we don't know why. Do you have scriptural evidence for your belief? It's interesting.
To explain these elements is to understand deeper how we are controlled. Mankind in his innocence, is like the irresistible bait for a vanity that begins at the top order of creation residing in heaven. What we see as freely made choices between good and evil, is God sifting and refining through a temporal flesh existence that was made subject to vanity through belief in a lie. And we are molded and sculpted by the events which we experience because of it. The unwanted elements are therefore pre-disposed to choose a path that will turn what began in vanity into a sincere and ever renewing appreciation for God with all humility, which then become treasured elements. Where ever the lie exists, the Truth of God's glory is manifested through it. Satan is like the quicksilver that refines the gold, and vanity is the sieve that sifts the nations.
Since God is sifting, that would depend on what is hidden from us in the subconscious, but is not hidden to God. I would argue that with Love as the cause and purpose of one's will, God would not have to tell us not to do something wrong. To me His Word is first Spirit. But in this temporal existence subject to vanity, the letter was introduced first so as to establish for the record, the need for the Spirit.
Since free is a subjective term, it would be necessary to qualify what you mean. If you mean not free from slavery to sin, then no , since being subordinate to God is to be free from sin. If you mean not free from Love, then yes, since God is Love. I would say then, that you are free to do whatever you want, but you are not free to want whatever you want to want which determines what you will do.
Satan rules by lies, while God rules by Truth. So then according to what you say above, you don't actually believe in the free will definition posted above from Merriam Webster, since it proposes that a will is free when not controlled by God, and God is Love. Without Love, one cannot love one another. Hence when you say God gave us a free will, anyone who understands the definition of the term free will, believes that you are preaching that we were not created subordinate to God. But that He made us enabled to sin whenever we choose to. The choice to sin is then portrayed as an ability given by God, rather than a disability attributable to Satan and vanity.