A fellow social networker gave me some scriptures to read on ‘free will’. Here are my musings on them – comments welcome J
Firstly, we discussed the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were instructed not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge but they chose to eat of it. They had been given the gift of free will – to follow God or go their own way.
One of the sins that the Bible says is not forgiven is the sin against the Holy Spirit, against God – the person of God himself – Matthew 3:29, Luke 12:10. This means we have the free will to turn away from God if we choose.
Ephesians 1:4 God chose us in Christ before the Creation of the world … but we have the will to accept Him or not.
Ephesians 1:5 He had a free and generous will … as sons and daughters of God we have the same free and generous will.
Eph 2:8-10 God first called me – but I have to respond to this call. We have to repent, be baptised and be born again of the Holy Spirit. God gives us the gift of faith but I have to co-operate with that faith. We put on the new self – Ephesians 4:17 onwards.
Eph 2 v 3 We obeyed the urges of our human nature and consented to its desires. Our creation by God and our revolt against part of our daily reality.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus says ‘Not my will but thine be done’. As in the Lord’s prayer – ‘Thy will be done.’ Luke 22 v 42
Romans 9 is interesting as it talks about predestination. Reminds me of the verse – many are called and few are chosen. How do we combine our will, our prayers with God’s divine will?
In Romans 9, Faith is always the ‘grace of God’. “If God calls whom he wishes, will our act of faith really be free?” This is a mystery. Like Job’s friends who question God. God can do what he likes and only Job recognises this. He trusts God, despite the adversities. It is nothing that Job has done – it is God testing Job. John 6:44 backs this up – God calls those whom He wills.
However, God calls us into a relationship of love and faithfulness with Him. (Hosea 2:21). Sirach 15:14 says – “When he created man in the beginning, he left him free to make his own decisions.” To keep the commandments or not, or to choose the blessing or the curse.” (Deuteronomy) For Paul, predestination refers to the loving plan of God from the very beginning. To lavish on each of us the riches of his love through His Son.
Eph 1:5 In creating us free, God knows that our freedom is fragile.
Eph 1:7 For in Christ we obtain freedom.
Our salvation is a gift from God. We have to be open to his action. We don’t come with our hands full but open to receive.
Some verses on freely:
Gen 2:16 – Freely eat
Hos 14:4 – I will love them freely
Matthew 10:8 – Freely ye have received, freely give
Romans 3:24 – Justified freely by His grace
Romans 8:32 – With hime freely gives us all things
2 Cor 11:7 – preached the gospel of God freely
Rev 21:6 – of the fountain of the water of life freely
Rev 22:17 – water of life freely
Next Blog on the scriptures of ‘free’