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What is free will really, what does it mean to have free will?

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On 7/18/2017 at 4:43 PM, Cletus said:

I really dont see how your point is valid that it was before sin.  Why did God put it there if man was not to eat of it?  God gave a choice then.  Yeah, at one point no one had to die, but there was a choice. 

Yes, that actually IS my point, THEY had a choice! That is what was different.

I think you may be over thinking what I said, or not understanding my point. The point is valid as the point was made, that there is a difference. Adam and Eve were not created as sinful beings, who were unable to please God.

The Bible is EXTREMELY clear, that this does not describe the rest of us. We are unable to choose God, as the degenerates that we are. We have to be regenerated, born again, before we can escape or slavery to sin.

Slaves, can make choices, and we are slaves. I don't think we would say, that slaves really have free will, because their options are limited

All people are slaves, ALL people.

 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.

 16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

Adam and Eve, for a time were sin free, there were not created as sinners by nature. Mankind since, is in a different boat. We are sinners by nature, unable to please God. We are naturally rebellious, so we need a new nature - the the necessity of being born again.

While we are not totally free of our old nature in terms of temptations to disobey (that still exists - Adam and Eve were tempted, so was Jesus in fact) our new nature gives us and ability to say "no" to that temptation, even though we do fail. 

Two marvelous differences for the chosen:

1. We can say "no", can resist, can escape (1 Cor 10:13)

2. When we fail, we have an advocate (Jesus) who not only pleads our case, but also pays our fine, so that we are judged innocent, having His righteousness given to us, in spite of ourselves.

We receive this by grace, through faith, it is the gift of God, and that should motive worship and thankfulness, and motivation to get the message out to other, as this is the method that God has chosen to bring the good new to other, so that they might believe what He has said, once He gives then the faith and understanding and the ability, to choose Him, to escape their former slavery.

Note to those reading:

That response was not so much to Cletus, even though his post prompted the reply. The post was made for all who read it, that they might better understand our condition and the solution, as members of fallen mankind.

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I had not been to this thread, since the middle of July, four months ago. I just ran across it again, while looking for something else. I re-read every post that was made, and I found myself really impressed again, by those who posted in it, with such maturity, self control, and insight.

The thread started when I made a short comment, on my thoughts on free will, nothing that profound or interesting, but the responses people contributed, made it (in my opinion) one of the better threads on Worthy on such a theologically controversial topic. If there were a book I knew of, that was a collection of dialogues as good as this, I would buy it and read it.

So, again, I want to express my sincere thanks to those who made the thread, what it became.


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God is able to change circumstances that shape our opinion as well as our hearts, break down prejudices and enlighten us by His Spirit.  

 Phl 2:12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;  Phl 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.  

So while we freely choose, it is by God's design.  On the other hand, we are free in spite of this to resist the call of the Holy Spirit, just as the Jews always did when they stoned. the prophets.  For many are called but few are chosen.  

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I breathe. God's programming. If I cut, I bleed. God's program again. There are gazillions of autonomous responses that I do mostly without conscious thought. Some I have a certain leeway with. I can chose to eat and drink when my programmed need arises. If I do not do this I die. Also a pre-programmed part of me.

Satan fell. God knew this so warned Adam in a rather obscure way, but Adam would have known this since he was told NOT to eat of the tree. Adam passed on the info to Eve, who maybe did not quite 'get it'.
Satan deceived Eve and Eve gave to Adam (who knew what he was doing). They sinned.

Was God taken by surprise? Not at all. Because, "He died for us from before the foundation of the world".

1 Peter 1:18-20 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 

1 Corinthians 2:7-10 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" -- 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

 2 Corinthians 5:16ff. Jesus’ death and resurrection is described as an act of reconciliation which is a relational term - “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them”. (2 Cor 5:19). Moreover it was a universal act for all people - the whole world.  Rom 5:1-11 talks about Jesus death as being an act of love for us sinners so that we might be reconciled to him. Likewise in John 3:16 God gives his son that whoever believes in him shall have eternal life. That is this eternal life is available to everyone who believes in Jesus.

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On ‎7‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 12:24 PM, warrior12 said:

So let's see here. With Adam and Eve, there was a tempter to sway or persuade them into following a lie even in the midst of a perfected garden. But a law or warning was given to them to not commit or eat of that specific tree.

Now we have satan, with no one to persuade him and on his own volition he made a decision in a time when there is no sin known or in existence.   Satan ability to think the way he did must or i imagine must have come from some laws that were in place and was known to him just like Adam and Eve had their instructions and restriction.  This is not stated in scripture as far as i know, but Satan to come to that prideful state and rebel could not just come out of thin air.   Thus, i am thinking and as i said before, God told us as much as we need to know and i have come to conclusions that there are things that the Lord does not want us know for his sovereign reasons.  

I have some deeper thoughts about this, but i would rest here as it can go places where some would feel uncomfortable.   

What you think ? I prefer what God says

Isaiah 14:13 (KJV)

[13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

[14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  

[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

note the self assertion of his will, a will that began by created realities, that he was using over 'The Will' that was never created... this was the first error or begin of lie formed within himself that this could even be possible... this is why God says we are not to give place to him 

John 8:37 (KJV)

[37] I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Ephesians 4:27 (KJV)

[27] Neither give place to the devil.

The problem your making is that God could not create such a creature with this ability and not be implicated with it! It is a way the created try to encompass God with their own abilities... Yet God has said it came out of Him by choice of his own will

Ezekiel 28:15 (KJV)

[15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

[16] By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

[17] Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

[18] Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

[19] All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

As the witness of God stands Lucifer was perfect in all his ways till sin was found within him.... the I wills above...

You see in this reasoning we either agree with God that his created being was perfect or we call God a liar...or worse we make sin a necessary thing in God's purposes! And this certainly would be a convoluted reasoning of the creature and not of God...  In Lucifer rebelling against his own perfection he asserted that which cannot be as though it were because he willed not to be as God had created him to be... that which is not and claims to be is what?
Love, Steven 



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