Author Topic: God's Will  (Read 2600 times)

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Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #75 on: July 27, 2014, 06:17:04 AM »
Oh there is definitely a difference between will and choice, I agree. The will is a capacity to make a choice, the genesis of choice and a choice is the selection of two or more options.

My whole question had to do with what a FREE choice vs a FREE will, and whether you can make a free choice without a free will.

"I am willing to make a choice."  I just wanted to spell that out as a sentence so it would help for some clarification to me.

I still would think the same thing applies, that we are afforded a limited amount of free will to make choices, whether those choices are free or coerced.

Do we have free will to ultimately determine, or choose our salvation. I would say no. Do we have free will to do any one of life's mundane tasks? I would say yes. Does God sometimes direct us to do His will, such as calling Saul, or hardening Pharoh's heart? Indeed.

So my answer would be No. One cannot make a free choice without a free will. But I would also add, that our free will is limited, not authorized to go beyond the bounds given to it. I like EW's way he put it, circles within circles.

Saint wallee,
I agree with you major points. But, I will just leave with a question or two

1. Do you believe that mundane events can lead to major events through a domino effect?
2. Do you believe God has foreknowledge of all your mundane tasks long before they happen?

Offline saintwalee

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #76 on: July 27, 2014, 06:22:14 AM »
Saint wallee,
I agree with you major points. But, I will just leave with a question or two

1. Do you believe that mundane events can lead to major events through a domino effect?
2. Do you believe God has foreknowledge of all your mundane tasks long before they happen?

1. Yes, the so-called butterfly effect.
2. Yes.

Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #77 on: July 27, 2014, 06:26:44 AM »
So for God to make sure that major events happen, like conversion, wouldn't he find it necessary to make sure all the dominos are aligned, even the mundane ones that lead to the conversion?

For the second question, that would mean that no choice is free from predetermination according to God's foreknowledge right?

Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #78 on: July 27, 2014, 06:39:48 AM »
I've found that the big elephant in the room in a discussion like this is God's foreknowledge and the implications that has with respect to free choices. Explanations range from straight up Open Theism, diminishing Gods power in that area, or really complex explanations to do with levels of existence, explanations I can't figure out what they mean.

Offline saintwalee

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #79 on: July 27, 2014, 07:08:29 AM »
So for God to make sure that major events happen, like conversion, wouldn't he find it necessary to make sure all the dominos are aligned, even the mundane ones that lead to the conversion?

For the second question, that would mean that no choice is free from predetermination according to God's foreknowledge right?

1. My answer was "Yes" because of the question "...can lead to major events". I don't see that all events lead to major events, no.

2. Does God know everything? Yes. Was every little thing that ever happens planned out in predetermination? I don't want to answer "Yes" to that, because that would imply that we are just merely actors performing our parts in a play. I, as well as many I'm sure, have thought about this very thing. It could be, I'm not denying that possibility, especially in the light of these verses:

Rom 9:19  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Rom 9:20  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Rom 9:21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Rom 9:22  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Rom 9:23  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,


However, I would still contend that there can be free will, and thus free choices that allow for growth, within certain limitations, that still provide for God's predetermination, or will. However, if everything is predetermined, planned, written; than can we really "grow" unto a perfect man? Does the mere act of performing in the play create in us the New Man? For that matter, would a limited amount of free will allow for us to grow into the perfect, new man? Would it hinder that growth?

I could see how performing in the play could create in us the new man. If I were to liken it to going to college to learn a trade, I would actually have to attend the classes and perform the work so that the knowledge would become engrained in me, to create that which I was schooled for.

The Perfect Man
Eph 4:13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:


These verses would seem to indicate free choices; "..tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine...". But I can see that being tossed about as part of the play, having to go through that as the student becoming perfect.


Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #80 on: July 27, 2014, 07:22:45 AM »
1. My answer was "Yes" because of the question "...can lead to major events". I don't see that all events lead to major events, no.

Right but my point is that God must still influence mundane events. I didn't say ALL mundane events, even though I believe all events are predetermined.

Quote
2. Does God know everything? Yes. Was every little thing that ever happens planned out in predetermination?


I want to be clear about this though. I don't mean to say that God has PLANNED out every thing. James 1 says that God does not tempt man to sin. But he did lead Jesus to the mountain to be tempted of the Devil, and his success was also predetermined.

Pre-planning is a different issue from predetermination. Predetermination simply means that everything you do will happen as God knows it, and therefore no choice you make is free from such foreknowledge of God. It must happen as he already knows it will.

Quote
However, I would still contend that there can be free will, and thus free choices that allow for growth, within certain limitations, that still provide for God's predetermination, or will.

Can any choice be free from God's foreknowledge? If not, then no choice is free from predetermination.

Quote
However, if everything is predetermined, planned, written; than can we really "grow" unto a perfect man? Does the mere act of performing in the play create in us the New Man? For that matter, would a limited amount of free will allow for us to grow into the perfect, new man? Would it hinder that growth? I could see how performing in the play could create in us the new man

That's a good question. It's not so much that we are actors in a play. We are clay pots. God takes the clay and forms the pot. That's the comparison I see. Think of a tree. Does a tree have free choices to grow or not to grow? You just water it and it grows, doesn't it? Where does it come from that growth requires free will, when plenty of things grow without it?

Here is an example from a human point of view, rather than a tree: If God decided to suddenly implant all scientific knowledge in your head in a single instant, did that growth in knowledge require your cooperation or free choice, if God made that decision?


Quote
These verses would seem to indicate free choices; "..tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine...". But I can see that being tossed about as part of the play, having to go through that as the student becoming perfect.

Why would it indicate that?



Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #81 on: July 27, 2014, 07:40:20 AM »
Take a look at a story and this will explain what I see regarding choices and God's will:

God announces his judgment upon Solomon

1 Kings 11
11 So the Lord said to Solomon, "Because [f]you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. 12 Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.


Rehoboam was Solomon's son, the son who God said he would tear the kingdom out of his hand. But look at how God does this:


1 Kings 12
6 King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, "How do you counsel me to answer this people?" 7 Then they spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever." 8 But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him. 9 So he said to them, "What counsel do you give that we may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, 'Lighten the yoke which your father put on us'?" 10 The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, "Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!' But you shall speak to them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins! 11 Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.'"

12 Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, "Return to me on the third day." 13 The king answered the people harshly, for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him, 14 and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions." 15 So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the Lord, that He might establish His word, which the Lord spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.


So Rehoboam was given a CHOICE: listen to the younger advisors, or the older advisors. He chose the former, to deal with Israel harshly. The result is that Israel revolts, and Rehoboam loses his control. At this point God comes back into the picture with this word to Israel:

1 Kings 12
 24 'Thus says the Lord, "You must not go up and fight against your relatives the sons of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing has come from Me."'" So they listened to the word of the Lord, and returned and went their way according to the word of the Lord.


If I took out the first and last scripture, and only focused on the middle part, it would APPEAR that Rehoboam had a choice to make. Does that mean his choice was free? The Elders (much like the Apostles with regard to sharing the Gospel) URGED Rehoboam to treat Israel fairly. But his actions were STILL of the Lord, who brought about his plan from within Rehoboam's choices.

Did Rehoboam know this was happening? Did he feel the hand of God in his actions?

Here is my point: Just because scriptures urge people to grow in the faith, at the end of the day God is still in charge of who grows into the likeness of Christ. Romans 8:29 proves this. It happens according to the foreknowledge and predestination of God. All the admonitions of the Gospel to grow, are just as part of God's ultimate plan as the admonition to Rehoboam to treat Israel fairly. It doesn't mean that God isn't still predetermining the growth of his elect. That's what makes them elect.

Offline saintwalee

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #82 on: July 27, 2014, 08:00:34 AM »
My thinker is starting to shut down for the evening! I will look at this again with a fresh mind tomorrow.

 :friendstu:

Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #83 on: July 27, 2014, 08:08:01 AM »
God bless you bro. Just want to say, I respect the views of all who disagree. I'm posting a lot in this thread only because I am endlessly fascinated by it. It's a difficult subject for certain and I respect all those who see things differently. As EW if we saw things the same, it would be pretty boring, no? God bless all who have engaged in it.  :HeartThrob:

Offline gregoryfl

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #84 on: July 27, 2014, 11:09:40 AM »
Here's a little something to consider with this subject. Did Yeshua have free will? It depends on how one understand what should be the plain words he himself said:


Jesus therefore answered them, "Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.
(Joh 5:19)

I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don't seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.
(Joh 5:30)

If we say that Yeshua could do nothing of himself (which is different than saying he chose to do nothing of himself, if that were even possible), what would that say about his love for his Father? Is it any less because he could not even love the Father apart from the Father working his will in his Son to love him?


« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 11:59:57 AM by gregoryfl »

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #85 on: July 27, 2014, 04:51:34 PM »
Ronen, I think the keyword of both verses is "can".

The two main meanings are:
1] Have the ability to do something.
Being able to lift an object.
Have enough money to buy a car.
Be able to win a fight.

2] It's legally/morally allowed to do something.
Many things usually are physically possible but a can't be done be cause of certain consequences.
Most people can take 4 hour lunch breaks but at the same time can't because they will get fired.
Most people can hit a judge but at the same time can't because of the legal consequences.
The plumber that fixed your sink can do it for free but at the same time not because he will get fired.

Obviously when reading a text it's not always clear which meaning of "can" is used.
'I can't shoot the president'
That can't mean so many things. Too much security. It's against my moral values. I never learned to shoot. I'm blind. Etc.

The way I read the two verses you quoted strongly leans toward definition 2.
Jesus takes Father's actions as His moral guide as His law. He copies Father's personality.
Jesus had free will but look how He used that free will.
v19. He looks what Father does and does what He saw.
v30. He listen what the Father says and that the (basis of) the judgment He makes.

He could have done otherwise
v19 He could not look and do whatever He feel is best.
v30 He could seek His own will.

But it's never that easy.... :winkgrin:
Quote from: Ronen
If we say that Yeshua could do nothing of himself (which is different than saying he chose to do nothing of himself, if that were even possible),
I think both apply to Jesus at the same time. It's may sound like a little paradox but it's isn't that hard to understand.
He did chose to do what Father did, but at the same time He can't chose at all because not doing so would conflict His own moral standards.

Most people 'function' at least in part that way. Sometimes people look at the law when doing things. Sometimes they follow their own moral standards which just happen to be the law also.
Many people like speeding but they don't because of fines. They look what the law says. (look what Father does)
--> Written law. Checking what others have to say about it.

Most people don't torture babies. They don't even bother to check what the law says on this matter. While they physically can torture a baby their personality is 100% effective stopping the person to do such things. So they made their own free choice because they didn't follow the law (looked at Father) but listened at their moral compass which just happened to align with the law.
But where does that moral law comes from? I think it's a combination of many things but for simplicity I'll only use parents in my example. Parents teach according to their own moral standards which covers many area's of life including things like social behavior (which often are law derived from laws), political views, laws, etc. Those things form a personality. That personality is the engine of free will. So my free will is largely made of my parents moral standards. So my free will is at least partly that of my parents.
--> My free will is the law written on my heart (by my parents, society and laws of my country)
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline eaglesway

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #86 on: July 27, 2014, 06:53:20 PM »



Jesus therefore answered them, "Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.
(Joh 5:19)

I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don't seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.
(Joh 5:30)

This is a legitimate way to read this. I am not really commenting on anyon elses opinion of how to read it. This is how I read it.

"I can of my own self do nothing because my love for my Father constrains me to do and to judge as He does. I SEEK TO DO(active participation) my Father's will."
« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 06:59:30 PM by eaglesway »
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Offline joeteekay

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #87 on: July 27, 2014, 06:59:59 PM »
Good comment  :icon_king:
Joe from Ottawa

Offline eaglesway

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #88 on: July 27, 2014, 07:05:02 PM »
If there is a difference between will and choice, they are nevertheless entirely dependent on one another.

 If you have no will, it is not a choice. If you choose, your will is involved. If your will is not involved, you did not choose, another chose for you. This does not mean necessarily that your will is the only stimulus/source of the choice- another can be involved, but if you have no involvement by your own will then you have no involvement in the choice- you are just a piece on the board so to speak, a silent passeger observing from an uninvolved position, or a deluded puppet who cannot see the strings.(IMO)
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #89 on: July 27, 2014, 07:53:20 PM »
If there is a difference between will and choice, they are nevertheless entirely dependent on one another.

 If you have no will, it is not a choice. If you choose, your will is involved. If your will is not involved, you did not choose, another chose for you.

I totally agree with this. Everyone has a will, a capacity to make choices.  :thumbsup:

Offline micah7:9

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #90 on: July 27, 2014, 08:44:40 PM »
Jeremiah 17:9-10
Rotherham(i) 9 Deceitful is the heart above all things And, dangerously wayward,—Who can know it? 10 I—Yahweh, Searching the heart, Testing the affections; And giving to every man According to his way, According to the fruit of his doings.
Mic 7:8  Thou dost not rejoice over me, O mine enemy, When I have fallen, I have risen, When I sit in darkness Jehovah is a light to me.

Offline Tony N

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #91 on: Today at 03:56:39 AM »
Rom 9:11-16  For, not as yet being born, nor putting into practice anything good or bad, that the purpose of God may be remaining as a choice, not out of acts, but of Him Who is calling,  (12)  it was declared to her that "The greater shall be slaving for the inferior, (16)  Consequently, then, it is not of him who is willing, nor of him who is racing, but of God, the Merciful."

Rom 9:19 You will be protesting to me, then, "Why, then, is He still blaming? for who has withstood His intention?
Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

Offline micah7:9

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #92 on: Today at 05:16:35 AM »
 :dsunny:
Mic 7:8  Thou dost not rejoice over me, O mine enemy, When I have fallen, I have risen, When I sit in darkness Jehovah is a light to me.

Offline saintwalee

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #93 on: Today at 07:02:30 AM »
If there is a difference between will and choice, they are nevertheless entirely dependent on one another.
 If you have no will, it is not a choice. If you choose, your will is involved. If your will is not involved, you did not choose, another chose for you.
I totally agree with this. Everyone has a will, a capacity to make choices.  :thumbsup:

And from an earlier post; "Pre-planning is a different issue from predetermination. Predetermination simply means that everything you do will happen as God knows it, and therefore no choice you make is free from such foreknowledge of God. It must happen as he already knows it will."
 and

"Here is my point: Just because scriptures urge people to grow in the faith, at the end of the day God is still in charge of who grows into the likeness of Christ. Romans 8:29 proves this. It happens according to the foreknowledge and predestination of God. All the admonitions of the Gospel to grow, are just as part of God's ultimate plan as the admonition to Rehoboam to treat Israel fairly. It doesn't mean that God isn't still predetermining the growth of his elect. That's what makes them elect."

Just getting back to this Seth!

In looking at the word "predetermination" that we used, you explained that it was God's foreknowledge of all events, but the in the later statement; "...doesn't mean that God isn't still predetermining...".

I used the word pre-planning, from which you said differed from predetermination; and I can except that definition as you gave it. But then you used the word predetermining, which to me, and it appears that way within the context of that particular sentence, that it is an action of for-thought in pre-planning. So the confusion is this; is predetermination simply foreknowledge, or is it pre-planning?

In reference to those He foreknew He did predestinate, I think the word predetermine means the same thing as predestinate, which to me would mean pre-planned.

As we discussed earlier, does God allow free will or is everything already written and we are just following script? My heart tells me that there is God's overall will, which will be done, but within His will, we are allowed our own free will within the parameters he has given us; as I have stated before. To just be following script, that every single thing has already been planned, to me is suffocating and puts my mind in bondage, and at this time, I cannot except that.

Anyway, this whole thread, which just started out as a realization of the Peace we have in Christ, knowing that our salvation is in His hands, and to take comfort and rest in that, as most threads do, took on a whole life of itself!

God may not be the author of confusion, but the reader sure can be confused!

Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #94 on: Today at 07:11:42 AM »
Hi SW, I meant that God is preplanning the growth of the elect. I didn't mean that God has preplanned everything. As I had said earlier, God does not tempt man to sin. I was making the difference clear about that. At the very LEAST, all is predetermined.

But specifically in regard to the growth of the elect, yes that is according to Gods preplanning.

Offline Searching_For_The_Truth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #95 on: Today at 07:32:11 AM »
I firmly believe that God's free will is far greater than our free will. If he desires for all to be saved, he will do so. If not, he won't do so. I would suggest reading "Hope Beyond Hell" on the tentmaker website. It makes a great case in regards to how our "free will" isn't as strong as we think it is and how God's free will is greater than our free will. It is backed up by scriptures as well.

Offline micah7:9

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #96 on: Today at 04:54:53 PM »
Hi SW, I meant that God is preplanning the growth of the elect. I didn't mean that God has preplanned everything. As I had said earlier, God does not tempt man to sin. I was making the difference clear about that. At the very LEAST, all is predetermined.

But specifically in regard to the growth of the elect, yes that is according to Gods preplanning.

No God does not tempt man to sin, absolutely not, but God does cause the situation where man has to make a choice, to do good or to not.
Jas 1:14  but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.
Eph 2:3  among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest: -  :Peace2: :2c:
Mic 7:8  Thou dost not rejoice over me, O mine enemy, When I have fallen, I have risen, When I sit in darkness Jehovah is a light to me.

Online Seth

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #97 on: Today at 06:57:38 PM »
I agree.  :thumbsup:

See, I want to make a distinction here. I don't believe God is literally forcing people to sin. I think man already wants to sin, and God uses even the evil choices in his ultimate plans.

God did not tempt Jesus to sin. But the Bible says that the Spirit led him to a place to be tempted of the devil. Again, all toward his plan, and Christ's success was predetermined.

Offline saintwalee

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Re: God's Will
« Reply #98 on: Today at 07:35:02 PM »
Hi SW, I meant that God is preplanning the growth of the elect. I didn't mean that God has preplanned everything. As I had said earlier, God does not tempt man to sin. I was making the difference clear about that. At the very LEAST, all is predetermined.

But specifically in regard to the growth of the elect, yes that is according to Gods preplanning.

 :gimmefive: I am understanding your point now, thanks.