Author Topic: Will  (Read 23975 times)

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Offline VineBranch

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Will
« on: November 26, 2012, 10:20:52 PM »
Most of the arguments I have read over the past while have been very enlightening.  UR seems to have a lot of verses to support it and that is indeed wonderful.  I am a bit confused however.  Of all the articles I have read I haven't found a one which seems to present the argument of free will as a consideration against the UR.  This area seems to be glossed over in a lot the work and sometimes it is dismissed as a non-issue.

Does anyone have an article which takes seriously the notion that free will should be discussed as probably the most considerable stumbling block against UR?

The majority of proofs appear to be linguistic.  Free will however is about the nature of God.  If free will exists and God won't over-ride it, UR appears to be in trouble.  If there is no free will then salvation is irrelevant.  I don't mean to be rude, that is why I am asking for the articles.

Thanks.

Offline victoriousgospel

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Re: Will
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 10:32:10 PM »
I just posted something similar about this in another topic, so forgive the copy-pasta.

You have to digest that 'being saved' is absolutely in no way an act of human free will. The Bible states over and over that it is an act of God's will. Thusly, when called, nobody will be able to resist that. The involvement of 'free will' in our salvation is mostly an American construct, as we live in a country that values greatly this ideal.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast."

Think about Paul. He was on the road to Damascus, getting ready to persecute (maybe even beat or kill) some Christians. But when he was exposed directly to the light of Jesus, his own will was completely broken. He spent the rest of his life preaching the Gospel and putting himself in harm's way for the glory of God.

Does it sound to you like Paul was ready to be saved? Of course not! But he was, wholly and completely.

Offline victoriousgospel

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Re: Will
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 10:40:15 PM »
Romans 11:32 - "For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all."

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 10:42:07 PM »
Romans 11:32 - "For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all."


..each in his own turn.  Every knee will bow, every tongue confess Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father.  No man can confess Jesus as Lord but IN [literal translation] the Holy Spirit.

Vine, others will have good input, and I'll look for an article or two.  Also,  I'd like to ask eaglesway to specifically respond to your OP.   PAGING JOHN, PAGING JOHN.   :clapping:
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 10:45:57 PM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 10:53:50 PM »
Some people it takes a lot of verses to convince.Me, it only takes one if I know of no other verses that seem to contradict it.
"Jesus Christ, the Author and the Finisher, of our salvation"
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 11:03:05 PM »
Some people it takes a lot of verses to convince.Me, it only takes one if I know of no other verses that seem to contradict it.
"Jesus Christ, the Author and the Finisher, of our salvation"

One of my favorites!  I for one have lean on that one.

Personally, quickly, I believe in limited will, or "man's/human will", which operates within the parameters God sets.   I believe it operates in terms of making choices out of options that are set before us (we plan our steps, God directs our path).  To me,  the whole UR "argument" comes down to this - a version of "irresistable grace".  In essence, we've never ever been totally, directly in God's presence before.  To do so is to physically no longer be able to live - not "survive" it.  I believe when every knee bows and every tongue confesses, we will all have placed in God's direct Presence.  Our God is a consuming fire, and "God IS love".  So when faced with His all-consuming fire of Love, even the most stubborn of human wills will be overwhelmed with all He IS, and "melt" at His feet - GLADLY, JOYFULLY accepting Who He is once fully revealed.

"That's the power of love". 

Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 11:33:59 PM »
vg, i also agree God chooses and saves - not our effort.  Although my personal understanding is as stated above, if I had to answer the question "does man have a free will", I'd have to answer no - and then go into the above explanation  :laugh: of how I believe it works.

J. Preston Eby has a good article on it here;

https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.tentmaker.org/books/FreeMoralAgent-Eby.html&sa=U&ei=BOCzUIDzDIKPmQW3s4CgCg&ved=0CAkQFjAB&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNF6z_o8SwHzUQnbZjCmXknzOKfNDg

God is sovereign.  :thumbsup:
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline Lazarus Short

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Re: Will
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 11:42:28 PM »
Free or not-so-free will is a topic we have difficulty getting our carnal, temporal minds around.  That said, I see human will as a little "wiggle room" God gives us, but the outcome is pre-known to Him.  He is both all-powerful and knows the end from the beginning - we do not - and that is the crux of the matter.
Socrates taught Plato.  Plato taught Aristotle.  Aristotle tutored the son of Philip of Macedon.  This boy grew up to become Alexander the Great, largely by slaughtering a lot of people.  That's philosophy.

Jesus spoke the Truth.  He blessed the poor.  He healed the sick.  He even raised the dead.  He died on a cross for us, lived again, and came back long enough to tell us to love one another.  That's religion.

Offline victoriousgospel

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Re: Will
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 11:43:26 PM »
@ Jabcat - THAT was the article I was trying to find, but was having no luck! Thanks!

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2012, 12:06:14 AM »
 :thumbsup:  I agree, it's hard to totally absorb/comprehend.


 :thumbsup: on the article.
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 04:46:32 AM »
I liked the article.

I am then left with the latter part of the original thought.  Now that the notion of free will has gone the way of the eight track, why do we need an elaborate process by which to come to God?  If the end is inevitable why do we need the play?  What would be the difference between this (which seems to be in one way Calvin on steroids), and the notion of inchallah.

All the discussion would simply boil down to a script:  same words, different actors, with God deciding who spoke which lines.  Why is there a concern that people understand the process if the process will eventually get everyone anyway?

Wouldn't it be eat, drink, and be merry, for eventually we all get there irrespective of what we do?

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 05:27:36 AM »
Glad you enjoyed the article.  :thumbsup:

I would answer it simply like this;  God has a plan to bring all to Him.  There is much debate over some of the intricacies of the process, or even why God chose to do it the way He has at all.  Questions like why didn't He just make all holy to begin with?  Why is mankind here to begin with, whether one believes in ET or UR?  These seem to be "universal" questions (pardon the pun :).  The closest I've found (and I'm still searching) is that God has given mankind an experience of evil so we can learn from it - i.e., through the process, we will learn to appreciate His goodness, mercy, and glory, and then fully be able to appreciate being in His presence - which will add to our joy.  To me, there is some of that "I see an outline, but I don't know all the details", so there's some "trusting God and walking humbly before Him" involved.

If one can "get through" the first part of it, then for the last part of your observations;  I understand and believe it like this.  God brings the elect/pre-destined to Him in this lifetime.  They are the ecclesia, set aside for a purpose - including being "priests and kings" reigning with Him in the next age.  As the gates to the city are open night and day, the ecclesia is somehow (according to that aforementioned plan) instrumental in bringing the rest in.  Rev. 21 - "the kings of the earth bring their treasures into it".  So, back to the basics of that last line, "eat, drink, be merry"..   Remember Saul/Paul.  He was on his "merry" way, doing his thing.  Slandering and murdering.  But when the Holy Spirit brings new birth, what happens?  That person becomes what, and what passes away?  New creature, old things!  So God places His Spirit in a believer, which "seals them unto the day of redemption", they are "His workmanship, predestined unto good works", and "He who has begun a good work in you will complete it"!  Hallelujah!  So that person, spiritually reborn, made a new creature, innately then loves His Master and Father, and the desire to please Him has been placed in his heart.  Our heart is turned toward home - by the Father, sealed by the Spirit, ensured by His grace.  Eating, drinking, and being merry to the exclusion of Master and Father, is no longer really a viable option.  The Spirit has taken up residence!

I hope that makes sense.  Blessings.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 05:40:06 AM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline eaglesway

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Re: Will
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 07:33:26 AM »
Some people it takes a lot of verses to convince.Me, it only takes one if I know of no other verses that seem to contradict it.
"Jesus Christ, the Author and the Finisher, of our salvation"

The fact that Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith by no means fully answers the issue of free will, and IMO the discussion is much broader than any one verse can accomodate

To deal with the seeming disparity between certain verses that speak of the sovereignty of God versus other verses(I do so love "versus verses" and "paradoxical paradigms":o) that indicate that man has a will of His own and the he must "yield" it to God- one has to step back into a wider perspective.

IMO, The problem with this discussion (man's will vs God's will) is the "narrowness" of vision from both sides of it.

My view MUST include ALL of the verses about GOD'S WILL and MAN'S WILL(The code by which I pursue the truth through topical hermeneutics and exegesis of the scriptures).

The fact that God is ultimately sovereign is not in question.

What is in question is how many proponents of God's sovereignty get uncomfortable with certain verses, even as certain proponents of free will, or man's will get uncomfortable with others. Somehow, before we settle so comfortably into "the know"- we have to see ALL the verses represented within our overall paradigm.

For instance, Jesus is the author of our faith, but what does that mean? We were begotten by the will of God yet we are told, "Today if you here His voice harden not your hearts".....Why? At what point do we stop contradicting one another when someone says "Choose you this day whom you will serve" or "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". Jesus learned obedience through the things He sufferred- that is THE FAITH HE AUTHORED. What are we learning? How is He finishing our faith? As clay upon the wheel He is teaching us, "Nevertheless not my will but thine be done". He is, IMO, finishing us by teaching us how to agree with the Father in the exercise of the will which we have been given so that we will be "no more like children" but grow into mature sons.

We are in a "bubble in eternity" called time, or, the ages. Within the bubble, we are exhorted, we are called to choose, WE AND THE UNBELIEVERS UNTO WHOM WE SPEAK THE GOSPEL are continually exhorted to exercise our wills in certain ways AND BE REWARDED OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES- and, theses consequences are very real so..........

How do we reconcile these seemingly paradoxical paradigms :o).

Well, one thing I can ASSURE OF is that the issue is never as simple as the proponents of the polar extremes seem to make it. For every verse you can quote to me about the ultimate sovereignty of God I can quote you one about the IMMEDIATE ACCOUNTABILITY OF MAN. There will always be someone standing for this aspect of the word BECAUSE IT IS CLEARLY THERE.

My point is not to promote one view or the other, but to FIND THE SEAM, THE INTEGRATION POINT, THE HIGHER PERSPECTIVE  that incorporates ALL OF THE SCRIPTURES.

Fortunately you do not have to believe one way or the other to believe in UR
. I believe free will IS GIVEN BY GOD TO ALL HIS CREATION and He is winning back His whole creation THROUGH LOVE  to a point where EVERY WILL IS YIELDED because of a REVELATION OF THE HIGHER WAY OF SACRIFICIAL LOVE. I present UR NOT MERELY as a result of the empirical will of God but rather as the INEVITABLE RESULT OF THE SUPERIORITY OF LOVE. It is after all love that drives YHWH's empirical will, because God is love. Love is the HIGHEST MANIFESTATION OF HIS WILL. FREEDOM IS THE HIGHEST AND FINAL GIFT OF LOVE. My answer to someone who does not see the sovereignty of God as I do but is from the free will side of the aisle is "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me". My answer to someone the sovereignty side of the aisle is that God exercises His sovereignty through the INEVITABLE VICTORY of love given freely(freely you have received freely give)- this is how we learn and this is how He wins us over and all of we learn through trial and temptation lead us there (freely yielded to God's will because of love).


I am in no way ever offended by anyone who sees it differently from me, but I believe the balance is in the middle somewhere and UP HIGHER and that God's sovereign will is expressing itself through FREEDOM- "For freedom Christ has set you free"....."You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"..... and "the whole creation groans in anticipation that it will be set free into the "glorious liberty of the children of God".

Many others will come to UR with a similar perspective to my own. I do not come from a preterist background, I was born into the faith as pentecostal/charismatic Christian. I would not like to see the message of UR saddled with the additional and (IMO) unnecessary weight of the sovereign/free will debate- but rather put forth the answer that assuages both views, which is that God's love is great enough to win over every sentient being in a free will universe as well as a universe where God is forcing all things to a point of subjection to Himself. Surely if, God in His very nature, if the height and breadth and depth of His I Am That I Am- IS LOVE, then it is love that is the superior working agent and is the root of His power to "make all things work together according to the counsel of His will."



 
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 07:51:55 AM by eaglesway »
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Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 03:30:20 PM »
See? a question everybody can have an opinion different and we can all be right!
"Choose this day whom you will serve" is a great indicator of free will.
But the choice is not offered to everyone.
"God hardened Pharoah's heart"
Paul as Saul,thought (as others have) that they were serving and had chosen God. Muslims are a perfect example.
Cult leaders and their followers think they are serving God
And of course, the people that never heard the good news and won't hear it in their lifetime.
After death, those that have died not having chosen God, will ALL (of their own free will) choose God.
That seems to be a contradiction but free or not, our will is not stronger than the love of God and he will be irrestible,
making an offer that can't or won't be refused.
Does even God have free will? yes and no. we say God can do anything, but he cannot lie, he cannot sin, and he cannot not love, for that his nature and essence.
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2012, 05:06:47 PM »
The closest I've found (and I'm still searching) is that God has given mankind an experience of evil so we can learn from it - i.e., through the process, we will learn to appreciate His goodness, mercy, and glory, and then fully be able to appreciate being in His presence - which will add to our joy.

This is intriguing.  It brings up C.S. Lewis' notion that the universe is more classroom than place for hedonistic expression.  Do you have any literature available about this idea?  I love the thought that the universe is not simply a randomly created thing, but that God made it not only with purpose, but for a purpose.  Thanks Jabcat, if you are of a mind, could you flesh out that idea.

Thanks

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2012, 05:09:43 PM »

Fortunately you do not have to believe one way or the other to believe in UR
.... I present UR NOT MERELY as a result of the empirical will of God but rather as the INEVITABLE RESULT OF THE SUPERIORITY OF LOVE.

Don't these two statments contradict one another?

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2012, 05:22:27 PM »
Like everything with free will... Yes and No.
After we die, when God reveals his glory, his plan, his love, his power, his omniscience...etc.
Regardless of the "free will" to refuse, God has basically "stacked the deck" in that a person will be unable to refuse.
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline CHB

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Re: Will
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2012, 06:39:30 PM »
Hi All,

I think God gave man the idea that he has a free will, but does he? In my opinion, no, he does not. It is just another thing that God is using to teach us with.

It says "choose this day whom you will serve" but then it says God has blinded their eyes and closed their ears so they could not choose. Of course we choose but why and how do we choose is the next question?

Just like in (Phil. 2:12) paul says "work out your own salvation" then the next verse says "For it is God which worketh in you both TO WILL and TO DO of his good pleasure". So how are you going to work out your own salvation if it is God doing it all?

You know how sometimes you allow your children to think they are thinking and choosing for themselves when actually it is you that has set up the events so that they will choose or do exactly what you want them to. It makes them feel good thinking they are in control of things when really they are not. I guess it is one way that God makes us feel good about our selves. It is an ego trip and this fuels it. Another way of teaching us that we are not in control.

Just my  :2c:

CHB 

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2012, 07:26:20 PM »
Here's my  :2c: (Which has just changed on the subject in the last 2 hours) Man has free will in many things. Man does not have free will concerning his salvation. Here's why IMO:

God gives salvation as a free gift without any conditions or qualifications, and it is His will that determines eternal life, not the will of the sinner. His eternal counsel and choice is the basis for eternal life.
In order for salvation to be by grace, man cannot have any role in it; or grace would no longer be grace, and man would put God in a position of debt. Man's will and efforts are totally excluded.
God plainly denies man's will or efforts in salvation (John 1:13; Rom 9:16). These two texts are enough for those who tremble at God's word. They are plain, powerful, and conclusive. Yet the first is generally ignored when using John 1:12, and the second seems to be overlooked.
God also denies man's works in his own salvation (Rom 4:6; 9:11; Eph 2:9; II Tim 1:9; Tit 3:5). If man's works were included, God would be in debt to man; and He is not (Rom 4:4). If they were included, man would have reason to boast; but God does not allow it (Eph 2:9). If they were included, grace would no longer mean grace, for grace excludes works (Rom 11:6).
God saves men while they are dead in sins, not while they are willing or working (Rom 5:6-10; Eph 2:1- 5). He saves them while they are enemies, not while they are friends seeking Him. Salvation is a free gift, so God is never repaying man (Rom 5:18; 6:23; 4:4; 11:35).
Only God's will is active in the giving of eternal life (John 3:8; 5:21; Eph 1:5; Rom 9:15; James 1:18; Heb 10:9-10). God's glorious will is altogether sovereign, and man can no more direct it than he can direct the wind. To steal this prerogative from God and give it to man is blasphemy. God's mercy and predestinating purpose are based in His Own will, not in the will of man. His will and choice and decision are the basis for salvation, not that of sinners.
Even faith is considered a work, part of the law, and a commandment (John 6:28-29; Matt 23:23; I John 3:23). And eternal life is not by works, the law, or commandments (Tit 3:5; Gal 2:21; 5:4; Rom 3:19). The only faith Scripture allows is faith trusting the God Who justifies the ungodly, which is very different from believing God justifies the faithful (Rom 4:5). Faith is only an evidence of eternal life, not a condition or means for it.
For those who believe eternal life is conditioned upon man's faith, Didn't God give them the faith before they had any?
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline Lazarus Short

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Re: Will
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2012, 09:13:38 PM »

I love the thought that the universe is not simply a randomly created thing, but that God made it not only with purpose, but for a purpose.

Try this site, as I mentioned in another thread:  http://www.biblemaths.com/
Socrates taught Plato.  Plato taught Aristotle.  Aristotle tutored the son of Philip of Macedon.  This boy grew up to become Alexander the Great, largely by slaughtering a lot of people.  That's philosophy.

Jesus spoke the Truth.  He blessed the poor.  He healed the sick.  He even raised the dead.  He died on a cross for us, lived again, and came back long enough to tell us to love one another.  That's religion.

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2012, 09:19:40 PM »
On my way.

As one Bab 5 fan to another, thanks.

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2012, 10:00:38 PM »

That seems to be a contradiction but free or not, our will is not stronger than the love of God and he will be irrestible,
making an offer that can't or won't be refused.
Does even God have free will? yes and no. we say God can do anything, but he cannot lie, he cannot sin, and he cannot not love, for that his nature and essence.

That's one of the reasons I don't like the term "free will".  IMO, if a will is influenced at all, it's not free.  That's why I prefer "man's will" and "God's will".  IMO, that can take in all the intricacies, i.e., man's requirement by God to make choices by which to learn and grow, but all within parameters and limits He sets and the controls He chooses to initiate - according to His will.  And in the end, man's will submits to God's supreme and perfect will, in the direct Presence of irresistable Love and grace.  My  :2c:
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 10:31:49 PM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2012, 10:07:48 PM »
The closest I've found (and I'm still searching) is that God has given mankind an experience of evil so we can learn from it - i.e., through the process, we will learn to appreciate His goodness, mercy, and glory, and then fully be able to appreciate being in His presence - which will add to our joy.

This is intriguing.  It brings up C.S. Lewis' notion that the universe is more classroom than place for hedonistic expression.  Do you have any literature available about this idea?  I love the thought that the universe is not simply a randomly created thing, but that God made it not only with purpose, but for a purpose.  Thanks Jabcat, if you are of a mind, could you flesh out that idea.

Thanks

Hi vine.  As I wrote this, the little book by Thomas J. Kissinger crossed my mind.  It's linked here; 

http://abidinghopefellowship.org/teachings/nobleberean.pdf

It's an easy read, can be skimmed for relevant content, and I THINK most of what pertains directly to this subject is close to the front - although there's much more good stuff throughout.   I'll think about this subject through the next few hours Lord willing, and see what I can come up with.  Good thought on C.S. Lewis, thanks.  I'll admit - I have a lot of room to grow on this subject, I struggle with it a lot re: God's will, plan, purpose through this life - even though God has blessed me and given me grace and mercy I don't deserve.  My bad..:(   Maybe some things discussed here will help me too.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 10:29:01 PM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2012, 10:35:06 PM »
I'm such a cheapskate, discussing free will
You had me at "free" :laugh:

...and when I heard salvation was the FREE gift of God...  :dsunny:
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 10:39:47 PM by ded2daworld »
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2012, 10:56:35 PM »
I'm such a cheapskate, discussing free will
You had me at "free" :laugh:

...and when I heard salvation was the FREE gift of God...  :dsunny:

:)  Good line.

Funny, I was thinking about salvation being the free gift, and how that relates to "free" will.  I thought of works as being related to salvation as some people claim.  If somebody gives me a gift and says it's free, and after I've received they say, "oh, but wait a minute.  You're going to need to pay me a dollar every month for the rest of your life".  Then that gift wasn't free.  Now...on the other hand, if the free gift is given, I might be so grateful for it, and the love of the gift has made a change a change in my heart, thoughts, and feelings, I may gladly give a dollar a month, joyfully.  Because I was changed by the gift and the love of it overwhelmed me.

So I was thinking some more about "free will".  I've thought of this scenario often.  I honestly don't believe I can choose to not be a child of God today.  I can't say, "well, I'm no longer going to be spiritually reborn/saved.  I'm going to just do what I want and be a child of the devil."  I think we tease ourselves by saying we can.   If we've been truly spiritually reborn, we're sealed, influenced, led, constrained by the Holy Spirit.  I often fail.  My stubborn human will temporarily gets in the way - OFTEN.  But I can no longer be content with it and go on my merry way, "freely".  I'm convicted, drawn back, encouraged to confess and repent and seek His way again, yielding to His will.  I can't walk next door and murder my neighbor today.  The Holy Spirit constrains me.  I guess it's possible I could get in such a bad way, living in rebellion, fighting with the Lord, trying to  force my own will (man's will) that He could temporarily [because He would purge me of it as some point] "release me" to go do that somehow.  But just right now?  By the grace and mercy of God He won't let me go do that (even if I wanted to - I DON"T! :).  He works with my attitudes, thoughts, desires, teaching me what's right and wrong, molding me into His will.  And in the end, even if still resisting Him in many ways, my stubborn will will melt before His anyway.  IMO, that's not a "free will".  I hope that makes some sense.  I know it's a hard subject, with what I believe is much misinformation influencing our thinking on it.   :2c:
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 11:04:24 PM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23