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 The Relation of the Nature & Will

I see a great need today for a theological reformation. And I do hope that this article may be a step in that direction.

[b]The Relation of the Nature and the Will[/b]
[i]By Jesse Morrell[/i]

Much confusion arises in the theological realm when a confusion of the relation between the nature and the will exists. Often, there is an assumption made regarding the relation of the nature and the will. But theology is too serious for assumptions. We must not merely ask what is man's nature and what is man's will, but what is the relation between the two?

[b]I propose to answer the following questions:[/b]

1. What are the existing views of the relation of nature and will?

2. What is inevitably implied in both views?

3. Which relation between these two does the bible support?


[b]1. What are the existing views?[/b]

[b]- THE CAUSATION VIEW[/b]

One view is that the relation between man's nature and man's will is that of causation or determination. That is, if man's nature is biased towards sin, man's will would be caused or forced to choose sin. Man's will is not merely influenced by his nature, according to this view, but man's will is caused and determined by his nature.

In this view, the will is but the servant or slave of the nature, not being free or independent.

[b]- THE INFLUENCE VIEW[/b]

The other view is that the relation between man's nature and man's will is that of influence. That is, if man's nature is biased towards sin, man's will could be influenced to commit sin, but not caused to commit sin. Man's will is not determined or caused by his nature but is influenced by his nature.

In this view, the will is independent and free, not being the servant or slave of the nature.


[b]2. What is inevitably implied in both views?[/b]

For the sake of argument, let's assume each position to see it's contrary implication.

[b]- THE CAUSATION VIEW[/b]

[u]If this were true:[/u]

[b]A. [/b]A sinful nature would force a man's will to choose sin, seeing that the will is the slave of the nature, being incapable of willing anything other then the demands of the nature.

[b]B. [/b]This would imply that if a being had a good nature, or a nature biased towards the good, he would be incapable of willing or doing that which is sinful. His will would be determined by his nature, thus his good nature would render him impossible of sinning.

Very simply, if a sinful nature means the will is incapable of doing good, a good nature means the will is incapable of doing evil.

[b]- THE INFLUENCE VIEW[/b]

[u]If this were true:[/u]

[b]A. [/b]Man's will would be free to obey even if his nature influenced him to commit sin. Man's will would be capable of willing obedience despite his natures demand for disobedience.

[b]B.[/b] This would imply that a man's will would be free to disobey even if his nature influenced him to obey. Man's will would be capable of disobedience despite his natures demand for obedience.

Very simply, whether man had a good nature or a sinful nature, man's will could still either obey or disobey the demands of his nature.


[b]3. Which relation between these two does the bible support?[/b]

The proper view of the relation between nature and will is the scriptural view. The scriptures are the only court of competent jurisdiction, being the unquestionable and final authority on all matters theologically.

If it can be shown anywhere within the scriptures, that there has been at least one single case where the will has gone contrary to the influence of the nature, the causation view is seen to be entirely false. Only one single scriptural instance is needed to show that the nature does not force, cause or determine the will. But there is more then one instance of this in scripture, there are multiple instances of this in scripture.

Observe,

[b]A.[/b] God created Heaven and earth, angels and man, and declared all of it to be "good". [i](Genesis 1:31)[/i]

[b]B.[/b] Mankind especially was good because it was made in the image of God. [i](Genesis 1:26)[/i]

[b]C. [/b]Despite their good nature, Adam and Eve sinned against God. [i](Genesis 3:6)[/i]

[b]D.[/b] Despite their good nature, Lucifer and many other angels sinned against God. [i](Isaiah 14:12-16)[/i]

All theological camps, those who hold to the causation view and those who hold to the influence view, unite and agree as to the original condition of mankind, namely, that it was completely good. The Augustinians, the Pelagians, the Semi-Pelagians, the Calvinists, the Armenians, the Wesleyans and the Finneyites all concur that man [i](Adam and Eve) [/i]was not created by the hands of God as inherently evil, but that man [i](Adam and Eve) [/i]came from the hands of God originally good.

Cornelius Van Til, a late professor of Calvinism at Westminster Theological Seminar with a Ph.D. from Princeton writes, “If God does exist as man’s Creator, it is as we have seen impossible that evil should be inherent to the temporal universe. If God exists, man himself must have brought in sin by an act of willful transgression.” He goes on to say that “a denial of man’s responsibility for sin” is to make “God responsible for sin.” Even John Calvin wrote that there was no “disturbance” in the nature of man as he came forth from the hands of God, but that sin originated with the will of man.

Very simply put, God did not make man inherently evil in his nature, but evil came into existence because of the will of man, and to deny this is to make God the author of sin. Augustine, Pelagius, Arminius, Finney, and Wesley, would all give a hardy amen to Calvin and Van Til.

Adam was not created with a sinful nature, seeing that he was made in God's image and declared by God to be “good”. Neither did Adam have any physical depravity that influenced him on the inside to be biased towards sin. Adam's nature was good, his flesh was good, his mind was good, and everything about him was good, seeing that God created with His hands nothing that wasn't good.

Yet, even with a good nature, and a good flesh, and a good mind, [i]Adam sinned.[/i]

Eve was not created with a sinful nature, seeing that she too was made in the image of God. Eve did not have any physical depravity that influenced her on the inside to be biased towards sin. Eve's nature was good, her flesh was good, her mind was good, and everything about her was good, seeing that God created nothing with His hands that wasn't good.

Yet, even with a good nature, a good flesh, a good mind, [i]Eve sinned.[/i]

Lucifer, the arch-angel, was not created with a sinful nature. Lucifer did not have any sort of physical depravity that influenced him or biased him towards sin, seeing that angels are spirits and not made of flesh. Lucifer’s nature was good; in fact, everything about him was good, seeing that God creates nothing with His hands that isn't good.

Yet, even with a good nature, and no flesh to influence him to sin, [i]Lucifer sinned.[/i]

Not a single angel ever created by the hands of God was created evil, seeing God only creates that which is good.

Yet, even being made good by the hands of God, many of the angels sinned by following Lucifer.

[b]WHAT THEN IS THE CAUSE OF SIN?[/b]

In Genesis we scripturally see that the will has gone contrary to the nature. Adams will, Eves will, Lucifer’s will, and many of the angels, went entirely contrary to their nature in their will. This is not one single instance, but multiple instances where the will has acted contrary and against the nature.

If nature was a sure cause or determiner of the will, the fall of Adam, Eve, Lucifer, and many of the angels would not have occurred at all to begin with, seeing that they had good natures. But their good nature did not force them to do good, nor forced them to sin, rather, it influenced them to do good and not to sin, and yet, despite the demands of their nature, they sinned anyway.

A good nature does not render the will incapable of evil, and a bad nature does not render the will incapable of good. Causation has never been the relation between the will and the nature, causation is not the relation between the will and the nature, and so the nature has never been nor never is responsible for the will of man.

If original sin, or a sinful nature, or total depravity, rendered man's will incapable of rejecting sin and choosing good, then original holiness, a good nature, total perfection ([i]as was the agreed original condition of Adam, Even, Lucifer, and all the angels[/i]), then that would have rendered their will incapable of choosing sin and rejecting what was good. If the causation view is correct, then the good are incapable of doing evil, and the evil are incapable of doing good. This is absurd, unscriptural, and soul destroying.

We can clearly see from the testimony of scripture, the story of Adam, Eve, Lucifer, and the angels, that it is not the case that the relation between nature and will is that of causation, but that it is a relation of influence. This is crystal clear. The causation view is entirely and totally incompatible and irreconcilable with the story of the fall of Adam, Eve, Lucifer, and the angels.

Since the nature is an influence, and not a causation, and the will is free to do contrary to the demands of the nature or free to conform to the demands of the nature, we can see why Adam, Eve, Lucifer, and many of the angels sinned - because their will was selfish. But they did not sin because their nature was sinful or even biased towards sin. Sin is always caused by a sinful will, and while it may be influenced by a sinful nature, sin is never caused by a sinful nature.

The sole determiner of any moral agent’s actions and intentions is his own will, though his nature [i](either good or evil)[/i] is only an influence. A moral agent then can and does make decisions completely independent of his nature, but never independently of his will.

The choice to sin is entirely a choice of the will, not a necessity of the nature:

*The fountain of sin has always been the will or heart of man, in which Christ said out of which proceeded all sin. ([i]Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:21[/i]).

* The heart, or will, of man is capable of being desperately wicked. ([i]Jeremiah 17:9[/i])

*The heart, or will, of man is capable of keeping God's commands and being perfect. ([i]1 King 8:61; 1 King 15:14; 2 King 20:3; 1 Chronicles 29:9; 2 Chronicles 19:9; Isaiah 38:3[/i])

*Man must obey the gospel out of the heart, that is, with his will, in order to be saved. ([i]Romans 6:17[/i])

*Christ rebuked unrepentant sinners, not because they were not capable of repenting, but because they did not "want" to repent and come to Him. ([i]Matthew 22:3; John 5:40[/i]).

*Man's will is capable of rejecting God's will, even rejecting God's will for their salvation, and is therefore responsible. ([i]Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34[/i])

*From the perversion of Sodom and Gomorrah to the modern day Sodomite parades, we clearly see that man's will can, has and sometimes still does go "against nature". ([i]Romans 1:26[/i])

Man's sin and man's damnation, though both entirely avoidable, is entirely his own fault. Man cannot blame nature for what was his own doing. No man is the victim of his own sin, being forced to commit it by necessity, but each man is a criminal for his sin, being the originator of it.

We can see then that mankind needs Jesus Christ, not because we cannot obey God, but because we haven’t obeyed God. If man couldn’t obey God, man wouldn’t need Jesus, because man would have no guilt. But because man can obey, but hasn’t obeyed, has guilt, and therefore needs Christ.

No moral agent has ever sinned out of the necessity of his nature. For such is impossible. But a moral agent can only disobey out of the heart, that is, out of the will. And no moral agent ever obeyed out of necessity of his nature. For such is impossible. A moral agent can only obey out of the heart, that is, out of the will. There is no virtue in necessity, no personal deserve of personal blame or deserve of personal reward for what was not a willful choice, but for what was done out of necessity. Choices of the will are the only kind of personal choices. Choices out of necessity are not choices at all. It is impossible for virtue to consist in doing what you cannot but do, and it's impossible for guilt to consist in doing what you couldn't help but to do. Virtue must consist of willful obedience to the revealed Law of God. Nothing else can constitute virtue.

So men are not dictated by their nature, but rather influenced by their nature. Men sin only when it is in their will to do so. And men obey only when it is in their will to do so. Therefore each man is entirely responsible of all of his moral actions, seeing it was their will that caused their moral actions and not necessity that caused their moral actions, thus leaving all men without any excuse for sin and disobedience.

Failure to recognize that the will can act contrary to the demands and dictates of the nature requires either a lack of understanding of the fall of Adam, Eve, and angels, or is a flat out denial of the fall of Adam, Eve, and angels.

[b]CONSISTENT OR PRE-COMMITTED?[/b]

There are some who will still hold to the causation relation view because their pre-committed theological system requires it; however they must be inconsistent if they agree that:

[b]1. [/b]In the beginning God created [i]all[/i] things [i]good[/i].
[b]2.[/b] Therefore Adam, Eve and Lucifer had [i]good natures[/i].
[b]3.[/b] But Adam, Eve, and Lucifer [i]sinned anyways.[/i]

To hold to the causation view, one must deny one of these scriptural points. The influence view alone is consistent with these scriptural points.

Genesis clearly shows that a good nature does not cause obedience, and likewise, a sinful nature cannot cause disobedience. However, both a good nature and a sinful nature can be an influence, inclining towards the good or inclining towards the evil, but never causing it. The nature is but an influence and the will is the cause. Therefore both sin and obedience are possible to all men, whether their natures are good or evil. And God requires holiness and obedience from all, regardless of their nature, because they are completely capable in their will.

[b]There are other questions I'd like to answer in the future, such as:[/b]

What is the condition every man is born with?

What is the practical result of the wrong view regarding the relation between will and nature?

What is the practical result of the right view regarding relation between will and nature?

How does the proper view of relation affect our view of God, His nature, His will, and His holiness?

How does the proper view of relation affect our view of man, his nature, his will, and his sin?

How does the proper view of relation affect our view of eternity in Heaven with a glorified body?

And most importantly, how does the proper view of relation affect the perspective and presentation of the gospel?

But as of know, the foundational argument of the natures influence, but not causation, will suffice. If one can grasp a proper understanding of this relation, it lays a proper foundation for a good understanding of other theological doctrines. But if one does not grasp a proper understanding of this relation, a soul-destroying theology will result.

-------------------------------------------------

For further reading of sound theology, I highly recommend the [i]1851 edition [/i]of “[b]Lectures on Systematic Theology[/b]” by Professor Charles G. Finney.

-------------------------------------------------

[b]Quotes:[/b]

Cornelius Van Til: The Defense of the Faith, page 74. Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. Phillipsburg, New Jersey. 1955

 2006/12/27 15:42









 Re: The Relation of the Nature & Will

This is one of my first, thorough theological articles.

Feedback from people who hold all different theological beliefs would be quite interesting and certainly welcomed.

 2006/12/27 17:42
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 Re:

Brother,

Good article, not that I agree at all points but one recommendation is to at the preamble of your article define some of the terms more fully that you are using. Even "nature" and "will" that could be helpful for some readers.


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 2006/12/27 19:11Profile
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 Re: The Relation of the Nature & Will

why does man need the Spirit?


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Lisa

 2006/12/27 19:19Profile
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 Re: The Relation of the Nature & Will

Quote:
Observe,

A. God created Heaven and earth, angels and man, and declared all of it to be "good". (Genesis 1:31)

B. Mankind especially was good because it was made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26)

C. Despite their good nature, Adam and Eve sinned against God. (Genesis 3:6)

D. Despite their good nature, Lucifer and many other angels sinned against God. (Isaiah 14:12-16)


As it is the whole creation that is declared good it is plain that the scripture is not using the word 'good' in a moral sense as opposed to 'evil' but as comformity to the declared will of God. You are presuming that man was born morally 'good' but was he born 'good' or was he born 'innocent'? It was Oswald Chambers view that Adam was created innocent with the purpose of becoming holy; it is mine too. Holiness being not an absence of 'sin' but conformity to the perfect will of God for our species.

Quote:
In Genesis we scripturally see that the will has gone contrary to the nature. Adams will, Eves will, Lucifer’s will, and many of the angels, went entirely contrary to their nature in their will.


This is built on several presuppositions, not the least being that man has a faculty called 'the will'. I doubt that you have any biblical basis for this but have followed Finney in regarding 'the will' to be 'self-evident'. It also continues to build on the supposition that man had a morally good nature at his beginning. If holiness is a nature is it a virtue? If sin is a nature is it a vice?

Quote:
The heart, or will, of man is capable of being desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9)


The KJV does not do justice to the original here. Young's gets us closer...[color=0000ff]“Crooked [is] the heart above all things, And it [is] incurable — who doth know it?” (Jer 17:9 YNG)[/color] When the 'heart' is incurable the only possible solution is 'replacement' which is exactly what is promised in the New Covenant.


Quote:
So men are not dictated by their nature, but rather influenced by their nature. Men sin only when it is in their will to do so.


Do you accept the distinction between Sin as a dynamic and sins as individual transgressions?


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Ron Bailey

 2006/12/28 11:38Profile









 Re:

[b]OBJECTIONS ANSWERED[/b]

[b]1. Does the bible say that a sinner is not capable of obeying God?[/b]

Often, the scripture used to say sinners cannot obey God is: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7) The scriptures go on to clarify what this means, “so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8)

This verse is not saying that moral obligation does not extend to the mind, or that the carnal mind is some how exempt from the law. We certainly know that “to be carnally minded is death” and that “the carnal mind is enmity against God”. The scriptures are not saying by “are not subject to” that the carnal mind is not disobeying the law because it is not under obligation to the law, but rather that the carnal mind is very simply not being controlled by the law. Simply, it’s clearly saying that the carnal mind is in disobedience to God, and therefore cannot please God.

We see this scripture must be properly understood as saying that the carnal mind does not please God (is not subjected to the law) and that the carnal mind cannot please God (neither indeed can be), that is, as long as it’s carnal. A sinner does not please God; neither can please God, so long as he’s a sinner, walking according to the flesh. If the carnality is forsaken, the disobedience repented of, a sinner can please God. If he exercises faith and repentance and is reconciled through the cross, then he actually does please God. But so long as the mind is used for carnality, and so long as a sinner chooses sin, they do not, and they cannot, please God, seeing that God can never be pleased with carnality and sin.

It also should be noted that 1 John 3:9 teaches that “whosoever is born of God cannot commit sin”. “Cannot” is a reflection of their will, not their ability. When Joseph was tempted with adultery and he cried out, “how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God” (Genesis 39:9) this was not a reflection upon his ability but upon his will. His ability was capable of committing adultery, but his will was not capable of committing adultery. Likewise, sinners are capable in their ability of obeying, but not willing in their heart. And saints are capable in their ability to disobey, but are not willing in their heart.

Those who are “born again” cannot sin while they are walking in “newness of life”. But if they forsake the newness of life, they commit sin. And those who are carnal cannot please God while they are walking in carnality. But if they forsake the carnality and walk in obedience, then they please God.

But if we interpret “cannot” in regards to sinners as lack of ability; we would have to say “cannot” in regards to saints as lack of ability, or else we become theologically biased in our interpretation. But if we interpret “cannot” in regards to ability, we would be concluding that sinners cannot obey God and saints cannot disobey God. But this is contrary to the whole of the bible, logic, and experience.

[b]2. Doesn’t the bible say God created evil?[/b]

"That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." -- Isaiah 45:6-7

We know for certain that all that God created in the seven days of creation were “good” and that God looked upon all of it and said that it was “very good”. Nothing evil was created by God during those seven days of creation.

However, the bible does speak of an “evil” God has and does create. But this evil does not consist as immorality. That would make God a sinner. God does not create or tempt man with what evil that He Himself creates. That would make God a hypocrite. The evil God creates does not consist in maliciousness, for that would be contrary to the benevolent nature of God. God is love. God did not originate the existence of immorality. God does not tempt man with sin. God is light and in Him is no darkness.

Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?” Amos 3:6

But this evil could also be translated “calamity”. God created “evil” is identical with God created “calamity”.

“Is there calamity (or evil) in the city and I have not caused it?”

This evil would not constitute the immoral choices of man’s will, but rather the punishment of man’s immorality. Noah’s flood was God’s punishment for the heart of man, the will of man, being intent on evil continually. Noah’s flood would be considered a calamity, or an evil, but not in the sense that it’s immoral, for it was a moral act of The Moral Governor, but in the sense that it was destructive.

Judgment Day is considered “the great and terrible day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31) a day that is “darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18). But Judgment Day will be just and all punishments given will be deserved. So it is not “evil” or “darkness” in the sense that it’s immoral or unjust, but strictly in the sense that it is destructive and miserable.

Evils like the flood and darkness like Judgment Day come by law of necessity because of the evil hearts of sinners, not because of the evil heart of God.

The heart of the Lord, the ultimate intention of the Lord that He would most willing give to all if all meet the conditions is that of eternal well-being. “For I know the thoughts I think towards you, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

[b]3. Aren’t sinners servants of sin?[/b]

There are only two available answers to this question, only two available options in this inquiry.

1. Sinners willfully serve sin and are thus servants of sin.
2. Sinners un-willfully serve sin and are thus servants of sin.

It cannot possibly be both. A person cannot willfully and un-willfully do the same thing as the same time. These are total and complete opposites. So it is not extreme or unbalanced to say it is either one or the other, for there is no false dilemma.

What says the scriptures?

"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (John 8:34)

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" (Romans 6:16)

To obey anything is to serve the thing that you obeyed. Obeying always precedes the serving. You are not serving anything until you obey it. And once it is obeyed, then it is being served.

The scriptures say that sinners are servants of sin upon the condition that they obey sin. But they do not obey sin upon the grounds that they are servants of sin. The ground or reason they sin is because it is their choice, they are seeking self-gratification. But the result is that they inevitably serve what they are obeying, seeing that you cannot but serve that which you obey.

The scriptures never say sinners obey sin because they are servants of sin, but it says they are servants of sin because they obey sin. By law of necessity, you serve whatever you obey; hence you are the servant of whatever you obey. In both the scriptures relating servant hood to obey, the obeying always precedes the serving; the obeying is the condition of the servant hood. Not a single scripture credits their obeying to serving, but the scriptures always credit their serving to their obeying.

They serve sin willfully and are therefore willful servants. They “let” sin reign in their mortal bodies (Romans 6:12). They “yield” their members as instruments of unrighteousness (Romans 6:13). “Let’” and “yield” are undeniably acts of the will.

Christians are “servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). But we do not obey righteousness because we are servants of righteousness; rather, we are servants of righteousness because we obey righteousness. Obeying is the cause, serving is the effect. But we are not servants of righteousness contrary to our will, that is, without our “letting” and “yielding”. Paul exhorts Christians that as they previously “let” themselves be servants of sin, now they must “yield” themselves to be servants of righteousness. (Romans 6:19)

[b]4. Isn’t the will capable of choosing between right and wrong before the choice, but once the choice is made then the will is rendered incapable of choosing anymore?[/b]

There is no scripture that says such a thing. To readily accept this view requires prejudicial conjecture, or a theological bias, to assume such a doctrine is true, seeing there is no scriptural backing for it.

Those who hold to such a view, that after the original choice is made, the will is rendered incapable of later choosing the contrary are not consistent in their view. That is, they do not want it both ways. If the will is rendered incapable of choosing right after choosing wrong then the will could also be rendered incapable of choosing wrong after choosing right. But this is absurd, and those who hold to such a view know it is.

Observe,

1. Suppose the will is rendered incapable of choosing anything other then its original choice.
2. Adam and Eve obeyed God multiple times, by refraining from eating the tree, and by choosing to walk with God. Every second they refrained was a second they obeyed.
3. Even after making the original choice to obey God, and walking in a continual obedience, walking with God, they later choose to disobey God.
4. Therefore Adam and Eves will was not rendered incapable of disobedience after choosing to obey.
5. Likewise, Adam and Eves will was not rendered incapable of obeying after they choose to disobey.

Christ did not believe that the original choose of an object did not render the will incapable of later choosing the opposite object. Scriptures directly contradicts this supposed doctrine. Christ taught that those who originally choose to obey can later choose to disobey, and those who originally choose to disobey can later choose to obey. Remember the parable that Christ told when a father was instructing his two sons. The first said he would obey the instructions, but then later did not. The other said he would not obey the instructions, but then later did. Here we see that original heart-disobedience does not render executive obedience impossible, and likewise original heart-obedience does not render executive disobedience impossible.

The scriptures no where teach that the original choice determines all future choices, but rather says the opposite, that that will is not bound to obey the nature, neither is the will bound to obey its own previous choices. But at every given moment, the will of every moral agent is entirely free to intend any ultimate end, either selfishness or benevolence.

After every choice the ability of the will stays the same, only the aim of the will changes. The original choice does not determine the possible future choices. One can choose to obey God, and then later disobey God. Thus, a saint is capable of sinning even after conversion. And one can choose to disobey God, and then later obey God. Thus, a sinner is capable of converting, that is, a sinner is capable of obeying the gospel from the heart, of surrendering his will (heart) to God, of giving his heart (will) to Jesus Christ.

Think of Peter who chose to deny the Lord three times and then later was reconverted. Also, the Apostle Paul speaks of those who had previously been in sin, who later “obeyed the gospel from the heart”. If one cannot obey from their heart, that is to say from their will, after choosing wrong, true heart conversion would be rendered impossible! But the Apostle Paul tells us that such is not the case. The only alternative would be forced obedience. But forced obedience is an oxy-moron, a contradiction in terms.

If the will is rendered incapable of choosing the opposite of its original choice, thus making it impossible to choose right after choosing wrong, then the will would also be rendered incapable of choosing wrong once it was used for choosing right. But those who hold to this would never dare say such a thing! They want to believe the will cannot choose right after choosing wrong, but do not want to believe that will cannot choose wrong after choosing right. This is theological inconsistency, because this whole view is inconsistent with scripture, logic, and experience.

[b]5. Are you sure that man’s heart is man’s will?[/b]

The heart is the seat of the will, where a man’s secret purposes, intentions, designs come from. A man’s heart is a man’s real intention, or strictly speaking, his ultimate intention.

But what else could “adultery in the heart” mean other then willing adultery? Who else is guilty of “adultery in the heart” but those who have a will for adultery? (Matthew 5:18)

What else could be meant by “the heart of man was upon evil continually” other then that the will of man was for evil constantly? (Genesis 6:5)

What else is meant by saying that King David was a “man after God’s own heart” other then that King David’s will was God’s will that? And that David desired what God desired. (1 Samuel 13:44)

What else is meant by saying that King David had a “perfect heart” if it does not mean he had a perfect intention, or genuine sincerity of the heart? (1 Kings 11:44)

What else could “obeyed the gospel from the heart” mean other then willing obeying the gospel? (Romans 6:17)

What is meant in the English language when a person says, “God see’s my heart” other then that “God see’s my motive” or that “God see’s my intention”?

What does it meant by someone who says of a person, “you could really see his heart” or “he’s got a good heart” other then genuineness or sincerity in the intentions or in the will of a person?

The heart of man could be nothing other then the will of man, or more strictly, the ultimate will of man.

 2006/12/29 15:02
ZekeO
Member



Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re: The Relation of the Nature & Will

Hi Jesse,

I am quite impressed that you have chosen to study this out. At least it is a sign that you are thinking. I feel for someone who dialogues allot more with people about the eternal aspects of their souls, knowing what you believe and why you believe is a good thing.

I sincerely hope and pray that a distillation of truth that is biblically sound decants into your firey bossom. :-D

blessings,


_________________
Zeke Oosthuis

 2006/12/29 15:21Profile









 Re:

Thank you ZekeO.

I have dedicated myself to study more theology then I debate about theology. And it's been wonderful. Time I used to spend debating is now spent studying, and I'm able to understand more and be able to explain my views better.

I hope that these articles may be a good theological influence on some.

 2006/12/29 15:52
ZekeO
Member



Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 On the other hand

Quote:

Lazarus1719 wrote:
I hope that these articles may be a good theological influence on some.

That all depends on whether they are biblical. :-P

God bless man,


_________________
Zeke Oosthuis

 2006/12/29 15:57Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
The heart is the seat of the will, where a man’s secret purposes, intentions, designs come from. A man’s heart is a man’s real intention, or strictly speaking, his ultimate intention.

What is meant in the English language when a person says, “God see’s my heart” other then that “God see’s my motive” or that “God see’s my intention”?

What does it meant by someone who says of a person, “you could really see his heart” or “he’s got a good heart” other then genuineness or sincerity in the intentions or in the will of a person?

The heart of man could be nothing other then the will of man, or more strictly, the ultimate will of man.


Please document these statements. If we are going to discuss theology you will need to be willing to engage rather than moving on to the next point.

Common English usage is not the best starting point for trying to discover the meanings of Biblical concepts.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2006/12/29 15:59Profile





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