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JaySaved
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Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
What verses are you thinking of on that latter part? I haven't studied 'the will' intensively but the verses that come to mind make me think it is your desires.



Let me get back to you on that when I have more time. Great question.

Quote:
So ultimately you are saying we can't ever choose anything that we do not inwardly want to do?



Exactly

Quote:
We differ on the Romans 7 issue. I believe it was before Paul was delivered from the law of sin and chapter 8 was after. We can just ignore that point for now though. Unless you want to discuss it.



We can save that for a later time.

 2007/3/1 16:53Profile









 Re: Man's Will

What of Jesus deliberately giving up His own will, "nevertheless not my will but Thine"?

Surely that is one of the keys to the matter, and to practical living.

I think it was Watchman Nee who described the Cross as "When God's will crosses yours, and you choose God's"

This is turning into an interesting discussion, Bro Jay. I have to admit that my first reaction to this thread was, "Here he goes again!";-)

Having been dipped pretty thoroughly in "Reformed" doctrine as a young Christian, I eventually concluded that both Predestination and Free Will are true, and had more or less lost interest in discussions on the subject.

But this is something new and tasty to chew on.

Thanks

Jeannette

 2007/3/1 17:49
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Thank you Jeannette for those kind words.

I wrote:

Quote:
I thought about that but it seems that the Will is more than just desires. It is that acting upon desires and the decision between competing desires.



PreachParsly wrote:
Quote:
What verses are you thinking of on that latter part?



When I think of man's Will I ultimately think of choice. I affirm that man has a choice. A great scripture that I think goes well with this discussion is:
Psalm 25:11-12
"For your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose."

We see that the Lord instructs people in how they should choose, but He does not choose for them.


Quote:
What of Jesus deliberately giving up His own will, "nevertheless not my will but Thine"?



It is a fact that the word will refers to desires, but I do not believe that is the only way we can use the word. The Will (Captial W) is far deeper than just desires and preferences because man makes a choice between competing desires all the time.

For example:
Today as I was driving home I noticed a McDonald's. I desired to go into McDonald's and eat. I also remembered my wife told me she was making soup for supper. I had two desires at that moment: it was my desire to eat at McDonald's and it was my desire to please my wife and not have her mad at me.

I made a choice to keep driving past McDonald's because I desired a happy wife more than McDonald's food. My Will was the part of me that made the choice and I am responsible for that choice.

Jesus said, 'Not my will but thine' In these words Jesus said, 'I desire that I am never separated from the Father, but I more desire to please the Father and bring redemption.' Jesus' never violated His Will because He choose the most desirous option.

 2007/3/1 19:28Profile









 Re:

Quote:

JaySaved wrote:
Thank you Jeannette for those kind words.

I wrote:
Quote:
I thought about that but it seems that the Will is more than just desires. It is that acting upon desires and the decision between competing desires.



PreachParsly wrote:
Quote:
What verses are you thinking of on that latter part?


When I think of man's Will I ultimately think of choice. I affirm that man has a choice. A great scripture that I think goes well with this discussion is:
Psalm 25:11-12
"For your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose."

We see that the Lord instructs people in how they should choose, but He does not choose for them.
Quote:
What of Jesus deliberately giving up His own will, "nevertheless not my will but Thine"?



It is a fact that the word will refers to desires, but I do not believe that is the only way we can use the word. The Will (Captial W) is far deeper than just desires and preferences because man makes a choice between competing desires all the time.

For example:
Today as I was driving home I noticed a McDonald's. I desired to go into McDonald's and eat. I also remembered my wife told me she was making soup for supper. I had two desires at that moment: it was my desire to eat at McDonald's and it was my desire to please my wife and not have her mad at me.

I made a choice to keep driving past McDonald's because I desired a happy wife more than McDonald's food. My Will was the part of me that made the choice and I am responsible for that choice.

Jesus said, 'Not my will but thine' In these words Jesus said, 'I desire that I am never separated from the Father, but I more desire to please the Father and bring redemption.' Jesus' never violated His Will because He choose the most desirous option.


Good illustration! Although it would be better if you said that your decision would be made because of [i]love[/i] for your wife, rather than that you "desired a happy wife". For all we know your reason might have been because you didn't want her mad at you, or that she's such a good cook that MacDonalds wasn't much of a temptation!
:-P

So you aren't a hyper-Calvinist?

The main problem I have with the concept that we are "predestined" to be saved or lost is that it can easily become a horrible kind of fatalism.

For example, the teaching on the subject in Islam is very fatalistic, and suspiciously like the logical conclusion of extreme hyper-Calvinism.

Apparently even Muhammed was sometimes (with good reason, obviously, though he didn't know that) gripped by fears that he wouldn't make it to (his version of) heaven. I understand that he taught that everyone was predestined for heaven or hell, and that [i]nothing[/i] they did would ever change that fact. They could follow all the tenets of their religion 200%, but if they were predestined to hell they would still be lost. Another person could live a very wicked life, careless of religion and still go to "heaven" if they were predestined to do so.

I hope you actually don't believe that, but that's where it leads, taken to extremes - religion robbed of hope.

We can't even [i]will[/i] to do right left to ourselves - even that is a gift of God - but He gives freely to all who ask, all who are, as it were, "willing to will His will"

Philippians 2:12f
[i][b][color=000066][font=Verdana]work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.[/font][/color][/b][/i]

It really is a mystery isn't it! For you could say that He also gives the desire to "will to will", and to "will to will to will" and so on ad infinitum.

Yet somewhere there also [i]has to be[/i] free choice, because LOVE can't be compelled. Even God cannot compell us to love Him, against our will - it would be a sort of spiritual rape, which is characteristic of Satan not God.

Blessings

Jeannette

 2007/3/2 9:09
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Quote:
Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So ultimately you are saying we can't ever choose anything that we do not inwardly want to do?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Exactly



What do you think of the verses in Romans 7 where they do what they hate, or inwardly delight in the law of God but don't outwardly obey it?


_________________
Josh Parsley

 2007/3/2 10:50Profile
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

I apologize in advance for the length :-)

Quote:
Good illustration! Although it would be better if you said that your decision would be made because of love for your wife, rather than that you "desired a happy wife". For all we know your reason might have been because you didn't want her mad at you, or that she's such a good cook that McDonalds wasn't much of a temptation!



Yes. It is truly because of my love for my wife. That is a better reason.

Quote:
So you aren't a hyper-Calvinist?



I am far from being a hyper-Calvinist. I truly believe that "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." (John 6:37) and that "...those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30) I also affirm Acts 2:21, "And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." and Romans 10:13, "For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

I consider myself to be a William Carey type Calvinist. He believed in particular atonement but also strongly believed in spreading the gospel to every single person. He strongly fought against hyper-Calvinism. It has been reported:
"At a ministers' meeting in 1786, Carey raised the question of whether it was the duty of all Christians to spread the Gospel throughout the world. J. R. Ryland, the father of John Ryland, is said to have retorted: "Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine." However, Ryland's son, John Ryland Jr., disputes that his father made this statement."
Carey opposed this view and I do as well.

Information taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Carey

Quote:
The main problem I have with the concept that we are "predestined" to be saved or lost is that it can easily become a horrible kind of fatalism.



Predestination in scripture:
1. Romans 8:29, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
2. Romans 8:30, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."
3. Ephesians 1:5, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"
4. Ephesians 1:11, "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:"

Predestination is always referred to in scripture in a positive sense. It is always used to describe the saint. It is the doctrine of election that ruffles feathers. God elects some but not others. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 1:4, "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God."

Election Ekloge
Definition:
1. the act of picking out, choosing
a. of the act of God's free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons
b. the decree made from choice by which he determined to bless certain persons through Christ by grace alone
2. a thing or person chosen
a. of persons: God's elect

Same word used in:
Acts 9:15, "But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:"
Romans 9:11, "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)"
Romans 11:5, "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
Romans 11:7, "What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded"
Romans 11:28, "As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes."
2 Peter 1:10, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

It is undeniable that the Bible speaks of God choosing people to salvation. However, the Bible never tells us or gives us any indication that it is ok to be lazy in doing good and being holy. We are also commanded to go and be witnesses and tell others about the grace we have received.

Quote:
For example, the teaching on the subject in Islam is very fatalistic, and suspiciously like the logical conclusion of extreme hyper-Calvinism.

Apparently even Muhammed was sometimes (with good reason, obviously, though he didn't know that) gripped by fears that he wouldn't make it to (his version of) heaven. I understand that he taught that everyone was predestined for heaven or hell, and that nothing they did would ever change that fact. They could follow all the tenets of their religion 200%, but if they were predestined to hell they would still be lost. Another person could live a very wicked life, careless of religion and still go to "heaven" if they were predestined to do so.

I hope you actually don't believe that, but that's where it leads, taken to extremes - religion robbed of hope.



I believe what the Bible teaches in that one must abide in Christ and have faith in order to go to heaven.
2 John 1:8-10 gives this warning to all those who profess a faith in Christ:
"Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,"

Romans 11:17-21 also has this warning:
"But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you."

Faith is the key to salvation. I do not believe someone can "live a very wicked life, careless of religion and still go to "heaven". God says in Romans 14:23 "whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." and in Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

Quote:
We can't even will to do right left to ourselves - even that is a gift of God - but He gives freely to all who ask, all who are, as it were, "willing to will His will"

Philippians 2:12f
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure.



I am glad that you used that verse. It is God who works in us to will and to do His good pleasure and at the same time we are held responsible for not willing and doing His good pleasure.

Quote:
It really is a mystery isn't it!



Paul said it well in Romans 11:33-36 immediately after speaking on this topic:
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?' 'Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?' For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen."
It is a divine mystery about how is sovereign in salvation and yet man is responsible for his unbelief.

Quote:
For you could say that He also gives the desire to "will to will", and to "will to will to will" and so on ad infinitum.

Yet somewhere there also has to be free choice, because LOVE can't be compelled. Even God cannot compel us to love Him, against our will - it would be a sort of spiritual rape, which is characteristic of Satan not God.



The balance between these two is the key because both are taught.

That is why I consider myself a Calvinist in respect to doctrine. (I am a Christian first and foremost)

Hyper-Calvinists see only the Sovereignty of God and make the mistake of saying that man is not responsible for his actions. This view is off-balance.

Arminians see mostly the Freewill of man and make the mistake of saying that it is solely man's decision and that God is just an actor in salvation. God is powerless to save and only man holds the deciding vote. A popular quote they may say is 'The Devil wants me in hell, God wants me in Heaven and I must decide." This view is off-balance because it limits God.

Calvinists see both God as Sovereign in salvation and man responsible to have faith. It affirms both the 'whosoever' verses in scripture and the 'God chose you' verses in scripture. It sees both as true and God as good. This view takes into account all of scripture.

 2007/3/2 10:57Profile
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
What do you think of the verses in Romans 7 where they do what they hate, or inwardly delight in the law of God but don't outwardly obey it?



(I know we disagree on whether not this is pre or post conversion so hopefully I can answer this without getting onto that topic on this thread.)

Paul is describing the battle that is waging within him. The problem is that Paul has two competing desires: The desire to please God and the desire to please himself.

Verses 22 and 23 summarize these competing desires:
"For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members."

Paul delights in the law of God in his inner being but in verse 14 he remarks that he is 'of the flesh' (outer being). In other words he still struggles with the desire to sin.

When Paul says he does the things that he hates, he is saying that he chooses the desires of his outer being over the desires of his inner being. He says that this is what he hates because he knows it is sin and an offense to God. He sins because he is still weakened in his flesh.

Verse 18 is very interesting: "For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out." In other words, I desire to never sin again, but I cannot accomplish that because I am still in the flesh and have fleshly desires. Paul has not yet received a glorified body. This is not an excuse to keep sinning, but a frustrated cry from Paul because he does desire to stop sinning.

Nowhere in Romans 7 is Paul doing something against his Will. It is his Will that chooses either to follow the desires of his inner man or outer man--depending on which desire is greater at the given moment.

 2007/3/2 11:14Profile









 Re:

A couple of interesting posts Jay! I'm beginning to be clearer on where you are coming from. At first I did wonder if you were a hyper-Calvinist, probably because you were defending Calvinism so strongly in one or two other threads.

I am neither a Calvinist nor an Armenian. Early in my Christian life (as mentioned on another thread) I craved the assurance of "once saved always saved", fearful of losing my salvation.

Time brought a greater sense of security, and the ability to look at the possibility that some might go so far into apostacy as to become lost.

That possibility is no longer a personal one to greatly fear, but seems to be the most likely explanation for certain things, such as the fate of King Saul, (it actually says that when the Holy Spirit came upon him he was "turned into another man") or possibly Solomon who turned to idolatry in later life. Also, in these days, the apostacy of certain former Christian leaders, some of whom have turned to error and led many astray after them.

Yours in Christ Jesus, to whom we belong in one Body

Jeannette

 2007/3/2 12:43
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Quote:

JaySaved wrote:
Quote:
What do you think of the verses in Romans 7 where they do what they hate, or inwardly delight in the law of God but don't outwardly obey it?



(I know we disagree on whether not this is pre or post conversion so hopefully I can answer this without getting onto that topic on this thread.)



I'm not going to purposely bring it up. :-D

I still think it would be helpful if you can show from scripture "the will" is more than your desires. Maybe even if we forget about defining "the will" for now, do you believe you can do something against what you desire to do? I think scripture is plain that you can. This verse sticks out when I think about it.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.


_________________
Josh Parsley

 2007/3/2 12:53Profile
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re:

Quote:
I still think it would be helpful if you can show from scripture "the will" is more than your desires.



Do you believe the Bible clearly states that man has the freedom to choose between competing desires? If so, then this is what I am labeling the Will. If it helps then we can use another word to describe "the freedom of a person to choose between desires" instead of Will. I trust that you and I both know many verses in scripture that describe man's choice...many verses that are used in an attempt to disprove Reformed Theology nonetheless.

Quote:
Maybe even if we forget about defining "the will" for now, do you believe you can do something against what you desire to do? I think scripture is plain that you can. This verse sticks out when I think about it.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.



I do not believe you can choose to do something that you do not desire to do. I emphasize the word choose because this is where the Will executes. Here is another example:
I hate brussel sprouts. I do not want to eat brussel sprouts. I do not desire them because I believe they are gross. However, I did eat brussel sprouts a few weeks ago. Did I eat them against my Will? No, I chose to eat them because my love for my wife who made them was a stronger desire than my desire not to eat them. My Will was never violated even though I do not like brussel sprouts.

Also, I have responded to Romans 7:18 in a previous post.

Moving past our defining of the Will what are your thoughts on my assertion of the Will (or whatever you wish to call it)?

 2007/3/2 13:51Profile





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