The Free Will to Accept Christ?

Jae

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On another thread, @unsafe posted, "...here is the thing we have Free will to accept the pull on our heart or not ---..."

Yet, I note that GotQuestions.org - a website that unsafe has frequently quoted from on Wondercafe2 - states, "Because of sin, man is imprisoned within a cell of corruption and wickedness which permeates to the very core of our being. Every part of man is in bondage to sin – our bodies, our minds, and our wills. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us the state of man’s heart: it is “deceitful and desperately wicked.” In our natural, unregenerate state, we are carnally minded, not spiritually minded. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be” (Romans 8:6-7). These verses tell us that before we are saved, we are at enmity (war) with God, we do not submit to God and His law, neither can we. The Bible is clear that, in his natural state, man is incapable of choosing that which is good and holy. In other words, he does not have the “free will” to choose God because his will is not free. It is constrained by his nature, just as the prisoner is constrained by his cell." - source: Is God sovereign or do we have a free will?

What's your take? Do people have the free will to choose to accept Jesus or not?
 

Mendalla

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Free will is a tough nut, even in secular philosophy. As we understand more and more how much genetics, our parents, and our environment affect who we are, the degree to which we are free to choose anything is increasingly up for debate. At the very least, our options are likely constrained. And that's without getting into a Biblical view of things.

I am still out on the issue theologically. I see the point of total depravity (that we are so sinful we cannot choose God/Jesus on our own) but I'm not sure I buy it. It's just too tied up in traditional notions of original sin that I'm not sure I accept. OTOH, I love the idea of Grace being unmerited, that God provides so we aren't doomed even if we slip up. But does unmerited Grace make sense in a world we are able to choose? Does Grace, universal or limited, really require a world where sin constrains our free will so that God HAS to intervene because we CAN'T? Lots to think about, IOW, and I'm not packing an answer right now.
 

paradox3

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Free will is a tough nut, even in secular philosophy.
Yes, it takes us into all those issues of determinism. So we may think we are making a free choice about certain things but given factors of experience, knowledge, etc. was any other choice really possible? It can make your head spin.
 

blackbelt1961

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Just as the Apostle Paul said regarding our sin state, we do that which we do not want to do. Paul like all of us are able too to see right wrong, sin etc, clearly we have choices.

I do not believe we are automated to be chosen by God alone, a true relationship requires 2 willful people. Though I do believe a relationship begins with one party, in this case, God
 

Waterfall

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I think God knows we are human and make mistakes....either purposely or unintentionally. He expects we will make mistakes but gives us guides on how to atone or repair them as best as possible.
So maybe not so much free will but just being humans as created by God.
 

Jae

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My own view is that we don't have the free will to accept Christ. I believe that we each start out with our will in captivity to shame (in bondage to sin). I'm thankful, though, because I trust that while we cannot choose God, God is free to save God's elect.
 

unsafe

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Greek word for free will -----http://classic.net.bible.org/strong.php?id=1596
hekousios <1596>

ekousiov hekousios
Pronunciation: hek-oo-see'-ose
Origin: from the same as 1595
Reference: TDNT - *,221
PrtSpch: adv
In Greek: ekousiwv 2
In NET: deliberately 1, willingly 1
In AV: wilfully 1, willingly 1
Count: 2
Definition: 1) voluntarily, willingly, of one's own accord


1a) to sin wilfully as opposed to sins committed inconsiderately,
and from ignorance or from weakness
adverb from the same as 1595; voluntarily:-wilfully, willingly.
see GREEK for 1595


Philemon 1:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]
Philemon 1:14, NIV: "But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary."

Philemon 1:14, ESV: "but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord."

Philemon 1:14, KJV: "But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly."

Philemon 1:14, NASB: "but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will."

Philemon 1:14, NLT: "But I didn't want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced."

Philemon 1:14, CSB: "But I didn't want to do anything without your consent, so that your good deed might not be out of obligation, but of your own free will."


[⇑ See verse text ⇑][/paste:font]
Paul once again makes a request to Philemon, rather than giving him a command. Onesimus, Philemon's runaway slave, was helping Paul, and Paul would have liked him to stay (Philemon 1:13). And yet, Paul chooses to follow proper legal procedures, to help Onesimus gain forgiveness and legitimate freedom. In addition, Paul has Philemon's well-being in mind. He offers Philemon an opportunity to respond favorably to Paul's request, which would allow him to "save face," or keep his dignity, while also granting help to his runaway slave.

The "goodness" Paul associates with Philemon uses the same Greek word translated "good thing" in verse 6. Philemon had received "every good thing," and Paul was asking him to show this goodness to Onesimus. This goodness was not forced, or commanded, but voluntary. The Greek word translated "free will," or "accord," is ekousiov, meaning a willingness.

Context Summary

Philemon 1:8–16 is Paul’s plea to Philemon that he would forgive and free the runaway slave Onesimus. Onesimus seems to have known Paul from his visits to Colossae, then encountered him in Rome after running away. After becoming a Christian, he returns to Philemon with this letter from Paul. Paul reminds Philemon that the three of them, including Onesimus, are brothers, and should be treated the same way.

Chapter Summary
Philemon is a letter from Paul, regarding a runaway slave named Onesimus. Paul respectfully requests that Philemon forgive his runaway slave, free him, and allow him to serve Christ without restrictions. Philemon was a prominent figure in the church of Colossae. Paul goes so far as to ask Philemon to charge any debts owed by Onesimus to Paul himself.

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Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (GW)
Choose between Life and Death

15 Today I offer you life and prosperity or death and destruction. 16 This is what I’m commanding you today: Love the Lord your God, follow his directions, and obey his commands, laws, and rules. Then you will live, your population will increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you’re about to enter and take possession of.

17 But your hearts might turn away, and you might not listen. You might be tempted to bow down to other gods and worship them. 18 If you do, I tell you today that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live for a long time in the land that you’re going to take possession of when you cross the Jordan River.

19 I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life or death, blessings or curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants will live. 20 Love the Lord your God, obey him, and be loyal to him. This will be your way of life, and it will mean a long life for youa]' data-fn="#fen-GW-5725a">[a]in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


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Romans 10:9-10 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

9 If you openly say, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from death, you will be saved. 10 Yes, we believe in Jesus deep in our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we openly say that we believe in him, and so we are saved.

unsafe says
This says if you openly says ------If God picks certain people to save and not others why would there be an if you openly say --If God picks the person then they have no choice they would say it with no choice not to say it ------
 

paradox3

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My own view is that we don't have the free will to accept Christ. I believe that we each start out with our will in captivity to shame (in bondage to sin). I'm thankful, though, because I trust that while we cannot choose God, God is free to save God's elect.
I take it you believe yourself to be one of these elect whom God will save?

What if you were not, where would that leave you? Simply lost?
 
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Jae seems to be dealing with quite a few conflicting beliefs. I guess everybody does, and hopefully they get worked out.
 

unsafe

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God has a Plan to bring His Son Back to this Earth and Defeat Satan and Make a NEW EARTH -----

We have No Free Will to Stop God's Plan ----God will do what ever He needs to and will use whoever He Needs to bring His Plan to His End -----

We have choice to choose what we decide in our Daily Living -------we can decide to do Good or bad ------we decide how we react to a situation -----we decided who we want to have as Friends and who we don't ------we decide if we will take a trip or not -----we decided if we will sin or not -----


We have NO free choice to decided who our parents OR relatives will be at birth ---God decides that -----

We have Free Choice to accept the Free Offer of Salvation or reject The Free Offer -------
So we have free choice in some things and not in others ------



Here is an interesting read ------Read all

VIIa.5. Please Define “Predestination” in Ephesians 1:5 | Bible Questions and Answers – A Church Ministry

VIIA.5. PLEASE DEFINE “PREDESTINATION” IN EPHESIANS 1:5



Question: Would you explain Ephesians 1:5 concerning the meaning of the word “predestination.

Answer: The word "predestination" comes from the Greek verb "proorizo." It means, according to Vine's Expository Words on the Greek New Testament, to "mark out beforehand, to determine before, foreordain." In essence, "predestination" means that something has been predicted by God and it must and will come to pass. The word "predestinate" as translated in the KJV is found only twice; that being in Romans 8:29 and 30. "Predestinated is found only twice and that is in Ephesians; once in Ephesians 1:5 and once in 1:11. These two words do not appear in the Old Testament. We shall examine WHO is predestinated, WHAT event is predestined and WHEN it will take place.

  1. Let us begin with Ephesians 1:5.
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”

Notice who is predestinated. It can only be one of two groups. The saved or the lost. Paul identifies the children of God as the object of being predestinated, "Having predestinated us (plural pronoun)." This is Paul and every saved person. God did not predestinate anyone to be saved; but this teaches He predestinated something for those who are already saved.

What did God predestinate for the Christian? The Scriptures are pure and simple. The Christian is predestinated unto the adoption of children (Greek, HUIOTHESIA, meaning sonship). When we trust Christ as our Savior, we become His children:

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons (Greek, teknon, meaning—“a child”) of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).
 

Luce NDs

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God is such a chit ... just to cause mortals to process information ... but they chose not to as God turned your soul into crap ... thus nothing to concern yourself with ...

Humans in lack of the gift of processing cognizance ... really lose something of virtue! Thus it goes ...

Thus divine demons smell ...
 

BetteTheRed

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I don't believe that I have the free will to believe in exactly the same fashion as unsafe or blackbelt. My education, upbringing, geography and possibly some life accidents, like having non-cis-gendered children, make it unlikely that I would fit in anywhere except the progressive wing of some sort of Christianity - in Canada (geography), that would usually be the UCCan.
 

blackbelt1961

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I don't believe that I have the free will to believe in exactly the same fashion as unsafe or blackbelt.
your right you don't, actually, no one does, but you do have the free will to try and find God

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.


took me 3 mths pouring out my heart to see if He was actually Real
 

unsafe

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BetteTheRed ------unsafe says ----So your believing that God has chosen you to be one of the lost people that are going to eternal torment and you have no choice to take advantage of God's Free Gift of Salvation that He says in His world that He wants all People saved so they will be with Him and have eternal life ----So your blaming God are you and not yourself for your choice ?????????

Gods says this in verse 22 here in scripture below -----22 So all you people in faraway places, turn to me and be saved, because I am God, and there is no other.------

unsafe says -----So your saying you have no free will to turn to God when God is asking people ---to ---turn to Him ------seems to me you have a free choice to turn to Him or not --------

Isaiah 45:20-25 (ERV)

The Lord Proves He Is the Only God

20 “You people who escaped from other nations, gather together before me. (These people carry statues of false gods. They pray to useless gods, but they don’t know what they are doing. 21 Tell them to come to me. Let them present their case and discuss these things.)

“Who told you about this before it happened? Who told you this so long ago? I, the Lord, am the one who said these things. I am the only God, the one who does what is right. I am the one who saves, and there is no other! 22 So all you people in faraway places, turn to me and be saved, because I am God, and there is no other.

23 “When I make a promise, that promise is true. It will happen. And I swear by my own power that everyone will bow before me and will take an oath to obey me. 24 They will say, ‘Goodness and strength come only from the Lord.’”

And all who show their anger against him will be humiliated. 25 The Lordwill help the people of Israel live righta]' data-fn="#fen-ERV-18307a">[a] and praise their God.


unsafe says ----Here is another scripture that doesn't say anything about picking certain people to be saved and others to be Lost ---It clearly states ALL PEOPLE -----Now Why Would God say All People Here if He only picks the His chosen ones to be saved ------verses 3-4 here -----3 This is right and it pleases God our savior,
4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth


1 Timothy 2 (CEB)

Prayer for everyone
2 First of all, then, I ask that requests, prayers, petitions, and thanksgiving be made for all people. 2 Pray for kings and everyone who is in authority so that we can live a quiet and peaceful life in complete godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and it pleases God our savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.5 There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a payment to set all people free. This was a testimony that was given at the right time. 7 I was appointed to be a preacher and apostle of this testimony—I’m telling the truth and I’m not lying! I’m a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
 

Jae

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I take it you believe yourself to be one of these elect whom God will save?

What if you were not, where would that leave you? Simply lost?
Yes, I believe that I'm one of God's elect. If I wasn't, I would be forever lost - but I doubt that I'd care, at least before the Judgment.
 

DaisyJane

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From a purely philosophically standpoint I question the veracity of "free will". Life and human behaviour is simply far too complicated.

From a theological standpoint I vehemently disagree with many of the "free will" theodicies.

I believe that we are all Divine beings created, and unconditionally valued, by God.
 

BetteTheRed

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See, unsafe, "lost people", "eternal torment"?, you've lost me.

Unsafe, I've actively been a Christian for most of my life. I've had changes of opinion, movements in my theology. Much of what I 'believe' (and that's an interesting word, I think) has been formed, not just in my own head, but in consultation with independent theological studies, largely featuring liberal theologians, because that's the "way I bend", and a pretty exhaustive interaction with the Bible.

You can come to a living faith in the metaphorical arms of the Divine Mystery without belief in hell, without belief that there are Children That Are Not Of God (and to confuse things, Children That Are Of Godde include all sentient beings).
 
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