Free Will And Election

I thought of starting private conversation.. But I think many people seems to be interested in this topic.. So I am making it a public forum.. Let's exchange our thoughts and Bible verses, interpretation.. Few things to remembers,

  • We ALL are brothers in Christ.. Let us not forget that.. Let's make the discussion constructive
  • No pin pointing on personal aspects
  • Try to be as gentle as possible :) Something I will also strive for!
I have grown to respect Calvinists. The ONLY thing I disagree with them on is this :confused::cry:. So I will probably just have my say and then be gone. I do not see the point in hurting Calvinists whom I love as brothers and sisters.... and this does get personal.

We need to let scripture define God and not insert our assumptions. We can easily assume that since God is... God, omnipotent, sovereign, omnipresent, creator, the first and the last that then if there is a hell, He is definitely behind / has something to do with those that go there. Rom 9:20-23 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

So we can see from this that God can do whatever He wants and we basically have NO say in it. But to assume He then does in fact proceed to be partial and not impartial to us is an assumption we can be forgiven for making, but not the truth if scripture says otherwise.

See God tells us clearly in His word whom He has mercy on John 3:16 (the whomsoever will). He tells us He is impartial Acts 10:34 and James 2. He tells us He is good and just Psalm 136:1. So He does not leave us in the dark to assume the worst about Him. Even though, as God He can certainly do that.

So we can derive at free will by taking scriptures definitions of God and not inserting our assumptions. Example:

God is ominiscient (y) + God is Creator (y) + God created heaven and hell (y) + God is good (y) + God is impartial (y) = Free will.

God is ominiscient (y)+ God is Creator (y)+ God created heaven and hell (y) + God is bad (n) + God is partial (n) = no true free will.

Creating people with full knowledge that they would suffer in hell = bad God.

Selecting some in sin to be saved and others to burn = partial God.

God gave me my brain to judge. He knows that. If He did not expect me to use it to judge Him as good or bad... He would not state in His word that He is good.

Lastly, to think a God that would show the greatest act of love for us John 15:13 and yet be partial with us seems very insulting.
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Paul and Peter both teach God predestines according to His foreknowledge...(arguments sometimes ensue here)...but I would add that all the commandments in the Greek are in the imperative mood which means man must be capable of obeying them (he just will not) though we are corrupted and depraved, we are not Totally depraved if that means absolutely incapable...God insists in some places that we choose between two ways. Choose one and be blessed and the other be cursed. If we were absolutely incapable of such a choice that would be a cruel false hope to impose. And as previously stated. God is no respecter of persons...IMO we are all equals at the foot of the cross

Now having said that there are certainly instances in the Bible where God makes a person to be exactly what and who they are (for example it is said Judas was meant to be the son of perdition, that God took Pharaoh's heart, which was already hardened toward the children of Israel, and hardened it further for His glory, God chose Israel, and so on,) election (and or predestination) and man having a responsibility of will are both represented in the Bible (whether or not we can ever intellectually or theologically pinpoint the exact hows and whys).

Now I do not know if anyone realizes this or not but there is nothing remotely like Calvinism in the church for at least the 1st 300 years and even the claim that Augustine taught this is in error (read On Grace and Free will) for he adamantly defends the doctrine of free will and that God demands man's willful cooperation and obedience against those who took his arguments against Pelegius to the other extreme (God creating one to salvation and another to damnation). No one taught by the Apostles or by those first leaders the Apostles taught held this doctrine...

Salvation is totally of grace because God owes NO MAN anything (all have sinned and fallen short), faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word, but only those who receive Him are given the right to become the sons of God (some reject Him and His word - Romans 1)...He initiates and if we respond correctly He saves but He leaves the initial decision up to us...will we remain the lord of our life, or submit to Him accepting Christ? This is the issue. His ever offered grace can be resisted (Acts 7:51)...He prefers it would not be (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9) resisted but some refuse (like Satan) to do it God's way...

So that is why I see two "ways" in the Bible...God's way and our way....your way or Yahweh...I set before you life and death, blessing and curse...."choose life"!

There is my opinion in a nutshell (discussion or debate can be for other threads on individual points) thank you all for being honest sharing your understandings

In His love

Brother Paul