Choice and free will

winner08

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Choices: God has given us a brain inorder that we can make decisions. and according to most God has given us free will. I have been reading these scriptures and it sounds to me that the gifts that come from God are just that gifts that He gives to whom He wants. That we can not choose or will these gifts even if we want them.

Eph 2:8 Faith tobelieve is a gift of God. So it does not matter if we want to have faith it is a gift of God.
Rom 2:4 Repentance is a gift from God. I would assume this is one of the most important things we must do if we want to be forgiven by God and be saved. But yet this scripture states that we can not choose to repent. It must come from God as a gift to us.
John 6:44 Non can come to Christ unless God draws them to Christ.
Now this one really hurts. because If we have free will why can't we use our free will to choose to go to Christ?
John 15:16 We do not choose Christ, Christ chooses us.
Here again why don't we use our free will to choose Christ?
John 6:44 and John 15:16 states that we can not choose we have no say so in the matter. We can not use our free will. Does anybody see this?
 

Thomas

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I have been reading these scriptures and it sounds to me that the gifts that come from God are just that gifts that He gives to whom He wants. That we can not choose or will these gifts even if we want them.
We cannot will them, they are from His being, not from our being.

Eph 2:8 Faith to believe is a gift of God. So it does not matter if we want to have faith it is a gift of God.
We have to want the gift in the first place, and we are still free to refuse it, that is Paul's point.

Rom 2:4 Repentance is a gift from God. I would assume this is one of the most important things we must do if we want to be forgiven by God and be saved. But yet this scripture states that we can not choose to repent. It must come from God as a gift to us.
Again, the gift is always given but we have to accept it. Otherwise God could simply decide that everyone repents, and so there's be no need to waste His time writing Scripture.

John 6:44 Non can come to Christ unless God draws them to Christ. Now this one really hurts. because If we have free will why can't we use our free will to choose to go to Christ?
The point is we can't transcend ourselves. Knowledge of the idea of God is one thing, but this is not some abstraction of philosophy. He's talking about Jesus. We can't go to what we don't know. This of Jesus' words to Peter when he proclaimed Jesus the Christ. Most people would pass Jesus in the street without batting an eye.

John 15:16 We do not choose Christ, Christ chooses us. Here again why don't we use our free will to choose Christ?
John 6:44 and John 15:16 states that we can not choose we have no say so in the matter. We can not use our free will. Does anybody see this?
OK.

If we have no free will, why are we not all in Christ now?

Thomas
 

Thomas

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St Paul says:
"And because you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father" Galatians 4:6

The question then is, when the Spirit of the Son enters the heart, is He squatting a property not his own, or does He send in the boys to 'make us an offer we can't refuse' (in true Godfather fashion), or does He just march right in, and boot us out ... or was He always just outside, waiting for an invitation?

When the angel of the Lord appeared unto Mary, informing her that she was to bear a son, she had the option to say 'No' — she asked how, she never asked 'why me?' or 'are you mad?' or 'Joe'll go ballistic!' : "And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her."
Luke 1:38.

I have it on good authority that when the angel returned to HQ, he did a truly dreadful impression of that Del Monte orange advert by shouting "The Lady of Nazareth, she say yes!"

The Boss was not amused.

Thomas
 

Nick_A

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How about the fact that we might get just a little too much information.
Loving God shouldnt have to be so hard.

You write this because you haven't experienced a love for God. It is really very rare.
 

leastone

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It sounds to me......we can not choose or will these gifts even if we want them.

Dear Winner,

You have stated in the quote above how things appear to you; how it sounds.

Appearances are just that. Something appears to be like this or that, but the appearance might be removed from reality.

Look at this; it says something different to the quote above:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord. Jam 1:5-7

If you lack,..ask God, who gives to men; ask in faith, not doubting,...and it will be given.

Men must want (love) what God has to give.

To know what God has to give (every good and perfect gift comes from the Father), man has been given the faculty of understanding. He learns about God and His gifts, understands them to be true, and so believes. Faith comes from grasping what is revealed; what becomes clear to you, holding it to be true --- in spite of appearances. Faith is even a firm confidence in the things we cannot see, yet hope for, or accept as true.

This faculty of understanding is man's rational endowment. It allows man to be enlightened in his understanding as truth becomes known to him, that is, given to him.

There is a second faculty, that of the will. Once something is held in the understanding to be true, and thus good (for you), one has to somehow bring it into your life and make it yours, since it is your truth (that you now believe). You have act on it; you have to will it.

If you do not act on it, it never becomes real for you. You may have heard of Suzie and the excellence of her nature, but until you act --- will to, prefer to, choose to, delight in, and love to engage her, she will remain but an idea (of someone at a distance).

Notice that the will --- the faculty of volition --- "chooses" according to preferences, pleasures, enjoyments, delights, and loves.

The will is the function of love, and man's loves constitute his life, as he acts (wills) on the truths received in his understanding, thought to be good for him. The more he wills this good, the more he loves what he chooses, for man only does (wills) what he loves.

Repentance is held as a gift, yet it is taught as a command to act: "Repent!" or "Turn!"

So, the understanding encounters (is given) the truth about repentance; it accepts it as true; realizes it as good; the wills seizes it for itself by preferring to turn; the will gradually loving to turn to the light, more than it loved being turned towards darkness.

The Lord grants all this, enables all this; assists in all this; guides this, as we (will to) love Him with all our hearts and minds; when we desire Him more than His gifts.

And because He loves us, he wills our salvation with all the gifts attending it.

For God so loved (willed to love) the world that he gave (the gift of) his only Son, that whoever believes (prefers to, and delights in trust) in him (because of what they have understood and accepted to be true) should not perish but have (the gift) eternal life... (which is) to know the true God truly..

Thanks for your attention,

Learner
 

winner08

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Dear Winner,

You have stated in the quote above how things appear to you; how it sounds.

Appearances are just that. Something appears to be like this or that, but the appearance might be removed from reality.

Look at this; it says something different to the quote above:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord. Jam 1:5-7

If you lack,..ask God, who gives to men; ask in faith, not doubting,...and it will be given.

Men must want (love) what God has to give.

To know what God has to give (every good and perfect gift comes from the Father), man has been given the faculty of understanding. He learns about God and His gifts, understands them to be true, and so believes. Faith comes from grasping what is revealed; what becomes clear to you, holding it to be true --- in spite of appearances. Faith is even a firm confidence in the things we cannot see, yet hope for, or accept as true.

This faculty of understanding is man's rational endowment. It allows man to be enlightened in his understanding as truth becomes known to him, that is, given to him.

There is a second faculty, that of the will. Once something is held in the understanding to be true, and thus good (for you), one has to somehow bring it into your life and make it yours, since it is your truth (that you now believe). You have act on it; you have to will it.

If you do not act on it, it never becomes real for you. You may have heard of Suzie and the excellence of her nature, but until you act --- will to, prefer to, choose to, delight in, and love to engage her, she will remain but an idea (of someone at a distance).

Notice that the will --- the faculty of volition --- "chooses" according to preferences, pleasures, enjoyments, delights, and loves.

The will is the function of love, and man's loves constitute his life, as he acts (wills) on the truths received in his understanding, thought to be good for him. The more he wills this good, the more he loves what he chooses, for man only does (wills) what he loves.

Repentance is held as a gift, yet it is taught as a command to act: "Repent!" or "Turn!"

So, the understanding encounters (is given) the truth about repentance; it accepts it as true; realizes it as good; the wills seizes it for itself by preferring to turn; the will gradually loving to turn to the light, more than it loved being turned towards darkness.

The Lord grants all this, enables all this; assists in all this; guides this, as we (will to) love Him with all our hearts and minds; when we desire Him more than His gifts.

And because He loves us, he wills our salvation with all the gifts attending it.

For God so loved (willed to love) the world that he gave (the gift of) his only Son, that whoever believes (prefers to, and delights in trust) in him (because of what they have understood and accepted to be true) should not perish but have (the gift) eternal life... (which is) to know the true God truly..

Thanks for your attention,

Learner

Learner I said that God gave us a brain and to use that brain. We make choices. But not one of those choice can go against Gods intention (purpose) for us. We go against Gods will all the time but no one has ever gone against His purpose. Just read the story of Moses and Pharaoh.
Gods will is for Pharaoh to let His people go. Do you really think that if God wanted His people released right then and there Pharaoh could have refused. If so God is not all that powerful. God's will was for Pharaoh to let His people go and yet His intention (purpose was for Pharaoh NOT to let His people go right away, so that God can show Egypt and the world His power. God hardens Pharaohs heart so that he wouldn't let them go. Just as then God operates now. Listen I don't expect anyone of yall to believe what I say. I know that man has a will and man can make choices but I don't believe our choice can go against Gods purpose for us. I believe that God has never or will ever be suprised or shocked by any choice we make I believe that God aready knows what choices we will make.
 

c0de

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Listen I don't expect anyone of yall to believe what I say.


Cheer up dude, I share your views. :) I actually started a thread
about the implications of this idea a while ago:
http://www.interfaith.org/forum/the-problem-of-evil-in-9846.html

However, I prefer not to argue such points anymore because I
have found people accross the board are usually very deeply
attached to the idea of free will...

Even Muslims, who believe in the absolute transcendence
of God are not comfortable with letting go of free will. But I have
found that although God makes it very clear that He is
in total control of everything in the Quran, even He Himself kind of
lets this issue slide a little.... (probably just to humor us, lol)
 

Nick_A

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Winner

Choices: God has given us a brain inorder that we can make decisions. and according to most God has given us free will. I have been reading these scriptures and it sounds to me that the gifts that come from God are just that gifts that He gives to whom He wants. That we can not choose or will these gifts even if we want them.

Does a dog have free will? Is a dog a creature that responds mechanically to external stimuli or do you believe it has free choice? Its choice as I understand it is a mechanical discrimination between possible reactions just as a computer discriminates between options. This is not free but a mechanical process. It is the same with humans and what our brain allows us to do. A man just has more conditioned options. We cannot will grace but we can make efforts to be open to it:

Matthew 25

1"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
7"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
9" 'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
10"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11"Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'
12"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

This is a parable about the virgins (us) becoming open to the above (Bridegroom). It has layers of meaning and refers to efforts to become open and what we can acquire (oil) but that we lose it in psychological "sleep"

Grace may be a gift of God, but how do we become open to the gift for the purpose of this union? How do we become capable of asking with our essential emotional purity in order to receive? How do we build up our supply of "oil" to compensate for our drowsiness? As we are, like the foolish virgins, we are not known.

How can sleeping people have free will? We do however have the potential for awakening and acquiring the will to make free will posible.
 

leastone

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Grace may be a gift of God, but how do we become open to the gift for the purpose of this union?

"Love is what is receptive of every heavenly quality, that is, of peace, intelligence, wisdom, and happiness. Love is receptive of everything that is in harmony with it."

Man must love (God and fellows) completely in perfect holiness.

God equips man to do this, expects, yes, requires man to do this.

Without the faculties to do so, man is not man. His will (recepticle of love) and understanding (recepticle of truth) allow him to love and do what is good and true.

The Lord purposes this, and helps and guides man to act as a man, that is, as if he is doing it from himself. Since all Good and all Truth is from God, and not inherently from man, man can only receive, "make it his own" by acting on it "as his."

To the extent that he accepts, chooses, prefers, and loves what he receives, and chooses (or wills) to act in accordance with it, he achieves harmony and union with the Lord. It seems as if it is from himself, but it is from the Lord.

To understand this better, one should perhaps regard the man who rejects and despises what he receives, chooses to (willfully) act against it, and achieves dishamony and distance from the Lord, thus falls away from the Good of Love, and the Truth of Wisdom.

This is described as men not willing (choosing) to come to the light, but preferring (loving) the darkness, for their works are evil, thus, devoid of Good and Truth.

Here, it not only seems as if it from himself --- it is, for the Lord partakes only in what is His own.

Respectfully,

Learner
 

Nick_A

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Leastone

"Love is what is receptive of every heavenly quality, that is, of peace, intelligence, wisdom, and happiness. Love is receptive of everything that is in harmony with it."

Man must love (God and fellows) completely in perfect holiness.

God equips man to do this, expects, yes, requires man to do this.

Yes it is a potential but now we are incapable of it which requires admitting it and moving to Plan B.
 

winner08

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Cheer up dude, I share your views. :) I actually started a thread
about the implications of this idea a while ago:
http://www.interfaith.org/forum/the-problem-of-evil-in-9846.html

However, I prefer not to argue such points anymore because I
have found people accross the board are usually very deeply
attached to the idea of free will...

Even Muslims, who believe in the absolute transcendence
of God are not comfortable with letting go of free will. But I have
found that although God makes it very clear that He is
in total control of everything in the Quran, even He Himself kind of
lets this issue slide a little.... (probably just to humor us, lol)

First I see your point. The people here don't want to here about free will. If they acknowledge that they don;t have a free will then they think they give up their control. But they can see they don't have a free will. Meaning a will that is uncaused by anything That there is no cause for making the choices they make. Something always causeds one to make the decisions one makes. It's perfectly clear one can not have a free will to go against God's intention for him and yet God has foreknowledge of all things. God would be playing catch up with ever choice man made that God would not be aware of. IMPOSSIBLE. God know every choice we will make in our lifetime. God's will at times is for man to go against His will. But never His intention. Remember Pharaoh? God says let my people go. (this is Gos will for Pharaoh) But God harden's Pharaohs heart so that he will not let God's people Go. (this is God's intention) different from His will. There would have been no way Pharaoh could have not let God people go if God really wanted Pharaoh to let them go at that time. Who can go againist God's intention. If we could go against God's intention, then He would not be a very powerful God.
 

winner08

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Code: I read you thread on the problem about evil, I must say it was good. mostly everyone here does not want to admit that God created evil. If they admit that then Gods would be responsible for evil. Not that God is evil. God created satan. Satan was not an angle and then he decided to rebell against God and lost. God created satan for the sole purpose of being the adversery. God uses satan and evil for His divine purpose. No one want to even see this. Like i said then God would be responsible. People blame man and his free will to choose to do evil When it is God who is in control of every single thing we do.
 

TheKhan

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Well given the fact that we have the ability to think we have free will, and that God is All Mighty.

In this Chinese buddhist fable about a stone monkey monster who wrecked havoc in the heavens and thought he`d proved a point, while making his escape only to find out that he was a speck on the palm of the buddha, and no matter how fast he flew there was no end to the buddha`s palm.

3 words.

"God All Mighty".
 
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