Sermons

Summary: THIS SERMON LOOKS AT THE BIBLICAL TEACHING ON THE CONUNDRUM OF FREE WILL (HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY) ARE WE REALLY FREE TO CHOOSE?

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BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH 1689 - ARTICLE : 9. FREE WILL

THE ARTICLE STATES....

1.GOD HAS INDUED (FURNISHED) THE WILL OF MAN, BY NATURE, WITH LIBERTY AND THE POWER TO CHOOSE AND TO ACT UPON HIS CHOICE. THIS FREE WILL IS NEITHER FORCED, NOR DESTINED BY ANY NECESSITY OF NATURE TO DO GOOD OR EVIL.

EVERY SINGLE DAY..... EVERY SINGLE MOMENT WE MAKE E CHOICES. —WHAT TO EAT. WHAT TO WEAR. WHAT TO SAY. WHAT TO DO. HOW TO ACT. —YOU’VE MADE ABOUT A THOUSAND CHOICES BEFORE YOU EVEN ARRIVED HERE THIS MORNING! NOW ARE THOSE CHOICES YOU MAKE EVERY SINGLE DAY FREE OR ARE YOUR CHOICES PREDETERMINED BY GOD? OR IS THERE A MIDDLE GROUND WHERE BOTH FREE WILL AND PREDETERMINED CHOICES MEET?

THE CONUNDRUM OF FREE WILL.

• THREE VIEWS.....

• FATALISM - A BELIEF THAT A PERSONS LIFE AND CHOICES ARE TOTALLY AND UNUTTERABLY THE RESULT OF AND ENDLESS SERIES OF CAUSE AND EFFECT SET BEFORE HAND.

• LIBERTARIANISM – A BELIEF THAT A PERSONS ACTIONS ARE UNCAUSED BY ANY COHERSION WHATSOEVER (ALSO KNOWN AS INDETERMINALISM) THE AGENT IS THE FIRST CAUSE OF THE EFFECT OF HIS/HER ACTIONS.

• COMPATIBILISM - THAT A PERSONS ACTIONS ARE FREE BEING DETERMINED BY HIS OR HER OWN DECISIONS AND DESIRES.

WHERE DO WE STAND? I BELIEVE THE MIDDLE GROUND OF COMPATIBILISM IS WHERE SCRIPTURES POINT US TOWARD.

SO DO YOU HAVE A FREE WILL?

TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION, WAYNE GRUDUM SAYS THAT THE FIRST THING WE NEED TO ASK IS WHAT DO WE MEAN BY THE WORD FREE WHEN WE ARE DISCUSSING FREE WILL...

IF YOU MEAN, WE ARE FREE TO ACT OUTSIDE OF GODS SUSTAINING AND CONTROLLING ACTIVITY , A FREEDOM THAT INCLUDES BEING ABLE TO MAKE DECISIONS THAT ARE NOT CAUSED BY ANYTHING EXTERNAL TO OURSELVES. SCRIPTURE REAFFIRMS TO US THAT IN NO SENSE ARE WE FREE TO CHOOSE IN THIS WAY.......

AFTER ALL... HEB 1:3. 3THE SON IS THE RADIANCE OF GOD’S GLORY AND THE EXACT REPRESENTATION OF HIS BEING, SUSTAINING ALL THINGS BY HIS POWERFUL WORD.

EPH 1:11IN HIM WE WERE ALSO CHOSEN,[A] HAVING BEEN PREDESTINED ACCORDING TO THE PLAN OF HIM WHO WORKS OUT EVERYTHING IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PURPOSE OF HIS WILL,

IF THIS IS WHAT YOU MEAN BY FREE WILL, FREE TO CHOOSE OUTSIDE OF GODS SUSTAINING POWER AND CONTROLLING ACTIVITY THEN WE WOULD BE OUTSIDE OF HIS PROVIDENCE AND WOULD CEASE TO EXIST.

BUT IF YOU MEAN BY FREE WILL - THE ABILITY TO MAKE WILLING CHOICES – CHOICES THAT HAVE REAL EFFECTS - FREE CHOICES THAT WE ARE AWARE OF NO RESTRAINTS ON OUR WILL FROM GOD. DECISIONS MADE IN ACCORDANCE TO OUR OWN DESIRES. IN THIS SENSE, IT IS CERTAINLY CLEAR FROM SCRIPTURE TO SAY WE HAVE A “FREE WILL.”

MATT 17: 12BUT I TELL YOU, ELIJAH HAS ALREADY COME, AND THEY DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIM, BUT HAVE DONE TO HIM EVERYTHING THEY WISHED. IN THE SAME WAY THE SON OF MAN IS GOING TO SUFFER AT THEIR HANDS."

JAM 1:14BUT EACH ONE IS TEMPTED WHEN, BY HIS OWN EVIL DESIRE, HE IS DRAGGED AWAY AND ENTICED.

SO WE ARE NOT FREE TO CHOOSE OUTSIDE OF GODS SUSTAINING POWER AND CONTROLLING ACTIVITY BUT WE ARE ABLE TO TO MAKE FREE CHOICES, FROM OUR OWN DESIRES UNAWARE OF ANY RESTRAINTS ON OUR WILL FROM GOD.

• A.W. TOZER EXPLAINS IT THUS...... "AN OCEAN LINER LEAVES NEW YORK BOUND FOR LIVERPOOL. ITS DESTINATION HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY PROPER AUTHORITIES. NOTHING CAN CHANGE IT. THIS IS AT LEAST A FAINT PICTURE OF SOVEREIGNTY. (GODS SOVEREIGN PURPOSES)


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