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The Sovereign Wills

For those who like to discuss and debate theology. This is a forum for people who enjoy strong and lively debate with people who may not be likeminded. Participants are requested to always treat other opinions with respect.

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NetChaplain
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The Sovereign Wills

Postby NetChaplain » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:41 am

No worthy student of the Bible would question that God has a sovereign purpose or that all things are working toward the realization of that purpose. But it must be acknowledged as well from such passages as Rom 12:1, 2; Gal 5:16; Eph 4:30; 1 Thess 5:19 and 1 John 1:9 that the appeal is to the human will, with every implication present which might establish the truth that, in the divine plan, the human will determines the whole course of the believer’s life.

The failure at this point with high Calvinists arises from the fact that, in their zeal to defend the doctrine of divine sovereignty, they do not recognize how the very sovereignty of God in its outworking utilizes the human will as its instrument, not, however, by any form of coercion (rather by “goodness” Rom 2:4—NC), but by that form of persuasion which enlightens and engenders holy desires to which the will may respond and by which it may be motivated. Here it must be asserted with all possible force that when a decision is made regarding some step in the spiritual life, even under the most powerful, impelling inducements which God may impart, that action of the human will is sovereign and free in its own choice

This same procedure characterizes the whole undertaking when a soul is saved through faith in Christ. It matters nothing that the human will has no power in itself to accept the Savior. The heart must be moved completely by the Holy Spirit or no choice of Christ is made; but just the same when the choice is made it is not due to coercion but to the will acting in its sovereign freedom. None can doubt the implication in the text which avers: “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely” (Rev 22:17).

It is misleading to assert that “whosoever God wills may come.” It nevertheless is true, but not in the same sense in which high Calvinists have presented it, namely, that whosoever God compels will come—rather it should be stated thus: that whosoever God calls with an efficacious call, which call is a persuasion sufficient to guarantee the determined choice, will, of his own sovereign determination, come.

Let it not be supposed that this interpretation of an important Biblical doctrine lends any support to the Arminian notion that unregenerated men—because of some hypothetical, universal impartation of “common grace”—may at any time, under any circumstances, and by virtue of their own unaided vision and determination accept Christ as Savior if they will to do so. Only tragic misconceptions have been the fruit of an extreme Calvinism which makes no place in its reckoning for the inherent, constitutional necessity of immediate divine action upon the human will before the right choice can be made at all.

The spiritual life is in all instances presented as the result of the free choice of the believer’s will; but this doctrine must not be left to stand alone. Another doctrine of even more vital significance is the truth that the will must be moved by God.

- L S Chafer
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

NetChaplain
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Re: The Sovereign Wills

Postby NetChaplain » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:48 am

Also, I believe the offer for salvation is to the world (John 3:17), thus mankind is called (as in "many called" Matt 22:14, not as in "the called" Rom 8:28). It's also axiomatic in Scripture that God is omniscient and therefore foreknows everyone's choices even before creation (foreknew most of mankind would not choose Him—Matt 7:13, 14).

Whether one can or cannot have the desire to choose God on their own (which may be in the “drawing”), I believe when the choice is made, God's "drawing" (John 6:44) of one to Christ is without failure ("shall come" 6:37), and is permanent (6:39; Rom 11:29).

Concerning Judas, he fell from his “part” of Apostleship only, not from the faith (Acts 1:25), “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him” (John 6:64; 13:11).
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

jo555
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Re: The Sovereign Wills

Postby jo555 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:03 pm

Not sure if I understood all of what was being said, but I do believe it starts with God revealing and enlightening the heart. Then, we are to continue in the faith in our everyday life. We are to continue in the light that was given to us, amongst the darkness surrounding us.

Everything the believer attains is by faith. We ask in Jesus name, and rest in Him.

And resting doesn't necessarily mean we do nothing physically. Foremost it speaks of an inner rest, yet we can also read the Word of God to nuture our faith. We don't grow it though, but we take God at his Word and we plant and water, then let God make it grow in his time and way.

We stunt our growth when we look to do God's part. Pride is ultimately thinking we can do what only God can. We are to rest in Him.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

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Re: The Sovereign Wills

Postby NetChaplain » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:33 am

Hi Jo - Thanks for the input, which I agree with, esp. concerning continuance in the faith. I believe faith, grace, mercy, salvation, etc. all comes together simultaneously as a gift, and that since it all requires the work of God in receiving such, it also requires God to work in retaining such (Philippians 2:13; 2Tim 1:12; Jude 1:24).

Therefore, I believe a possible paraphrase for Colossians 1:23 could be, "Since you will be continuing in the faith," because the giving of faith out of grace is substantiated in the belief of Christ's efficacy.

"It's not that the virtue and efficacy of Christ's blood, sufferings, and death, and reconciliation of their persons to God thereby, depended upon their faith, and abiding in it; but that faith and continuance in it were necessary means of their presentation in unblemished holiness and righteousness (v 22); for if they had not faith, or did not abide in it or if the good work of grace was not wrought upon their souls, and that performed until the day of Christ, they could not be presented holy and blameless." JG

God's blessings to your Family!
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS

jo555
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Re: The Sovereign Wills

Postby jo555 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:03 pm

And I keep seeing Romans 11. If we do not continue in the faith, but try and attain God's free gifts in Christ by our own works, we are severed for a time being, but the Lord has not forgotten us and in time He will turn again to us (regarding what He is doing for He never leaves nor forsakes us). He is using it as an opportunity to spread his mercy about.

Point being . . . He is determined that all will come through by grace through faith in Him, in Christ.
Last edited by jo555 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

jo555
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Re: The Sovereign Wills

Postby jo555 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:10 pm

And going back to wills . . . as I know I've said before, I see it as man has free will as long as it is contained within God's will. God will allow us to exercise our free will as it is contained in his will. I do believe He can impose and will impose on our will for his greater purposes. Overall though, I believe he gives us sufficient, and even plenty of leeway, within his will or overall purposes. Until, again, He is looking to do something specific where He sees the need to micro-manage.

From what I know of scripture.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs

NetChaplain
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Re: The Sovereign Wills

Postby NetChaplain » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:31 am

jo555 wrote:And I keep seeing Romans 11. If we do not continue in the faith, but try and attain God's free gifts in Christ by our own works, we are severed for a time being, but the Lord has not forgotten us and in time He will turn again to us (regarding what He is doing for He never leaves nor forsakes us). He is using it as an opportunity to spread his mercy about.

Point being . . . He is determined that all will come through by grace through faith in Him, in Christ.


Amen, many who consider their works to affect the retaining of their salvation have yet to learn that it is only grace that keeps them, because it is grace that saved them, thus it's just a matter of time until God teaches them what He wants them to know and understand concerning "works."
The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ. -MJS


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