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Free Will? Are Christians Punished for their Sins? and More, Part 1 of 7 Parts
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All quotations were taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless otherwise noted. Sometimes I make comments in the middle of quotations using brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious. I am using straight quotation marks ("), hyphens (-) instead of dashes, no footnotes, and a few other things like this because some of the internet sites where I post these articles require it. Cf., e.g., means "compare, for example."
This article started with what happened in a class I was teaching. I started the class by asking the question, "Do we have free will?" I mentioned that this is a very important question when it comes to the interpretation of Scripture and that this is one of the topics where we desperately need the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches. All of the people in the class said they believe in free will. That didn't surprise me. We should believe in free will, but we need the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches here. We must put all the emphasis on what the Bible teaches.
((For the record, I didn't find any places where the New Testament (NASB) uses the words "free will" in any relevant sense, or "freedom of the will," or any places where it speaks of our choosing salvation. The NASB does use the words "free will" in Philemon 1:14, but in that context Paul wasn't saying anything about salvation. He was just telling Philemon that he wanted him to WILLINGLY, not under compulsion, answer his request and not hold anything against Onesimus. The Greek Dictionary in the back of the UBS Greek New Testament gives "willing" as the meaning for the Greek adjective used here ("hekousios, a, on"). The KJV translated "willingly
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