The Sovereign Wills

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by netchaplain, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. 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
  2. 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 and thus, 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).
  3. I would think that the phrase "sovereign wills" is a contradiction of terms. There can't be two wills that are sovereign.

    Think of all the features in your life over which you had no choice. You didn't determine your birthday, the place where you would be born, who your parents would be or the rest of your family. You didn't decide your gender or your skin color. Nor did you have a say in your ethnicity, original nationality, or during what period of history you would live. You didn't choose your IQ or any heritary diseases you may have. You didn't choose having whatever diseases you would have. You didn't choose which elementary school you would attend or which teachers you would have. You certainly didn't choose the day of your death nor how many days you would live or the quality of those days. All those things were decided for you and all the situations that emerged from any of those features and what effect they had on your personality and future. I certainly wouldn't say that any human being is "soverign." There is only one sovereign will and it ain't mine.
  4. Hi JC - The author is using the second tense, third definition for sovereign:
    adjective\ˈsä-v(ə-)rən, -vərn also ˈsə-\
    : having unlimited power or authority

    : not limited

    : having independent authority and the right to govern itself

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  5. Sorry, in post #4 I meant to post Hi JW, not JC.
  6. I wish you would be the one to actually write the articles you post. Really hard to talk about something your not responsible for.
    It's a good topic though.

    God's Election V.S God's Foreknowledge.

    But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
    (Joh 6:64)

    Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
    (Joh 6:70-71)

    That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

    The big issue I have using Judas as an example of Election of Foreknowledge is that Something was different about Judas. Jesus did call him friend at first but there had to be something else going on that would be out of the normal. When Judas took that sop from Jesus and made his final choice, Satan came fully in. He did have a chance and a choice to make and was given that chance.

    Judas went to his "OWN" place. Not mentioning hell or normal places that men go when they die. Who was Judas? For me there are to many questions to form an Election or an foreknowledge Doctrine from.

    There is also "THEY" Others must have also turned away from Jesus, but we are not given names, and not part of the 12.

    Foreknowledge V.S Election.

    I encourage you to study this out on your own Net Chaplin and not just take someones word on it. I can tell you don't care for the hard core election doctrine.

    Election means picked and chosen. The question is does a man have to be forced to follow that calling and plan?

    God just having foreknowledge is a wash once you start applying logic to it. There is ZERO scripture that denotes God knows everything about everyone and what choice they will make.
    Once it's all foreknowledge it by default reverts to election again, else God has very limited ability to have any foreknowledge.

    If I know I am going to run out of gas before reaching work by foreknowledge and I almost get to work but run out of gas then it's no longer foreknowledge but election. I elected not to stop and get gas.

    If God puts the spirit in man with foreknowledge of that man going to hell, it's no longer foreknowledge but a causative by creating a condition God caused by putting the man on earth to end up in hell.

    Let me introduce Wisdom and God knows the heart instead.

    Wisdom examines the mans choices and knows the heart. By that God has a good idea what man will do, but the heart can be changed. God talking about Pharaoh said.......... I am pretty sure it will take a strong arm against pharaoh to bring Israel out.

    That comment to Noah is not election and it's not foreknowledge. It's a comment that knows Pharaoh and God set Pharaoh as King and knew Pharaoh very well. There was still room for Pharaoh to obey God but God was convinced He would not. Pharaoh hardened his heart first and God had much longsuffering before Pharaoh was chosen to be made an example out of. (Rom)

    I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
    (Gen 18:21)

    This statement by God is neither election or Foreknowledge. (Study out cry) God hears cry's and it sounds like great sin. He said I'll go down and see for myself if the sin is matching what I am hearing then I will know.

    There are lots and lots (I can fill this page) of scriptures that do not denote election or foreknowledge but they denote a God that reacts to man by their actions while only wanting the best for man. Someone wanting the best does not expect failure or elects to fail.

    Jer 29:11

    check it out.

    Deu_30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    The record of choice was made by what men will choose. This is not foreknowledge or election, but the choice is recorded and by choice a consequence is given.

    When God declares something, then it's a causative and if it's not concerning a group or person in general it never changes but always happens.
  8. Thank you blessed sister. However I expected more response from my bold comments. You know I did say it's not election or foreknowledge but God deals with man according to the choices he makes. Man obeys God or does not obey God. By that choice God moves and responds to the way HE said according to His Word.

    I don't want to make anyone look silly. I really want to just provide scripture and hope they see it. God does not have a foreknowledge, God hopes the best and has a plan according to his plan that each man should FIND and follow. If a man does not acknowledge God or the plan then it does not end well with him.

    God told Jeremiah that he foreknew him in the Womb. God had a plan for Jeremiah, God had a path for him to follow. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Not that God has fear, but God very carefully considers each course and plan for each person he has created. Each person has a purpose and was made for a reason. No reason was to be a failure but a success as God does not fail or make plans that end in failure.

    Because man was created to choose, it's man that fails God. Not God plans man to fail.

    As I said, I can give 20 or more scriptures that prove this.

  9. I have a problem to start with "sovereign" because it sounds like royalty and I think God is more than that. And I agree with another poster that God's Will isn't plural. I agree with you, in that, God doesn't play 3 card Monty with us. He gave us free will - not I gave you free will but I knew you were going to reject Me, anyways. Choosing to accept Christ is our ONLY meritorious act. I agree that God knows we can change our hearts and that His plan is geared towards that. I think it is only we (humanity) who count people out. If He didn't allow for room for people to be "saved" - there IS no reason for the rest of this.

    As for Judas - I'm not sure I agree. Jesus did know ahead of time that Judas would betray Him but the whole plan hinged on the crucifixtion, so the authorities had to find and identify Christ. I don't know where Judas got left, spiritually (and I sure wouldn't want to be him), but it could be that because Judas believed Christ was the Messiah (the 2nd coming), perhaps he thought this would lead Christ to overtake the Romans - certainly not His death. Peter denied Christ 3 times to save what he thought was his own life. He was forgiven.
  10. I don't disagree. My thing is that Judas is told to us in Acts that he "Went to his OWN PLACE" What does that mean? Who was Judas really? No other place in the bible do we see any man set to fail like Judas for Jesus said. "One of you is a devil"

    Why was Judas a devil?

    It's a little strange to prove any Election or Foreknowledge Doctrine. It's only one case with nothing to compare.

    I have many cases where God changes by mans Harts. He told Hezekiah that he would die. Hezekiah turned his back to the wall and repented and because of that it changed the Lords mind. God is full of mercy and shows he does not have foreknowledge or election but moves according to man's choices.

    Same with Eli............... God promised Eli that his house would be the family of priest forever but Eli did not honor God and God said though I said you should be my priest, far be it from me. For those that honor God them I will honor and those that don't honor me them I will lightly esteem.

    Eli lost what God had planned and promised by his own actions and failure to put his sons in check.

    God responds to our choices. As for Judas? Something more is there than we understand.

    Blessings Silk............... (Book?)


  11. I think God allows a lot of chances when we branch off the road, to get back on the right one, because He also knows we get bombarded with wrong choices that seem tempting all the time. And I agree that He doesn't set the game up for failure. It is said many times in scripture that God wants us ALL back - His plan must include this - so there must be a way. Being our brother's keeper is not about trying to bat people over the head to think our way - I think it is about showing in a loving Christian way that it is the only way and we want them all with us. As Christians, we know exactly what is at stake, and those who reject don't know. I don't say to myself, "I believe" I say "I know."
  12. That is how I see God. Always a chance to get back on track. The God that said I know the thoughts I think about you. Thoughts that are not evil, but to bless you and give you an expected end (Blessed ending full of prosperity)

    That is not foreknowledge, or election. That is a God that hopes the best and believes the best.

    Jesus said answering the man who asked if they should cut down the tree that did not produce fruit. NO, put dung around the tree, give it a chance and if it does not produce fruit after a year, then cut it down and cast it into the fire.

    Jesus did not use foreknowledge or election. He wanted to give the tree all the help and nutrients He had. Dung around the tree, give the tree a chance to get it right. Was the Lords answer.

    That is not foreknowledge or election. That is a God that believes the best and hopes the best for every man whom he created.

    You do KNOW Silk........................ God is not a election God, or a foreknowledge God. He is a God that wants everyone to make it.

    Be blessed.
  13. Hi MH - I just wanted to share with you that my reason for posting is spiritual-growth-centered, therefore I'm more concerned about this for others, than just sharing my personal beliefs, which I often post also. The reason why I mostly post material from the authors I choose is because I believe it is meaningful enough in the learning of Scripture, which is always my primary goal.

    God's blessings to your Family!

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