Saturday, September 15, 2007

Of Free Will and The Love of Jesus...

Matthew 16:24.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. KJV

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. NKJV

Now I am not even going to even talk about which version is better... as I think they still state clearly the same thing.

Jesus states that a man has a will and can come after Him... there is not much difference in saying "If anyone desires" as a desire is out of a man's will...

In other versions still the idea is conveyed... such as the NIV

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Yet, it seems that though some teach that man has no "free will" Jesus taught that man can choose Him. Now, be careful not to take me as saying man has a part in their own salvation as that IS of God and God alone... the point is that the Father draws a person ( John 6:44. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.) Yet, still man must make that decision to follow after Jesus.

In that decision, one must realize that as Jesus stated one must then die to self to be able to follow Him. With that free will is exchanged for God's will through Jesus Christ.

Romans 6: 5-14 is rich with this teaching of being dying with Christ on the Cross and now where our Life comes from.

"If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

Now as one who died with Jesus and as Paul stated, "because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." we know a dead person no longer "sins" so we also find Life at the Resurrected Life of Jesus.

Now, we all will sin... we all will fail as we still live in the "mortal body" Yet, we are no longer slaves to this "mortal body" for if one is in Christ, the sin in us has been judged and put to death, and we Live now "in Chirst" by the power of the Resurrection. We have exchanged our "sin and death" that reigned in our mortal body and not Christ Jesus reigns in us and gives us His very Life...

Jesus is the only "immortal" (1 Timothy 6:16) and by Jesus we will one day exchange "the mortal with immortality". (1 Cor 15:53)


God is good, for He draws a person to Jesus in whom we choose to follow... there is no doubt be one Calvinist or Ariminian that one still must "believe and receive" (Philippians 1:29; 1 Tim 1:16; John 3:16-17; Matt 10:40; John 1:12; John 20:22)
so that is not the debate... at least I would hope. (note: I re-read and noticed a bit of fuzz in that sentence so yes it is edited)... For a person can only freely love another if they are free to choose to do so. If they are not given a choice then how can a man love freely... God freely chooses to give grace to WHO he chooses... in that act of Love, man can and must respond to it... but without the ability to freely choose... it is not pure Love.

Be Blessed,
iggy

2 comments:

rick said...

Iggy - the argument isn't that man doesn't have a will. It's about where his desire comes from. You argue for "free" will while I would say (and this may not be the exact right word) "enslaved" will.

Net, a Calvinist would support your statement that a man has to choose. We are differing in what is the driver of that choice.

iggy said...

Rick,

I did mention that that was not the "debate"... as I know that Calvinists agree that man has a will and that Luther states it is in "bondage"... but there is more and this is really only part of the idea I was having... (while listening to Tozer (who CRN thinks is a Calvinist, but was really a "free-will" advocate.

Here is a hint... After the fall man's free will is in bondage... and after the Cross that free will is exchanged for God's will... but... and I have not read anyone mention... if man was originally created and placed in the Garden with Free Will... If you know of anyone Calvinist or not that has written on that let me know...

Either way I will be writing on that in the next few days...

Mostly though I really appreciate your input and would never think of banning you here... LOL!

Shoot I need all the readers I can get! LOL!


Blessings,
iggy