Is there free will when exercising choice?   

A discussion on this subject is found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

However for the purpose of this paper, only what is written in the Bible will be considered.

 

There are many Bible verses which support free will when exercising choice. Some examples are found in the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination

Ezek 18:32
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

 

Here, Ezekiel pronounces the word of YHVH and indicates YHVHís preference for life. However in a preceding verse, He also pronounced that all souls belong to Him to do as He pleases, even to put to death.

Ezek 18:4
4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Deut 32:39
39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

Rev 4:10-11
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

 

In another part of the Bible it is also stated that a personís decision is determined by Him.

Ex 10:27
27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.

 

Even in the New Testament this same preference of YHVH for life is repeated

2 Peter 3:9
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1 Tim 2:3-4
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth

Mark 16:16
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 

Whether one believes in Jesus or not is determined by YHVH.

John 15:17
6 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Eph 1:4-54 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

2 Thess 2:13
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

 

Similarly the following versus may be quoted to support free choice, but the choice is only apparent because whatever choice is made, it is already predestined by the will of YHVH.

Rom 10:9
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Matt 9:27-29
27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

1 Thess 4:14
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 15:7
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Rev 22:19
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

 Jer 18:8
8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

 

Even our faith is from Jesus.

Heb 12:22 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

What is the condition of man?

Rom 3:23
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

However YHVH prefers that all be saved.

1 Tim 2:3-4
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

However only those chosen by the grace of YHVH will be saved.

Acts 15:11
11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

These are a remnant.

Rom 9:27
27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

Rom 11:5
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

 

What about the others? Perhaps they have the willful sin from which there is no escape from the consequence.

Heb 10:26-27
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

This refers to knowing that Jesus is the Son of YHVH and yet reject his gracious offer of salvation.

 

Did this willful sin come from free choice? What does the Bible say? This willful rejection is from YHVH

John 9:38-10:1
believe. And he worshipped him.
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

 

The will of YHVH is absolutely effective and inescapable.

Isa 55:11
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

 Rom 9:10-24
10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?
God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,  
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

 

Thus when Job complained to YHVH because of his suffering.

Job 23:1-4
23:1 Then Job answered and said,
2 Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.

 

The answer of YHVH humbled Job

Job 38:1-6
38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

Job 40:1-9
40:1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

Job 42:1-6
42:1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
3 Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Finally, Job sees YHVH as the great almighty, the ultimate playwright who should not be questioned on why He wrote the play of reality the way it was written.

 

Isa 43:13
13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

Amen

 

Conclusion:

Based on the Bible there is no freedom of choice. There only 'appears' to be freedom when choosing. 

 

 

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