Responding to Christianese: Since God is Love He would Never Violate our Free Will

When I hear professing Christians say that since God is love He would never violate our free will (btw, a concept not found in the Bible)... my first thought is to ask:

"So you are troubled that God did for you what you couldn't do for yourself? Is Hell better than being saved? In everyday life we keep our children back from things that would harm them. Why? We do it because we love them. If this is true for our children, how much more God? So if God rescues us, in spite of our willful disobedience, it springs from His great mercy and love. But if His love toward us were based on a condition we have to meet, it would, by definition, be neither loving nor gracious."

It is better to reach important doctrinal positions by being biblically informed, rather than relying on unaided human reason or emotional appeals.

The Epistle to the Ephesians declares

"...even when we were dead in our trespasses, (He) made us alive (quickened us) together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—" - Eph 2:5

Now, God is not doing violence to our will any more than God violated your will when he gave you life, or gave you eyes, or ears.  But He certainly rescued us regardless of our disposition at the time because, like any good parent, he knows better that we do what is good for us. 

Some may raise the objection: but does not God say he does not want anyone to perish, but rather everyone to come to repentance?

God commands all people everywhere to believe the gospel (Acts 17:30) ...so of course God wants all people to obey his commands ... he does not want to us disobey his commands and so perish But sadly, left to ourselves, apart from his intervening grace, men love darkness (John 3:19) and run the other way, so no unrenewed person comes to Christ (John 6:63, 65; 1 Cor 2:14).. Yet God is still merciful in spite of our willful hardness against him. He still gives a number that no man can count to His very own Son and ALL that He gives to the Son will come to faith in him (John 6:37). To those he gives new eyes to see, new ears to hear and a new heart to understand (Deut 29:4, 30:6; Ezek 36:26). Unless God first turn our heart of stone to a heart of flesh we are obstinate and proud creatures unwilling to humbly forsake trusting in our own righteousness and turning to the righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. It is grace itself that makes us wise and humble. These certainly don't come naturally.  Note: 2 Peter 3:9 is a passage particularly addressed to the professing community. It says God is patient "on account of" or "toward you" the "brothers" the passage is addressed to not wanting any of those to perish... but it does not take away from the fact that God summons all people to faith in Jesus. 

So someone may ask, is disbelief Gods work or is it a persons "free will"?

God does not coerce or force people into unbelief. This is our natural fallen disposition. We voluntarily and willfully disbelieve God's promise of forgiveness through faith in his Son. It takes grace to disarm the hostility of our hearts.

Jesus declared, "the Spirit quickens, the flesh counts for nothing ... that is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it." (John 6:63, 65)

When the Spirit quickens us, i.e. gives us a new heart, we most willingly come to faith in Jesus Christ. 

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules." - Ezekiel 36:26-27

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 14:26 -- john_hendryx

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