God's chosen, difference between free will and free grace

Is Calvinism taught in the Bible? Does man have free-will? Can a Christian apostatize? Discuss all related questions here.

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God's chosen, difference between free will and free grace

Post by email » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:11 am

I am not understanding the difference between Arminiamism " free will" and Calvinism " free grace". If God knows who will accept and/or reject His grace, then wouldn't His choice of the elect be determined by his foreknowledge of who accepted His grace?? Jesus said "you have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you". How would one know if they are among the "chosen" that Jesus is speaking of. This sure makes one "insecure", in the fact that "who" knows if they are one of the "chosen" that Jesus speaks of. Also, I have a hard time understanding Romans 9:13 "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated". Would this mean that God "foreknew" that Esau would reject Him? Therefor Esau was predestined to not be chosen? This is very confusing to me.
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Re: Gods chosen

Post by larry » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:37 pm

Thanks for visiting insearchoftruth.org.

Calvinists assert that God's foreknowledge and man's free will are irreconcilable. The Bible teaches that God has foreknowledge; therefore God's foreknowledge is a fact. Likewise, the Bible teaches that man has free will; therefore man's free moral agency is a fact. Consequently, Calvinists, or anyone else, who claim that God's foreknowledge and man's free will are incompatible are teaching that which is contrary to God's word. Let me give you a few examples.

Just before he died, Moses was told by God of the coming apostasy of the Israelites (Deut. 31:16-21). In doing so, God was not just declaring what He planned to do in the future, He was making it clear that He knew what human beings would be doing in the future of their own free wills. In Acts 2:23, the apostle Peter taught that Jesus was delivered up "by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God." This clearly teaches that God's plan to deliver up His Son was made in view of what He foreknew the Jews and Romans would do, that is, He knew that given the right circumstances, they would cause Jesus to be crucified.

Man also possesses free will. This is clearly taught in Deut. 11:26-28. Joshua in his farewell address in chapter 24:15 said "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve." They had a choice and we have a choice also. There is no place probably clearer than Matthew 23:37 where Jesus said: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

God's will can be rejected. In Isaiah 65:12, God said, "Therefore I will number you for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer: when I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight." Again, in 2 Peter 3:9, it is plainly stated that God is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

At the same time, God's will can be accepted. Mt. 10:32 says, "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven." Also, Mt. 11:28, "Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." Jesus said in Mk. 16:16, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved..."

Jesus has chosen all those who choose to love and obey Him. Those who reject Him are not chosen by Him. God foreknew that Esau would voluntarily reject Him and that Jacob would of his own free will choose to obey Him. While the scriptures teach we have free will, it also makes good logical sense. God could have made a bunch of robots to follow Him in complete obedience. But He had much rather we of our own free will choose to serve Him. He will then bless us.

For lots more information on this subject go to insearchoftruth.org. I hope my comments have been helpful.


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Gods chosen

Post by m273p15c » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:06 pm

Thanks again for submitting very good questions. Larry has provided you with an excellent answer, presenting formidable problems for the Calvinist position. Also, he has provided Scriptures proving the free-will of man.

We have some material that is being developed regarding some of the specific verses you mentioned. If you do not mind, I would like to share these answers with you. At some point in the future, I hope these will appear in some form on our web-site.

Feel free to let us know, if you have any comments or questions. We are always glad to study with others, so that we may come to unity and ensure that we all have obeyed all that God commands regarding our salvation.

May God help us to have a sincere love of the truth,

May God help us to love truth sincerely and supremely (II Thessalonians 2:11-12)

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